Africa is blessed and that’s unarguable, but its inadequate resources have continued to limit its growth.
Like other sectors, sports is one of Africa’s greatest qualities. Blessed with some of the finest sportsmen in the world, the continent has generations of talents who need just a little tutelage to take the world by storm.
In 2020 alone, three teenage African youngsters, the oldest being 18, sent tongues wagging in praise, yet none represents an African nation.
The trio of Ansu Fati, Eduardo Camavinga and Youssouffa Moukoko were all born in the continent but will be singing the anthems of their new countries when football games come up.
Fati, 18, took the Spanish La Liga by storm when he showed techniques and application that were beyond his age and level. He jumped developmental stages to team up with the first team and he quickly impressed his coaches and teammates. Fati has since become Barcelona, Spain and La Liga’s youngest goalscorer. He now wears the La Roja red jersey.
While the young attacker had his developmental years in Seville, Spain, he was born and partly raised in Guinea Bissau before his parents moved to Spain after his brother won a football scholarship. His stock has quickly risen and has been rated as one of the best youngsters in football.
Camavinga, also 18, was born in an Angolan refugee camp to Congolese parents. Heads and shoulders above his peers, his excellent reading of the game, passing and technical brilliance have stood him out as one of the best young midfielders in the world. The Rennes midfielder has since made his debut for the French national team and is a subject of interest amongst the biggest clubs in the world. He moved to France at the age of 2.
When Youssouffa Moukoko hit the scene at 14, he was already too much for players older than he was. He stole the headlines so much that the German Football Federation had to stop him from playing age-grade matches.
At 16, Moukoko, born in Yaoundé, the Cameroonian capital, became the youngest goalscorer in the history of the German Bundesliga when he scored Borussia Dortmund’s only goal in a 2-1 loss to Union Berlin on Friday.
Moukoko already has a €10m kit sponsorship deal with Nike and a German national team call-up is well on the cards.
Africa has a rich base of talents and must provide enough to make them grow and rise from within.
Like Moukoko, Fati and Camavinga, thousands are still on the dusty pitches of the continent, ready to take the world by storm, in various ways, across all human endeavours.
CHAN2020: Africa’s Festival of Football, Music and Culture
When the African Nations Championship kicked off at the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium, Cameroon showed the world a glimpse of what Africa deeply entails.
Beyond football, Africa’s beauty is richly defined by its excellent culture and art.
Africa stands out for its glitz and glamour, and when football, the most followed sport on the continent comes knocking, expression becomes compulsory – a watchword.
COVID-19 has denied the world of many things, but 2021 has shown it may come with a difference. And in the first month of the new year, Africa is treating the world to the spectacle it missed months ago.
Like the opening ceremony of the African Nations Championship was not enough, competing national teams, fans and players have shown the cultural strength of the continent, and you can’t but admire it.
From the most beautiful local drums, to the rhythmic dance steps and music, Africa has shown itself through CHAN.
As teams score, there is a clear elucidation of the wealth of artistic beauty the continent possesses. While players’ hairstyles are a form, their celebrations are another show of undisputed cultural creativity and credibility.
On green-lush grasses, jerseys blend with music and style as players toil with swivelling arms and legs, chasing the round leather, sweating to bring glory to their nations. Realistically, the glory doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, as their cultural suaveness keep stealing the headlines.
The first six games of the competition produced four goals, in what showed how tough, and sometimes, drab football can be on the continent, but fans had been treated to a cultural spectacle, beyond the round leather.
Tanzanian players sing from the dressing room as they match on to the pitch, and just when you think they faze their opponents, Congolese players are in a queue-like fashion, passing on the dance steps from front to back. It’s a festival of art and culture for Africans.
Cameroon is treating the world to a carnival of football, with beautiful displays mostly seen so far. However, beyond the game is the serene and tranquil ambience brought by fans and players, who have taken every opportunity to show why Africa is the seat of entertainment.
What you may not see in the AFCON is the cultural diversity and understanding shown by players, as many European-born footballers represent African countries.
It is a sight to behold for the many players of dual nationalities who are not yet exposed to the full bloom of Africa’s flowers, but these African-based players dueling for the CHAN prize, are themselves, a sight to behold- the flower itself.
CHAN: Burkina Faso Defeat Zimbabwe, Gain First Points
The Stallions of Burkina Faso ran out 3-1 victors over the Warriors of Zimbabwe on matchday 5 of the ongoing African Nations Championship.
Burkina Faso who had lost 1-0 to Mali in their opening fixture, started as favourites on Wednesday night and were quick to fire the first salvo.
Issouf Soso scored on the 14th minute before Partson Jaure drew the Zimbabweans level just nine minutes later.
In the second half, Clavert Kiendrebeogo put the Burkinabes ahead again on the 53rd minute before Ismahila Ouedraogo scored the third and final goal of the game on the 67th minute.
At the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium, Cameroon played a 1-1 stalemate against Mali. Salomon Banga drew the first blood for the hosts before Issaka Samakke scored a sublime free-kick before the break to draw the Malians level.
Cameroon and Mali are tied on points on group A with a goal difference of plus one after two matches.
Cameroon will face Burkina Faso in the third and final group game while Zimbabwe will hope to pick their first point of the tournament against Mali.
Cameroon’s Joel Embiid Creates New Record for Philadelphia
Cameroon’s Joel Embiid has become the first Philadelphia 76ers player to record 45 points, more than 15 rebounds and over 5 steals in a single game since 1974.
Embiid, who played college basketball with the Kansas Jayhawks, created the record in Philadelphia’s 137-134 defeat of Miami Heats.
The Cameroonian 2014 draft for Philadelphia has so far had a good season with fans of the 76ers hailing his work rate and aggression.
Embiid’s teammate, Danny Green also created a franchise record of nine-three pointers from his total of 29 points.
The Cameroonian impressed and was all over the court as fans are already mouthing a possible MVP nomination for him.
“I’ve got a goal. I want to win the championship and I can’t do it alone,” Embiid said.
Nigeria’s Gabe Vincent and Precious Achiuwa impressed for Miami in the game with Vincent scoring 24 points in his first career start, while Achiuwa made his first start since being drafted in the top 30 picks during the off season.
Achiuwa, born in Port Harcourt, Southern Nigeria, scored 17 points and 13 rebounds in what’s the highest of his freshly-starting NBA career.
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