Léon Mokuna died this morning at the age of 91. The former Congolese attacker was the first black African on the Belgian soccer fields, according to the local media.
In 1957, Mokuna moved to La Gantoise, making him the first black African in the competition. Later the attacker played for Waregem and Kortrijk. Léon Mokuna brought the people to the stadium and was known for his hard shot power.
Soon more Africans, like Paul Bonga Bonga (Standard) and Julien Kialunda (Anderlecht), followed his example to the Belgian league. Mokuna also acquired Belgian nationality soon after his arrival in Belgium and played two international matches for the Belgian B-selection. He didn’t make it to Red Devil.
The striker got the nickname ‘Trouet’, small hole. According to legend, because he shot the leather through the nets. “In reality, I chose my nickname when I saw Léon Trouet standing somewhere in the harbor of Leopoldstad (present-day Kinshasa, ed.)”, the Congolese later told Legend.
After his football career, Léon Mokuna went to the Congo, lived there for 14 years, and was even a national coach for a while. In 1989 he returned to Belgium, where he spent his last years in the hometown of Ghent.