“And now some Wimbledon tennis live from Lagos“. Sounds pretty stupid, doesn’t it? Wimbledon is pretty English wouldn’t you agree old chap? Strawberry’s and cream and what not. Maybe some tea and cucumber sandwiches to go with the afternoon game. Wimbledon is Wimbledon. Should be and would be held in and at Wimbledon every year. Wouldn’t think of moving that to Lagos or Johannesburg now would you? So why the hell would you move the Dakar Rally to South America?
Dakar. Good old Dakar. According to Wikipedia, Dakar is the capital of Senegal. I hope I didn’t really have to remind you of that. But just in case. And the Dakar Rally is a rally that ends in Dakar. It got its bloody name from Dakar, Senegal (in Africa). Come on guys, I feel stupid even writing this.
(Yes, it did stop in Egypt twice and Cape Town once, but they called it the Paris to Cape Town when they did the Cape Town thing. And okay, they once ended in Paris, but only after they went through Dakar.)
This isn’t the same as the English Premier League playing a few games outside England – although that is pretty stupid as well. The Dakar Rally has always been proud of their commitment to Africa. They even included it in their values. It is a central part of their values. They mention Africa in their values more than 10 times! They talk about how the Dakar Rally should excite Africa and respect African people. And that the Dakar Rally plays such an important role in boosting Africa’s image. Wow, they must be committed to Africa. Imagine the damage to our image if they decided to hold it in another country. No, they won’t do that. They know how bad it would be and they love us too much to do something like that.
They write about it as if they truly believe in this relationship between Africa and Europe. That Africa is in their bones and in their blood. They say that “the 28-year old relationship between Dakar and Africa has now matured. It has blossomed from a friendship into an alliance between two adults who have decided to share in the work as well as the celebration“. Isn’t that nice words? Isn’t that nice, empty words? Looks like the engagement is off.
The first sign of trouble and they run to the hills. Trouble in Dakar? No. Trouble on the route along the way. But this is a weak excuse. The route has always changed to adapt to threats and developments. It’s just the ending that stayed the same -DAKAR!
They should just take their rally and shove it where the sun don’t shine. They can have their rally. We just shook our heads when they drove past in any case. These crazy umlungu’s and their crazy cars. But you can’t have the name. Oh no. You want the rally? Then fine. Have it. But you can’t call it the Dakar Rally if you don’t have it end in Dakar. That’s ours baby. We had Dakar before you had rally. Call it the Chile Rally if you want (that’s where it will end in 2009). People won’t know whether it is the race to the loo after some strong, hot food or a reference to the reception you’ll get in Africa next time around, but see if I care. Call it the Not-So-Dakar Rally. But just don’t take our name with you. You have stolen enough over the last few hundred years. It’s ours. Dakar is ours. Or at least until the WTO tells us otherwise. Then we’ll rally in Dakar.
This is so stupid, I don’t even know how to end this blog.