By scoring both goals for his team in Uyo against Rivers United (2-0) in the first leg of the CAF Cup quarterfinals, Congolese Fiston Mayele has put Young Africans in a perfect position before the reunion against the Nigerians on Sunday. The Leopards’ striker, who has had a very good season, is used to this.
Young Africans’ dressing room is probably the most French-speaking in English-speaking Africa. The coach is Tunisian (Nasreddine Nabi), Congolese from the DRC are six (Fiston Mayele, Yannick Litombo, Joyce Lomalisa, Tuisila Kisinda, Jesus Moloko, Djimma Shabani), and they rub shoulders with Malians Djigui Diarra and Mamadou Doumbia, Burundian Gael Bigirimana and Burkinabe Stephane Aziz Ki.
Said Fiston Mayele (28).
Top scorer in the league and CAF Cup
It is also the most prolific, after a first year full of promise. Recruited from AS Vita Club in 2021, Mayele scored 20 goals in all competitions and won a few titles, including the Premier League and the Community Shield. But in 2022-2023, the Congolese international (2 caps) is doing even better. With four games to go in a championship that his team dominates, he is the top scorer (16 goals and 3 assists), to which must be added the one he scored in the Tanzanian Cup.
However, Mayele is not content with just blazing on the domestic scene. In the first two Champions League preliminary rounds, the Mbuji-Mayi native shattered Zalan’s South Sudanese defense (4-0, 5-0) with six goals, and then scored another goal against Al-Hilal of Sudan (1-1, 0-1). He added five more in the CAF Cup, making him the competition’s top scorer, tied with South Africa’s Ranga Chivaviro (Marumo Gallants), whom he could face in the semifinals (May 10 and 17).
“This is my best season since I’ve been a professional”
So Mayele is convinced, he is having the best season of his career.
Explains the striker, whose performances have logically attracted the attention of foreign clubs, including Egypt, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia and South Africa.
“I am under contract until June 30, 2024, but my leaders would agree to release me if they receive a good proposal,”Continues the striker, whose value is estimated between 400,000 and 500,000 euros.
Sebastien Desabre appreciates this “complete striker”
If he scores a lot of goals in Tanzania, Mayele also did so in DR Congo, and in particular at AS Vita Club, where Florent Ibenge had brought him from AS Simba Kolwezi (Ligue 2). “I had joined in 2018 Kinshasa and Vita Club, while I did not speak Lingala. Kinshasa is a huge city, and at Vita, there is enormous pressure, but I had still scored 12 goals in the league the first season, and as many the next, plus three in the Champions League.”
A performance appreciated by Sebastien Desabre, the coach of DR Congo, and who called Mayele for the two matches against Mauritania (3-1, 1-1), qualifiers for the AFCON 2023.
In Dar Es Salaam, a city known to be less turbulent and safer than Kinshasa, Mayele took a few weeks to find his feet.
In Tanzania, he has seen his salary increase substantially and his performances have allowed him to be called up to the senior team, while he was selected with the local Leopards to compete in the African Nations Championship (CHAN) in Cameroon in 2021.
Source: Sports News Africa