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By Ryszard Kapuscinski

Half diary and half reportage, The football War is a impressive chronicle of struggle within the overdue 20th century. among 1958 and 1980, operating essentially for the Polish Press company, Kapuscinski coated twenty-seven revolutions and coups in Africa, Latin the United States, and the center East. right here, with attribute cogency and emotional immediacy, he recounts the tales at the back of his professional press dispatches—searing firsthand money owed of the scary, gruesome, and comically absurd facets of existence in the course of battle. The football War is a unique paintings of journalism.

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They carry greetings. greater than as soon as he has talked to a customer status outdoors the door as he had a bathtub. ‘I slept 4 hours on usual. they offer me no peace, they enable me no relaxation. simply because i'm a robotic that's wound up within the morning and calls for neither sleep nor feeding. ’ whilst the superior is going to the rustic he sleeps in a hut. occasionally he talks on the street until eventually overdue at evening and remains in a few probability accommodation rather than returning domestic. this fashion he wins over every body he meets. And hence he spends his time. Six years later, on 6 March 1957, Ghana earnings its independence. it's the first liberated kingdom in black Africa. the group stands in West finish sq.. the group stands within the sunlight, lower than the white African sky. the gang stands and waits for Nkrumah, a black, sufferer crowd, a sweating crowd. This sq., this brown frying pan within the centre of Accra, is complete to its edges. Late-comers try to squeeze in and it'll now not take even more ahead of the fence bordering the sq. starts off to splinter, toppling the youngsters perched atop the slats like bananas. it truly is scorching. this kind of rally can be held closer the ocean. there's a breeze there and the arms supply coloration. yet what solid are a breeze and coloration if the historic resonance is misplaced? And heritage teaches us that, in 1950, Kwame Nkrumah referred to as a rally precisely the following, within the West finish sq.. the folk additionally got here and stood then, and that warmth stood above the floor; it used to be January, the torrid month, the month of drought. Then, Kwame Nkrumah spoke approximately freedom. Ghana needs to be self sufficient, and independence is whatever that needs to be fought for. yet there are 3 roads. the line of revolution. This, the speaker rejected. the line of closed-door pacts. This, too, the speaker rejected. after which there's the struggle for freedom through peaceable ability. The battle-cry of that fight used to be proclaimed then, the following in West finish sq.. Now it's the anniversary of that day, nearly a vacation; the most popular makes a speech and says what each chief worldwide likes to say: ‘Our street used to be the best one. ’ Twelve tall poles were situated around the sq.. On each grasp 8 pix of Nkrumah, ninety-six in all. Nylon ropes run among the poles, and from the ropes are draped nylon banners: at the banners the Heineken beer brand. It feels like an outstanding send. The send won't ever sail. it's grounded at the sand-bar of the town, and the folks are looking ahead to what comes subsequent. Ministers and leaders of the governing get together look, submitting directly to the tribune. they're dressed for the social gathering in mufti. the gang comes alive and applause may be heard. If an individual within the crowd is an acquaintance or cousin of a minister, he bellows a greeting: ‘Hello, Kofi! ’ (to the Minister of Education). ‘Hello, Tawiah! ’ (to Tawiah Adamafio, the social gathering Secretary General). They answer with a gesture and settle into deep armchairs. a priest steps as much as the microphone. I realize him: Reverend Nimako, the top of the Methodist Church in Accra. The pastor brings his arms jointly and closes his eyes.

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