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World Cup Soccer and Related Culture and Books On South Africa

Updated on December 31, 2012

FIFA Soccer and Local African Teams

This book to be reviewed in an extraordinary tale about southern Africa, soccer, and mystery. It makes an extraordinary start to one's summer reading in June, because the FIFA World Cup 2010 competitions began at this time in South Africa. This is well known; but be that as may be, this story makes good reading at any time in any year. Alexander McCall Smith's books are all good reading. Let's look -

Soccer City Stadium, Johannesburg FIFA World Cup 2010

Book Review: Author Alexander McCall Smith

Tea Time For the Traditionally Built - A mystery involving an important soccer team.

A famous soccer team in Botswana is having a mysterious problem. It seems that every game is being lost this season. Moreover, it seems that players do not care about the losses and may even be trying to facilitate a losing streak. This is bad, since football (association football or "soccer" to Americans) is a very important interest in Botswana and much of Africa.

The owner of the team is immersed in anguish and ready to tear out his hair with anxiety, but some of his players also wish to do this hair pulling - of their team owner's hair, for they are not happy. Something is wrong within the organization, but pinpointing that flaw is difficult at first.

Mr. Leungo Molofololo is the beleagured owner of the local Kalahari Swoopers football organization. Each and every member of his team shows a lot of athletic skill, but he suspects a traitor on the squad who may be ruining everything on purpose. He has no explanation as to why any of his players would be so disposed to "throw" a match - moreover, match after match. Someone must be paying off the culprit with big bribes.

The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency's Mma Previous Ramotswe would like to help Mr. Molofololo, but she knows not one thing about soccer. She knows about red bush tea. She also knows about people and so, perhaps she can help. She must give this some thought.

Associate Detective Grace Makutsi and Mma Ramotswe attend a match played by the Swoopers. They set about the task of interviewing the players in order to determine the true nature of the suspected game-throwing problem. Mma Ramotswe also takes her young adopted son to these matches and he is very excited by this, being a big soccer fan. It brings him joy, for which Mma Ramotswe is thankful. Mr. Molofololo is kind this young boy, taking his mind off his losing streak somewhat from time to time. Still, he is becoming desperate.

Work on soccer case is interrupted by worries of another matter in the lead detective's life. The little white van that Mma Ramotswe has employed faithfully as a friend and transport for many years is dying. Why can vans not last forever? Her husband, the super-mechanic Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, tries to comfort her with a new van and the thought that all machines finally wear out. Yet, she is haunted still by her lost little van. Perhaps one of the apprentices at the garage can help her save it.

Of Little Comfort

There is also trouble at the Double Comfort Furniture Shop - only its owner, Phuti Radiphuti does not realise that this is occurring. In fact, he is happy!

His fiance, Mma Grace Makutsi the Associate Detective, is very worried, however. Rra Radiphuti has hired her arch-nemesis, Violet Sephotho, the bottom of Grace’s graduating class at the Botswana Secretarial College. Violet is a liar all the time, but this time in stating that she scored very high in the class, so how will she handle sales at the furniture store? Dishonestly, of course! She will do it also while pursuing the well-to-do store owner as her future meal ticket. This should be obvious to Phuti, expect that he is a man, and everyone knows that they can be razzle-dazzled by such as Violet. Grace is worried in the ugly face of so much false glamour and manipulation that are Violet's hallmark behaviors.

Soccer Stadium
Soccer Stadium | Source

Solutions for a Soccer Team

So we have many mysteries in this story. What is wrong with the football club? Will Violet steal customers for the beds she is selling or sell something other than furniture? Who bought the tiny white van and where is it? Will the lady detectives understand enough about football in order to help solve their important case?

This is a pleasing story that provides mystery and suspense in the form of the puzzles of human interactions. It is just right for reading during soccer playoffs and championships.

More on FIFA

The world is excited with the completion of the refurbished Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa. Johannesburg is just south of Botswana and the Alexander McCall Smith mystery novel and HBO cable television series called The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agencythat stars singer Jill Scott and actress Anika Noni Rose as the ladies.

The weekly writing project at HubPages called HubMob targeted the FIFA World Cup 2010 at its topic of the week beginning May 24, 2010. A live feed to those entertaining articles is located below.


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    • profile image

      Kevin Schofield 7 years ago

      Your hub made me laugh - wonderful stuff! I watched the tv series a while back and absolutely loved it. After reading your hub I'll definitely treat myself to reading the novels. Thank you.

    • days leaper profile image

      days leaper 7 years ago from england

      Corruption in football Aka. "Soccer" (US.), and for that matter probably anywhere where there is Sport with money and prestige involved. For that matter any where that money is involved. Not just at the very top, but right down to the bottom. The casual allegation of some-one who had to resign for being honest, privately about what he thought highlights the matter further. Re. Is it Spain and another country making agreements. Shows that free speech is stiffled, and the only people who would do that tend to have something to hide. What's more I say it's the tip of a very big iceburg in very deep waters indeed!!!

      The manager would do well to torture it out of his players! Train them all night and the next day, deprive them of sleep and keep them separated until somebody talks, then sell/sack the players and involve the police. He could always replace those players with his reserves and youth team.

      In my own case. I was at an Ameteur Saturday league match as a substitute. My team were playing badly, as though they weren't even trying. To cut a long story short. It turns out the key players had been bribed by the other club to make one of their players look good. Having invited a scout to the game. As I wasn't seen as a key player I was new and keen to make up the 19- 6 deficit (approx.) So, on getting on played out of my skin much to the annoyance of their team, and told to "calm down" by mine. There is more to this story which I may blog at some point. Suffice for now to say Anger leads to hatred, that leads to violence and much nastiness.

      It put me off a bit. With this corruption going on at this lowest level. I think scouts should not have to wait for invites, but be able to just turn up like any-one else.

      No mystery at all really. Just speculation. What if some-one wants to buy the club -but cheaply!

      Thanks for reminding me about Soccer at this important time. I can take it for what it should be, a pass time, entertainment. There is far too much money in thre game. Of course any-one who can get such money would be a fool to refuse it. ...etc.

    • agvulpes profile image

      Peter 7 years ago from Australia

      The way you review makes my want to start reading again. I have not read a fiction novel for about 25 years!

      On the other hand we in Australia are looking forward to a good showing by our team in South Africa.

      "C'mon Aussie C'mon"

      I'm sure you will that call quite often!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 7 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      You can read most of the book dyring the match and perhaps even complete it. It is difficult for me to stop reading one of these by McCall Smith.

    • ethel smith profile image

      Eileen Kersey 7 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      Sounds like it will be a good one to read whilst Hubby is wallowing in the World Cup :)

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 7 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      The next book in the series is already out so I am looking forward to finding it soon. These are great stories about human nature.

    • randslam profile image

      Rand Zacharias 7 years ago from Kelowna, British Columbia

      Thanks for the thorough review, Patty. I occasionally watch The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency serial and love the culture and persistence of the group. I'm sure the mysteries will be solved with Mma taking care of business. Good story.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      Thank you for a wonderful story and I enjoyed reading it. My poor nerves. As they say, 'the suspense is killing me'.