Accra, Ghana | Ghanaian writer Cameron Duodu reflects richly on the details of village football-making in his regular column, “Under the Neem Tree,” in the December New African.
We took a cigarette tin into the bush and tapped the sap out of a gum tree called ofuntum. If you scraped off the bark of this tree, white gum came out of it which congealed when you boiled it. You would then find a round stone or orange and pour the rubber around it in order to shape it into a ball. The results were often pathetic. But so long as it was rubbery enough to bounce up and down, you thought you had got a “ball,” and you and your friends would go and find somewhere to kick it about. Do the David Beckhams of this world know anything about such things?
Later, Duodu compares a patched leather football he once encountered to the multicolored coat of Joseph.