Archive for July, 2008

Not something to rejoice about, but two African players made the “Britain’s 25 richest young footballers” list:

= 9. Didier Drogba (Chelsea), £13 million – Ivory Coast forward who is convinced that he deserves more than £90,000-a-week at Stamford Bridge. Earns another £20,000-a-week from endorsements and commercial deals.
= 16. Michael Essien (Chelsea), £10 million – Ghana midfield player who has just signed a new five-year Stamford Bridge contract worth about £100,000 a week. Hit the jackpot when he joined Chelsea from Lyon for £24 million three years ago.

The top three earners are (1) 1. Michael Owen (Newcastle United), £41 million, (2) Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), £35 million, and (3) Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United), £28 million. But according to The Times of London the real rich make their money in steel manufacturing, mining, pharmaceuticals or packaging. That might be why FIFA President Sebb Blatter — with a straight face — referred to Ronaldo’s conditions at Manchester United as “slavery.”

The full list here.


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“Whenever we play at the same time as an Arsenal game, nobody shows up,” says Abdu Maikaba [coach of FC Abuja].
“If they can make it so we play on a day before or after Arsenal, that will be a start.”

From BBC World.

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Reporter Spencer Morgan at The New York Observer has some fun with a quote from a Donna Karan flack that the designer is traipsing through “the African jungle” looking for inspiration for a new line of clothing “Urban Zen.” Serious. Calvin Klein is also in on the trip. So where are these deserts and jungles: “Ethiopia, Rwanda, Kenya and Botswana.” While there they can say hi to Tarzan and adopt babies.
More here.

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The New York Times wants its readers to get interested. Not in the townships of course. More here.

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In NBA basketball lore, Kermit Washington of the LA Lakers will be remembered only for the “punch.” During a game in the 1975 season he sucker punched the Houston Rockers All Star Rudy Tomjanovich (it was gruesome as you can see here). Tomjanovich was knocked unconscious. He needed facial reconstruction. Kermit then went underground for a while, but now he is back — no surprises — helping Africans. He also took Ron Artest to Rwanda. Journalist Dave Zirin (from Edge of Sports) recently interviewed Washington about the punch and other things. Not surprisingly, Kermit, apart from his good intentions, also has good opinions.

Dave Zirin: What do you think is the root cause of poverty in Africa?

Kermit Washington: It’s corruption in the government. I have to be careful when I say that. It’s corruption. The people at the top just take. You have unemployment at fifty percent. The people work very hard in school, but when they get out, there’s no business. No jobs. Tourism is really all they have over there. So when you see the people from Africa and Asia and how they come over here and get such great grades, it’s because they know what they could go back to. We cry when we have to go to school. In Africa they cry because they can’t go to school.

The rest here.

[There’s also a video on YouTube, made by Washington’s NGO, here.]

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Doris Lessing in the New York Times Magazine:

Are you still practicing Sufism? I think the word is “studying” it, “learning” it.
Isn’t it a strand of Islam, founded by Muhammad? I know people think this, because they have looked in the nearest reference book, but the thing is Sufism has always had adherents from all faiths or none.
As a longtime resident of London, what do you make of the growing Islamic presence in Europe? I don’t go on and on about it, like our two knights.
You mean Martin Amis. And who else? The other one who never stops going on about Islam. Christopher Hitchens. I don’t want to add any nasty poison to this brew. It’s nasty enough as it is, so let’s leave it.


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Egyptian-born Filmmaker Jihan El Tahri‘s film of post-1959 Cuba’s illustruous African connection, “Cuba: An African Odyssey” is being screened on August 7 at the Brecht Forum in Manhattan. The film charts the government of Fidel Castro’s support for African revolutionary movements specifically. More information on the film here. For details on the event, here.  [BTW, if you can’t make it and speak Spanish, someone posted the whole film online. here]. I’ll finally get to see it.

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