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Celebrating African World Cup legends

26 May 2014 by Mitty

African children holding two footballs

Image courtesy of Charity Ball

How do you explain football to someone who has never heard of it?

You don’t, you give them a ball.

Football is brilliantly absurd in how it manages to turn a simple and accessible game  into such an amazing spectacle. This June will see the World Cup come to Brazil and the biggest show of the year will be shared by literally billions of ecstatic football fans world wide, all hoping this will be their year to celebrate!

No other sport has had such a complex and far reaching impact as football and never more so than during the World Cup. Some would argue that Britain gave the world football, but football belongs to us all and undoubtedly every continent continues to contribute to the game we love. There are now charities dedicated to providing footballs to impoverished villages around the world to enable more people to be part of this joyous phenomenon. One such charity called Charity Ball was founded by the inspirational Ethan King in 2010 when he was just 10 years old, after giving away his football on a trip to Mozambique. This has had a very positive impact on a number of communities and who knows they may even be the stars of future World Cups!

This June the International Slavery Museum will celebrate African World Cup legends of the past and stars of today. It is often overlooked how Africa stars of the past have not always represented the countries they were born in. One example is the sublimely talented Mozambican player Eusebio, who starred in world cups for Portugal in the same way that Cristiano Ronaldo does today. The great migration of African players to the world’s top teams matches the larger global migration of African people, benefiting these nations hugely in both cases.

We will be making African World Cup Crafts as part of our weekend family activities in June. The African teams playing at this World Cup will be Cameroon, Ghana, Algeria, Nigeria and Ivory Coast. We will be making World Cup animal mascots inspired by their nicknames, such as Cameroon’s ‘Indomitable Lions’ and Nigeria’s ‘Super Eagles.’ We will also be making African supporters flags and even African World Cup Legends finger puppets. Why not join the team to learn more about African football and show us your skills?!

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