Boima’s Rio World Cup Diary: A tale of two copas (Day 1)

World Cup Day 1 — The sun is out in Rio for the first time in days. It’s a national holiday. Anticipation in the air. I’m woken up to the sound of horns.

My first Brazilian national home game of significance is today… but perhaps this one is bigger than many. This is because there are two fields of action. One is on the pitch and the other is on the streets. This is Brazil’s chance to prove itself in many different ways. As a country that’s arrived on the global stage, as a fully developed democracy. It seems like proving themselves on the pitch was the last thing that was on many Brazilians minds in the run up today. ‘Imagina na Copa’ has rung in my ears since I’ve arrived. Well the cup is here and today I’m woken up to horns.

This morning I’m going to be trying to follow the action on the streets, this afternoon I’ll be looking at the pitch. I’ve been following activist groups online for months in the preparation. It seems like one prominent activists’ house was raided by police last night. Sao Paulo is already seen some protest action. Airport workers in Rio went on strike this morning for 24 hours. How else are Brazilian activists and workers going to show their cards today?

My next challenge today is to attempt to become mobile in Rio… I’m dreading the traffic.

For the perfect soundtrack, all the way from Rio de Janeiro, check out @ChiefBoima with AfricasaCountry Radio, Episode 3. You can listen to all the episodes here.

Further Reading

Beyond the headlines

Recent violence across the Eritrean diaspora is being instrumentalized by populists. But the violence is a desperate cry for attention and requires the Eritrean opposition to seize the moment for regime change.

Action required

Held in Nairobi this month, the inaugural Africa Climate Summit is an important step for the continent’s response to climate change. Still, the disasters in Libya and Morocco underscore that rhetoric and declarations are not enough.

The strange non-death of Bantustans

That South African political parties across the spectrum were quick to venerate the politician and Zulu prince Mangosutho Buthelezi, who died last week, demonstrates that the country is still attached to Bantustan ideology.

Shifting the guilt

Even though Israeli novelist Agur Schiff’s latest book is meant to be a satirical reflection on the legacy of slavery and stereotypes about Africa, it ends up reinforcing them.

Banana Republics

Western leftists are arguing among themselves about whether there will be bananas under socialism. In Africa, however, bananas do not necessarily represent the vagaries of capitalism.