A batch of sports direct mugs sent as part of a shipment of humanitarian aid to starving African children has been returned with a firm ‘Mahadsanid laakiin maya mahadsanid’ (‘thanks but no thanks’.)
According to Ipfam – the Ipswich version of Oxfam – the famished children of Ethiopia refused the 1,000 donated mugs because they were “Aad ugu dhaggan Afrika” (‘too tacky for Africa’.)
The cheap, oversized ‘in yer face’ ceramic mugs featuring the brand’s high-impact, primary-coloured logo, are a feature of kitchen cupboards in homes, businesses, and schools up and down the UK.
Also popular with white van men from across the manual labour sector, the basic mugs are ideal for delivering approximately two quarts of workmen’s tea which can be glugged at leisure by plumbers, chippies, roofers etc. instead of actually getting on with the job in hand.
The greatest love of all (Jacaylka ugu weyn dhammaan)
Upon receiving the shipment back at their Shirebrook, depot, a spokesperson for Sports Direct told the SUFFOLK GAZETTE that they had made the donation as a gesture of goodwill and regret any offence caused to the Africans.
Caroline Peterson, Head of ESG Compliance said, “Our intention was to relieve the suffering of the impoverished, poorly-educated children of Ethiopia who have been starving since the 80s. We believe that children are the future.
Teach them well, and let them lead the way. Show them all the beauty they possess inside. And if they fancy a cuppa every now and then, then let them have one. We thought the mugs would help. Sorry!”
F*ck that for a game of pirates (Ku qas in ciyaarta budhcad-badeedda)
The Editor of the SUFFOLK GAZETTE asked me to visit Somalia – on a boat – to interview some of the starving people who didn’t want the mugs. Unfortunately, I accidentally (ahem!) missed the embarkation and had to telephone instead. After about fourteen hours of being transferred, put on hold, etc. (who knew the dialling code for Somalia is +252?) I finally got to speak to twelve-year-old Bishaaro Cabdi, with the permission of her father, Eric Cabdi.
The Cabdi family are members of the Kanami tribe. They live in Tigray, one of the poorest areas of Ethiopia where food is often scarce. When I spoke to Bishaaro, her family of twelve had, since last Wednesday, only had half packet of stale Jacob’s Cream Crackers and a handful of pickled onions to eat between them.
I asked Bishaaro, why did the townsfolk return the Sports Direct mugs?
Struggling to make her tiny, frail voice heard on the crackling phone line, she slowly replied, “Waxaa laga yaabaa inaan nahay sabool iyo gaajo laakiin ma nihin kuwo fucking quus ah.” (‘We may be poor and hungry but we are not that fucking desperate.’)