Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sports Doping, African Style, and Another Bad Question from the BBC

I was sitting around being mildly hypnotized by the variety of Kiswahili accents on BBC Idhaa ya Kiswahili when I tuned back in for this story: a FIFA anti-doping official type was in South Africa attending a conference on traditional practices (read: witchcraft and herbal medicines) that are used to enhance footballers performance.

The challenge? Some of the substances consumed by African footballers might actually give them an unfair advantage on the pitch. But how does FIFA test for this variety of unknown substances. Heh. I wish them the best of luck.

Then the Beeb brought down my intellectual high with this stupid-ass question: "Can coups in AFrica be a good thing? Are they bad, or can they achieve something good?"

Hold up, now, Beeb. How patronizing can you get? A coup must, by its very nature, use illegal means to change the balance of power, thereby suspending democratic processes and placing everyone in that polity at the mercy of the perpetrators of the coup. Whether or not outright violence is used, who in their right mind can support coups as a viable regime-change mechanism?

Does the Beeb think that the British might enjoy a coup or two, perhaps? No? Then why the hell should Africans do so? Institutional racism sucks.


  1. Great post! I am open minded about coups in Africa. As much as I hate them, but in some instances I feel that they are justified as in this case:http://drfaustine.blogspot.com/2010/02/coup-detat-in-niger.html#links

  2. Ha ha! - The Beeb asks many odd questions - esp on their BBC Africa web. We (me, the mzungu) are so used to think that certain things are OK if it happens in Africa - only.

    However, sometimes a coup has to happen. Africa or Europe. My country needs one badly at present - the government has just been reshuffled democratically - and I am honestly not sure if that's enough to bring Denmark out of its narrowminded haze....

  3. Thanks Faustine, Pernille. If this was a democratic blog, I would have to concede defeat ;) the tyrannical "masses" have spoken, and I am in the minority of people who are uncompromisingly anti-coup. Or I would be if the lurkers would actually come out of the woodwork. Heh.

    On a more serious note: I suspect that one of the luxuries of living in a peaceful society is the opportunity to play with the idea of a coup. Living through one, however peaceful, is not nearly as fun as one might think. But I would be interested to hear from those who have lived through one...

  4. Oh, and don't even get me started on stupid-ass questions asked by media houses! There isn't enough whiskey in the world for that discussion.


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