Uganda Cranes forward Joel Madondo is living a not so comfortable life in Morocco especially when you are aware, he turns out for giants and ‘money bags’ Wydad Casablanca.
But it’s after probably an interaction with Madondo that indeed one can confirm the saying “Never judge a book by its cover” is real.
With his dream to play professional football outside Uganda coming to pass in January 2020 when he switched to Wydad Casablanca from Busoga United, the future seemed to be bright for Madondo not until it later turned into a thriller.
“The club dumped me in the apartment for which I have to pay $1,000 (Shs3.7m) per month yet they have not paid me a salary,” Madondo told Daily Monitor on Wednesday. “My agent has been paying for the apartment and I will pay him back from my salary.”
“Since I came here they have only assisted me with 14,000 Moroccan Dirham (about Shs5.2m) on February 20, which I used to buy flour and started making chapattis. You can’t imagine I have been eating chapattis and tea since I came so that I save the little I have.”
To further make life seem meaningless to Madondo, the club took his passport off him upon arrival purportedly for using it to process a work permit but have since ignored his pleas to have his passport returned something so risky in a foreign land for security reasons.
“I don’t have any document on me. That is very risky here. The club manager told me if the police stop me, I just mention Wydad and nothing will happen.”
Uganda Cranes defender Murushid Juuko, once a teammate of Madondo at the Moroccan club, shared a familiar tale of the plight the former Busoga United striker is enduring.
“I also suffered the same problems as the club held onto my passport. I was lucky when I was summoned to Cranes, they had to give it back to me so that I travel back home in March,” Juuko, who is currently in the country, disclosed to this paper yesterday as he appealed to good samaritans for help to Madondo.
In this miserable situation that is entirely dominated by the pandemic Covid-19, it’s Madondo’s teammates from West Africa most notably Nigeria’s Micheal Babatunde besides his agent who have been helping him with little finances to at least survive in the harsh Moroccan city of Casablanca.
Since joining Wydad Casablanca in January under former Cranes tactician Sebastien Desabre, Madondo featured in two games both losses against Diffa El Jadida and Youssoufia Berrechid and has since been seen as a surplus to the team since the appointment of Spanish coach Juan Carlos Garrido.