Gor's Sserunkuma and Rama Salim's partnership revolutionizes Kenya football

The duo's combination has been a darling to watch for many as their exploits have seen Gor Mahia remain on course for the league title

Approximately 20 years back or thereabouts, two women in East Africa gave birth to two young boys. The mothers were located approximately 1200km apart and had never heard of each other.

They also probably hadn't known that their sons would later become talented footballers, and dazzle the entire East African region with potential to replicate the same to the world in future.

Introducing Rama Salim and Dan Sserunkuma. It is a mere coincidence that the duo crossed paths. Rama was born and brought up at the Kenyan coastal town of Mombasa while Sserunkuma is Ugandan.

The 20 year old Kenyan midfielder developed interest in football during his teenage years. He thereafter, signed his first professional contract with Congo United (a team in his hometown) who were then in the nationwide division (second tier league of Kenyan football).

His exploits then assisted his team to the Kenyan Premier League where Gor Mahia then under the tutelage of Zedekiah Zico Otieno quickly snapped him up.

“I prefer to work with upcoming players who like the game, who enjoy playing it. Players who have the passion for the game. Rama ticks all the boxes,” Zico reported after capturing the prized asset.

On the other hand Sserunkuma nicknamed 'Mzee' or old man in local dialect, (a name synonymous in the area Salim hails from) honed his skills in his homeland with top flight clubs Victors FC and Express FC before crossing over to Kenya, initially at City Stars.

It took the intervention of a high powered delegation and a record transfer fee by Kenyan standards for K'ogalo to snap up the dread locked forward. And everything else fell into place. Both players have fitted in coach Zdravko Logarusic's system as a glove.

“Transition from defence to attack is key in any game, when we win back possession its important to have players who can transport the ball to the other side of the pitch and still be capable of scoring, this is where the duo come in.” the Croatian coach admits.

In the four months the two have played together, both players have each scored a combined 13 goals for the team and assisted a total seven chances to each other. This form has propelled Gor Mahia from 14th to 2nd position on the KPL standings, with only four matches of the current league campaign remaining.

The second and winning goal, in Gor's recent match against basement side Rangers FC, scored after yet another lethal combination between the two was the toast of it all.

Sserunkuma received the ball on the edge of the area and slipped in a slide rule pass between two hapless defenders to the feet of the pint sized attacking midfielder. Rama took one touch with his right foot, and then chipped a cheeky shot past the advancing Victor Ochieng’ manning the Rangers goal.

Such was the excellent execution that translated to the understanding between the two players that one would be tempted to imagine the duo could repeat that move if blindfolded.

“We have no secret. We are just best friends and have learnt each other’s’ movements very well. He knows when to pass to me and the reverse is true. He is the best strike partner I have ever played with,” the Ugandan adds.

“Ssrerunkuma is a player that thinks about the team, he is very tricky, creative and intelligent, he knows when and how to pass, and when to go for it himself, its a pleasure featuring alongside him,” Rama responded.

A pleasure to the fans as well. With the Uganda forward eager to try out in Europe, and the Kenyan's future also under consideration, it is difficult to predict the lifespan of this partnership.

Whatever the case, for Kenyans who are mostly used to watching Van Persie volley Song's exquisite chip into the back of the net or David Villa side foot Xavi's lob past a hapless keeper, Kenyans have the two mothers-in Mombasa and Kampala who almost solely enabled me to tell this tale.