Book Launch: African Soccerscapes

Please join us at Lobby Books for the launch of Peter Alegi’s latest book:

African Soccerscapes: How A Continent Changed the World’s Game

From Accra and Algiers to Zanzibar and Zululand, Africans have wrested control of soccer from the hands of Europeans and through the presence of magicians and healers, the rise of different playing styles and the rich rituals of spectatorship, have turned soccer into a distinctively African activity.

African Soccerscapes explores how Africans adopted soccer for their own reasons and on their own terms. Soccer was a rare form of ‘national culture’ in postcolonial Africa, where stadiums and clubhouses became arenas in which Africans challenged colonial power and expressed a commitment to racial equality and self-determination.

New nations staged matches as part of their independence celebrations and joined the world body, FIFA. The Confederation Africaine de Football democratized the global game through antiapartheid sanctions and increased the number of African teams in the World Cup finals.

The unfortunate results of this success are the departure of huge numbers of players to overseas clubs and the influence of private commercial interests on the African game. But the growth of the women’s game and South Africa’s hosting of the 2010 World Cup also challenge the notion of Africa as a backward, ‘tribal’ continent populated by one-dimensional victims of war, corruption, famine, and disease.

About the author:

Peter Alegi is Associate Professor of African History at Michigan State University. He is the author of Laduma! Soccer, Politics, and Society in South Africa. He is an editorial board member of the International Journal of African Historical Studies and book review editor of Soccer and Society. Alegi co-hosts the ‘Africa Past and Present’ podcast – the most widely accessed academic podcast about African affairs. The author is currently based at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Pietermaritzburg

Date: Friday 21st May

Time: 5:00 for 5:30pm

Venue: Lobby Books, Cape Town Democracy Center, 6 Spin Street

Contact: Andreas Spath at

Tel: 021 467 7606

Peter will be in conversation with a Guest of Honour. Light Snacks and Refreshments will be served


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