Africa is a continent that is deeply invested in all kinds of sports as a means of youth empowerment, especially football. This country has produced and is still producing some of the very best footballers of all time, who have played in club football all over the world. But, in a place where electricity is still a rarity and where it does not get transmitted to every part of the continent, it is very difficult to just switch on the television or turn on the WiFi and your laptop to check out match scores or even watch the match. This is exactly where the job of a football commentator comes into the fold. Football commentators hold a very special place in the hearts of all those who live in the remote corners of Africa and depend on the crispy and lucid voices of the football commentators who transmit every little thing about a football match via radios, transistors and so on.
The following is a list of the top African football commentators who make the game a lively event even for those who cannot watch it in person or due electricity issues:
- Joe Lartey- Ghana: This man has been covering football and performing his job as a commentator for such a very long time now. Along with partner Harry Thompson, Joe Lartey covers all the football news for state broadcaster GBC (Ghana Broadcasting Corporation). Before private news channels cropped up all over Ghana, Lartey and Thompson enjoyed a kind of monopoly over football news reporting, although they also covered social and political news as well. The phrase that Thompson coined- ‘Over to you, Joe Lartey’ has now become a talk of legend in sports commentary in recent times;
- Ernest Okonkwo- Nigeria: Another great football commentator from the time of Joe Lartey, Ernest Okonkwo is most definitely regarded as the doyen of Nigerian Football Commentary with his penchant to dole out generous nicknames to the football players of his time. ‘Mathematical’, ‘BlockBuster’, ‘Chairman’, ‘Man Mountain’ and ‘Chief Justice’ are some of the interesting names that he gave to the promising Nigerian national football players of his time who include Segun Odegbami, Aloysius Atuegbu, Christian Chukwu, Emmanuel Okala, and Adokie Amasimeka respectively. Okonkwo never took his job as a duty in a perfunctory sense. He always doled out ready judgements when the gameplay was poor and drew generous inspiration from those he deemed to be the rising stars of Nigerian Football. So much so that the Press Gallery of the Teslim Balogun Stadium will probably be named after Okonkwo soon.
Some other African football commentators whom you could look up include Ishola Folorusho, Dennis Liwewe, Zama Masondo and so on. So, if you ever feel like some inspiration to get into the sports news section of journalism, you know where to plant your foot at now, right?