If you look at the historical records of the modern world
you will observe that the only part of the world that was
not colonized was Europe. This was so because Europe was
doing the colonizing. From Chile in the extreme west to
Vietnam in the Far East, all the countries that were not
European fell under their influence because at some or
other time they were colonized by one or other European
They initially came for raw materials and then they saw
people as raw material. With the co-operation of local
people who Frantz Fanon refers to as ‘factors,’ they
extracted people from their natural environments and sold
them off as slaves. Their imperial project was complete
when they took over foreign lands as parts of their
The imperial system has ended but its effects, as is patent
for all to see, are far from eradicated.
Colonization is about the occupation of another’s land by
use of force. It is about submitting the indigenous people
to the dictates of the metropole country. It is about
taking control, ultimately, of all facets of colonized
people’ lives. It is about subjugating whole nations. It is
complete when one’s mind is filled with thoughts about the
metropole instead of one’s own country.
Football is an excellent example of intellectual
colonization. Over a number of years the process has been
shaped through use of a very important tool that is used as
part of the ideological apparatus: it is the media.
For many years we have been fed on a diet of English
football with the consequence being that numerous South
Africans express allegiance for an English team as opposed
to one that is South African.
This observation is particularly applicable to specific
social groups in the country. They support English teams
and have foreign players as their heroes. They advertise
their allegiance to these foreign teams by wearing the
team’s jersey and engage in football-talk with an English
team or player as the topic for discussion.
These people do not support South African football, so
they are unlikely to know the players’ names and it is
therefore impossible that they will have local players as
their heroes. They show a passing interest in the fortunes
of Bafana Bafana.
We thus have a situation where the football public is split
into two groups. The one group follows local football and
the other doesn’t.
This brings me to the formulation of a hypothesis which
states: There is a direct correlation between the degree of
access to information media and the degree of intellectual
colonization that a person experiences.
The invert of this hypothesis is: Those people with less
exposure to media show a low degree of intellectual
These hypotheses are almost commonsensical as what they
tell us is that a concomitant consequence of access to
media is the potential to imbibe ideology in various forms.
The conclusion thus reached is that the people who have
undergone the greatest degree of intellectual colonization
are those who have been consistently exposed to alien
knowledge forms. It is a truly ironical situation because
in our belief that we grow from exposure to variety we
now realize that there is a parallel process at work. In
actuality those most exposed to media show the greatest
degree of intellectual colonization and thus are the
biggest victims of the process.