AFRICA IS A COUNTRY

World Cup

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Sunday, July 13th, 2014

Christmas Day*

UPDATED: So there you have it. After 120 minutes and a great goal by Mario Goetze (whose name will now be part of German lore like Gert Muller and Andreas Brehme), Germany are World champions. It’s been a magical month. But it is also basically the last time (till the next World Cup in four years)

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

The Final Report

Today the 2014 World Cup in Brazil ends. It was a fun ride, and I don’t think that anyone will disagree that this has been an unforgettable month of international sport, politics, and drama both on and off...

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

Dear Ann Coulter …

Ann Coulter, an American columnist who makes Richard Littlejohn and Donald Rumsfeld look like easy-going lefties, has finally written about football, having “held off on writing about soccer for a decade — or about the length of...

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

@ChiefBoima World Cup Diary Day 12 – Fatigue

I’ve stopped going to Fan Fests. I’m tired, I didn’t pace myself. A month is a long time, and new arrivals seem to come every day. World Cup tourists have an endless number of substitutions. They’re always...

Monday, June 16th, 2014

Why is the Wall St Journal trash-talking Ghana already? Go #BlackStars!

It’s World Cup time, bring on the articles full of historical stereotypes and racial codes disguised as insightful sports commentary. For the past two World Cups, the USA team has been routinely decimated by the Ghanaian squads....

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

Africa is a Radio: Episode 3

Episode 3 of Africa is a Country Radio is live on Groovalizacion and the AIAC Mixcloud page. This month is a music only episode because I had been touring the U.S., and only just arrived back to Rio...

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

#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 was football. Today, in homage to the...

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

The Big Boss

“I would like to dedicate the trophy to all African coaches. We’re not yet there, this team has taken just months to build. We will continue building.” It was a surreal moment on the night of...

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

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...

Thursday, July 4th, 2013

After the World Cup is gone

Do we need a book on the 2010 World Cup already? That’s the first question I asked Peter Alegi and Chris Bolsmann, editors of the brand new volume, Africa’s World Cup (University of Michigan Press, 2013). Their quick riposte:...

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

Jogo Bonito

“Tear gas is a magic potion,” writes Chris Gaffney from the streets of Rio. “Those who launch it are weakened while those forced to inhale it are strengthened.” For those of you interested in the politics of football...

Saturday, November 13th, 2010

‘Afropolis’

This photograph of Soccer City, the venue for the opening and closing games of the 2010 World Cup in Johannesburg by the young Johannesburg photographer Sabelo Mlangeni, is included in the ambitious exhibit: “Afropolis. City, Media, Art: Urbanization...

Friday, June 4th, 2010

Has Nandos lost the plot?

The South African fast food chicken chain Nando’s (which has of late also become very popular in Britain) has always been known for their good adverts. They usually manage to combine a quick-off-the-mark, topical sense of the...

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

Flavor of the Month

With the World Cup around the corner reports about South Africa are coming a regular feature in the British media. Even the South Africa fast-food chicken chain Nando’s gets some love in The Observer today. The same...

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Toto meets Mango Groove

FIFA and the South African organizers of the World Cup yesterday unveiled the official World Cup tune. Sorry K’Naan. You’ll always have Coco Cola. The song, with an “African” beat (trying to figure out from where) and...

Monday, April 5th, 2010

The Vuvuzela in the Room

Celebrating the World Cup does not mean we can’t ask hard questions . No, not that the annoying vuvuzelas are banned, but that thousands of informal traders will lose income because of Fifa-imposed “exclusion zones” around stadiums...

Monday, March 22nd, 2010

The World Cup and the “40,000 Prostitutes”

In 2006 before the last World Cup finals newspapers in Europe were awash with reports that 40,000 prostitutes were being smuggled into Germany.  The women were set to be trafficked from unnamed Eastern European countries. When the...

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

No Comment

K’Naan and Akon have now produced versions of their World Cup songs for Coco Cola and Pepsi respectively. The transformation is complete. First Akon’s “Africa.”  It is not clear where that song took place?  The edge of a...

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2010

“Rhythm like you’ve never seen before”

I stand corrected, but no one mixes nationalism, tourism and sport in a feelgood cocktail quite like the South African advertising industry. Like in this TV commercial for South Africa’s national tourism authority, where Diski, a South...

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010

Zuma the Puma

When South Africa’s President, Jacob Zuma, married his fifth wife a few weeks ago, the media focused on which one of his three remaining wives (he divorced one and another killed herself) would be named First Lady...

Sunday, January 3rd, 2010

Bono saves the World Cup

The New York Times has published another of rock star Bono’s stupid “op-eds.” This time some nonsense titled “Ten for the Next Ten.”  The last item on the list is the 2010 World Cup to held in...

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

AFRICA’S WORLD CUP?

Tomorrow is the draw for the 2010 World Cup in Cape Town. Apparently Charlize Theron, the South African actress with the fake American accent will also be there. Can anyone explain that to me?

Saturday, November 14th, 2009

WARMING UP FOR 2010, PART 2

I’ve blogged before about the progress with the stadiums for the 2010 World Cup (separately I also linked to reporting about the downside of the World Cup), but we’re back to admiring stadiums today. This time the...

Friday, September 11th, 2009

My love affair with football

I contributed a chapter to a new book, “South Africa and the Global Game: Football, Apartheid and Beyond” edited by football historians Peter Alegi and Chris Bolsmann. (It will also come out as an issue of the...