Mental European soccer slavery
by mazuba mwiinga

I ask a question: what did Bob Marley mean by; “Old pirates, yes, they rob I; Sold I to the merchant ships, Minutes after they took I From the bottomless pit….Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery; None but ourselves can free our minds…..”

‘Redemption songs’; is one hit track among many others. On this he is rejoicing the end of slavery in Africa, “….none but ourselves can free our minds…”

Sung more than two decades ago, Bob’s song reverberated into my fibre brain with nostalgia when I saw the Northern tip of Africa engulfed in people revolutions, as Barack Obama and David Cameron get lured to take an opportunity to seize the moment of the heat in Libya’s oil.

But my cynic of a long time had not been over war and atomic bombs Bob sing about; rather on the poor African economies we feel yet we proudly, like in the Zambian national anthem recite; “Stand and sing of Zambia proud and free; land of work and joy in unity; victors in the struggle for the right; we’ve won freedom fight; all one strong and free…”

Free indeed, but from whom or from what when our nations are running-havoc with dire poverty; our economies depend on foreign aid and now my utter most intriguing issue; entertainment is all Western based; let alone, European soccer league has made Europe richer at the expense of the already poor Africans.

Given a bargain between buying a Manchester United flag or scarf or jersey? Or is it Chelsea or Liver pool? Or Barcelona or Ajax; and buying basic needs for his family; a father of six would rather starve his family just to have a belonging to the pack of these European soccer league ‘slaves’. And we say, Africa is free at last, when these fans have turned their living rooms into “old Traford” playing fields.

As if that it not enough, camps in this soccer entertainment have brought among peers so much strife and retrogressive.

White collar jobbers sneak out of office to watch the match. Night security officers leave their posts to have a peep at the small screen. Young boys snatch their old men’s last pennies to pay for a view at a local beer hall. During the games, rivalry is as physical as if someone is blood related to a player who has received a snag from an opposing fan. Not just do they exchange war of words, brawls erupt.

Fun enough, when these European soccer drunk African fans are busy jeering and cheering in the sweat smelling beer halls, their women at home are busy ‘screwing’ house boys and single neighbours who would rather watch a movie in a comfort of their homes.

In the southern sugar plantation town of Zambia, Mazabuka about 150Km south of capital Lusaka, two European soccer league fans were left dead and several others nursing injuries during a Manchester United, Chelsea game on Wednesday.

What started as an argument in support of the teams which aren’t even theirs and whose owners and players don’t even know whether they are watching them; these fans fought, a few minutes before the end of the match in the wee hours of the day. Apparently, local Police men were doing rounds of patrols and in a defiant swing to stop the confusion in a crowd of more than 300 fans, they discharged teargas canisters in the hall and a stampede broke out, killing two people instantly.

From a supposedly jolly soccer match played thousands of miles across the sea and viewed by these poor African fans; bored and care free, they picked stones, bottles and anything lift-able and a riot started in the beautiful and peaceful town.

As the players in Europe were busy fattening their accounts by cashing their cheques that evening, the ghost fans down the southern tip of Africa were busy injuring each other; breaking their property and burying their dead in sadness; all because of the possessiveness of European soccer league.

“…Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery; none but ourselves can free our minds…..”

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