The high point of the World Cup for me was Ghana versus Uruguay. The World Cup final was not between Spain and Netherlands. It was between Africa and the rest. And Africa won.
How did we win? We showed that we could not only play football, we could play better football. How do I know this? Because of the support we had not just from African fans, but from all over the world. How they desperately wanted us to win! How mortified they were that we did not! How unjust! How unfair! How wrong! If ever a team deserved to win, if ever a nation, a continent, a people, it was this! Was there a God? Is there a God?
Well, I was asking those questions earlier, around the time Ghana were to play America. Ha! If we were to lose against the Americans, I said, then truly there is no God, or at least, no justice – not even poetic justice. The richest country on earth versus one of the poorest. And the poorest won! So there is a God after all and Africa is right to continue believing in Him and having faith in Him, though we all know, as the poets have repeatedly told us, in football God is not on anybody’s side.
And did you see the white faces painted with the colours of Africa? Did you see the white South Africans supporting the only black side left? Man, if that is not good news, what is? Is this the thing we were looking for? Just to be together, to be one, to be free?
How did it make you feel, African man, to have the whole world behind you? How did it feel to be loved by the whole world? Man, it felt good for me and I’m a white man. I felt like I was part of the human race and the human race was me.
The black man has made his point: We are equal. We are together. We are all the same. We are all family. No tribe. No language. No race. No religion. No border. No country. No passport to anywhere. No hatred. No fear. No envy. No strife. No war. No rumours of war. No enemy. Just trust and peace, and love and justice. And a world we can change if we want to.
Good news indeed, thank God and Africa!
Alan Barnard. Dar es Salaam