The power of sport in Africa is unmatched. African sports fans are vocal and enthusiastic, contributing to making sport one of the key cultural celebrations across the whole continent. It’s no wonder the 2010 World Cup in South Africa was one of the most memorable sports moments in history. Africa has an undying love and passion for sport in all its forms. 

In the words of Liberian footballer Georgie Weah, 

“Sport matters, it has the power to help people.”

But what does Weah actually mean when he mentions the help that sport can drive?

Unsplash – CC0 Licence

Sport is togetherness for the community

Sport is more than an individual love story between fans and their favourite games and teams. Sport is a community coming together to watch, cheer, celebrate, and appreciate the talent of athletes and professional players. 

As such, it makes sense for streaming services to bring sport directly into our homes, building a community of fans around the globe. It’s no surprise that a giant like FIFA introduced a free streaming service for football fans, FIFA+. 

Sport can help create a sense of unity between fans, both in a geographic and cultural meaning. When communities come together, great things can happen. Sport offers an essential sense of belonging to fans. 

Sport is a source of income for many

Of course, the mind immediately goes to some of the best paid players in the world. But there is more to sport income than meets the eye. Matches can drive significant revenue to local towns and regions through sport tourism and merchandising. 

When a stadium hosts a game, hundreds of local residents can work around the venue, covering essential roles in security, catering, cleaning, billeting, communication, first aid, etc. 

Additionally, sport enthusiasts can also turn their knowledge and passion into profit. Writing sport reviews and articles can be a profitable side hustle. Many fans love reading the latest sports news, such as Alternatively, fans can also turn to smart betting systems to bet on big games and create a passive income. 

Sport offers hope

African sports figures have come together to help their communities during the COVID_19 pandemic. Global players, such as Sadia Mane and Serge Ibaka, appeared in the news during the pandemic for their support towards African communities. Yet, African sportsmen have shown their generous side long before COVID-19 through financial aid and infrastructural and social development. 

Georgie Weah, the only African football to receive the Ballon d’Or, has been inspired by Nelson Mandela to enter politics. He shared his desire to end Liberia’s streak of violence and political turmoil. 

Didier Drogba, the Ivorian footballer, called to end violence in his country and established a foundation to support the development of hospitals. Drogba has also participated in many health campaigns targeting malaria and AIDS in the Ivory Coast. 

Both Weah and Drogba showcase the unique power of sport in Africa and the way many sport figures can help create a safer and healthier environment for the local communities. 

Is sport a healer for Africa? It is a powerful entity that can create togetherness, income, and even peace to some extent. Africa and sport are a match made in heaven, and we can only hope to continue to see more and more of its positive sides across the continent. 

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