As you read this we will be entering the second half of one of the world’s most heavily-anticipated sport events – the FIFA World Cup! This World Cup has made history and broken records not just on the pitch but also on -Social Media!
Reportedly FIFA World Cup, from the opening of the tournament on June 12 to June 27, has generated 300,000,000 tweets! One match on June 28 (Brazil v. Chile) managed to wind football fans around the world up enough to send nearly 400,000 tweets in one minute during a match! Not only has there been a shift in how many tweets there are but also in what is being tweeted about!
With the hashtag #AfricaUnite there has been a tremendous outpouring of support and camaraderie displayed not just by natives of the five African countries – Algeria, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Nigeria – that advanced to the World Cup but also people from all across the Black Diaspora and the world! Ghanaians backed the Super Eagles when they were on the pitch, black Americans could be spotted across the US rooting for the Black Stars before they were eliminated – there is just general and genuine excitement about the possibility of an African team taking the whole thing no matter where they hail from!
An Ethiopian woman rooting for Nigeria and Algeria on Twitter
Much like the state of many African economies, there is a long way to go for many of Africa’s football clubs but the fact is we are working diligently to bridge the gaps whether through sport, technology, research. Football is a language. Every country has its own way of speaking it; what we are seeing this World Cup is Africa’s footballers raising their level of play through their ability, discipline, and sportsmanship to show the world that Africans are just as capable as any person from the West – that Africans can master and excel at speaking that language. Not only have these sons of Africa shown the world of their sportsmanship but also of their humanity.
It is not just the love of the game or bragging rights for the next four years at stake, but instead a chance to change the world’s perception of what is possible from Africans. It’s not just about football, it’s also about African pride and the future!