Exactly 31 days to the 33rd edition of the Africa Cup of Nations, Afcon scheduled for Cameroon, we take a closer look at the tournament’s official match ball, “Toghu.”
Without venturing into the technicalities of the Umbro-made ball, we delve into its meaning both in terms of culture and the politics of Cameroon.
Toghu is a traditional attire that was mostly worn by royalties in Cameroon but is now considered the national dress.
Described as “unique to Cameroon”, Toghu traces its roots to the North-West part of the country.
North-West Cameroon is one of the two troubled English-speaking (Anglophone) regions of the country which have been actively demanding for independence.
Cameroon is predominantly French-speaking (Francophone).
The choice of the name Toghu as the official match ball for the biggest football fest in Africa is thus symbolic as the government wants to send a message of unity across the country.
“It’s a way by the government to pacify the English-speaking regions that have been rocked by conflicts for about five years now.
“It’s also a way of positioning the regions politically and diplomatically,” said Cameroonian journalist Daniel Ekonde.