4812
5 minutes read

#HistoryClass: Nigeria’s Super Eagles

Our British colonial masters brought us a lot of good stuff. Stuff such as education, Christianity and corruption, among others. But probably the best thing the Brits brought to us…..

2201
3 minutes read

Africa is a Country Video: George Khosi’s Hillbrow Boxing Club

It used to be an old gas station. In the area where car owners once filled their tanks an elevated boxing ring now stands. Fraying rope holds the still sturdy structure together as George Khosi instructs his student on the correct way to dodge and jab. “One two, one two,” he counts. Outside the ring, a bright green punching bag sways gently in response to blows delivered by a little boy with missing teeth and mismatched boxing gloves. The 44-year-old coach does not seem to mind, he would rather the boy box than wander the streets.

3685
5 minutes read

Cricket in America

It’s futile and perhaps just a little odious to compare cricket with football (soccer), but like all cricket-lovers, compare I must. While football’s fizz serves it well as a commoditised distraction of corporate capital, cricket for the most part resists the big money phantasmagoria. Cricket – even in its glitzy made-for-Bollywood 20/20 form – does not yield easily to the sponsored shrinkage of space into time. The openness to the elements, of earth and cloud, together with the combination of a team setting and moment-by-moment individual drama (ball vs. bat) lend themselves to strategy, long-form thinking and to depth psychology.

2589
4 minutes read

“Somalis on Ice”

Goodbye Eric The Eel! Shuffle over, Jamaican bobsleigh team of 1988! There’s a new team in town: The Somalia national bandy team. And of course, the media is all over…..

4614
11 minutes read

Kwame Nkrumah’s team are going to the World Cup

Despite coming in for plenty of criticism from European and American journalists, Africa’s high-stakes, winner-takes-all World Cup qualifying system once again threw up an enthralling set of matches. The most…..

4188
3 minutes read

A Hollywood studio is making a film about Pele

Dramatic films about football–with few exceptions, say “Sixty Six” or “The Year My Parents Went on Vacation“– are usually a bust. It seems hard to recreate on-field action or to make connections to larger themes about the nation, identity politics, institutional violence, capitalism or the romance of the beautiful game. And nowadays professional footballers’ lives off-field can be regimented and organized, drained of any real drama. Mario Balotelli, or before him Lilian Thuram or Eric Cantona are major exceptions.