World Cup Memories

A month after the end of the World Cup, I think it is about time I close a few tabs on my browser that have been holding particularly memorable reflections on that delirious month in the early summer. Here are a few quotes. I like this from the English novelist Tim Parks, in the New York Review of Books. First, a nice observation about FIFA’s attitude to cheating: “After the Germany–England game, the German goalkeeper spoke of how he had …  ( continue reading

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This time for South Africa

Marcus Gilroy-Ware talks to South Africans as well as Achille Mbembe and Sarah Nuttall about what comes next now that the tournament is over.  ( continue reading

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Attractive Man Saloon

Khartoum is dusty and very, very hot. Every time I complain about the heat, I am told that I should have been here in May when it was hot; this is not the hottest season. The city looks as if it is at the end of a war rather than in the middle of one. For every building standing, there are at least five others being constructed. It gives the impression that Khartoum was thought of a few weeks ago. …  ( continue reading

Category: Commentaries, Pilgrimages Blog | 9 Comments

Alain’s ATM Rigmarole

Alain needs cash. We’ve been ATM hunting since yesterday, we must have visited a hundred machines between Ikoyi and Victoria Island but none of them is obliging us. They have no respect for Alain’s mastercard and visa card. We walked into one banking hall and asked if they could swipe his card and give cash across the counter. The first lady gets distracted by another (irate) customer, the next one stares at us like we are Martians threatening her with …  ( continue reading

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Relive the World Cup I……

with Rapcha, Quachez et al as they discuss the closing group stage matches in Sheng.  ( continue reading

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The people’s game

A radio conversation including Achille Mbembe and Duke scholar Laurent Dubois on the World Cup and South Africa  ( continue reading

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Phantoms of World Cups past

The lead up to the tenth staging of the FIFA World Cup, 13 June – 7 July, 1974 West Germany Twenty-four African countries entered the qualification process. On 19 August 1973 Zaire beat Ghana with a 4-2 goal aggregate and qualified for the World Cup. President Mobutu sent the presidential plane to bring the team home, to accolade and song and houses and cars. The tenth staging of the World Cup Group 2 Leopards (Zaire) Scotland Yugoslavia Brazil The first …  ( continue reading

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Kojo Laing on Cape Town

(1) The truth about Cape Town lies just below the surface, as it were: the more contrast you see between the small shanty rooms to buildings of the townships and then the solid post-Victorian near-arrogance of the middle-class suburbs the more tears you shed as you move around the city. This city is in itself moving not only by its rather cruel and shallow contrast of class and colour but also by the facts of its potential: some of what has been …  ( continue reading

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Godly Tastes, part I

My pilgrimage was over but l stayed an extra day in Johannesburg to buy meat. l like food, l collect food every where l go and don’t trust people who don’t like food. What else are they denying? So I had a pungent bag of premium Indian and Zulu spices with impepho stalks to ward off evil spirits around my food. I had filled up two freezer bags with prime game, lamb and steak cuts. l have highly developed taste …  ( continue reading

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Audio: Akenji Ndumu et Valerie Bony en conversation

Akenji Ndumu explique son pilgrimage a Abidjan  ( continue reading

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