FIRST AFRICAN UNDER-20 WORLD CUP VICTORY THROUGH PAN AFRICAN LENS

Ghana's Black Satellites celebrate their 2009 FIFA Under-20 World Cup Championship victory in Egypt

Ghana's Black Satellites celebrate their 2009 FIFA Under-20 World Cup Championship victory in Egypt

History was finally conceived in the barren chapters of the Africa FIFA Under-20 World Cup Championship in Egypt when the Black Satellites of Africa lifted the World Cup Trophy for the first time in the full glare of the 68,000 spectators gathered at Cairo International Stadium, after defeating Brazil.

Whilst the Egyptian and the Ghanaian flags were blowing the wind of victory down West and Central Africa almost to a point of tatters, the vuvuzela’s of South Africa, just like the proverbial African cock at dawn, was waking up the remaining Southern and Eastern African countries to the historic glory. From the length and breadth of the continent, the spirit of solidarity rarely experienced by the separate countries of Africa reverberated in the streets and at public spaces amid singing, drumming, dancing shouting and of course “vuvuzeling”.

The significance of this historic football feat to the African people cannot be overemphasized. Different people, however, accorded different significance to the event. Here are some views from Ghana. According to the President of Ghana, Professor John Evans Attah Mills, the historic victory is a timely wake up call to all Ghanaians irrespective of their party colours to unite as one people for the urgent task of national development.

Another Ghanaian who called at a local radio station in Accra asserted that the victory shows the supremacy of Ghana as a major football nation in Africa and at the world stage. The next caller made a rather interesting statement. He remarked, “Ghana is seen as the Brazil of Africa, but today, Brazil will be seen as the Ghana of South America”. To these people and million others, the victory is simply, a national affair and…maybe rightly so.

Ordinarily, the event did not seem any different from the obvious, until one reached out for the Pan-African lens. Through Pan-African lens, things looked more profound. The victory and the history of the Satellites went far beyond the threshold of national consciousness. It is a herald to the manner and form that the unity of the separate, pseudo-independent African states, some as big as Nigeria, others as small as Gabon, some as stable as Botswana whiles others as turbulent as Guinea, will finally unveil. Let us explore three findings under Pan African lens.

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