Divock Origi

In Europe, in England for instance, when soccer players of African descent (like Sadio Mane, or Divock Origi, or Wijnaldum) have a fantastic game against Barcelona, they say the whole team played well. They say the coach and the whole team did a fantastic job. They even say the backroom staff, the kitchen staff and even the owner of the club were fantastic. Anything but to speak clearly and directly about the talents of the African players who scored the actual goals. (And the pundits would highlight how without the Caucasian players in the team (like Milner), these African players couldn’t play soccer)!

However, when players of European descent have a fantastic game they say, Ronaldo, or Messi, or Hazard or “Whoever” had a phenomenal game. In addition, what is also left unsaid is even more palpable. What is left unsaid, unwritten, and not distributed across the networks remains even more poignant. When Liverpool beats Barcelona 4 nil, what you hear is that all the Barca players didn’t play well. You don’t hear Messi sucked! When Juventus beats Bayern, Ronaldo beat Bayern. When Juventus loses to Ajax, the whole team lost to Ajax (not Ronaldo!) When Barcelona beats Liverpool 3 nil, only Messi is the best player who ever lived.

Compare this to other stories in Europe. When Liverpool loses to Barcelona you read that it is not all the Liverpool players’ fault. What you read instead is that it is Mane’s (plus Origi’s fault, who by the way sat on the bench the entire game, plus Sturridge who came on for 5 min.). Yes it’s their fault when Liverpool loses! Sometimes it’s Salah’s fault. Salah’s Africanness is not lost on the English when they want to recall it! Still, as for Messi, he is still the best. When Liverpool demolishes Barcelona 4 goals without a reply, Messi is still the best (although he’s been horrible in every world cup he’s played). Still when Origi and Wijnaldum (who came on as a substitute) unleash four goals on Barcelona, what you read about is not Origi and Wijnaldum’s talent; that they were great! No! When Pogba’s Manchester United loses, Pogba must be sold to another team. “Pogba is lazy…” or so the couch-potatoes watching another human being run around for 95 minutes presume.

It is not that soccer players cannot have a great game here or there. Or a bad one here and there. They do. It is the nature of sports. But picking one word here or there to describe the event of one or all players is important. Important because the children are listening and you want them to think of the world in this way, and not the other way! Words portray the nature of the psyche of those who choose them, and so the Europeans choose words to entrench their idiologies and to sabotage positive perceptions about others.

(There’s a difference between ideology, as from an idea, and idiology, as from idiocy.)

Which is to say, the idiology of the European Miracle (without which Africa(ns) is(are) nothing) continues to be ever pervasive. Even in soccer. European journalists, pundits, and writers pick and choose their words carefully. They mince no words when they attack Pogba with invectives and laud De Bruyne with praises for just barely making the team. (No objective human would put Pogba and De Bruyne in the same class of players).

The problem though is that Africans haven’t learned that European languages, the English language for instance, is twisted in various ways by the native speaker who picks his words very carefully to further a particular world view. In fact I contend that in the same way that Europeans cannot en mass learn an African language so as to be careful in the choice of African words that could paint a whole new worldview, Africans too, en mass, cannot decipher the careful choices Europeans make when they pick their words to entrench racist idiologies for instance. You cannot expose the European Miracle if you cannot scrutinize the language in which it is carefully and willfully propagated.

My advice? Words are import. So speak your own language so you can carefully grasp the choice of your own words. Stop using, en mass, other people’s languages. Save yourselves trauma! For instance, the Ewes of Ghana do not speak or write Ga or Twi, for the very reason that if they did, they would have to call themselves with the pejorative names of “Ayigbe”. So the Ewes speak Ewe, and they write in Ewe, and they think of themselves only as Ewes. One more. No Ga person thinks of himself as the pejorative “Locust” or “Nkran.” Ga people speak Ga to avoid the idiotic use of the word “Nkran.”

You see? Speak your own language and what others think cannot matter!

10 COMMENTS

  1. Same tried and tested formula…white shooter labeled deranged loner….black or arab equals terrorists…😅😅

  2. Nkran – fantsi. Nkranee – twi. The problem starts with us ( Africans) since all your postings are delivered in the English language. I wish I could one day read some of your postings in Ga or Ewe. They say the English language is for trade or whatever. My Chinese buddy across the street careless whether one is educated in Oxford or the kotobaabi primary school. He knows how to count his money and speak his native language and the world still goes round and round.

    • You make a point. But do you not see the import of the advice for the generations after us? You know I, and you perhaps, are products of the decisions our parents made. I want us to make a better decision for the sake of the generations to come. Often I find the attack on me writing in English rather odd. It is as if the import of the advice, of the essay, for the betterment of our common heritage is lost. But I understand.

    • Narmer Amenuti, I do respect your masterly over the Queen’s language and I do appreciate your insights. Thank you, Senior!

  3. Great observation Sir, English language is one of the mediums that can be disguised to convey overt intent and behavior.

  4. I would love to hear positive comments about these players when I watch futbol games but you’re right it’s always about how great some white European player is but they do not even say positive things about the black European players. Maybe just Raheem Sterling because he is English but even for him those white European also complain about his playing. Now that’s just racist.

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