01/26/16

SONA2016: Look into the broken mirror, Mr President, you will see the society you preside over

By Ismail Lagardien

If this year’s State of the Nation Address (SONA) goes ahead as scheduled on 11 February, it will probably be the first time that President Jacob Zuma will have the undivided attention of every South African. Such are the disastrous conditions of South Africa’s political economy, of society, in general, and global perceptions of the country, that Zuma will be expected, for once, to act Presidential. Read Further

01/21/16

Southern African players in the English Premier League

20 Apr 2000: Lucas Radebe of Leeds United and Arif Erdem of Galatasaray chase the ball during the UEFA Cup Semi Final Second Leg game between Leeds United and Galatasary at Elland Road in Leeds. The game finished 2-2, Galatasary won 4-2 on aggregate. Mandatory Credit: Michael Steele /Allsport

20 Apr 2000: Lucas Radebe of Leeds United and Arif Erdem of Galatasaray chase the ball during the UEFA Cup Semi Final Second Leg game between Leeds United and Galatasary at Elland Road in Leeds. The game finished 2-2, Galatasary won 4-2 on aggregate. Mandatory Credit: Michael Steele /Allsport

By Ismail Lagardien

21 January 2016. In my haste to bang out a piece about a new African player joining the ranks of Arsenal, and the legion of Africans in the English Premier League, on Thursday night, I left out some southern Africa’s big names. Bad oversight!

Players from southern African have excelled in the the English top flight. The most notable exception, on my part, was, Phil “Chippa” Masinga, one of my favourite South African footballers of all time, (next to Lucas Radebe, the most humble footballer – ever!) and with whom I share a birthday. See this clip of Masinga’s goal that sent South Africa to the 1998 World Cup Finals in France.

Others included Quinton Fortune who spent seven years at Manchester United (1999 – 2006) under the tutelage of Alex Ferguson. Stephen Pienaar, the warrior and nutmeg king (Ajax Amsterdam, Everton and Tottenham Hotspur) Erik Tinkler (Barnsley), Shaun Bartlett (Charlton Athletic) and Benedict Saul McCarthy. How could I forget Benni? Late in his career he played at home, for Orlando Pirates, but before that he played for Ajax Amsterdam, West Ham and Blackburn in England. His crowning achievement was with Porto when he won the Golden Boot award (he scored 20 goals in 23 games) including a hat trick on the final day of the season. Benni went on to with the 2004 Champions League with Porto in 2004. My personal favourite moment was when he scored two goals against Manchester United in the second round of that season’s Champions League run. Our Benni is currently coaching at STVV in Belgium. Mark Fish was brilliant in defence for Bolton, and later played for Charlton.

North of the border, there was, of course, the great Zimbabwean goalkeeper, Bruce Grobelaar, who played in the Liverpool teams that dominated the English game, the decade or so before the Premier League era. Peter Ndlovu, also, of Zimbabwe was a star at Coventry, Benjani played for Pompey and Manchester City, and Zambia’s Emmanuel Mayuka played for Southampton, briefly.

Other South Africans include Kagisho Dikgacoi (Fulham, Crystal Palace), Mbulelo Mabizela (Tottenham Hotspur) Aaron Mokoena (Blackburn Rovers and Portsmouth), Matty Pattison (Newcastle), and Tokelo Rantie, who is, currently on the books of Bournemouth. We should, also, mention Roy Wegerle (Queens Park Rangers, Blackburn and Coventry) and Gary Bailey (Manchester United), who played in England before the Premiership started in 1992.

Just how I could forget any of these great players is beyond me. I’m sorry. As I wrote that apology, I realised that I may be missing other names.

A short film on Lucas Radebe

One reader, Jared, reminded me that: “The late “Shoes Moshoeu” played for Fenerbache from 1997-2001.”

Thanks.

Added on 28 January 2016

Keep up with South Africans abroad by following this link to Soccer Laduma.

01/21/16
Photo. Racism of Europeans in Africa. The submission of King Prempeh: The Final Act of Humiliation, 1896. From the collection of Cynthia Brantley

South Africa: What the textbooks did not say about racism

By Ismail Lagardien

21 January 2016. Racism is a social and historical problem. In the social sciences we have come to accept its origins in European colonialism, especially European attitudes towards dark-skinned others. There is no denying that, nor getting away from it. Let us look, briefly, to the extent that it is possible, at the normative theoretical and historical origins of racism; just so we are clear about its traditional origins. I should make the point, at this stage, that what follows draws on respected literature on the subject (notably the passages in quotation marks). These perspectives, I would venture a guess, did not make it into the textbooks of South African schools between 1652 and 1994. Read Further.

01/19/16

Government plays a definitive role in political economy

By Ismail Lagardien

A response to one of my recent columns in the Daily Maverick (See: Secrets and Lies) suggested that I held some philosophical, ideological, theoretical or practical position that is opposed to government. I should make it clear that I hold no such views. It is unfortunate that I feel the urge to lay out my intellectual beliefs and values, when intelligent readers ought to be able to work things out. Then again, I prefer not to be misrepresented on matters close to my heart. Let me, then, nail my colours to a mast, as it were. Read Further.

01/19/16

Secrets and Lies: Beware the dangers of South Africa’s new Nuclear Age

By Ismail Lagardien

In April, this year, the world will remember the disaster at Chernobyl 30 years ago. It was the biggest nuclear disaster in history, with tragic effects for the people and the environment of the area around Chernobyl. The story should be well known to most adults. It has, in many ways, defined nuclear energy policy in the world since then. The Chernobyl disaster was, also, a catalytic event in the opening up, and eventual collapse of the Soviet Union.

As South Africa enters its own (new) nuclear age – the first one was started under the National Party – South Africans may want to pause and reflect on some of the causes of the Chernobyl disaster. We may want to do so without getting carried away, but also avoid believing that it cannot happen here. As it goes, our problems may already have started…. Read Further.

01/19/16

The ANC is probably the best political party in South Africa, at least for now.

By Ismail Lagardien

One of the clearest pictures that has emerged over the past decade of politics and governance in South Africa is that meaningful social change and transformation cannot be had under the current crop of leaders; the Class of 2007. Paradoxically, and this is a difficult claim to make, given that so much has gone wrong on their watch, there is an argument to be made that the ANC is, probably, the best option the country has. Read Further.

 

 

01/13/16

Football and Society: Not cool, Yaya, not cool

Photo: Gabonese Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang speaks after winning the Confederation of African Football (CAF) award for African footballer of the year, in Abuja, Nigeria January 7, 2016 REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde.

By Ismail Lagardien

Over four consecutive years, until 2016, I voted for Yaya Touré as the best African footballer in the world. This year, I voted for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who was more consistent, influential and moerse exciting to watch, while Touré was minging to middling. When Aubumeyang won the award this year, he accepted it with humility, Touré was, well, not happy, and completely dissed the awards. Much like South Africa dissed the International Criminal Court when things did not go Pretoria’s way, Touré started ranting about global conspiracies. Read Further

12/29/15

South African Photograph of the Year 2015

By Ismail Lagardien

One outstanding image captured in a photograph this past year, is of an ANC member wearing a T-shirt with the slogan, “100 Years of Selfless People’s Struggle”, caught in the act of robbery.

100 years

Shameless and Selfless: An ANC member wearing a T-shirt with the slogan, “100 Years of Selfless People’s Struggle”, caught in the act of robbery.

 

(Picture taken from The Times. http://www.timeslive.co.za/thetimes/2015/03/27/city-chaos-erupts-as-protesters-loot-stalls)

 

12/14/15
Lake

Clear and Present Danger to the Free Press in South Africa

Photography of Peter Magubane being led to jail during the state of emergency of the 1980s. Picture was part of the exhibition, Between States of Emergency, hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre for Memory, in Johannesburg

Photography of Peter Magubane being led to jail during the state of emergency of the 1980s. Picture was part of the exhibition, Between States of Emergency, hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre for Memory, in Johannesburg. Picture by Ismail Lagardien

By Ismail Lagardien

South Africa may be approaching a time and a type of censorship that very few of us would, in principle and in practice, continue to resist. There may come a time when the vast majority of us may consider censorship and media restrictions as necessary, even ‘commonsensical’, and freedom of expression as a luxury and a privilege. Read further.

First published in the Daily Maverick on 26 October 2015.

12/14/15
IMG_0987

The unbearable brightness of being a columnist

By Ismail Lagardien

It is important to go beyond surface forms of equality, and ensure that a justice element is inserted in one’s analysis; unless, of course, you think that “the market” should be the final arbiter of all human endeavour. Commentary inspired by a column written by one of South Africa’s most influential editors. Read Further.

First published in the Daily Maverick on 1 November 2015.