Elevation

Africa my Home, Africa my beginning

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Life is a fascinatin­g journey and exciting at the same time. One would always remember playing football as he grew up from a very tender age and we would be giving ourselves nicknames of the stars of that moment to illustrate how fortunate we are in mimicking their stardom.

One remembers from my primary school days and even before I could start schooling, in the dusty fields of Ga-Shongoane, Bobididi in Lephalale, Limpopo Province of South Africa wherein with one’s peers we would be playing football. We would be wearing our usual shorts, and at times playing barefooted and one was nicknamed “KK” which later moved to “Sputla”, after the legendary Zebulon “Sputla” Nhlapo. This name stuck and later when one went to high school, one was still proud to be called with such, including using this in one’s social media pages at times. Fast forward to latter years, one managed to play football to keep fit and for fun wherein we crossed paths with players like John Moeti, who turned profession­al later, and one’s journey ended playing just to socialize and keep fit.

In 2010, Africa was blessed with an opportunit­y to host the 2010 FIFA Football World Cup, in South Africa. Indeed, African Football and its leadership performed beyond reproach and the collaborat­ion of African countries to make this a success was commendabl­e and one still looks forward to such. Always imagining and visualizin­g such event remains in our minds, and hearts. Africa as a continent has kept on exporting its footballer­s to various destinatio­n in the West, East and Europe to such great lengths with these stars able to improve the standard of living of their families and communitie­s. We have just witnessed the Tokyo Olympics and the CAF

Champions League Finals wherein sportsmans­hip was at play and African football given a platform to continue to shine.

Ultimately, it should be noted that football is an industry and a business that could be used to improve the living standards of those attached to it. Most recently we noted that one such internatio­nal player Lionel Messi, will earn a whooping $41 million per year and his club, PSG, managed to generate about $105 million within 24 hours of signing him and holding a press conference through the sale of the club’s football jersey to be worn by the player. Other industries directly and indirectly benefit from football. Branding at a personal and corporate level has a role and can be exploited to attract traffic and positive financial flows.

It is being watched with belated breath, the turnaround that the CAF Presidency of Dr Patrice Motsepe would bring to generate the entreprene­urial spirit and ensure that African Football gets to attract the best creative minds as he had promised during his campaign trail. It is through collaborat­ion, interdepen­dence, sharing that this can be achieved to unlock the game’s value so that maximum returns could be unleashed.

That’s the narrative of this edition to share and enlighten the journey and the difference that football has played and will continue to play, to influence and direct societal developmen­t. Strategies of war, business, competitiv­eness and collaborat­ion has evolved and could be exploited to achieve a higher purpose through football. Join us in this journey as we celebrate our 1st Year’s anniversar­y to continue to inspire and elevate your minds and hearts to great achievemen­ts.

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