IN CAIRO, EGYPT
‘Fara Mbe’ official 2019 Afcon song
Admittedly, this piece of information is coming so late in the tournament but it is good FYI. The official song for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations is called “Fara Mbe” – “Football Together”. It was created by the Calema band, two young men called Fradique and Antonio from the Atlantic Ocean island nation Sao Tome e Principe, to celebrate the passion for football, beyond team divides. The song is lively, modern and catchy. “We wanted to create a piece of music that unites people and countries, all across Africa,” said the duo.
No mitumba in Cairo please
Yours truly has yet to see mitumba – second hand clothes, being sold here in Cairo. Clothes are available brand new and their prices are friendly to the pocket. Many clothing items are made in Egypt but you can also find plenty of imported stuff from America, Europe and Asia. A nice cotton jersey will cost about 80 EGP (about Sh500) and a trouser about 120 EGP (Sh1,000). But just like other markets, there are places where things are cheap and places where things are expensive, it really depends on your pocket. Invariably, the quality will also differ depending with the price. A good leather shoe here will cost between 300-400 EGP (Sh1,875-Sh2,500).
Guns aplenty but in uniformed forces’ hands
Cairo certainly has its fair share of handguns. Almost every police officer you see has a holster packing a piece. In several establishments like hotels and public venues you will always see plain dressed men with holstered guns. The irony though is that even with this high presence of guns, acquiring this deadly weapon as a civilian is near impossible. Guns are only in the hands of the uniformed forces. Only policemen with certain ranking and the military carry the iron pieces. The military brandish some deadly assault weapons displayed openly and menacingly. Clearly, everybody has to stick on their lanes.
Africa Nations’ changing trophies
Three different trophies have been awarded during the tournament’s history. The current one is the third. The first and the second were awarded to Ghana and Cameroon in 1978 and 1984 respectively.
Both nations won the trophies three times and therefore earned the right to take them for keeps. The current trophy was first awarded in 2002, and Egypt won it for good after completing their historic treble of titles in 2010. However, unlike Ghana and Cameroon, Egypt were presented with a replica to keep forever. This year’s winner will either be a new name in the elevated list of champions – Senegal, or a name that was last seen on the list in1990 - Algeria.