One hundred years ago Jack Johnson, the first world heavyweight boxing champion of African heritage, took the step which would lead two years later to one of the most controversial fight results in the history of the division, and which provided the context in which many people still judge his life and his career. He fled the USA on 25 June 1913 just before the prison-gates were due to close on him. His centenary is being celebrated this year, reports Clayton Goodwin.
African football has been plunged into further difficulty, following the CAF congress in Morocco, where Issa Hayatou secured, unopposed, another four-year term as its president – his seventh in a row – reports our Associate Editor, Osasu Obayiuwana, who was there.
The plight of the South African Olympic star, Oscar Pistorius, who shot his girlfriend dead on Valentine’s Day, has also become the plight of a nation trying to find its way in the dark while standing in a blinding spotlight. The dilemma was supposed to have been bridged with Nelson Mandela and his reconciliation project. But South Africa has just discovered that Mandela drinking tea with the widow of Verwoerd, and sharing the Nobel prize with FW De Klerk, was no panacea for the fundamental problem of poverty and inequalities drawn along racial lines. The plight of Pistorius has accentuated the dilemma. Pusch Commey reports.
With a second successive absence from the Nations Cup, Cameroon must confront, frontally, the problems that have made the once-feared national team a laughing stock, reports Francis Ngwa Niba from Yaounde.
Leaving home unsung, Nigeria’s Super Eagles surprise their supporters and earn their third Nations Cup trophy. But the overall organisation of the tournament in South Africa leaves a lot to be desired, reports our editor, Osasu Obayiuwana, who covered the tournament.
“Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though chequered by failure... than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they
live in a grey twilight, that knows not victory nor defeat.” Theodore Roosevelt
Its not yet even over, but 2012 has been an excellent year for sports lovers – especially black sports lovers. The displays put on at the London Olympics by Usain Bolt and Mo Farah (above)and all the other athletes of African descent reawakened the debate over whether there is a genetic dimension to black prowess in sports. Cameron Duodu explores the issues.