Tuesday, July 6, 2010
The Black stars from the Gold coast
Permit me to make this mistake please, that is if at all it is indeed a mistake, the last time I felt like 100% of the population of Africans in the privacy of their homes felt truly like brothers with fellow Africans in far away corners from the deserts, mountains, forests, cities, villages through the north, east, west and south with no diplomatic stunts intended must have been when we saw a common enemy in apartheid during those dark days in South-Africa. Africa indeed truly united again in my adult years, and ironically it took a certain common enemy called Uruguay or common goal or let’s just say common gold called the FIFA World Cup™ in the country South-Africa again for this unity to come alive. The difference here is that while we won the apartheid battle, we did not win this Uruguayan battle.
We had no flag with which to replicate the African solidarity that was fully in the Supersport studio as displayed and suggested by the analysts before the game, I could not find a single piece of material to use in holding Ghana close to my heart, then Tywo stormed into his bedroom and came back with his three towels tied around his waist in layers such that the three can be visible; they were colors red, yellow and green and there we had the Ghanaian flag with only the black star missing! with a passionate shout “show them Ghana! Do this for the motherland! Looking more like a masquerade from an Ibadan village, we were simply having fun cracking up each other, but we both knew the feeling inside us was more than the laughter, we meant every bit of our actions and emotions. You can bet I made sure the MMS went round the rest of the family within minutes with funny text messages flowing and of course powerful ones from strange sources praying and soliciting for intercession prayers from me. Of note was the half time message from a senior friend and colleague who I think would rather watch an old edition of Project Fame than watch a live football match and it read “keep praying we are nearly there! Lord empower our brothers to defend totally and score 3 more, for we your children!”
When that last second penalty was given, it was like finally the victory was here but for a strange (though not anymore) reason I did not celebrate, a certain image flashed through my eyes and it was that of an Argentine called Requelme – gifted with an opportunity in dying minutes to save his club side Villarreal FC of Spain from defeat against Arsenal in the Champions league of 2006. He looked tense, shaky and nervous and consequently lost the penalty as Arsenal celebrated a victory made in heaven. I could not voice my pessimism, I only prayed that the almighty would give us the day; experience has taught me that the most influential players in the team get the nod to take charge in such situations but they can also be the ones that would falter when it most matters. Asamoah Gyan’s was a different scenario as he looked confident and ready, though not so calm but the result was the same; one missed penalty, two more misses and Africa’s gold coast fails to hit the gold we had dreamt of. What can I say? The deed is done and dusted!
I prayed so much for the game not to add up to my long list of soccer heartbreaks but what can men do? There is indeed a supreme being, for no one can say the Ghanaians did not do well enough to win. We are not laughing, we are not smiling, the tears flowing are obviously not tears of joy, we are not popping champagne, some of us still can’t get over the pain but we will not be sad either because we were not beaten. Suarez may be the Uruguayan hero but Asamoah gyan, Dominic Adiyiah, Kingson, John Mensah and co… all remain icons of African football. Equaling Roger Miller of Africa in this achievement means you will not be forgotten in the history of African football because when Africa needed it most, you saved our already slapped and battered faces (thanks to our different national teams and Football Associations). Please do not despair for you have some good years ahead of you and can only get better making fame and fortune for yourselves and your families, winning the Olympic soccer gold in the process and guess what, you have a chance to be back in Brazil 2014 to win it; yes I mean to win the world cup while my dear country tries to rebuild our own football to be like you “when we grow up”!
Thank you Black stars, thank you our golden stars, thank you Ghana Football Association, thank you true sons of the soil, thank you brave hearts, thank you patriots, thank you brothers. The whole of Africa have seen it, the 24 million from home and your 1 billion supporters from Egypt to South-Africa, Kenya, Liberia, Angola, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, Equatorial guinea, Tanzania, Libya even Somalia and my beloved country Nigeria, for unto us great men were born and the future shall be upon your shoulders and your names shall be called “Blessed”. You have shown the African child that irrespective of what our politicians do, whether he is ajebo or pako he can achieve anything he sets out in his heart to do with the true African spirit that never gives up, that never dies, and that believes and says “I can” or “I fit”.