Reconceptualizing sport for development and peace (SDP): an ideological critique of Nelson ‘Madiba’ Mandela’s engagement with sport

Oscar Mwaanga, Kolawole Adeosun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


As the excitement of the sport-for-development-and-peace (SDP) movement settles down, there is expected criticism as to whether the current practice and theorization of SDP can actually deliver authentic development in the global south. The frustration is partly due to the classical theorization of SDP which tends to centralize sport as the unique tool for social change with little regard for cultural factors. Inevitably, many authors are turning to alternative theorizations of SDP with hopes of realistically progressing the field. Following this directive, the paper offers an alternative conceptualization of SDP through a critical re-examination of Nelson Mandela’s views and engagement with sport. We argue that Mandela’s popularized assertions of sport as a tool for social change were taken out of context helping construct the current SDP paradigm built upon pseudo realistic foundations. In turn, this paper uses Ubuntu, a Sub-Saharan African cultural ideology to propose an alternative theorization of SDP.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1743-0445
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalSport in Society
Publication statusPublished - 26 Mar 2019


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