A number of countries within the continent of Africa have had brief dalliances with speedway,
from as early as 1928. Information about most is varied and often limited.

EGYPT   KENYA   MOZAMBIQUE    LESOTHO   BOTSWANA   NTH'N RHODESIA   STH'N RHODESIA


EGYPT
      Inter-war:  Zamalek                    Post-war:  Tel el Kabir                        1979:      Cairo
  

1928/29
   Amongst African countries Egypt has had the longest exposure to speedway racing other than South Africa, with 3 different and distinct phases over a 50 year period, - all British led and organised.
  After the initial 1928 UK season a group of 20 riders were involved with a promotion at Zamalek near Cairo, constructing a track within an existing greyhound circuit. Over a short two month period a dozen or so meeetings were staged, but when totaliser betting started race fixing became so apparent as to dissilusion the paying public and the exercise folded.         Press articles
                
Post-War
   During the British post-war occupation of Egypt many soldiers based in the Canal Zone filled their free time constructing ovals and racing stripped-down despatch-rider bikes, on a purely amateur basis. From Alexandria to Cairo, and on the canal, they gave themselves team names such as Suez 'Lions', Fayid 'Dicers' and Tel-el-Kabir 'Dons'. An Army Championship was also staged, see photo below.          Press articles.



1979
   In 1979 a second tour of the Middle East arranged by Mssrs. Fearman Chandler and Boothroyd for 16 British League riders was extended that year to include 2 meetings in Cairo in addition to Kuwait and Abu Dabi. Sponsored by Craven 'A' cigarettes, a 30,000 crowd sell-out saw riot police on duty as Chris Morton won the championship event from Peter Collins. On the second night the Morton and Collins clans again dominated, Dave M. and Phil C. (4th and 5th on day 1) taking 3rd and 2nd spots respectively behind second-time winner Chris M.     Report and full scores.

….........................................................…............................................................................

KENYA
 
   In August 1951 Nairobi, capital of Kenya, saw its first proper speedway meeting, a local enterprise with local European and Asian riders, attended by a paying crowd of 12,000 (plus a few thousand more over the fence.)
Team matches between the Pirates, Dragons and Gazelles were staged at the monthly meetings.
  
Initially bikes were ex-WWII Matchless and Bitzas but 12 JAPs were soon imported and sold on to the best riders, who were mainly Sikhs, as trials idenified that 100-octane aviation fuel was best for the local conditions.

   The track at Pumwani was 485 yards, around a football pitch, and a 1-lap track record was set at 24.90 secs. by Mohamed Shaffi. Top European was Pat Dale, a some-time West Ham novice, but it was Shaffi who took the first season's points' championship. Because of their religion Sikh riders were given dispensation to wear turbans rather than a helmet as long as it was tied under the chin, after some had blown off !
  The project ran for at least 2½ years, with some riders attending from Mombasa on the coast and neighbouring Kampala in Uganda. More information is given in the the press article HERE.

 






..................................................................................................................................................................

MOZAMBIQUE

   A one-and-only speedway meeting in Mozambique, took place on November 2nd, 1956 when a group of Johannesburg-based riders led by New Zealander Trevor Redmond staged an event
in the capital, Lorenco Marques. Three years earlier Redmond had accompanied his South African promoter Buddy Fuller to the Portugese colony to explore possibilities, but the idea had been discounted, - wisely, it would seem, for the 1956 operation, as recalled by Barry Briggs, (extract below,) proved a flop.

December 1952   (T.Redmond article, Sp.News, UK, 7.1.1953)
   "Last week, Buddy Fuller and myself flew down to Lourenco Marques, the main town in Portuguese East Africa, situated due east from Johannesburg, a distance of approximately 350 miles. The main idea was to see how the town looked for speedway racing. Chief entertainment in this place is bull fighting but none was in progress at the time of our visit. Pity, really, 'cos I should have liked to judge this sport for myself. The weather was very much hotter than J'burg, the difference being down at sea level. Before we left I had to get a visa which cost me a pound, but, on arrival at the airport, the police weren't satisfied and, after lots of Portuguese talk and what have you, we found a friend who acted as interpreter and arranged for us to go and see the British Consul. He soon fixed everything, - I was very impressed with his courteous and businesslike manner."
  Too Tired : "We visited several stadiums but, at present, there are no tracks laid down. Several contacts were made and, possibly, we may have a few trips to what is known as the Paris of South Africa in the future. There is plenty of night life but, by the time we had finished all the business, we were ready for bed. Pity ! "



November 1956    (Extract from B.Briggs autobiography, "Briggo", 1972)

  "Trevor's (Redmond) enterprise took a knock when he hauled some of us off to Mozambique. He drove up in a van which contained all the bikes and equipment, and promised Peter Craven, who wasn't going to this meeting - , that the whole thing would be great. When we had got everything going up there, he was going to send for Peter as the next big drawcard. Unfortunately Peter never did make it to Mozambique."
   "Trevor's optimism let him down for once. He organised a big parade through the town for pre-match publicity. He should have realised that in the early afternoon nobody wants to know. The temperature is up around 100° degrees, and only about 100 people bothered to turn out for the grand welcome. The rest were sleeping. The attendance at the one and only meeting wasn't much better.
"

….........................................................…............................................................................

LESOTHO

Speedway in the Lesotho capital
of Maseru in 1975

   The attached press report and photos have recently come to light, about the first ever speedway meeting held in Lesotho. It was promoted by 7x SA champ Denis Newton, in conjunction with Holiday Inns. Nothing is known about a possible second meeting, but is considered unlikely to have happened.
   CCJ/DA 15.1.2019



.................................................................................................................................................................

BOTSWANA
  Almost nothing is known about racing in this small land-locked state other than the briefest of mentions in the 1991 edition of Loader’s Annual:
     "The province of Natal is host to the 400 metre King’s Park circuit which is promoted by former international, Buddy Fuller, while several infrequent meetings have been staged at Richards Bay, also in Natal, Orange Free State capital, Bloemfontein, and indoors at Sun City, and across the north western border, in Botswana."

.................................................................................................................................................................

NORTHERN RHODESIA

(present-day Zambia)
                                                   Speedway in these 2 nations is fully covered in their own webpages.
SOUTHERN RHODESIA
(present-day Zimbabwe)



Return to HOME page

 

Make a free website with Yola