The disrespect of Africa by Europe is astounding!Thomas Kwenaite
Africa my beginning
They came from the West
Sailing to the East
With hatred and disease flowing
From their flesh
And a burden to harden our lives
They claimed to be friends
When they found us friendly?
They fought for the reign
Exploiters of Africa
Africa my beginning
Africa my ending
I was reminded of Ingoapele Madingoane’s epic and deeply stirring poem this week, when I read an article attributed to one Mikael Silvestre, a former French youth international footballer who played for Manchester United at one stage.
There he was spewing bile on an international platform, claiming that the reason Mo Salah can never win an individual award, is because despite his fine form for Liverpool where his class and quality is without question, it is all undone when he goes to play for Egypt.
What exactly is Silvestre trying to say?
Is he implying that Salah should denounce mother Africa and instead adopt a European country before he can be globally recognized as a truly great player? I know in my senile state sometimes my interpretation of certain events can be skewed but, does he believe that playing for Egypt is to Salah’s downfall?
The nerve of some people! Their disrespect of Africa is astounding! A week ago, United Kingdom Minister of Health Sajid Javid, had the gall to lie in their Parliament with a straight face, claiming that the Covid-19 Omicron variant was detected by the British scientists.
I mean, the whole world knows that it was South African scientists that alerted the entire globe about the existence of this new variant. Yet Javid falsely claimed in the British parliament that: “There is no other country in the world that is better at surveillance of these variants than the UK.”
But perhaps he was gob smacked by the fact that they have been upstaged by an upstart African country in discovering this new threat, then in a pitiful and misguided blind rage, they go on to ban air travel to all Southern African countries, again falsely claiming that the region is the origin of the virus.
Then Liverpool manager – Jurgen Klopp – puts his foot in his mouth, when he carelessly, condescendingly and flippantly dismissed what we consider as the biggest tournament on the continent – the African Nations Cup – describing it as that “little tournament in Africa!”
A year ago, one Marcelo Bielsa was nominated by FIFA among the very “Best coaches” in the world in their view. His achievement, in case you might have wondered, was that he apparently guided Leeds United to the English Premiership from the Championship.
What about Pitso Mosimane? I mean, not only did “Jingles” win the domestic league in Egypt, but he left South Africa after also winning the championship, then won the Egypt FA Cup, CAF Champions League, CAF Super Cup and for good measure, retained the CAF Champions League while winning bronze in the FIFA World Club Championship?
Now, any right thinking, unbiased individual who considers FIFA as an organization that promotes fair play, would agree that Mosimane deserved at least a mention to their list of nominees for the Best coach of the year.
The brutal truth is that Mosimane did not get a single mention, largely because he is African. Let any of them deny it and look me straight in the eye and then tell me that they did not ignore Mosimane but selected the likes of Bielsa on merit. And I will demand what criteria they used to ignore Mosimane who won six titles in a single year with two different clubs in two different countries!
No wonder, every Tom, Dick and Harry in Europe has suddenly become an expert on African football, and all of them are telling us what is good for us in Africa and advocating for the cancellation or postponement of the tournament at least until Spring.
We accept that Europe holds the largest chunk of the football market in terms of financial value. But we hardly ever interfere with how they run their affairs so, why are they now dictating to us how and when we should stage our flagship tournament the AFCON?
Worse still, Gianni Infantino wants to World Cup to be played every second year, but nobody is telling us how a biennial World Cup will live side-by-side with a biennial Africa Cup of Nations!
The trouble is that clean-shaven Infantino, the FIFA capo di tuti capi, has forgotten that he is supposed to wear a global hat and does not have to show his glaring bias towards Europe but to stop putting undue pressure on Africa to postpone the AFCON.
I am an African
I am born of the people of the continent of Africa
The pain of the violent conflict that the peoples of Liberia, Somalia, Sudan, Burundi and Algeria is a pain I also bear.
The dismal shame of poverty, suffering and human degradation of my continent is a blight that we share – Former President Thabo Mbeki!
But Africa shall not be trampled
Instead it shall rise in power!