Welcome to the Jungle: African Athletics Championship Becomes Global Fiasco

Diversity Macht Frei
August 5, 2018

Sport was supposed be the one thing Africans were good at. Running away from lions and tigers in the jungle really builds up the muscles and weeds out the unfit. What a shame, then, that the African Athletics Championship, currently underway in Nigeria, instead of showcasing Africa’s sporting prowess to the world, turned into an embarrassing fiasco that appeared to confirm traditional racist stereotypes about the unfortunate denizens of the Dark Continent.

Arriving teams were first stranded at Lagos airport because the Nigerian organisers had apparently failed to make provision for interconnecting flights to Asaka where the games were being held. Athletes had to sleep on the floor all night.

When the games finally got underway, things didn’t improve much. The wrong anthems were played and flags were flown upside down.

The water tower collapsed and the stadium resembled a dump for toxic waste.

When you see the quality of the Africans who were organising it, the mystery of how it could have been such a disaster is instantly resolved; only to be replaced by another one: how could such obvious incompetents have got the job in the first place? Probably they were members of the right tribe or something.

The white guy here tries to keep a straight face then gently suggests to the Africans that they let white people help them organise it next time.