TRUE: Outside In

I was asked to become the TRUE Agency’s Editor-at-Large with the task of developing original editorial content for the website and brand. With offices in London, New York and Paris, TRUE defines and implements effective content strategies to reach, engage and inform selected audiences. Due to the management team’s roots in publishing, TRUE provides credible recommendations and tailored content solutions to clients all over the world using emerging media technologies to help brands and institutions innovate.



“If we win today nobody goes to work tomorrow. And if we lose today nobody goes to work tomorrow.” -Spectator Emmanuel Clinton on the Ghana vs. Nigeria match 3-0, 2/03/08

Outside In

Sometimes being an outsider at the African game is better than being an insider. It’s not about the ticket price or the public profiling or being able to actually watch the match. Attending the game from outside the stadium is more about the maelstrom of feeling; the pre-game tension, the collective concentration, the unleashed euphoria of the lifeforce that is African football and the lifeworld surrounding it. It is a hazing, to be sure, an initiation into the cult of the authentic. It’s something comparable to taking up ranks with an underground league of nations – a joint reserved strictly for the “outsider” insiders.

Palm wine drunks, pickpockets, pimps, a band of Togolese chefs on exodus from Lomé, a posse of Nigerian rude bwoys from the backstreets of Lagos all commingle in a mash-up of culture, religion, tribe and a shared obsession with football. You wade among this sea of the new familiar. You participate in this rite of passage that is specific to place (Accra, Ghana), event (The African Cup) and subject (football). As one sportscaster put it: “I never watch a match without my heart medicine close at hand.” It’s a kind of metaphysical, multinational, transcultural workout that leaves you feeling stripped down to the bare essence of heartbreak, jubilation and reckless abandon once, and if, you make it out the other end.