By Emmanuel Kele
Twenty-four young African Journalists from twelve countries of Africa have concluded their Twenty-Ten World Cup media coverage workshop in Cairo, Egypt.
The workshop brought together a genuine united Africa from South Africa, Angola, via Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Sudan, Liberia, Ghana, and many other countries from the continent. The one week workshop which is preparing journalists for the coverage of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa focuses on production skills and story-telling.
The workshop and training for the journalists were conducted under the theme “African’s telling African stories”.
The Twenty Ten is a multidisciplinary media project focusing on strengthening African journalists from the various disciplines. It aims to encourage media professionals to creatively produce and distribute articles, images, broadcasts and multimedia productions related to African football and the society.
The workshop was organized by the Free Voice, in partnership with the Localmondial, Africa Media Online, and the World Press Photo.
Challenges for the Journalists
The journalists are facing huge challenges in the coming months by delivering challenging stories on football until June next year when the World Cup convenes in South Africa. The first articles of the journalists delivered will be distributed to the world via Africa Media Online. Stories like “legacies of players on the field” or “Women in Egypt challenge the Egyptian tradition” are stories having an impact on society.
Egypt is an Arab and Islamic country with a society largely governed by Islamic norms and tradition, thus, it is an unlikely setting for women’s soccer to flourish in the country. However, women’s football has made some inroads into Egyptian football where soccer was being dominated by men for years. During the workshop which includes outside coverage, the journalists managed to find out that women’s football league has been in existence since the 1990s although it faces some challenges but it is expected to rise to the level of its male counterpart. The female football in Egypt was established by Dr. Sahari Al Hawari who is now a referee and a member in the Egyptian Football Association in the mid-1990s.
Football in Egypt has become a passionate game whereby the young, elderly, women, and everybody is playing the game. Thus, Egypt is organizing the Under-20 World Cup tournament which coincided with the workshop, and the journalists also covered the event.
However, in the round sixteen of the Under-20 competitions, Spain will play against Italy for the first time in the finals of the youth competitions. The two sides are among the most successful national sides in the European Union Football youth competitions. Other matches included, Paraguay playing against Korea Republic, Ghana verses South Africa-this is the sixth African derby in the history of the FIFA Under-20 World Cup. The host, Egypt, will play against Costa Rica, while Nigeria verses Germany, Brazil against Uruguay and the other teams in the round include Hungary, Czech Republic, Venezuela and the United Arab Emirates.
Similar workshops will be organized in Ghana, Nigeria, and Burkina Faso in which other journalists will participate.
In this project, a total of 108 participants have been selected, by an independent professional commission, and this group is known as the All Stars. At the end of 2009, a selected few of the All Stars will qualify to become part of the Dream Team that will travel to South Africa during the World Cup in 2010 to report on the event.
During the World Cup in South Africa, the non-selected journalists in the Dream Team will cover the World Cup tournament from a truly African perspective not within South Africa, but by reporters throughout the continent.
Emmanuel Kele was one of two Sudanese journalists who participated in the Twenty Ten training in Cairo. This is the report he posted to the website of his radio station when he got back home.