For Your Daily Dose of MbA

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"Culture is the heritage of us all. some may be more interested than others in the treasures of the past, but no one can fail to take a pride in his country's participation in the story of mankind, as represented in carvings, sculpture, music, paintings and the other arts. And there is a personal commitment to this, for no man can really say he is alone: we are all joined through our identity, with the cultures which are part of the mainstream of life"
- Simon Kapwepwe, Zambian Independence Freedom Fighter

"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm" - Winston Churchill

"Try to be the rainbow in someone else's cloud" - Maya Angelou

"Your time is limited so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinion drown out your inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition" - Steve Jobs

Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Wimbledon Focus: Women Quarter Finals

The women's draw has been pretty predictable.  Once again Jankovic lives up to expectation of falling short.  I do not know whether she is prone to injury or she's just not mentally fit, as athletes are never 100% and sometimes need to fight through the pain to cross that thin line between the potential of greatness and the achievement of it. Reminds me of Djokovic! It still amazes me that in Women's tennis you can have a No. 1 that has not won a Grand Slam or at least achieved one on the way to the top, as we have had with Jankovic and Safina, whereas in the men's that doesn't happen.

Sharapova gives the impression that she can improve on the fine start she had in her career.  I have always thought she was at the right place at the right time and benefited from the flux in the game with the Williams Sisters in and out and Henin being a small player when she came in.  A true champion is always able to fight back, as the Williams Sisters, Federer and of course most recently, Nadal, have shown. I am not surprised that Serena got the better of her, even though she struggled.  Sharapova has no creativity.  She has not been able to find a way around her injuries to improve her game and stay competitive either.  I do have to hand it to her though, she could have been another Kournikova.  Sharapova reminds me of the dude Ed Norton plays in The Italian Job.  He's told by Mark Wahlberg's character he has "no imagination", as he know that he gives a great false impression of possessing more talent than he does.

Am I surprised about Venus's untimely exit? Yes and no.  Her last game against Groth in the 4th round showed signs of vulnerability, but I did not expect her to go out in straight sets!!! She herself admits to not bringing her game.  She is No. 2 in the world, only her sister can beat her regularly and she is a 5 time Wimbledon Champion. She has been able to come in and out the game and dominate at will. Recently it has been reported that she is thinking more about her ranking, but really I think Venus plays for the love of the game, and that might be her flaw.  She has tweaked her forehand which was said to be her big weakness, but I think it is the fact that she doesn't necessarily play to win that is fascinating but also confusing.  If Borg ever had a twin, it was Venus.  She is as transparent as ice, you can see right through her and yet gain nothing at all.  This enigmatic quality is where the answer lies.  Something was not right within today, that is certain.

I don't really care much for the Clijsters-Henin comeback hype.  One went out yesterday, the other today.  End of story.  I don't think either of them has the game to dominate again, even in their prime it was hard work to stay at the top, especially for Henin. I do respect Henin for doing the work, unlike Hingis who found loopholes.  What I do care about - seeing Serena doing what she does best - winning.  She will fight to the death.  It is important to her.  She does not hide it.  That is her reason for being on court.  She loves to win and she loves the pomp and show that comes with it.  That is why she is never amused when she is bumped off the show courts.  I really felt for her after watching her talking about playing in front of the Queen and showing us her curtsy, only to be moved from Centre! So long as the Venus Rose Water Dish stays in the Williams family, I'm good!

World Cup Update: Group Stage Oustings

Many apologies for my absence.  I have been watching and having heart attacks that have then been cured by moments of pure euphoria from World Cup Fever highs and lows. You have no idea how much the internet is a part of your life until it disappears for a significant period of time!!!

Cameroun and Nigeria are a disgrace.  Both clearly have no idea what African Pride means! Not even going to say anything about their pathetic ultimate performances that had them eliminated!

Algeria did well to draw in their last game so they did better than I had expected.

Even though Bafana Bafana are still boys, they were at least able to prove that they are looking to grow into men by beating France, who are now officially demoted from their exalted status as Africa in Europe after their backstage antics and lack of unity and ubuntu!

Cote D'Ivoire were unlucky, Portugal's 7-0 win, better than the Brasil's scoreline against North Korea, was a one off event that made it an uphill battle. They played a great third game and should be proud of how they played.  This is a lesson though: leave nothing to chance, always come out with guns blazing so you don't find yourself trying to climb too steep a mountain...When the job is already Herculean, there is not need to compound matters and make it Sisyphean!

My theory about wearing green and having a bad game have been further substantiated by all of these teams bowing out, all were wearing at least some green in their last battle!

The excuse of the overall lacklustre African performances at the World Cup is pressure.  UNACCEPTABLE! Talent is nothing if you cannnot use it when put to the test.  Will this always be the fate of African teams? Is this an allegory for Africa's role in the global millieu? That we have the potential to do amazing things and develop, even with scarce resources, as individuals but when our mettle is really tested collectively all we can do is fall short of even our OWN expectations??!!!

The only thing I am happy about is that Zidane has been avenged - Italy were knocked out of the groups stage and will not be able to defend their title. Karma??????

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Great Series On National Geographic Channel

Been watching "How the Earth Changed History" for the past two nights and it is awesome! It concludes tomorrow night and will repeat on the weekend.  So far I have learned about how water stored underneath the desert sands led to civilisations in the Sahara setting up camp, how the Nile river's silt travels from the volcanic mountains in Ethiopia to Eygpt and that is why they have such fertile land and how the Wind effectively helped turned the gold trade to slavery in Ghana and how it affected colonisation and trade around the world too. It mentions a lot of North and West African countries.  Catch it if you can!



Love that Centre Court has the roof on it.  Was great to see Djokovic duke it out till 11pm! The roof looks amazing! Need to get used to how bright the court looked and the echo.  Weirded me out a little ;}. It wasn't used much last year...

Federer got off to a shaky start...almost wasn't going to be able to defend his title! This is not good for the aura of invincibility he has created around this tournament.  Is it true what they say about marriage and babies affecting the drive of tennis players?  Interestingly, he is the No.1 seed due to his exemplary play, having won 6 times at Wimbledon.  I have always thought that should have been so - if you are the defending champion you should be seeded first, especially if you have won the tournament multiple times in a row...I hope the French Open follows suit next year.

Venus is on the way to getting back her namesake Dish.  She went straight to business, annihilating her opponent in straight sets.  And her outfit is very lovely, 20s Flapper inspired it seems. And she is wearing white biker shorts underneath thank God!

Monfils has also gotten to a good start. How long will his form last? And Gulbis has withdrawn from this tournament too! Very sad, he has soo much potential...

Hard Task Requiring Les Elephants' Tusks!

After Portugal's 7-0 defeat of North Korea, Cote D'Ivoire have a hard task ahead of them.  They have to hope that Brasil beat Portugal by a huge margin and that they are able to score as well as Portugal did against North Korea. They are going to come out with their tusks to be able to achieve this....

Monday, 21 June 2010


Despite the disappointment surrounding the African teams, each one is proud of being at the World Cup and is honoured to represent Africa.  This article has some great quotes.

Gyan of Ghana: "We are praying for the other African countries because it is very, very important for us Africans to make sure that we go further than in the past. That is our ambition, not Ghana, but the whole of Africa."

Yahia of Algeria "It's important because Africa has made a huge contribution to the game of football. To host this World Cup is a great source of pride for us as Africans, and to be able to represent Algeria on African soil really doubles that feeling of pride."

This article also highlights how the Sahara being used to divide the continent is fabricated.  It is something I have always not liked about how Africa is presented in Western Media.  Every time I watch the Africa Cup of Nations I always think about how North African teams are just as passionate, they do their dances when they score just like the rest of the continent and are proud to win, as Egypt was earlier this year.  If they didn't feel African, why would they bother to be associated with the competition?  Why would Libya be calling for a United States of Africa? I hate how divisions are created and/ or sustained to perpetuate the fractures caused by history on the continent.  We Africans also need to do better to expose and deny them too!

Simbas, Trampled Elephants and Possibly Fading Stars?


First the Camerounians teased us by going a goal up and then ultimately losing, repeating the headless performance of their fellow West Africans the Nigerians. They are clearly not Indomitable Lions, but Simbas like Simba at the beginning of The Lion King - proud without having done anything and not ready to step up when challenged. Then Ghana got a little blinded by their own light and didn't give the Socceroos the respect they deserved by playing an overly flourished game that ended in them squandering chances and drawing with a penalty by Gyan. And then Les Elephants got trampled by the Selecao, not the other way around.  Didier Drogba's goal may have been the first against Brasil from an African team at the World Cup, but that does not take the sting out of the loss.

I really hope that this week is a better week.  May the teams who are out of contention go out with a bang to regain some dignity and those with a fighting chance please fight! My Sangoma is currently on probation, if things don't improve I may have to fire someone!

Manute Bol

This weekend has been crazy and I promise to make up for that. Here is a quick post about Manute Bol who passed away recently.

Manute Bol was a Sudanese basketball player who notably played for the Sixers and was a great humanitarian and activist.  Unfortunately his height not only was the key to his success but also lead to his early demise.

He was an extraordinary human being and exemplary African.  The story of his life and his goal to facilitate reconciliation through Sudan Sunrise are truly inspiring.

Here is an interview from him from 2002.

View more news videos at:

His name, Manute, was truly fitting, he was a special blessing! May he rest in peace.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

It's Summer Time: The A-Team :)


Man it was right up there, maybe it even edges out Iron Man 2 as my fav Summer Blockbuster for 2010! Yeah I know crazy! Unlike Superman Returns (which I finally watched two days ago due to an AMC marathon which included the originals because I refused to watch it when it came out) they got it right - reinvent not regurgitate.  Superman Returns tried to literally carbon copy EVERYTHING!! I mean they couldn't find a white dude with blue eyes to take the role, really?? I know they couldn't get Tom Welling because he was tied to Smallville, but he actually plays Superman well, he was able to convince this skeptic eventually! Those contacts were terrible and yes the dude looked like Christopher Reeves but man no one can be Christopher Reeves, poor Brandon Routh looked like an imposter/ impersonator the whole time.  Don't even get me started on casting Kate Bosworth as Lois. Terrible choice, didn't look or act the part at all! Only Kevin Spacey was cast right, I mean he's Kevin Spacey. The Usual Suspects has me devoted for life....

Anyhoo back to The A-Team.  I was worried that casting Liam Neeson as Hannibal was wrong physically but knew that his acting would make up for it and it did, helped by the twinkle in his eye and he smoked that cigar like nobody's business.  I was also worried about B.A. because no-one can say I "Pity the Fool" the way Mr. T can.  And you know what, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson found a way to reinvent the character creatively without shying away from who Baracus is. I knew Bradley Cooper could handle face, he was awesome.  I was most proud of Sharlto Copely, the South African actor who was the lead in District 9.  He really played Murdoch to a T and was just stellar.  He was so crazy with zany wit it was lovely.  He went above and beyond my expectations.

This movie is action-packed, funny, with a great storyline revamped for the present day and most of all SUMMER FUN!!! Can't wait for the sequel....

Here is some nostalgia! Man the 80s were good...Only peeve was that they didn't utlilise the original theme tune enough but it did come at one of my fav points in the movie. Actually I remembered another, even though the Swahili was right and everything, they had B.A. dressed in Nigerian clothing posing as a Tanzanian.  Why does Hollywood always do that??!!

I am now primed for Inception!!!!

Green Redeemed

Not the goalie Green - he was replaced in England's starting line-up, but the colour, courtesy of Algeria's valiant effort for a better outcome that keeps them in contention to qualify from Group C.  England's continued lacklustre performance allowed Algeria to put themselves back in the race.  Their change from white to green jerseys seemed to bring them luck. Improving from a loss to a draw gives us hope for another upgrade to a win in their last game. England need to find another striker, as much as they want Rooney to step up, he just can't seem to do it on his own.  Man U is clearly suffering without Ronaldo and England have not been able to benefit at all from Rooney, he has gone 7 games without a goal now!

Poor USA! Not only have I been riding ESPN about their coverage of the games and the team not understanding the essence of the game, but the poor call from Malian Referee, Koman Coulibaly, really denied them the chance to prove themselves on the world stage.  I have seen Coulibaly in action at the African Cup and remember thinking what a bad ass he is. Very disappointed :(! The denied goal scorer, Edu, didn't understand the call but didn't contest and Howard talked about how difficult it is to officiate corners and that he was satisfied with the way referees have been conducting themselves thus far.  Either something we didn't see or hear happened or Coulibaly made a terrible human error and none of the other officials had anything to offer to counter his call.  We can't rely completely on the camera angles as they don't tell us everything and don't give the same view referees have in the moment both in terms of sight and hearing and the ensuing conjecture from the pundits is just that, conjecture. Donovan  asked what happened and the referee said nothing.  Referees don't have to explain their actions to players, what they say goes, these are FIFA's rules.  Donovan went on to say that he didn't think that Coulibaly could speak English and his tone insinuated that this meant that obviously he wasn't very bright.  Speaking English does not equate to brains my friend. He should be weary of speaking in such a fashion on the world stage as things like that give people the wrong impression about Americans.  Reminds me of Andy Roddick when he gets mad and condescends to umpires, especially ones with native tongues other than English.

Germany have given Ghana the chance to top the group tomorrow.  THE BLACK STARS WILL BLIND THE SOCCEROOS. Because I said so ha ha ha! As they say "One Game Changes Everything!".  And once again one goal did too ;)

This World Cup is full of surprises and the ones today were a lot better :)

Friday, 18 June 2010

Colour Of The Day: Green!

I really hope that this initiative comes to fruition: "The Great Green Tree Wall of Africa!" that would span from West to East, from Senegal to Djibouti, to help curb the encroachment of the Sahara Desert. It is always a question of funding unfortunately.

The African Union have a Concept Note on the initiative that explains the reasoning behind it and why it is needed.  This would go a long way to helping with global warming that is said to most likely affect the continent the most.

I hope that leaders are able to come to some sort of consensus that revitalizes efforts to see this actually come to pass.

Not The Day To Be Wearing Green With White Stripes!

The Celtics, unlike Nigeria, put up a valiant effort in Game 7 at the Lakers.  They led most of the game, by 13 at their most dominant, however things fell apart at the last hurdle, just as they did for Okonkwo's descendants dressed in similar garb this morning. My heart bleeds for this team as they worked hard and compensated for Perkin's absence.  Most of all they played as a team, working together to try get that title. Best shot of the match was Garnett's weird shot off a foul from Kobe even though it didn't count.

Congrats to Artest, whom I've been riding this whole time for his uneven play.  He really stepped up and was clutch, making up for Kobe's low scoring game.  Congrats to Paul Gasol for winning 2 championships back to back and getting to the finals all 3 years he has been at the Lakers. Congrats to Fisher who is always cool, calm, collected and ready to step up for the team and for winning 5 times.  Congrats to Odom who seemed to  be there to rebound at crucial moments to be able to swing momentum the Laker's way.  Congrats to to the team for pulling it together even though Kobe was not at his best.

False Redemption Comes In Green :(

I AM NOT A HAPPY PUPPY! Was already upset with Nigeria, but the optimist in me was hoping that their first loss and/ or the fact that this is an African World Cup would spur them to success. And when Uche scored in the 15th minute, I was duped into believing that this was possible.  There they were flying like the Super Eagles they can be, and I was hoping that Nigeria would soar to victory.

But their flight was shortlived and they came crashing down after Kaita was red carded for a very stupid loss of composure on his part.  They then went from Super Eagles back to Mediocre Pigeons when Greece scored their  FIRST GOAL EVER! at the World Cup and then into Headless Chickens when Obasi missed a chance to take Nigeria ahead and then Greece scored AGAIN!!!! At least I can take solace in the fact that Mikel was spared the embarrassment of being part of this underachieving squad!

And to make it worse France decided to join in with a complementary Poulet Sans Tete performance and lost 0-2.  Will both of my teams in Group B fail to qualify??!!!

At this point I only have unwavering confidence in Ghana and Cote D'Ivoire, South Africa are definitely out.  Cameroun and Algeria could surprise me but right now I am so riled up I cannot put too much into that, my heart can't take it! :( Knowing me I still will anyways. It seems I am a glutton for punishment...

Thursday, 17 June 2010

World Refugee Day - 20th June

Saw this plea from Angelina Jolie on behalf of Refugees around the world and UNHCR.  Right now the conflict in  DRC and the ongoing crisis in Sudan are prominent but there are others all around Africa and the World who need our help.

I always wonder if money is enough.  I guess when you have no way of knowing what else to do it is the best thing...

Bafana Bafana Are Still Boys

South Africa's 0-3 loss to Uruguay has exposed what I have been afraid of - they are still bafana - boys and have yet to mature to men playing football at such a competitive level.  It was a tall order to ask them to qualify and now I have to eat my words as this game was the decider not the one to come with France. The Khune incident was the nail in the coffin. I don't think the goalie caught Suarez's (who clearly has been taking acting and diving lessons from Ronaldo) foot on purpose.  I think he should have been yellow carded not red carded - it wasn't clear if Suarez was going to be able to shoot :(! I just hope that the rest of the African teams step up to the challenge.  Despite my disappointment earlier, I hope to see Super Eagles tomorrow, Nigeria can still qualify if they dig deep.

Don't even know what was going on with Spain! They have been doing so well since Euro 2008...African connection from that game though.  The Switzerland scorer Gelson Fernandes is originally from Cape Verde!

Tomorrow will be a better day, all we can do is recover and cheer again :)

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Malaria Nets Inspire Fashion

German born and London based fashion designer Markus Lupfer has designed a dress inspired by mosquito nets to help British Charity Malaria No More. The shoot features Behati Prinsloo, a Namibian model. The dress is available exclusively at ASOS, a great place to find interesting fashion,  at all price points :)! They also have African print designs through their recently launched ASOS Africa line but you have to search for them and they are a little pricier than going to a tailor and getting your own designs made.

To purchase the dress click here.

Couldn't help but find a football link he he he! Here is Kolo Toure, on behalf of United Against Malaria, to convince you to buy the dress or do something else to help fight this preventable disease ;}

Game 7 To Decide NBA Champions

Was thinking after Game 5 that if the Lakers want to win they need to play as a team, not as Kobe and the stragglers. Scoring 23 points in a row does not a championship get if the rest of the team are not helping out defensively and offensively too. However in Game 6 the stats showed a huge improvement but I don't know if it was enough because it seems the Boston Celtics did not show up today and played atrociously. I am not sure what to attribute their devastating win, 89-67, to.  Game 7 will show each teams mettle.  Can't wait!

Les Elephants Are Strong Without Drogba

It is good to know that Cote D'Ivoire can play without Drogba.  Kalou played well and I was a little upset when he was subbed out for Drogba who also put in a good effort despite his injury.  However I thought there was room for the both of them on the field but I guess there was Gervihno to use his pace and create plays as Kalou does. Can't believe  I hope that Les Elephants can improve on this in order to be able to break away and qualify.  Ronaldo was named man of the match, apart from that great goal attempt early on all he did was carry out his usual diving antics. 

Although Brazil won, I was not to impressed by their performance.  They got the job done but are in no way the clear favourites.  I think both Portugal and Cote D'Ivoire can beat them if they keep their heads.  What I loved about that match is the player from Korea know as "The People's Rooney" who actually aspires to be like Drogba! :) Him crying while North Korea's anthem was playing really epitomised what the World Cup means.  

And here is another video that made my day! Lego reenacting what has been dubbed "The Hand of Clod" by British tabloids. Classic!

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Fela! scores at the Tony Awards :)

The Fela! musical that Jay-Z, Will and Jada Pinkett Smith are behind, was nominated for 11 Tony Awards, the most for 2010, and was able to win for Best Sound Design of a Musical, Best Lighting Design of a Musical, Best Costume Design of a Musical and Best Choreography.  Congrats! Nice to see a great African story being told.

Nigerians are calling for the musical, but it seems there is conflict with prior scheduled engagements.  It deserves to be seen on African soil. I saw the Lion King in South Africa and it was one of the best theatre experiences of my life!

Here is a video of the lead actor, Sahr Ngaujah's journey to the Tony Awards.

Les Elephants, Portugal and the Africans in South America

Group G has been dubbed the group of death.  There is no room for error.  Rooting for Cote D'Ivoire and Brazil to qualify, but I am not counting Portugal at all - they are serious scrappers.  As they say "One Game Ghanges Everything" but quite honestly from what we have seen one goal changes everything!!! We won't know till tomorrow when the starting line-up is announced just before the game if Didier Drogba is going to be playing and if FIFA will allow him to play with a cast...

Monday, 14 June 2010

The Dominated Lions :(

Cameroun off to a disappointing start. Where was Eto'o? There is nothing more to say about that :(.  All we can do is try to sustain the glow the Black Stars created yesterday to keep positive for Les Elephants tomorrow.

The World Cup has taken over this blog, which was not my intention so today I am going to make the effort to remember there is a whole world out there...

The Black Stars Are Shining Bright In The African Sky

Was a little worried about Essien not being able to play this World Cup.  Was even more worried when Sulley Muntari was omitted from the starting line-up due to his thigh injury, even though it was rumoured he would be fighting fit for Serbia.  However as my little one from Ghana promised me, the boys pulled through.  The Black Stars are the epitome of African football, African Pride and African survival.    They were so poised, not too ambitious but not too cautious, just right.  Just beautiful! Just beautiful! It was good to see Appiah playing for a bit too, I have missed him. You can see why this team was a finalist at the Africa Cup earlier this year. Algeria's 0-1 loss to Slovenia highlights the unfortunate fact that the Eygptians, the current Africa Cup champions should have been in South Africa.  They are in a difficult group with Germany who won 4-0 to Australia but I think they can pull through in second place for sure if they continue to play with such level heads.

All I have to say to the Serbian coach is maybe you should tie your player's octopus hands behind their backs because clearly they have issues controlling them ;}

Here is video of Gyan's penalty that gave Ghana the lead deservedly.  Pity he couldn't get that second goal, I think it was one of the best misses of the tournament if you can have such a thing :}

And here is a cute video I found of a little Afghan girl giving Ghana's football history.  She really knows her stuff!

Euphemism Of The Day: Mediocre Pigeons

To Nigeria:

Do not name yourselves Super Eagles when in reality you are Mediocre Pigeons.  All will be revealed when in the end all you produce is crap.

This not only applies to football, but to any instance in life when grandiose attributions are rewarded to ultimately generic entities.

So disappointed with their performance.  The same old same old, they qualify for the World Cup and then lose their marbles when they get there.  The Super Eagles could take a page from the Black Stars who live up to their name consistently! Hopefully the Naija Boys will redeem themselves and win the next two games, giving themselves the chance to qualify to the Round of 16.  Argentina are proving the pundits wrong.  Maradona seems to be a great coach despite being a crazy player and even though Messi has yet to find his form, the rest of the team are on point.  I expect they will be a huge threat throughout the tournament.

England vs. USA...All I have to ask is WHO IS GREEN?  He was certainly acting "green" on the pitch, that fumble was terrible! My eager to learn about football roommate asked me who he was and I was like I have no idea, I'm actually quite worried and not long after he let the bleeping ball in.  Was not a happy puppy Bob as my sister says. Watching the game out and about was fun, however, I was clearly outnumbered because I ended up at just a regular bar not an English pub because crazy English people had camped out since 4 am to get in for the Algeria game at 5am and wouldn't budge!!!  I personally would not be so proud of benefiting from such a mistake but as my father says "In the end a goal is a goal".  I commend Dempsey though.  Have huge respect for him ever since the 2006 games, he literally saved face for the USA.  He was only one who seemed to actually be playing football.  I remember them saying back then he used to practice with Mexicans when he was younger and thinking, well that explains everything ;}!  Howard also played a fine game too. Without him I don't think the US would have pulled out the draw from Uncle Sam's hat. If indeed he has broken ribs I do not think it is too pessimistic to say that the USA's World Cup will be over soon.

There is an African connection on the USA team. This time its not whether Freddie Adu will play for Ghana or the USA (good riddance to  him though, clearly not an all-together dude).  We  have eye candy born of Nigerian parents in the form of Oguchi (Gooch) Onyewu who currently plays for AC Milan.

Also related, it was clear that Beckham wanted to be part of this World Cup with him being very animated from the bench, which reminded me of the Addidas campaign.  They opted for Zinedine Zidane to be the flagship player, have top players including Messi and Kaka and completely omit Becks! I found that rather strange, are we all Becked out? Beautiful ad though!

And here is another cute Addidas ad that really captures the essence of African kids playing football. I remember making a ball out of plastic bags or the plastic net bags onions/ potatoes come in when our ball needed to be replaced, pumped or happened to get lost somehow for whatever game we were playing :).

Sunday, 13 June 2010


SO EXCITED, CAN'T EVEN TYPE! Couldn't write yesterday, was just so disappointed wit the the lacklustre performances BUT TODAY THE BLACK STARS SHOWED THE REST OF THE CONTINENT HOW TO SHINE!!! WILL POST PROPERLY LATER :)

Saturday, 12 June 2010

Super Eagles and England-USA preview

I am just hoping that the Super Eagles don't disappoint by playing like mediocre pigeons against Argentina.  That match will set the tone for that group.  I would pick them as my top two to qualify.

Being in the US, I cannot help but be riled up for the game against England.  Will be going to a British Pub, never watched the World Cup beyond the comfort of my  own or a friend's home so this will be a new experience.  Even though the US have improved, I don't think that they will win, they might be able to pull out a draw if England come out the way France did today.  Was watching both ESPN and BBC America and its funny how different the coverage is.  ESPN are really trying to get Americans to love the game and I think they are giving the public unrealistic expectations and the English are not even contemplating the thought of losing.  The female anchor of the News on BBC America hit the nail on the head when she talked about the contrast between the fever in England and how you really can't tell over here in the US that the World Cup is going on because unlike across the pond, no one is really talking about it.  I feel this will reflect on the team, they are still fighting for approval from their fans. So Sad!

Can't wait for day 2 he he he :)

It's Really Happening!

Man, it really has started!  A little disappointed in South Africa, wished they had been able to hold onto their lead, but at least they did not become the first Host Nation to lose their opening game! France were rather lacklustre as well.  This makes this group interesting however. All of them have drawn.  I think the decider match will be when South Africa plays France.  I hope both of them go through but I fear after their performances, only one may go through and one of the South American teams will sneak through...

Find highlights of South Africa game here and of the France game here.

Congrats to Tshabalala! It was a beautiful opening goal! Great victory dance too!

You can also see the goal from different angles here.

So sad to hear about Mandela's great-granddaughter who unfortunately was killed in a car accident yesterday.  For those of you that are out there stay safe!

Here is some video of the Opening Ceremony but you have to be in the right region to watch it.

Here is a video I found of the part honouring the 32 teams competing.

Friday, 11 June 2010

As Rafiki Said "It Is Time"!!!!! :)



I need to take a time out from the sensory and emotional overload...missing home a lot right now so I think watching Nadal play Feliciano Lopez while waiting for Bafana Bafana to start things off is the only remedy ;}.


It looks like TKZee will be performing at the Opening so maybe we'll get to hear Shibobo!  Read more about it here.

Opening ceremony starts 2 hours before the game at 2pm CAT, 1pm UK Summer Time, 8am EST, 5am PST.

South Africa take on Mexico at 4pm CAT, 3pm UK Summer Time, 10am EST, 7am PST.

France then take on Uruguay at 8.30pm CAT, 7.30pm UK Summer Time, 2.30pm EST, 11.30am PST.

To find out more click here.

This group is interesting as France have been underperforming and South Africa are the weakest African side.  They are both  playing against South American teams that are never short of passion.  Consulting my sangoma for sure!

Euphemism Of The Day: World Cup Fever

I had mentioned this earlier but this concept deserves a good euphemism, hence its own post :)

There is a fever with no antidote and it is quite contagious.  It is the ONLY kind of fever you want to catch and when you do, your temperature is sure to rise. ;}

On that note to keep the fever alive and well in our bodies, here are my two fav World Cup songs. Both from '98 we have the official song, as well as the one that TKZee made for Bafana Bafana that never gets old :)

GO GO GO!! ALLEZ ALLEZ ALLEZ!!! Good Luck to South Africa kesho :)


I cannot contain myself and I hope I am contagious because if you are going to spread any kind of fever, it should be of the football variety!!!!

The Kick-Off concert was good.  Shakira left her weird hair adornments at home and gave a lovely performance. Alicia Keys played two of my fav songs - No One and Try Sleeping With A Broken Heart. K'NAAN was also good.  The Black Eyed Peas were disappointing because Fergie seemed to have forgotten to pack her voice and/ or her confidence - her performance was horrible.  She was pitchy, off-key or sounded like she was trying too hard, and when everyone came together at the end things continued to go south for her unfortunately.  Loved Lira's dress, although she had issues with it when she first came on. Will troll for my fav clips and info on the dress and if I find, I will post. My only critique is that there could have been more contemporary African artists like D'Banj, Jozi and Lizha James who could have played more upbeat songs and gave the concert more of a party flavour.

Just when I thought ESPN had gotten it together they decided to disappoint me! Their coverage is an antidote to the fever, it really gets you down :(. Not really bothered about all the hype surrounding the US-England game on Sat because that is understandable and the pundits aren't trying to sugar coat the fact that England are most likely to win.  However, the coverage on Sports Nation is not worthy of a reputatable sports station! They compared Christano Ronaldo to Jonah Hex (ya, I know! who is that?), Messi to A-Rod (pulease yes he's pretty popular in the US but even his stature here is nothing compared to Messi's globally) and the Brazil squad to the film The Expendables (features old-school action heros Swartzenegger, Stallone and Willis).  Really???!!!! Clearly a way to squeeze in marketing and it's just pathetic.  I LOVE MOVIES AND I LOVE SPORT BUT THAT SORT OF THING IS UNACCEPTABLE ESPN!!!  Insert expletives amongst the capitalised words because that is how infuriated I am.  I think that the US's limit on not understanding football and treating it like soccer is over. GET WITH IT!!!!! :( I VOW NEVER TO WATCH THE WORLD CUP IN THE USA EVER AGAIN UNTIL THIS IS FIXED - HAVING TO BEAR IT FOR THE SECOND TIME IS MORE THAN ENOUGH :(. I miss the BBC and Super Sport! I am afraid of what may happen if the US win the 2018 bid and its funny because their tagline is "The Game is in US". Nice play on words but it is ALL A LIE!!!! You may have the money to host but still don't have the heart or the passion, where is your football soul America??!!

So in order to get the fever back up I had to remember that Nadal won despite a little hiccup on the grass and that he was in Shakira's Gypsy video. (See how slick that was, World Cup connection and eye candy :})

And seeing as we are on to eye candy here is the last of the Vanity Fair pics :)

Ah, the fever is back up again he he he...

And now that you are in a good mood check out 1 GOAL: Education For ALL and spread the love :)

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Watch World Cup Kick-Off Concert TODAY!!!

It will be on at 8pm CAT, 7pm UK Summer Time, 6pm GMT, 2pm EST and 11am PST.  To watch it online make sure to go to World Cup Vevo, where there is also a countdown to when it will be showing. It will also be broacast live on TV, so check your local listings. It seems ESPN are dedicated to making up for their 2006 coverage and will be broadcasting the concert live on ESPN 2 :)

World renowned artists Alicia Keys, Black Eyed Peas and John Legend are featured, and of course Shakira will be there to perform the official song with Freshly Ground.

I am glad to see that the majority of the acts are African:  Amadou and Mariam, Angelique Kidjo, BLK JKS, Hugh Masekela, K'NAANLira, Mzansi Youth Choir, Soweto Youth Choir, Tinirawen, The ParlotonesVieux Farka Toure and Vusi Mahlasela.

And here is K'NAAN's song, Wavin' Flag - The People's Anthem, that is considered the unofficial World Cup Anthem:

And here it is featured in the World Cup Coca Cola campaign:

And here is Pepsi's response but they should know that Coke is unrivaled in the World and particularly in Africa. On the continent it is basically the ONLY choice coz it tastes better for one and in South they were one of the first companies to support Black businesses and businessmen during Apartheid. Having Drogba, Lampard, Messi, Kaka and Henry in the ad plus having an Akon song is nice but won't be enough to sway people to stock Pepsi over Coke I'm afraid! It's a good ad though I do have to say...

It's Raining Sports!

Nadal has transitioned to grass seemlessly, winning his first match at Queen's Club decisively.  He is also the first player to qualify for the ATP World Tour Finals in London as well!

The Lakers won at Boston yesterday and now lead the series 2-1.  Game 4 is going to be awesome!!!

And these are the teams I will be following to see how they fare in the first round. Of course all African teams are included, plus ones I have attributed an African connection to over the years and teams to keep an eye on for sentimental and/ or potential threat reasons. This culminates in following almost half the teams in the draw ha ha ha! They are listed in order of preference in each category too ;}

Africa: Cote D'IvoireGhanaCameroun, Nigeria, Algeria, South Africa

Africa around the World: Brazil, France

Teams to Keep an Eye on: Spain, EnglandArgentina, Portugal, Germany

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

"It's Time For Africa!"

The video for the official World Cup Song by Shakira and Freshly Ground has been released.  Pretty good.  I am just wondering what flotsam and jetsam have ended up in Shakira's hair!

There is so much negative press about the World Cup.  Some good with the deportation of Argentine hooligans but there is a lot of bad. However this is not affecting the players and they seem excited to be playing in South Africa and their coaches are taking this as seriously as any other World Cup.

Here is an interesting view on the World Cup being on the African continent and in South Africa.  It touches on some of the things I have ruminated on here and here.

I just hope that everything goes well, Africa needs some good press! And football I think is just the thing to do it :)

Monday, 7 June 2010

NBA Finals Series Is Shaping Up Well :)

The second game of the Lakers-Celtics Final has really set this up to be a great series! When asked the question, the Celtics came up with the answer this time.  Great game, and it went all the way down to the wire.  Luckily even though the Lakers came back and there were only a few points separating the teams at the end of the fourth, timeouts and intentional fouling did not break up the final moments too badly and we were spared watching such degradation for the most part.  Ray Allen breaking that 3-pointer record was impressive to watch. Can't believe he had such poise to streak while away.  So was Kobe's fake play to score 2 points that used an unnatural amount of hang time to execute. That's what champions do, come back from defeat stronger and that is why the Celtics deserve to be in the Final. Can't wait for the game on Tuesday with the Lakers at Boston for the first time. Will they do the same over there? :)

Kobe's thoughts on the loss were of course true to form - curt, to the point, aloof.  However, you can tell that he is keeping everything in perspective and is ready to whip his team into shape for the Game 3.

Here is a video of Allen's stellar 3-pointers:


YES!!! YEEEEEEEEEEEESSSS!!! I am so happy for Nadal, he played one of the best matches of his clay court career.  Roland Garros for the 5th time, only the second man to win the French Open that many times. Borg still trumps him with 6 all-time wins. Weird he won on Borg's birthday.

I think Soderling and the pundits underestimated Nadal, thinking that the win last year meant that Nadal was vulnerable and that he had nowhere left to go.  But what I saw today is the reason why I fell in love with this man's tennis: he is mutable, adaptable - never complacent, he is a perpetual innovator and harbinger of change.  And that is why he won 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 - he was never broken in the final and never dropped a set the whole tournament! He changed his strings, continued to work on his serve and cut out his tendency to play short when too far back in the court and playing with such top spin.  Such a class act.  I shed tears when he shed tears man it was beautiful!!!!! He is now ranked No. 1 too which bodes well for his draw at Wimbledon.  I really hope he and Federer can meet on the grass!!!

I'll let the man say what I have been saying throughout the two weeks in his own words:

Here is a video with the Final highlights:

You can find more videos on Nadal and the final here.  Click on the latest videos tab.


Saturday, 5 June 2010


I am soooooooo excited!!!! I can't believe the World Cup is finally just round the corner!

I am not going to be thrown by the fact that France (Africa in Europe he he he ;}) lost 1-0 to China (?!).

I am going to have words with my sangoma about the fact that he is obviously not doing his job seeing as Drogba was injured while Les Elephants score a 2-0 victory against Japan.  Witness the craziness that caused this setback with your own eyes:

So to make myself feel better I'm just going to look at more Vanity Fair pics ;}

Revenge On The Cards?

So it will be a Nadal  vs. Soderling final!!! Nadal played his best match yet, even with the little wobble in the third set.  Nice to see that he is not complacent about winning and that he is happily human, admitting to nerves and  how it still means a lot to him to reach the final.  I wonder if he is playing within his limits so as not get any body niggles.  I hope he will let it all out come Sunday though. Soderling had to take Berdych to five but got through.  We shall see if this will be a factor, he does have a whole day to rest though.

Venus and Serena claimed the doubles and are now also ranked number 1 and 2 in the world.  As happy as I am about their accomplishments, they also show what is wrong with the Womens' game.  The Williams sisters can come in and out as they please and no matter what can find their way to the top in the singles and doubles.  Everyone else just scrambles for what they can get which creates ebbs and flows of good play and bad matches :(. Is it a drought or are the younger ones either physically and/ or mentally just not as strong these days?!

Friday, 4 June 2010

The NBA Finals Have Begun :)

Great first game!  I knew I was missing something when watching the Western conference but couldn't quite put my finger on it.  When the Lakers and the Celtics got onto the court it was physical, it was electric and there was a lot of dunking and then it hit me - I missed the slam dunk! There was less bravado on the sidelines and more on the court where it belongs.  The game flowed, the timeouts didn't spoil the action, and the Lakers started off impressively. Controlled aggression, even with the history between the two sides. Good old fashioned basketball, just the way I like it! Can't wait to see how this series progresses :)

Thursday, 3 June 2010

World Cup Update: Brazil (Africa In South America ;})

I am very confused, Ronaldinho is not part of the Brazil squad!!! When I caught wind of this I almost had a heart attack! This is why I shouldn't follow sport, it gets me all riled up. I had a feeling that Roberto Carlos was too long in the tooth for the team and even though I have always had a soft spot for him, I can deal with that decision but Ronaldinho?!

However, Brazil seems to have a great team and showed this playing against Zimbabwe and winning 3-0.  The stadium was absolutely packed.  All that talk about Africans not being very supportive and the worry about not being able to fill up stadiums is rubbish. You can watch the highlights below:

They are now in South Africa and have been given a hero's welcome.

Here is an intriguing short film from the official sports drink provider Powerade, which is not surprising seeing as they are a Coca-Cola company.  It is an interesting concept with clips about the characters embedded that you can click on and view while watching the main video.

Nadal Wins :) Serena Loses :(

Great tennis today.  First the shocker with Serena losing to Stosur, mirroring yesterday's events with Federer and Soderling!  Another number on trampled on by a dark horse.  I now have no real interest in the women's game.  I don't think that Jankovic has lived up to her potential and don't really follow the rest so I'm rather disappointed.  Nadal thankfully did not turn my angina into a full blown heart attack and played a very smart game against someone he really doesn't like playing against. Almagro brought his A+ game today, which made for a interesting Quarter-Final.

He may have started off slow going down 0-3 in the first set but I was not worried.  Nadal is notoriously slow at the start and can get bogged down in taking his time between points (he got a warning for it), but once he gets going he is able to break back and get on with it.  You need at least 2 breaks on clay to make sure you have a fighting chance against him because he always finds a way to bounce back.  He however only needs one, the others I think are just to break the opponents spirit.  The first two sets were decided by tie-breaks and that is where we were able to witness the Nadal of old that we love and know.  The King of Clay displayed beautiful shots, and his favourite play with the serve out wide and the inside-out forehand to the opposite corner came out  to party.  I hope that he gets used to the new strings that commentators have been saying give him less spin but more depth.  He is clearly having problems adjusting to the way his game matches up to his modified equipment.  But tweaking his game is what he does best, I'm sure he'll figure it out. :) You can read his thoughts on the match here.

Women's Semi's up tomorrow, and Nadal will be facing Meltzer, who was able to beat Djokovic to make it to the Semi's on Friday.  It seems the men's game is not done with surprises!

HIV Issues

Two recent articles on HIV/ AIDS issues in Namibia and Zambia are a reminder of the perturbing effect the virus is having on the continent.  I do believe that mandatory testing where enforceable is a step in figuring out exactly how many people have the disease and also will help to curb and even start to reverse the pandemic. However, doing things to people without their knowledge and consent is deplorable!

We need to be taking care of each other, not drawing swords on one another!

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

A Happy Interlude: More Vanity Fair Pics :}

In order to mitigate the depression I fear I may fall into after Federer's defeat, I have decided to comfort myself and any of you who may be feeling the same way with World Cup excitement.  Here is some more eye candy from Vanity Fair:

I have nothing to say about stars in certain places except that when the Ghanaian and Camerounian flags were being designed, I don't think they had boxer briefs in mind ;}

Here is a harrowing South African football story, all the more so seeing as SA has been progressive with gay rights, being the 5th country to legalise gay marriage.

It is said that football unites everyone, and this was also the case with UN Chief Ban Ki-Moon during his trip to Uganda.  He was able to leave politics on the sidelines to play a little footie with President Museveni.

This sentiment is nicely epitomised by ESPN's World Cup advert.  I hope this means better US coverage than in 2006, both in terms of games and commentators!

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

OMG What Is Going On In The World???!!!

Volcanoes, earthquakes, sinkholes and Soderling that's what! Instead of Fed-Exing we saw Fed axed from the French, so he is unable to defend his title.  I had this horrible feeling that Soderling would do it again at the French and he did. He is the "Giant Killer", he has ousted the defending champ two years in a row now.  I have no words.  So here is Federer's take. He brings up Del Potro, whom I do miss, he's one of my babies. He has lived up to his potential quite nicely, it is a pity he is currently sidelined. Now more than ever it is pivotal that Nadal make it to the final, the thought of Soderling making it there and winning does not sit well with me at all!!!!!  There were a lot of winners from both players in that game, so if Soderling makes it to the final he know he has to have even more than that to win against Nadal if it is their destiny to meet again at the French. But that is not going to happen. Because I said so.

This chain of events has ramifications of great magnitude.  This play-by-play of the whole day's events gave a great synopsis of what this one game means for the men's game over the next few months:

"Robin Soderling – the era-ender. Nadal had won 31 consecutive matches at Roland Garros (in fact he’d never been beaten here) – then along came Rockin’ Robin. Federer had reached 23 consecutive Grand Slam semi-finals (since losing to Guga Kuerten here in the third round in 2004) – then along came Rockin’ Robin. He simply did not miss a shot. He hit the ball with such alarming strength and absolutely unfeasible accuracy.

And now, if Rafa wins the tournament, Federer will be knocked off his number one perch and not break Pistol Pete Sampras’ record of 286 weeks in the top spot (he’s agonisingly on 285). And with Nadal having precisely zero points to defend at Wimbledon and Federer 2,000, we’re in for a sea change. Federer was toppled two years ago when Rafa “did a Borg” and won here then at Wimbledon. Roger came right back and “did a Rafa”, taking the two European Slams in 2009. And who knows what’s going to happen here now – I bet Rafa’s quaking! He’s always had the measure of Federer on clay, but now his road to the title – his Roland Garros title – has a certain Robin Soderling blocking the way. Oh yes, and the small matter of Almagro, then Djokovic or Melzer."

Soderling will play a resurgent Berdych in the Semis.  I always thought Berdych hadn't lived up to his potential.  He seems to be realising it now.  I guess I was complaining about there not being a shake up on the men's side. I got my wish unfortunately.  I do wish to see Nadal and Federer battle it out in a final, hopefully that will come at Wimbledon. I now have to go and consult my sangoma and make sure that Soderling's juju does not cause further damage and Nadal is protected for the rest of the tournament! ;}

Good News And Bad News

The good news is that the bull has been awakened, Nadal played a good and competitive match.  I know I was talking about him lassoing his opponents into submission with his forehand but I forget how good he is on the run with his backhand passing shot when opponents are up at net.  He showed this strength a coupla times throughout his match with Bellucci.  He made up for not closing the second set out the first time at 5-4 by breaking in the next game to go up 6-5 with a backhand passing shot that gave us not only a "Vamos!", but some serious fist-pumping.  You can tell he wants to regain his title as the King of Clay badly! :)  Check out the highlights here. Choose Highlights > May 31, 2010 > Highlights - Day 9 Part. 3.  He is set to play his countryman Nicolas Almagro in the Quarter Finals.

It also seems that the watch thing is not an anomaly, he wore it again throughout the match...

Serena is back to killer form and wasted no time with a straight sets win 6-2, 6-2, breezing into the Quarter Finals to face Samantha Stosur, the woman who cut Henin's bid to regain this title, post-retirement, short. It will be interesting to see if she will continue to upset top players - Stosur did this at the Aussie Open too.

I was wondering where Gulbis was, after his match in Rome against Nadal, I thought he would be a real contender and could cause a few upsets, spicing up the mix.  However, he pulled out in the first round due to injury, which is why there has been nothing on him. I wonder if he played out of his skin against Nadal and this setback is a repercussion.  He notched around 50 winners in that semi-final and still lost.  It always amazes me how people continuously play out of their skins and still lose on the clay to Nadal.

The bad news is that Essien is not going to play at the World Cup.  However the team is optimistic.  They were able to go to the Africa Cup Finals without their best players and were runners-up, so there are people to step up to the challenge.

What Are Our Priorities?

The recent spate of articles about gays in Malawi and Uganda make me wonder about what African priorities are.  Personally I think it is a human right for people to choose to express their sexual orientation how they will in the privacy of their own homes, without the the interference of others.  What others do is none of my business, just as what I do is none of theirs. And they should be able to walk proud in public, love is something to be celebrated not shunned. The interest in what people do behind closed doors of course is nothing new, with all eyes currently on Tiger Woods and  beforehand Clinton's behaviour while in office.  These instances have had global attention, just as the Ugandan and Malawian cases.  However, my question is: What do any of these instances of sexual practice have to do with the state and its ability to govern its people?

Of course in the case of Clinton, there were power and workplace conduct issues entangled that blurred the line between whether it was a private or public matter, but the rest of these instances are to do with celebrities or lay-people who are given more power than is warranted. However, did Clinton's behaviour alter his ability to lead?  Is being able to stand on the perceived moral pedastal a prerequisite to govern?  I now know way to much about what Tiger Woods does behind closed doors, things that really have nothing to do with his preternatural talent and golfing abilities. These stories then take up time on the news and valuable print space, bumping other stories about the state of our countries and the world, that have more far reaching ramifications.  Does President Obama really need to be commenting on what celebrities do in their spare time?

We do not need to be spending time searching out gay people as they would have us do in Uganda. Governments have got better things to do than to worry about a minority, whose actions do not have anything to do with how the state functions just as heterosexual practices do not.  It seems as if gay issues are the latest smoke screen to blind the masses from the fact that states are failing to solve inherent problems of poverty, reliance on aid and bringing countrymen together to forge a better future in African countries. We as citizens, no matter what our preferences are, have better things to do like live our lives, feed our children, pay our bills and try to make a difference in the world when we can than going out on witch-hunts!  Police have better things to do than to be arresting people for what they do behind closed door unless the couple themselves file a complaint.  Resources and time that courts cannot afford to waste are being squandered.

It makes me sad that persecution continues, especially in the name of others and that we are worrying ourselves with people's relationships when we should be concentrating on our own and those close to us.  Instead of asking others to be the morally sound (whatever that means) people we want to be, we should be doing it ourselves.  Let us not get sucked into the quagmire of moral politics, which only stagnates rather than fosters cohesion.  This is just one battle in a long cycle that has been used by politicians the world over to distract.  Let us come together despite our differences by concentrating on the similarities we share, one of which is wanting a better future for ourselves and those who will come after us.

If you are interested in a very good documentary about the Ugandan situation, here is the Vanguard Documentary from Current TV "Missionaries of Hate".  Bar the leading title, I think all sides of the story are presented well.