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Ghana 2008 and the Spirit of Nationalism
Finally, the 26th Golden Jubilee tournament of the Africa Cup of Nations – Ghana 2008 has come and gone. Although Ghana failed to capture the gold, they managed to grab the bronze medal; And the people are richer and more patriotic than ever.
But one legacy bequeathed to Ghanaians by the tournament, that the world must not allow to abandon us as a nation is the spirit of nationalism. And the 23 young players out of 22 million coaches, who carried the entire nation on their frail shoulders and sweated under supreme pressure from January 20 to February 10, 2008, were Ghana’s glittering black stars. The stylish stars got the job done with their superb ‘soccer’ skills and topped it off with their ‘Kangronist’ acrobatic legs and pinched toes to step. It was just exciting and contagious like the flu. It wasn’t long before other African countries, starting with almighty Nigeria, started copyrighting their dance steps. No piracy here, please! Michael Essien from Ghana is the initiator, initiator and inventor of the “Kangaronist” dance in Africa and the world of football. Any body that wants to reproduce this dance must get permission from him. Period!
What shall we say to the brave 23? “Ghana Black begins, “Aiko!” Bravo! You wrote what Napoleon could not achieve.” And we must always keep this African proverb in the back of our minds: “Those who did not participate in the fighting always have the pleasure of hitting and criticizing the regiments that they did not fight hard enough.” Don’t blame them, because they don’t know how a monkey sweats.
To be honest, Ghana has done very, very well. to be able to crush Guinea 2-1; pip Namibia 1 – 0; destroy Nigeria 2 – 1; A 4-2 thrashing of Ivory Coast, before finally going down 0-1 against Cameroon under some technical fouls and “stressful” refereeing collusion, was no mean feat. In other words, with the exception of Namibia, all the countries that Ghana crushed like empty shells on the way before grabbing the bronze medal are powerhouse nations when it comes to African football. Just go and see the FIFA rankings of these countries on the continent before the start of the Ghana 2008 tournament.
About 20 years ago, in 1987 to be precise, this writer watched an American film at the then Ghana Film Industry Corporation (GFIC) Executive Theater in Accra. (I don’t really remember the title of this movie). But in the movie, a little boy about five years old, who lived with his mother was mischievous in some way. It was as if the child had deliberately spilled some water on the dinner table and his mother had gone mad. The mother began to scold him. She rocked and rocked and made insinuations to the boy’s father who was not at home at the time. Suddenly, this tiny child flared up, looked into the face of his huge mother and replied: “Mom, why are you rocking me like that? Don’t you know I’m American?” The mother was so shocked and confused that she could no longer utter a word after that.
How do some countries on this planet of imperfection manage to instill or instill the spirit of patriotism in their citizens to such an extent that even when they go wrong in one way or another, most of their citizens are still willing to defend them or even lay down their lives for their countries? At what age do they start instilling the feeling of patriotism into the minds of their citizens? And what returns do such patriotic citizens expect back from their nations?
Passionate about this “holy” spirit of nationalism, some Ghanaians have gone so far as to not only wrap themselves in national colours, but also decorate their dogs, cats, rams, goats and fowls, with Ghanaian flags – all rejoicing in national support. Team – The Black Stars. Even some foreign nationals in Ghana or visitors who had just come to witness the event were so imbued with the spirit of Ghanaian nationalism that they started competing to prove that they are even more Ghanaian than the Ghanaians themselves. (We say they are more Catholic than the Pope himself). It was just fantastic!
In August 2007, the Ministry of National Orientation and Information officially launched the National Orientation Sensitization Program at the Accra International Centre. It is relevant to quickly refresh our memory of the five pillars of the national orientation that were revealed on that occasion: 1. Proud to be offensive; 2. Patriotism and spirit of “Ghana First”; 3. A positive and “can do it” attitude; 4. Productivity and responsibility and 5. Dedication and discipline.
One of them has not yet conducted a scientific survey to determine the impact of the program on the population. Nevertheless, through a casual observation so far, it would not be appropriate to believe that since the launch of the national orientation program, along with the ministry’s gradual but deliberate and continuous efforts to awaken people’s conscience about the need to do things a certain way. Along the way as a nation, slowly but gradually, the spirit of patriotism or nationalism is reawakening in the minds of many Ghanaians. It can be concluded that at least, page N0 1, “proud to be a derogator” has actually taken root in the hearts of many citizens in this loving country of hospitable people.
Do you remember that during the tournament, the Minister of Information and National Orientation, Hon Obushi Sai Kofi, had to issue an official statement, reminding the entire nation that whenever the national anthem is played or sung, every body should remain standing. And silence until the anthem is over? It was a simple but profound national orientation lesson. Therefore, even in our anxiety to demonstrate the depth of our patriotism, it is important to pay attention to such a basic ethic of nationalism.
Although the Ministry of Information initiated the policy, it needs the cooperation of other institutions such as the National Civic Education Commission, the Ghana Education Service, the Culture Commission, the Children’s Commission, the churches, mosques, temples as well as individual parents and teachers to be able to carry it out effectively for the success of the orientation program the national in the supreme interest of the nation.
At this point, it is imperative to say a word of appreciation to all Ghanaians, from the President of the Republic to the truck pusher in the Sodom and Gomorrah market for the massive support given to the national team. Members of Parliament in Ghana made even better noises than supporters’ unions who were paid to make noise. For those pastors who momentarily threw away their orthodox robes and wore dresses in national colors to preach with their congregations blowing horns in churches all dressed in national colors, God took notice of the holy spirit of nationalism that descended upon them.
Our Muslim brothers and sisters, as well as traditional worshippers, could not be outdone in their massive support for the Black Stars. Did you see this man who always went to the stadium with live poultry? How about those who carried the coffins of certain countries and opposing players? All were part of psychological support strategies. As for those who do not believe in the existence of God, God still loves them in every way.
But if awards were given to individuals or groups of the best supporters of the Black Stars, Ghanaian women would clear all the stakes. Ghanaian women not only know how to play football but they can analyze football and support the national team in magnificent styles. My God! I’ve seen women of all shapes and sizes, from toddlers to octogenarians, supporting the Black Stars from January to December non-stop. It was amazing. Apart from supporting the Black Stars as a national team, Ghanaian women immediately formed women’s supporters associations for every single Black Stars player.
Below is the list of women’s supporters associations for all 23 players in the Ghana 2008 tournament:
1. Sami Adji – Women’s Supporters Union
2. Hans Ado Sarfai – Women’s Supporters Union
3. Asamoah Gyan – Women’s Supporters Association
4. John Paintsil – Women’s Supporters Union
5. John Menashe – Women’s Supporters Union
6. Anthony Annan – Women’s Supporters Union
7. Laryea Kingston – Women’s Supporters Association
8. Mihael Essien – Union of Women Supporters
9. Manuel Agugo – Women’s Supporters Union
10. Kwadwo Asamoah – Women’s Supporters Union
11. Sally Ali Muntari – Women’s Supporters Union
12. Andre Ayo – Women’s Supporters Union
13. Baffour Gyan – Association of Women Supporters
14. Bernard Yeo Komordzi – Women’s Supporters Union
15. Ahmed Afiama Baroso – Women’s Supporters Union
16. Abdul Patao Dauda – Union of Women Supporters
17. Nana Ekwusi Asara – Women’s Supporters Union
18. Eric Ado – Union of Women Supporters
19. Alhansan Ilyasu – Women’s Supporters Union
20. Quincy Owusu-Abeyie – Union of Women Advocates
21. Harrison Appole – Women’s Supporters Union
22. Richard Kingson – Women’s Supporters Union
23. Hamido Darman – Women’s Supporters Union.
These supportive women’s unions can be found in every home in Ghana today. And only their singing, dancing and artistic antics provided the necessary energy for the black stars to die for the nation. Any contender?
Ghana was able to prove to the whole world through the Africa Cup of Nations that Africa is a continent of beautiful cultural heritage. The simple but profound closing ceremony was unusual in the history of the tournament. Only one person could take the trophy to the podium to be handed over to the winning team. But this simple act played out with four solid bodybuilders aka macho men, carrying an innocent little girl like a giant queen mother in a palanquin was amazing.
The sweet, smiling “Black Angel” was adorned with regal gold ornaments and colorful Kente headdresses with a traditional touch. The multiple divine drummers “pontonephrones” stirred the foundations of African culture and the champions of Egypt could not help but try their hand at the drums and dance like ancient pharaohs. When their floating spirit was cut short, they collected back with solemnity and dignity the magnificent glittering trophy they had brought from Egypt from the fatherly hands of the President of the Republic of Ghana, HEJA Kufuor.
Men and women of the country, even if Ghana could not fulfill the goal of the “host and win” dream, the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) did the nation proud. The tournament elevated Ghana to the top of the world football pyramid. There is no country worth its name in the world today that can say it has not heard of a country called Ghana in West Africa.
What needs to be done now as a nation is not to cry over spilled milk or engage in the blame game. We have to admit our little organizational shortcomings like the authority, ticketing and potato-like fields of our magnificent stadium. The current black stars must be maintained and maintained so they can stay in shape at all times. It is necessary to inject fresh blood of top-class strikers into the team. As for the technical and medical aspects of the team, I leave it to the experts. If we do our homework very well, use creative visualization techniques and ask God to be our guide, in 2010, Ghana could win both the African Championship in Angola and the World Cup in South Africa before that. Remember he who laughs last…
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