AFRICAN ARENAS the world cup edition
By Clive Morgan Ozwald Boateng is, without a doubt, a one-man phenomenon. Having started his career at the tender age of 16, the self-styled modernist is the first black designer as well as the youngest tailor to open a shop on London’s legendary Savile Row. With a new London store about to open, the worldfamous designer continues to inject his unique blend of colour and funk into the fashion world. But with the African Nations Cup about to begin, he has other plans for the Boateng brand. Who will you be supporting during the World Cup? That’s a ridiculous statement, I think. As far as I’m concerned they’ve [Ghana] already won it. So we’re just going through the motions. Ghana’s the team. As they would say, I’m a thoroughbred Ghanaian. You don’t think that any other team has a chance to win…? There’s not even a discussion. There are some great teams in Africa but we’re not even going to get into the conversation of whether they will win the Cup or not. I think it’s a foregone conclusion that Ghana will do the best out of the African teams.. I’ll be in the front row with the flag, cheering. It’s going to be a lot of fun. (Chants Black Stars, Black Stars, Black Stars)The Black Stars’ striker Michael “the bison” Essien also happens to be one of your clients.Yes, I have dressed a lot of football players. Patrick Viera is a client. But not a team outright. I think I need to be dressing every African team for the World Cup. So that’s something that I’m actually looking at doing because they need to be looking fantastic as they hit the fields and blow everyone away.With the Black Stars’ achievements in the 2006 World Cup, would they not be your first port of call? Absolutely. We tried to do it for the last World Cup but there was a logistical problem. I’m very determined to do it for the next one. We all know that things run at a particular pace in Africa so we need to try to avoid the things that slowed it down in the past so I can give the Black Stars the opportunity to look their finest. And I want to open that remit to all the other African countries that qualify, because I think that they need that too. I think it’s [the next World Cup] a real opportunity to promote Africa. This is a way of changing the stereotypical images that we see of the continent. We need to show that the African teams can stand together. There’s a lot to be achieved from this World Cup, in a way, a stepping stone for that. With your client base, that includes Will Smith, Samuel L Jackson and a number of the world’s best footballers, what makes you stand out from all of the other designers? I think I have a very distinct approach. When you see anyone wearing any of my clothes you know it’s me. I think that’s very important as a creator to have a very clear identity. And I fused two worlds together – the fashion world together with the traditional world, which is very unique. It’s a global uniqueness. As everyone knows, I’m doing catwalk shows in Paris, Milan, New York and London. I’ve won many accolades in that respect because I’ve been able to fuse two things in menswear that haven’t been done. And through that I created a strong name and brand that represents a lot. How far away are you from achieving your goal of being the biggest fashion designer in the world? Considering that you are currently the biggest African designer in the world... There’s an enormous amount of recognition for all I’ve achieved as a designer. And now it’s just about getting my business to be as big as the brand and that’s really a question of opening stores. With all of your achievements – which include your OBE and a show at the Victoria and Albert museum – what keeps you motivated? I personally think that I’ve got a lot more to do. For where I want to be, I’m just scratching the surface. I was nominated as a Young Global Leader at the World Economic Forum. And there is a lot planned for Africa, there’s a lot I want to do there. I’ve just started to take steps towards that with an event [African Union: The Power Of Unity] I did in Ghana in July. I did a fashion show in front of 53 presidents. [Michael] Essien was there, with Jesse Jackson and Andrew Young, which was good. There’s a lot more that I can do in Africa. What’s needed in Africa right now is heroes. And what I want to do in Africa is to bring an awareness of the heroes that they have so everyone can get behind them. To do that the public need to know that whatever the heroes have achieved, they can too. For example Michael Essien is a hero. And so we have learn to get behind our heroes. It’s not just a question of him playing football, it’s a question of how did he get from there [childhood in Accra] to there [world-class footballer] and create this international icon – this message is important. There are lots of very successful Africans around the world that we just don’t know about. With regards to heroes, most African heroes appear to be sporting icons – whether it be athletes or footballers. Is your event about pushing the other kind of heroes? My event is about pushing all of them. The ones that have succeeded in business, the ones that have achieved great things. Whatever industry they may be in, and that could sometimes include sports. But the real push, I must say, has been about identifying individuals that have made an impact and getting behind them. If an Italian person does well, wherever they may be, the Italians get behind them, pushing. And that’s what we need to do in Africa. We don’t do that. We’ve got one hero that everyone gets behind, and that’s Nelson Mandela. After we lose this man, what happens then? How is this possible? It’s very, very important that we start laying the foundations for our new young heroes, because that’s what is going to inspire those kids in certain parts of Africa where they think that there’s no future. There’s communication, computers and mobile telephones - they can get access. You don’t want them to only be seeing one type of individual succeeding because, actually, it’s not true.It’s not about blowing the trumpet or trying to be right on, it’s just that they need it. The world needs Africa now to turn a corner. Gone are the days of “let’s keep it in that position”, it’s not benefiting anybody. It controls 70 per cent of the world’s natural resources, and if we don’t sort it out, it’s going to be an issue. If we mess that place up – that’s the world, not just Africa – then there’ll be a real issue on this planet, we already have an issue with natural resources. Africa has enormous land that is not utilised. If it is it could sort out all the environmental issues of this planet. So there is a lot of reasons why it’s important for Africa to succeed and it’s very important that we create the right heroes to help drive that forward. The young kids there today are not inspired by the images that they’ve been seeing in the past. They don’t want those images.Would that be part of your role within the world economic forum? I’ve set up a task force for Africa, that’s kind of my personal goal, where I started this event in Ghana, which touches on a lot of that. I think that the African diaspora, and I mean AfricanAmericans, or any one of African descent, who has a vested interest in Africa’s success are very important. African-Americans spend $900billion on the American economy, they do not spend a scratch of that on Africa, and that’s not because they don’t want to, they just don’t know how to. Africans don’t give them the vehicle or the confidence that they can. For Africa to achieve we need to celebrate what they’ve been able to achieve.
Ozwald Boateng host of the Morehuman / African Arenas Exhibition
Nelson Rolihlahla mandela is today the world’s elder statesman. But few things in his family background really hinted that he would become political activist, revolutionary, political prisoner and international icon, Nobel Peace Prize winner, and, fnally, president of a free and democratic South Africa. Except perhaps his given name, Rolihlahla – which roughly translates as ‘trouble maker’ (Nelson is apparently a name given to him by an English school master who had problems pronouncing the click in his Xhosa name. He liked it, it stuck). He was born on July 18th 1918, to a minor branch the Thembu dynasty – the reigning royal family in Transkei. As such, he could have looked forward to life as a rural South African minor royal – basically, farming and the inherited position of Privy Councilor in his cousin’s court. He went to Clarkebury & Fort Beaufort, the usual boarding schools of the Thembu – where he excelled both academically and at track and boxing. So far, so predictable.Then he went to Fort Hare University in the Eastern Cape. This was southern Africa’s premier black university at the time. Of course, in the then British colony of South Africa, education – as most things - was inevitably segregated. Fort Hare has the distinction of producing more African leaders than any other – Nyerere (Tanzania), mugabe (Zimbabwe), Kaunda (Zambia), Nkomo (Zimbabwe), Khama (Botswana), Lule (Uganda), Desmond Tutu, and many others. So, it’s hardly surprising that it was a hotbed of political activity. And when mandela met Oliver Tambo – his political and philosophical soul mate - it was almost inevitable he would become politicised. They were expelled by the end of the frst year for organising student protests at the university’s racist policies. His uncle, the Regent Jongintaba, was somewhat predictably distressed by this act of rebellion; and, perhaps to foist some idea of responsibility on the young Nelson, decreed that both he and his cousin Justice, the heir to the throne, were to be married to suitable girls he had chosen. Both young men promptly ran away to the bright lights of the big city. Johannesburg has a strange landscape. It is surrounded to the south by a range of low, dusty hills of surprisingly regular height that intersperse sprawling groupings of rude shacks. The townships already exist. At dawn and dusk, they take a surreally tranquil cast as smoke from thousands of coal fres drifts slowly through the valleys these hills form. This is mining country: the rich seam of the Witwatersrand Reef snake beneath the ridge that the city lies atop. Gold. This is the reason the city exists. It is built, literally, on foundations of gold. The hills that poetically jut above the smoke are man made – waste from the goldmines dumped there as weirdly creeping hills. most of the mine workers are migrants – from Natal, Transkei, Swaziland and the Cape; and some from faraway malawi, Lesotho, Zambia and Zimbabwe. They are mostly men – few jobs exist for women in the 30’s and ‘40s outside of domestic service for white families all the way on the other side of the city in the suburbs. Jo’burg city epitomises the whole point of the colonial enterprise in Africa – to suck in cheap labour to work at extracting the earth’s bounty in mines, farms and plantations. mandela lives here, as WWII increases activity in the mines and industry of Jo’burg, drawing increasing numbers from the countryside.He works as an articled clerk in a law frm. His friend and mentor, Walter Sisulu, who is already established as an estate agent, helped him get the job. He continues studying via correspondence from the University of South Africa, fnally getting his degree. Then he’s a law student in the University of Witwatersrand in the city. He meets Joe Slovo, Ruth First and Harry Schwarz – South African, white, Jewish, communist, friends. He joins the African National Congress (ANC), and organize its Youth Wing . Even before the Afrikaner dominated National Party won the 1948 (white only) election, South Africa was a segregated and racist society. Basically, whites were the owners; Asians and Chinese are the shopkeepers; mixed race people (or ‘coloureds, as they were called) middle-management; and blacks the workers. Gandhi cut his political teeth protesting the Pass Laws in South Africa – which restricted the movement of non-whites in South Africa. What Gandhi started, Mandela would finish. Apartheid. Apart. Hate. After 1948 the restrictions on non-whites became worse, more institutionalized, more visceral, more personal. Apartheid – separate development was official state policy. All life opportunities were pretty much determined by race. South Africa was for white people (Asian, Chinese and coloureds are allowed – as long as they remember their place) and Bantustans, ostensibly independent tribal homelands, was for blacks. In apartheid South Africa, there are laws restricting blacks in where and how they could live, travel, work, be educated, get married and mingle .The level of ANC activity in opposition to this grew. In 1955,Mandela and the others helped draft the Freedom Charter – a document that called for a democratic, non-racial South Africa that remains the basic foundation of the country’s constitution today. Firmly committed to non-violence, the ANC initiated a series of strikes, sit-ins and protests. The regime reacted with increased restrictions and violence. They formed alliances with Asian and coloured parties; and the South African Communist Party (SACP) - as the communist bogeyman haunted the capitalist world through the cold war, the SACP was banned in 1950 and being a member carried a jail term . During this time, Nelson and Oliver form Mandela & Tambo, the first black law firm in South Africa. They have no shortage of clients, as they handle cases for blacks at little or no cost, both in terms of cash and aggravation. In 1956, pretty much all those who had drawn up the Freedom Charter were arrested; 156 of them were put on trial for their lives, on charges of treason. mandela acted as spokesman for the defendants, who were eventually acquitted. But the lines were being drawn, and it was becoming apparent that the regime would seek to kill anyone who defeat apartheid . Mandela was the lead organiser of the ANC on the ground, and with Sisulu, Tambo and Albert Luthuli – who were then the recognized thinkers – formed the ANC political leadership. As the regime ramped up the violence against the opposition – culminating in the massacre at Sharpeville in 1960 – Mandela helped form Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation), the armed wing on the ANC, which he led in a campaign of sabotage against the state. Later, at his trial, he explained that this was in self-defence – a basic human right – and sabotage was chose specifically to not endanger lives. He traveled to other African countries to raise funds, arms and training for the armed phase of the struggle. When he returned home he was the most wanted man in the country. He was finally caught, when the CIA tipped off the regime to his whereabouts and disguise, after 17 months as a fugitive. He was sentenced to five years in jail in 1962; and was subsequently charged with the crime of ‘Sabotage’ – which carried the death penalty – along with 11 other ANC leaders who had been arrested at a farmhouse in Rivonia. This trial caused a sensation and made him a global figure. His statement to the court in Pretoria on 20th April 1964 is rated as one of the greatest speeches in history. After totally destroying any moral justification of apartheid, he ended his statement saying, “During my lifetime I have dedicated myself to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die .”The world didn’t hear Nelson Mandela speak again for 27 years. He and the others were sentenced to life imprisonment on Robben Island, off Cape Town. He became Prisoner number 46664. As their political status was not recognized by the regime they were subject to humiliation and abuse as well as hard labour in the limestone quarry. The flm ‘Goodbye Bafana’ depicts his experiences in jail, somewhat – though it is based on the somewhat self serving account of his guard . Apartheid ground on, and so did resistance. The regime deployed police, and then troops to the townships. Violence begat violence. massacres became the order of the day, even schoolchildren weren’t spared. Oliver Tambo, who had escaped to the UK, kept the struggle in the eyes of the world. And, slowly, Nelson mandela became the most famous political prisoner in the world. As most countries isolated Apartheid South Africa with sanctions and boycotts, the tee shirts became more ubiquitous and the songs were heard more often. ‘Freeeeee Nelson mandela!’ It was only a question of time. We all sort of knew that. When the extremely dignified, silver-haired Mandela walked out of Victor Vester Prison, on 11th February 1990, it was the beginning of the end of apartheid. He refused to renounce the armed struggle. “Our resort to the armed struggle in 1960 with the formation of the military wing of the ANC was a purely defensive action against the violence of apartheid. The factors which necessitated the armed struggle still exist today. We have no option but to continue. We express the hope that a climate conducive to a negotiated settlement would be created soon, so that there may no longer be the need for the armed struggle.” But Mandela also held out the olive branch of a negotiated dismantlement of Apartheid, and a democracy – based on the Freedom Charter - that guaranteed the rights of all citizens, including the white minority. It took four hard years of negotiation to bring about a new constitution. There were a few times when it all looked like it might end in blood – massacres, the assassination of Chris Hani, the shenanigans of the fascist AWB. But with Mandela’s lead, they persisted. Finally, on 27th April 1994, South Africa became a democracy with the ANC winning 62% of the vote in the first free and universal elections. Mandela was inaugurated president of an ANC led government of national unity on 10th may. He was almost 77. He stated his intentions in his inaugural address. “Never, never, and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another and suffer the indignity of being the skunk of the world. Let freedom reign. The sun shall never set on so glorious a human achievement. God bless Africa .”And while it is important to know his history, the key question is, ‘what makes Mandela so special?’ For most people, it is simply that he stood by his principles all through his 27 years in jail and his subsequent public life. It is his mix of both pragmatism and principle that is so impressive. But, perhaps more importantly, he symbolically forgave white people for all the crimes they committed against him, and Africa. The 27 stolen years didn’t make him angry and vengeful. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which he set up to shine a light on the crimes committed during apartheid, offered amnesties to individuals who admitted their guilt. But he went one step further, and made Umkhonto we Sizwe acts of violence subject to scrutiny – despite stiff opposition within the ANC. When he wore the jersey of the Springboks - the South African rugby team that had come to symbolize Afrikaners and Apartheid during the dark days - to present them with the Rugby World Cup in 1995 in Johannesburg, the Rainbow Nation became a reality. For Africans, he symbolizes both victory in the struggle against domination and the beginning of a new African Renaissance. After all, what Gandhi began Mandela finished - colonialism was defeated. In his first speech as president to the Organization of African Unity’s Heads of Government meeting in Tunis in June 1994, in an emotionally charged atmosphere, Mandela pointed out that Tunis is built on the ruins of Carthage – destroyed for challenging the might of Rome over 2000 years ago. “We are certain that you will prevail over the currents that originate from the past, and ensure that the interregnum of humiliation symbolized by, among others, the destruction of Carthage, is indeed consigned to the past, never to return .”For the rest of the world, his presidency symbolized something different. This was a man with almost total moral authority. When President Bill Clinton attempted to rebuke Mandela for being friendly with Cuba and Libya, he publicly told the US president that he would not simply abandon those who had supported his struggle. “You do not have the moral authority to tell us who we should call our friends,” he told the world’s most powerful man. All Clinton could do was stand there and look contrite, like a schoolboy being publicly admonished by his teacher. Mandela graciously mixed with world leaders who had condemned him as a terrorist – Margaret Thatcher, George Bush, Henry Kissinger and others who had condemned him were forgiven and treated with courtesy and friendliness. Ironically, at this time he still needed the form permission of the Secretary of State to enter the USA as a private citizen – as until July 2008 he was still officially listed as a terrorist by the State Department. He was feted by royalty and rock stars (receiving over 100 awards from practically every country in the world) all the while insisting that he was nothing special – just an old man who really desired a quiet life with his 20 grandchildren and growing number of great-grandchildren. And then, in stark contrast to most African liberation leaders, he simply retired after his frst term in 1999. Also, he was ready to admit his own shortcomings as president – most notably that his administration did too little to combat the AIDS epidemic sweeping South Africa. He dedicated his efforts on charitable work – setting up his Nelson Mandela Children’s Foundation, as well as supporting other causes, most notably SOS Children’s Villages; make Poverty History; the Jubilee 2000 debt relief campaign; and the 46664 AIDS fundraising campaign. On his 80th birthday he married his third wife, Gracia Machel – widow of former Mozambique president Samora Machel. In 2003 he finally retired from public life. While Mandela’s legacy is obvious - apartheid is destroyed and South Africa is a democracy – there still remain the basic problems that wracked the South Africa when he went to prison back in 1962. most of the owners are still white and the workers still black. Democracy has brought little economic and social prosperity for most South Africans. Yes there is a growing black middle class. But if the recent spate of brutal killings of other African migrant workers and refugees by poor blacks is any indication, economic disempowerment remains a huge issue. But these are problems the next generation of South African leaders will have to solve. , Happy world cup.
The organisation of the FIFA World Cup in 2010 in South Africa has raised concerns about the possible increase in the exploitation and trafficking of children through increased demand for cheap labour and sexual services. There is little experience in organising major international sporting events in settings where economic inequality and the numbers of poor and vulnerable children are so high. Moreover, South Africa shares its land border with six other impoverished African countries. The World Cup will surely be a magnet for children and create demand for traffickers. UNICEF is working to prevent and reduce the abuse, exploitation and trafficking of children during the World Cup in South Africa, and contribute to a strengthened child protection system as a enduring legacy of the event. UNICEF will work with Government Task Teams, the private sector and civil society on a variety of projects which will achieve the following results: • Safe spaces will be accessible and used by children in high-risk areas (child only ‘fan zones’ where children can watch the matches in safety and be accessed by out-reach teams) • Strengthened child protection services to respond to exploitation, abuse and trafficking • Communications with tourists to reduce inappropriate, exploitative and/or illegal behaviours around children. • Communications with parents and children to provide a greater understanding of risks and how to protect from abuse, exploitation and trafficking
Salomon Kalou Chelsea FC/Ivory Coast
Micheal Essien Chelsea FC/Ghana
Satashi Minakawa issue 1
Aaron Mokoena Portsmouth FC/South Africa
Alex Song Arsenal FC/Cameroon
Benoit Assou-Ekotto Tottenham Hotspurs FC/Cameroon
Dickson Ethu Fulham FC/Nigeria
Didier Drogba Chelsea FC/Ivory Coast
Emmanuel Eboue Arsenal FC/Ivory Coast
Concept: Mo Sow Cover Story: Aaron Mokoena - Captain of Bafana Bafana, national team of South Africa Design: Thai Words: Ayo Alli; Clive Allan Business: Rodney Kingsley The MoreHuman Crew: Njok Malik Jeng, Momodu Adama Samba, Clement Ogbonnaya, Francis Nâ€™Kwain Thank yous: Clem Lyck, Alex Taylor, Tiffani and Tim at Ozwald Boateng, Michelle Deklerk at the Mantis Collection, Sarah Hodson at Unicef, Margaret and Jackie at Aaron Mokoena Foundation