World Cup 2010

Friday, March 11th, 2011

‘Africa’s First World Cup’ Revisited

We’re allowed to talk about the 2010 World Cup until 2014. Later today our man, historian of African soccer, Peter Alegi, will deliver the keynote address at the 7th Sports in Africa Symposium at Ohio University. Since few of us are in Athens, don’t panic: The whole thing–including Peter’s keynote–will be webcasted live here. Here’s

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

Photography: Yamandú Roos

Security Guard, World Cup, 2010, Soweto, South Africa.

Saturday, December 18th, 2010

Shameless Self Promotion: World Cup edition

Look out for a a special issue of African Journalism Studies on “The Fifa World Cup 2010 in the News.” I guest edited.  While you’re contemplating whether you’d pay to read the opinions of academics on the greatest...

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

Traffic Report

Ahead of the FIFA World Cup in South Africa, I had blogged about the proliferation of nonsensical press reports claiming 40 000 women would be trafficked into the country during that event. Shortly after the tournament ended,...

Monday, July 19th, 2010

G’day Mate

“The thing that overwhelms most is the level of professionalism of native Africans in knowing how to serve a bottle of wine properly,” said Philip Crawford, a designer of luxury homes from Noosa, Australia. From a story...

Monday, July 12th, 2010

The Day After

The World Cup is now over after a final match that unfortunately rivals for negativity, ugliness, aimlessness and overzealous refereeing the 1990 World Cup final in Rome between Germany and Argentina.  Andres Iniesta’s extra-time goal ensured the right...

Sunday, July 11th, 2010

Vuvuzelas All Around

Now that the criticisms of the vuvuzela have subsided and the sounds of the vuvuzela will soon take a break from the world stage too, we refer you to a fine post written by historian Laurent Dubois...

Friday, July 9th, 2010

Music Fridays

A good way to tide you over till Sunday’s World Cup final is to listen and dance to good music. Here’s five music videos I have on heavy rotation.  First up, a current personal favorite of mine:...

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

Cape Dutch

Anyone familiar with South Africa knows that its impact with the Dutch produced a contentious past-– a historical collision that had enough momentum to produce repercussions in the present. But you wouldn’t guess any of that if...

Sunday, July 4th, 2010

Thank You Ghana Black Stars!

Ghana’s Black Stars was on a run to make history–to become the first African team to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup–until they were hustled by Uruguayan gamesmanship. Here, Ghana’s Ambassador to the Republic of Brooklyn,...

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

¡Vamos Ghana!

Later tonight we’ll know whether Ghana made history A good way to stay pumped during Ghana’s quarterfinal match against Uruguay, is to keep Ghanaian musician Wanlov the Kubulor’s new mixtape called “Yellow Card: Stomach Direction,” featuring a...

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

Black Star Jam

Tomorrow Ghana will try to the impossible: become the first African nation to go to the semi-finals of the World Cup.  Two African countries came close, but failed: Cameroon in 1990 (in a thrilling match with England...

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Hold On To Your Hat

South African football fans (well, boosted by corporates) have brought the world the plastic vuvuzelas. There’s one other invention of local football that might catch on: Makarapas, the elaborately decorated construction hard hats that now come in...

Monday, June 28th, 2010

The Daily Show takes on the World Cup

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart sends “correspondent” John Oliver to Johannesburg to learn “… about the rich African culture at the World Cup.” Brilliant piece. It strikes the right balance between on the one...

Saturday, June 26th, 2010

“… Nationalism expands as your country loses (in football)”

In the video below (filmed in Nigeria by anthropologist Jesse Shipley) Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie goes on about “… how nationalism expands as your country loses.”  This the short version of an argument Adichie had made...

Thursday, June 24th, 2010


BLK JKS representing at the official pre-World Cup concert in Soweto. Remember Tutu dancing in the stands? Mzabalazo. This is for Japan.  For organizing on the field, and shutting out the Danes  3-1. — Sean Jacobs

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

Vamos Bafana!

Mexico and Uruguay might just play for a draw and France may want to retain some pride. If just for the pride. With apologies to Nike. — Sean Jacobs

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

‘Welcome to South Africa’

It’s hard to describe the vibe here. Yes, there’s the unreasonable expectations around the team (captured well by my man Tony Karon on Time magazine’s World Cup blog) and the vuvuzelas may be annoying. But yes you...

Saturday, June 12th, 2010

Day 2 and 3 Ear Plugs

After watching Bafana Bafana’s close shave against Mexico on TV, my brother, David, and I went off to see France vs Uruguay at the new Cape Town Stadium. In short: imposing, massive structure.  We had really good...

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

Day One: The “Butterfly Nation”

First impressions: The dreaded vuvuzelas droning everywhere. And the myths about it being “tradition” continue.   And people defend it even when it is clear it is not good for their health.  I could not help notice the...

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

On Safari

By the time you read this I’ll be on my way to Cape Town, via Amsterdam. I am looking forward to the World Cup as a fan. I’ve grown very tired of the kind of images and...

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

Animal Kingdom

It will get ridiculous over the next month.   For now the price goes to goes to the Australian media company, Optus. This is the concept for the ad, above: “… To prepare for the 2010 FIFA World...

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010

It must be Africa

EDIT: Earlier today I saw this ad on a feed from Dutch TV during the Ghana-Holland friendly. And then it did not look funny. It’s getting ridiculous. Children, animals and Masai. The commercial by ING Bank, official...

Thursday, May 27th, 2010

The Wedding

Driving in Soweto, film maker Dumisani Phakathi reflects on next month’s World Cup: is like a wedding … You organize the wedding between you and your partner. The event is amazing, the photographs get...

Friday, May 21st, 2010

The best World Cup commercial?

After my praise of Bono earlier today, you must be wondering: No I am not lightheaded.  It’s the World Cup stupid. Clever commercial by Nike. Probably the best of the 2010 bunch I’ve seen thus far. And...

Friday, May 21st, 2010

Bono did something right

You know we give Bono a lot of grief on this site, but in this commercial for ESPN’s coverage of the 2010 World Cup–bar a few disagreements here and there–he is on point. Did I just say...

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Video: Africa’s World Cup

I have been threatening to post the video of a panel discussion about the 2010 World Cup I hosted at The New School  earlier this month. Now I hope it lives up to the hype. The reason...

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

World Cup University

So earlier this week we did have the 2010 World Cup panel, the one I organized and dubbed “Africa’s World Cup.” It was a great turnout–nice packed room. The Youtube video should be up soon. All the...

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

The Full-Back

I am still on my pre-World Cup binge. Brazil remains odds on favorites to win Africa’s first World Cup two months from now. BTW, it’s old news now but Brazil can also count on local support in...

Monday, April 12th, 2010


In his book, “Murder in Amsterdam,” about the death of the Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh in 2004, the writer Ian Buruma provides this description of Dutch football: “Proud of their superior skills, their multicultural makeup, the...

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