Welcome to Volume 6 of IMPUMELELO. Producing an issue of a journal requires a period of gestation, one longer than nearly everyone involved would desire. Although this issue is coming out about six months after Volume 5, it is still an arduous and time consuming process to coordinate with the authors from multiple locations in Africa and the United States, work with reviewers’ schedules, and edit various drafts of the contributions. In spite of these hurdles, I am pleased with this issue, for reasons listed below.
The lead article by Dean Allen is a continuation of the two articles from Sports History Conference in the last issue and the final in our series drawn from the conference. Allen’s article documents the importance of looking at the history of sports as greater than just a history of games; it provides a reflection and window into wider social, economic, cultural, and political circumstances. In the context of South Africa, it demonstrates how cricket can be seen as far more than a sport; it was an extension of British imperialism. Furthermore, using primary sources from an individual, Allen illustrates the value of such historical documents.
The second article by Majaro-Majesty is an intriguing view of the role sports, especially fan clubs, and how they might be used as an integrative force in multi-ethnic situations. Using three case studies, he suggests that, through loyalty to a football team and with the mechanism of fan clubs, a new identity is being formed, one that may over-ride previous ones. Though the evidence here is limited, it indicates a possible new role for sports in development efforts.
This year marks the death of a noted African sportsman, Manute Bol. We wanted to reflect briefly on his passing. Jennifer McArdle, the Assistant Editor, has written a short tribute to recognize his role and contributions.
The final section of this issue represents a new feature for the journal. This is the year of the World Cup in South Africa, an event that focused global attention on the country and sport. In recognition of that, we asked for brief contributions that were reflections on it. The ones included here are very different in tone, length, and content, written at various points during the games, reflecting multiple perspectives.
I hope you will find the contents stimulating and informative. I welcome comments on this issue and contributions for future ones. You can visit our website to find submission guidelines: see http://www.ohio.edu/sportsafrica/journal/submission.htm
Bob J. Walter