Africa Cup of Nations 2013

Africa Cup of NationsOnce again it is football season for Africa. The Africa Cup of Nations takes place in South Africa; a country which hosted the World Cup in 2010.

More than a billion eyes turned their eyes to Africa for a whole month in 2010 when countries that participated in the tournament displayed their talents and skills. “This is not just football, but a chance to get Africa out of poverty” was a common statement by celebrities, strong business people, famous artists and politicians.

Like many other such events it all ended and several years down the road, little has changed about Africa that is related with the event. Did Africa get out of poverty? How did the global community benefit from the event?

As several million eyes are set to view yet another CAF tournament, one of the biggest in the sport of football, where sixteen countries will battle it out for one cup and medals, it’s high time we looked at football of this magnitude as not just a sport or game to entertain, but as a form of ministry.

On a continent where religion, politics, culture and nature are failing to perform their expected roles, it is an opportunity to observe, study, and interpret such endowed sport that were invented and promoted by our ancestors for purposes of living health and in harmony with others so that we find solutions to what the missing link is to what is haunting us.

Football silently ministers, preaches and talks to us in a language that if well interpreted by the artist in form of metaphors, the rest can read through the eyes of the artist to provide solutions to many of the problems daunting us.

The masters of the game, eleven at each side, twenty two in total officiated by one center referee and two lines men are for more than 90 minutes engaged in problem solving with each player performing their expected roles as millions watch. If this was church, and I was the preacher of the day, I would use these series of woodcuts as metaphors as visual aid attempt to capture some of the important values and elements that we can borrow from football and interpret them to our benefit are:

Time: Time is the most crucial fact. In less than 100 minutes, the game must stop with or without a winner. So we must work within the time line of solving problems.

Team work: Winning the game is not possible without teamwork.

Responsibility: Each player is strategically positioned and given the responsibility of either defending against, pass on the ball to teammates or score the ball in the net of the opponent.

Commitment: Unless each player commits to the position allocated to them ,they may not get positive results.

Discipline: Discipline is encouraged and whoever fails to abide by the rules, is either warned or sent off the pitch.

Fair play: The referee ensures that the game is balanced. When anybody is injured on the pitch, the game will stop momentarily until he is treated. If one player hurts another, intentionally or otherwise, he is encouraged to shake hands.

Accepting results: At the end of the day, what looked like war on the pitch ends without any skirmishes and the winner will celebrate while the loser accepts defeat and waits for another chance.

If all the above values /elements where considered in solving Africa’s problems, football would have served the purpose it was invented for.

Having said that, let us take a moment and think about the important people on the continent of Africa like Baba Madiba Nelson Mandela , the African football players who have in their minds know that what they are doing is not just entertain but solve Africa’s problems by relentlessly struggle to prove to the whole world that Africa is endowed with talent and needs to get out of poverty and other problems.

Also think about the rural people, especially the rural African women who on many occasions are left out on such important events yet they play a crucial role in nurturing Africa’s talents.

If I have left out any value or element please, I would ask the readers to continue the dialogue by mentioning them to educate us.

Clever Minds

Clever Minds (Solution in Seconds)

The cleverness of footballers in solving problems on the football pitch. It’s one of those moments where in seconds the ball will almost touch each player’s foot, head, leg or any part of their body except the hands for the non-goalkeeper or hand in the case of goal keepers to either score or defend against depending on which side one is playing for. Either way, there will be results in just a matter of seconds. The metaphorical question to our political leaders who we have entrusted with solving Africa’s problems is; if it takes the footballers to have results in seconds, how much time do the politicians need to solve Africa’s problems once and for all? They need to borrow a leaf from the football players who have the time limit of 90 to 120 minutes to end the game with results by all means. In regard to the values/elements mentioned above, where is the missing link? Who is who on the pitch that is not performing the roles to allow Africa’s problems linger on? Food for thought.

Beginning of Stardom I

Beginning of Stardom I

It is common knowledge that most African football stars especially in the past, started in a very humble way. Without the necessary football gear even as simple as the football shoes. They played in the most improvised manner with balls made out of locally available materials like banana fibers and polythene bags. They played barefooted on the bare ground in the rural areas of Africa and on small patches of undeveloped land in the suburbs of their cities and towns. Some times on hips of garbage. This artwork is from memories of my childhood as a young man in Masaka that did not rise up to stardom in football but how football helped me to be creative and develop my part of the brain to be result oriented. It my artistic expression of how stardom begins in Africa. It is also posing a question: Why is the solving of problems on the ground in the game of football nurtured to maturity but the nurturing of political talent to maturity is eluding Africa? Food for thought.

Beginning of Stardom II

Beginning of Stardom II

It is common knowledge that most African football stars especially in the past, started in a very humble way. Without the necessary football gear even as simple as the football shoes. They played in the most improvised manner with balls made out of locally available materials like banana fibers and polythene bags. They played barefooted on the bare ground in the rural areas of Africa and on small patches of undeveloped land in the suburbs of their cities and towns. Some times on hips of garbage. This artwork is from memories of my childhood as a young man in Masaka that did not rise up to stardom in football but how football helped me to be creative and develop my part of the brain to be result oriented. It my artistic expression of how stardom begins in Africa. It is also posing a question: Why is the solving of problems on the ground in the game of football nurtured to maturity but the nurturing of political talent to maturity is eluding Africa?

Speed Color and Pattern I

Speed Color and Pattern I

Speed, color and pattern is the scenario on the continent of Africa for the whole month when teams are running around and across the football pitches to contest for the cup and medals. Borrowing from the scenario and considering the splendor of Africa, I used the zebra; one of Africa’s magnificent animals as a metaphor to educate the world about the dangers to mankind that we sometimes don’t see. In the wildness of Africa, it’s the Zebras running for their dear life away from the hunting lion. Naturally, or inadvertently, the zebras will organize themselves in a pattern and design to confuse the lion that in most cases it does not catch any of them.

Speed Color and Pattern II

Speed Color and Pattern II

On the other hand however, in the second set of the artwork, the scenario of Speed, Color and Pattern is eminent but through the eyes of who?  Who is the enemy of mankind that considering the manner in which mankind is aligned; it will be easy for the enemy to get us? Is mankind organized enough and moving in a pattern and design to fight off the enemy? It is no longer doubted that Africa is part of the global community and that she should move along with the other fist developing economies in the world if our planet is to be saved from globalization related challenges. Is it evening; getting late for Africa to be part of the speed and pattern to elude the enemy or the rest of the global community to regulate? Food for thought.

Ensobi Yaani? (Whose Fault Is It?)

Ensobi Yaani? (Whose Fault Is It?)

Who on the pitch is not playing their positions and expected roles properly that Africa is scored against all the time? Corruption. Poverty. Hunger. War. Diseases. Illiteracy, Child /maternal mortality. Maternal health. HIV/AIDS. Environmental sustainability.  Others have scored against Africa all the time. The eight Millennium Development Goals, for example, which timeline is by the year 2015; how much have we achieved/scored? Is someone on the team not playing their roles properly? As we reflect on what happens on the pitch in South Africa, let us use it as a metaphor to reflect on what our individual roles, positions and responsibilities so that we ensure that Africa is not scored against any more. Does this scenario also apply in your company or organization? Food for thought.

Talent in Drought

Talent in Drought

Tribute to the rural African women, the mothers of the continent, the custodians of agriculture, the nation feeders and nurturers of African talents, who most of whom never get to know about this important event. Business continues as normal for them at a time when other people are enjoying the event.

Market Day

Market Day

 Tribute to the rural African women, the mothers of the continent, the custodians of agriculture, the nation feeders and nurturers of African talents, who most of whom never get to know about this important event. Business continues as normal for them at a time when other people are enjoying the event.

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