When the World Cup tourney kicked off a month ago, including those whose countries failed to send a team to the Land of Samba and Salsa. The tradition has been that an African team will wriggle into the Quarter finals; only in the previous World Cup in South Africa Ghana technically lost out to shove to semi-finals. (That man, I forget his name, just missed the penalty kick after which the referee was to blow the whistle!)
On pitch, the expected started. African teams such as Cameroon displayed good dribbling skills; holding the Brazilian ‘Tomahawk’ strikers tit-a-tat in the first half of the match till the naked Amazonian night dancer crossed the field in the second half. Chances came begging for the Indomitable Lions to score- as many goals as they approached the Brazilian goal box- but, apparently (according to a toothless senile African sage seated in clear view of the match)- the Amazonian witch (a ravishingly sexy Salsa dancer!) had struck a ‘deal’ with the Coach of the Indomitable Lions.
The tabloids made copy sales the following morning. Pictures of Coach and Amazonian Witch in sweaty tangling ritual graced cover pages. The African sexappetite and insatiable libidos surged to the fore. It was all gone for the rest of the African teams. The well had been polluted.
The rest is now a by-word. That once upon a time we had African teams playing great soccer. The days of such legends as Roger Miller, Jay Jay Okocha, Kadenge, Majid Musisi, etc.
When the expected disappointmentsstarted to flood in with the occasional wailings and rants from the millions of African supporters, a friend stung me with a whisper: African teams are as disappointing as their presidents and rulers. I took off time to fathom what had just shot through my ear, but that was plain it. Africans will forever disappoint even when you expect them to perform a simple exploit.
A revered Ugandan research journalist Timothy Kalyegira has, as he has gotten opportunity to do so, written off the African race as cursed, non-thinking, non-innovative, lazy, to name all sorts of uncharitable epithets. Tim, as he is fondly known in the media fraternity, is one man who has never come to terms with the fact that he is black or African. He hates anything associated with Black.
Just like my friend Tim, I am beginning to doubt the future of Africa in the hands of Africans. If it’s not a mega corruption scandal, it’s a sex scandal of Tsunamic proportions; if it’s not vote rigging, it’s innocent civilians being mowed down by ruthless heartless security forces for attempting to question the powers that be; and if it’s not grinding poverty, it’s chiefsrolling in the mud of opulence and extravagance; if it’s not hunger and pestilence ravaging millions; it’s lords dinning and ‘laying’ the cutest belles in town. Paranoia and uncertainly is what definesthe state of Africa, more than 50 years after independence.
With the putrid smell of fear wafting from the chambers of hapless African souls, a lull of laughter would be handy to soothe the agonising faces. At least a break from the daily dosage of sad news either of a football match loss , corruption or sex scandal, ethnic clashes claiming hundreds in Bundibugyo and Kasese, or a witch doctor hunting down a toddler for ritual sacrifice. We need anything that will make us laugh, smile our way out of darkness.
A note to Maria Mutagamba: Instead of squandering Shs 200m on Alex Mukulu and Co. to act National Anthem, why don’t you spend this money on stand-up comedy theatres littered around town?Why don’t you invest in city comediansso as they go down to the grassroots to serenade the battered rural souls into happy sleep? At least they will forget their agonising poverty for a few hours as they listen out to the likes of Pablo or Afrodizio Lwanga.