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When I said goodbye to the Greeks who were heading for Rustenburg for Greece vs Nigeria, they assured me that humiliation and disaster awaited them. The best they were hoping for against Nigeria was a goal. It would be Greece’s first at the World Cup.

Meanwhile I joined up with a new and equally unlikely pair of companions: an Italian-American historian and a Mexican anthropologist. Our plan was to drive three hours north to Polokwane, in the Limpopo region,…

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