Monday, 10 July 2017

India vs Ghana: 99 - 1 and the Legend of the Milo Guy

The draw for the group stages of Under 17 world cup in India is done and Ghana is in group with the host nation India! You know what that means, right? Revenge time! You really aren’t Ghanaian enough if you don’t know the very real football match between Ghana and India that was played on a date now lost in history.

I first heard the story when I was about seven years old. This man in my neighborhood who everyone called Uncle, swore he had witnessed the match himself. Ok, ok, let me just tell the story of how it happened.

I’m still not sure what the tournament was or if it was just a friendly tour by the Indian national team but from what I hear, they played Nigeria too, with a similar result.

Different people have different version of how the Indian team entered the pitch. The two notable versions are:

1. The referee came onto the pitch and placed a bottle in the center circle and like Genies, the Indian players jumped out of the bottle one at a time. This should probably have been a sign for the Ghanaian team to abandon the match but for some reason which I don’t understand, they stayed.

2. The players came out of the referee’s pocket. Players kept jumping out of his pocket like those magic satchels you see in cartoons. If there was ever a game where you could be certain of the ref’s bias, it was this one.

Indian Players arriving on the pitch

So confident was the Indian team in their abilities that they said if Ghana managed to score even one goal, the Ghanaian team would be declared winners. This Indian team was on an unbeaten run with the longest run of clean-sheets the likes of which had never been seen before and probably never will. 

The ref blew the whistle and from the onset, it was obvious something was wrong, the Ghanaian players were seen either avoiding the ball or rolling on the floor in agony right after kicking it. According to the players, any time the tried to kick the ball it would turn into a metal pot (dadesɛn). The Ghanaian goalie also claimed that any time the ball came in his direction, it would turn into a fully grown Lion rushing at him. Of course, the spectators couldn’t see any of this and the ref claimed he didn’t. I highly doubt the ref’s version, the players jumped out of his pocket (or bottle) for God’s sake. He was probably in on all this dark magic.

Anyway, due to these “technical hitches”, the India team went on to score goal after goal after goal. Being Indian, you just know they danced for quite a while after each goal. The score line started to get embarrassing (understatement of the millennium). By the 85th minutes, the Indian team had scored 90 goals (that’s not a typo) and by the 89th minute they had scored 99 goals.

Somehow, within the space of 90 minutes, they had scored 99 goals, each goal mostly probably followed by minutes of dancing, much to the embarrassment of the whole of Ghana. The stadium, like a cemetery, is death silent as the fourth official raises his board to show four minutes of added time. Added time for what?

The Indian players satisfied with the humiliation they’ve rained on the Ghanaian team can’t be bothered to score a hundredth goal and keep passing the ball around. The Ghanaian players are meanwhile still avoiding the ball. One Ghanaian player, Nfum, goes to the touch line and after a talk with the medical team is seen strapping his foot with rolls of bandage.

Ninety second minute, a heavily strapped Nfum rushes one of the Indian defenders as they were passing the ball just outside the 18 yard box, steals the ball and unleashes a powerful left footed shot. Bones, could be heard cracking as his left foot made contact with the ball. The Indian goalie, caught by surprise, does not react fast enough and the ball rolls into the goal post.

Ninety fourth minute, Scoreline 99 – 1. The whole stadium bursts into rapturous shouting, Ghana, Ghana, Ghana!! Meanwhile, Nfum, is writhing on the ground, in agony. The paramedic rush onto the pitch to help him. Back then, sport medicine wasn’t a big thing and the paramedic only had ice bags. Nfum is carted off the pitch and the ref blows the whistle for the end of the match.

As agreed before the match, the Indian team concedes defeat by virtue of the one goal Nfum scored. A few days later, on the news, the whole nation gets the heartbreaking news that Nfum passed away from complications from his injury.

In honour of his sacrifice, the myth and legend that Nfum has now become has his picture put on the can of Ghana’s favorite breakfast drink, Milo, till this day.

FIFA, tired of seeing the ridiculous scorelines in India’s matches, bans them from all international tournaments. A ban which was only recently overturned.

This is the very real, totally believable and not at all ridiculous story of how Nfum came to be on the Milo can for his bravery and why until now India has not played in any international matches.

The Man, the Myth, the Legend; Nfum
(his under 17 days)


Sunday, 9 April 2017

Prequel to Boat Race 3 (Operation Delta Forces)

After two successive abysmal performances at the Boat Race, people were fed up. People started complaining about how they couldn’t take the constant disgrace of coming last in every race. Various “Think Tank” groups had been formed that focused on explaining to people why the current coach and management body of the team needed to go. There were regular public symposiums with themes focused on the financial implications of taking part in the race, others focused on historic performances of the past.

People would now gather in parks discussing the first boat race the nation ever took part in and how the participants were patriotic and how despite limited resources, they had won the boat race against teams with better technology, against all odds. The good old days were all people talked about. People who weren’t old enough to know about the said good old days talked about it with such passion that one would have thought they lived it. That winning team was nicknamed the Golden Generation.

Eventually, the citizens decided it was time for change. The current team had spent millions on a luxury yacht for the last race and had still come last. There was a team that had been begging to be allowed to represent the nation for a while and most people started to agree they had nothing to lose. After all, it wasn’t like they could do any worse than being last.

It was decided that the two teams would be given a chance to convince the people at a town council meeting. The general consensus among the people was that the Elephant team was to be given a chance to represent the people at the Boat race. The only people who thought the Umbrella team would be given the mandate were the Umbrella people.

Though the people had assured the Elephant team of their support, the Elephant team, used to being disappointed decided to sell a bit of their souls to the Devil in exchange for a guaranteed victory. The Devil in turn gave them the Delta forces, a malevolent and mischievous team that went on to, by what can’t be explained by logical reasoning, help them win the mandate of the people.

So the deed was done. Elephant team was now going to represent the people. The new team immediately out-doored the boat that would be used for the next race. It was an exact replica of the boat the Golden Generation had used. People were inspired. The Golden Generation team had been made up of six rowers and a leader who was the navigator and strategy coordinator. The boat could technically take twenty people but for best results a smaller and more efficient team was advisable.

When the Elephant team announced the people who would actually be rowing in the race, people got a bit confused. The rowing team was made up of twenty four people and one leader even though the boat’s maximum capacity was twenty. Quite a lot of the rowers looked like they were past their prime and didn’t really inspire confidence.

According to the leader of the Elephant team, all twenty four rowers were experts in various fields necessary to win the race. One old man was an expert in Bernoulli’s principle, another an expert in Archimedes principle, another a marine Biologist and so on and so forth. Even though the people weren’t quite sure of what those titles had to do with boat racing, they were mightily impressed by the big words they couldn’t understand.

The Umbrella team tried to make a scene and point out that there was no way the Elephant team could win the race with such a team but after years of incompetence, no one really cared about their opinion. The people were once again quick to point out that, the new team couldn’t possibly do worse than the last.

The Elephant team started training for the race which was a few months away. On the first day of training, it was noted that the team was one oar short. The twenty four people somehow managed to squeeze in the boat and sit twelve at each side with the leader dangerously balanced at the front deck. The boat was barely afloat and because one side was one oar short, the rowing didn’t go very smoothly.

There was a man on the beach shouting at them, “there are too many people in the boat” and the leader shouted back, “I know what I’m doing”. Rumor had it that that man was once a member of the Golden Generation but you know rumors, there are no ways to verify.

The next day at training two more oars were missing but the team went ahead and filled the boat. Now there were three people without oars. The rowing was even more unbalanced than the previous day and the extra three plus the leader were now just dead weight.

The third day another two oars were missing. At this point, the leader was starting to get worried so he went to a famous shaman who told him that the Delta forces that had helped them win the people’s favor were restless and now without a sense of purpose. Being the mischievous spirit they were they had now resorted to stealing their oars. When the leader asked the Shaman what he could do to pacify the forces, the Shaman said, “the answer lies within you” then charged the leader an obscene amount of money for the consultation.

The Boat race is in a few months. Everyday team Elephant shows up at the beach to train and no matter how many times they replace the oars, they are at least one oar short. The boat looks like it can barely hold the weight of all twenty four rowers plus the leader but they insist they know what they are doing.

People have started becoming skeptical about the chances of the new team in the next boat race but some have pointed out the new team can’t possibly do worse than the last. Some aren’t so sure.

Boat race is in a few months, we live to see.

Delta Forces by @BRIGHTACKWERH
This is a follow up to two previous posts on this Blog:
Boat Race 1: A Political Parable
Boat Race 2: A Political Parable


Saturday, 12 November 2016

The Creation Story and Cosmic World According to the Ewes

The Ewe Creation Story
According to the Ewe God is neither male nor female but but both. He is a timeless all powerful entity who isn’t bounded by the concepts of time and gender. He is eternal, so they call him Mawu, which literally means “without end”. God was ascribed the masculine gender only after the introduction of Western Religion. There are other spiritual entities that have gender ascribed to them and I will mention them as they come up in this writing. God is also Mawu Sogbo-Lisa a name that is believed to indicate his dual “gender”, Sogbo being the female aspect and Lisa being the male aspect. His various names will come up as we go on with this article. 

It is because God is both male and female that Ewe names are gender neutral. Most Ewe names describe an attribute of God or his relationship with mankind. The part of God that lives inside us, that is always with us is "Se", the name Selorm means "God loves me" but it's more than that. It's God who is always with me, by me, in me, loves me. 

The Creation of the World:
I can not particularly remember the order in which things were created but at some point in time, God created the world. According to Ewe beliefs, God created both the cosmic and physical world to interact at all time. There is no spiritual world without the physical world and there is no physical world with cosmic world.

Just like the Judea-Christian God, Mawu spoke and everything was made. However, there was no order to the things that were made so Mawu asked the Royal Python, a spiritual entity of order to set things as they were to be. The Royal Phython separated the land from the waters, set the plants on the land, fish in the sea and basically everything in the order that we know it today. The Royal Python also separated the cosmic world from the physical world so that even though they interact, their effect on each other is minimal. The physical world was called Xexɛmɛ.

After creation, the Royal wrapped itself around the Earth to preserve the order of thing so that they may never go into disorder ever again. The The rainbow is believed to be the python that holds everything together.

I remember as a child in Ho, someone once told me if you ever found the end of the rainbow, there’s a head of a snake waiting to swallow you.

God is called Mawu Kiti-Kata because he’s the eternal one who creates and destroys.

The Creation of Man:
The creation of man according to the Ewes is very similar to that of the Christian creation. This might be due to the fact that the Ewes are believed to have during migration, come though Ethiopia which has a long history of “Christianity”.

Man was created from clay. Unlike the Bible however, woman wasn’t created from the ribs of man but also from clay, at the same time as man.

According to the Ewes, all souls reside somewhere in spiritual plane called Bomɛ (sometimes called Amɛdzɔƒɛ, which means the origin of humans). Bomɛ is a place of blissful ignorance and innocence ruled by a female deity called Bomɛnɔ. When Mawu was done creating man and woman from clay, he took two souls from Bomɛnɔ and placed them in the clay models and they became living beings.

It believed that all knowledge and wisdom was created and put by God on Earth. It is man’s duty to seek knowledge while on Earth. One can not bring knowledge from the spiritual world to the physical world and besides, there is no knowledge or wisdom in Bomɛ. A fool is sometimes referred to as Bomɛtsila, which means, one who is still stuck in Bomɛ.

Another appellation given to God is “Mawu Adaŋutɔ wɔ asi kplɛ afɔ”, this means, “God of wisdom creator of arms and legs”.

The Afterlife:
The concept of hell, a place of eternal damnation is foreign to the Ewe beliefs. The Ewes believe in a place a bit like the Greek’s Hades, it is called Tsiɛƒɛ a place of rest. When one dies, depending on the kind of life they lived on Earth, the Kutsiami may or may not give them a ride to Tsiɛƒɛ. Those who are not given a ride will have their souls still wondering the Earth as ŋɔli (Ghost) until certain pacification rights are performed to put that soul at rest.


most of what I know about the Ewe creation story and cosmic world is based on things I’ve heard over a long period of time. So I can not remember and others I’m not too sure of. If there are any additions or corrections please leave them in the comment section below and I will look at them.

ɛ – e sound in bed
ɔ – o sound in bore
ŋ  this is a nasal sounding "Ng" that differs depending on the word it is in
ƒ – there is really no English way to pronounce this, closest is “ph” or “p”
Tsiɛƒɛ – Chi-er-pheh
Xexɛmɛ – Ewes pronounce X as H so this is pronounce – Hey-her-mer


Sunday, 4 September 2016

President Mahama, Making History

First Ghanaian President to hit 1 million followers. Nice! 

From Kwame Nkrumah to Jerry John Rawlings, there was no Facebook so they are out. Even if they have Facebook pages now, it wasn't while they were president so no competition. 

That leaves John Kufuor and Atta Mills. Facebook started in 2004 but it was only in September 2006 that it was open to people outside University campuses in US and UK. 

2009 John Kufuor goes out without achieving a million followers or a Facebook page. 

Step in John Evans Atta Mills, he didn't have a Facebook page. Or did he? 

Anyway, 2010 Facebook celebrity pages isn't a thing so no one can be said to have a million followers. 

Atta Mills passes away in 2012 without achieving a million followers. 

Only one person left in the race to 1 million followers. 

2016 John Mahama becomes first Ghana President to reach 1 million. 

In a one man race with no one paying attention, President Mahama dashes to a finish line that isn't really there. 

History is made...

Some say President Mahama is the Usain Bolt of Gh Presidential Facebook race and it's hard to argue with them. He has no challenger, literally... 


Friday, 5 August 2016

Election 2016: Know Your Political Parties #GhanaDecides

It's getting to election time and most parties have by now nominated their flag bearers, running mates and put on their Election Sunday wear. Earlier this year I wrote a post on a different platform on what to expectbefore the elections and it was almost prophetic.

As the elections draw closer and closer still, I've decided to do a brief introduction for those of you who somehow still don't know about the main political parties in Ghana.


The last four year have been touted as “Action Years” by President Mahama and his team. The elections were won on the inspiring and eloquently put slogan, “E dey bee kɛkɛ”. True to his words, there has been a lot of “Action” in the last four years. From the melodic voices of generators, taxes breaking olympic high jump records, 4x100 relay of unfulfilled political promises to name but a few. The action never seems to end.

As we get closer, the President urges us all to look at his good works and ignore detractors and vote for another four years of action. What is there not to like?

Gone were the days when a few months to election NPP would be organizing lectures and press conferences with Economic gurus like Dr Bawumia bamboozling us with with indigestible terms and huge numbers that tell us that we are suffering. The next few days would have been spent on every radio station trying to explain to perplexed morning show host what all the big words meant.

These days, however, NPP have realized all those don't win elections. Catchy slogans do. I would have thought that coming to this realization, Nana and team would pull out Sheikh IC Quaye from whatever drawer he's hiding in, dust him up and shake up a few catchy slogan but no. They chosen a different strategy.

So far NPP's focus has been on the EC chairwoman, the electoral process and every everything surrounding the EC. Everyday on the news, it's a new story about how the election are going to be rigged, how the EC chairwoman is not credible and doesn't deserve the job. Let's see how this new strategy goes.

The race for the below 2% votes has never been more drab. I'm guessing that the strategy is to lay low then a few days to the election, they spring a surprise so stunning on us that we will have no choice but to vote for them.

The PNC wowed all of us by digging through their trunk and pulling out a wrinkled Dr Mahama and without ironing proceeded to display him before the public as their presidential aspirant. I'm guessing the strategy here being, some people will mistakenly vote for him, given there will be two Mahamas on the ballot paper.

When was the last time I heard of CPP…

Paa Kwesi Nduom just elected Brigitte Dzogbenuku and everyone proceeded to ignore everything about her and remind us that she was Miss Ghana 1991. Paa Kwesi, has given some interviews on his plans for Ghana. They've been well thought out and very eloquent but we all know where that got Dr Abu Sakara.

The Rest:

This is where all the fun is. The Parties with Presidential candidates whose name we will find out on election day and promptly forget them the moment we walk out the booth. Before that day, finding their campaign posters will be like treasure hunting.

Notable among them are former First lady Nana Konadu who after pulling a massive 3% vote against the Late Prof Atta Mill decided she had enough of a following to form her own party.

Hassan Ayariga who left us with so many memorable quotes and then decided the CPP was too small for him and also formed his own party.

Akua Donkor, who has followed President Mahama to a few international conferences which have given her the experience she needs to rule a country.

So now you know.... 


Saturday, 5 March 2016

General Mosquito NDC's Big Gun

General Mosquito is the big gun the NDC pulls out anytime they get agitated by the NPP. I know it's absurd to have "BIG" and General Mosquito in the same sentence but in my opinion that's exactly what he is. 

Now here is the thing about big guns, they are not always efficient, but they are good for scare tactics and creating diversions. Sometimes a snipers rifle would be ideal but a bazooka is just scarier. 

When the NPP attacks the NDC on any issue, the NDC doesn't send someone to go debate Bawumia or whoever the NPP sent. They send General Mosquito to the radio stations to make a whole lot of noise like the big gun that he is and create a distraction such that people forget what is was exactly the NPP was saying. 

The beautiful thing about this big gun is that often times there is little or no recoil to damage to himself or to the NDC. It doesn't matter what General Mosquito says, he has the full support of members of his party.

NPP used to have sir John as their big gun but the recoil from shots was always so bad the NPP themselves would end up having some damage. In the end, the self inflicted damage was what destroyed sir John. The General is still firing. 

When the stories of General Mosquito came out of him wearing his wife's coat in Germany, he managed to spin it into a story of a loving husband who have so image issues and therefore had no problems wearing his wife's cloths. 

When Nana Addo gave his version of the State of the Nation's Address, you just knew that NDC were not going to send someone with big titles after him. They sent General Mosquito and from there, the radio stations and TV station were distracted. 

Right now what the NPP needs as we get into elections season isn't more Bawumia speeches to impress elitist/pseudo-elitist voters but their version of General Mosquito to make a whole lot of noise.

I recently wrote a blog post on Politics and Political Reactions in Ghana and General Mosquito featured heavily in it. 

General Mosquito is not the most effective gun for killing enemies but he's by far the most impressive gun in Ghanaian politics. 


Friday, 8 January 2016

Spreading Fear and Panic

I've seen all the fear and Panic being spread around by reports of twoformer Guantanamo Bay detainees arriving in Ghana. I'm not sure what informed the choice of Ghana as their preferred destination and I'm not sure I totally agree with them coming here but it looks like the deed has already been done. The next logical step, of course, is to spread fear and panic, like we always do.

Frankly, once again I'm totally disappointed in the opposition parties. They are busy, literally, biting each other. The radio stations are doing a good job spreading the fear and panic and should be congratulated.

However, I think there are some things they've missed that would cause the masses to be more agitated than they already are.

Let's for a moment forget that these two Yemenis were formerly terrorists suspects, they've been cleared of all charges so yeah, let's forget.

You guys realize that they won't be housed in 4x4 meters Single room self contained building at places like Agbogba, Gbetsile or Kakasunanka Number 1, right? They will be housed in some really posh part of Ghana where they won't pay bills or probably even suffer Dumsor.

They have to survive so they will probably be given tax free stipends and allowances which will most definitely be more than your monthly salary. Are you jealous yet?

There's also the 'they are coming to take our girls' angle that few people have considered.

One of them is also one pony tail and a shave away from being mistaken for a Spaniard”

Mahmoud Omar Bin Atef

Once they start earning free money which I previously stated will be more than your salary, they will move to the gals dem. As stated in the quote by @madjetey, one of them looks suspiciously like the Alejandros and Miguels in Mexican soaps that some Ghanaian ladies seem to like so much. I don't see myself winning a rat race with Alejandro-wannabe who is living in a posh house and earning more than me.

Then there's the possibility of them becoming celebrities in Ghana. I saw pictures of the ex-detainees and one looked like he could easily pass for Jesus in a Ghanaian movie and the other could easily pass for Moses. If the Kumawood movie producers see them they'd start getting ideas and the next thing you know, they would be on TV and in every VIP bus being Jesus or Moses. Before long they will be winning trophies at the Ghana movie awards and starring in movies next to Nadia Buari and Majid Michel. 

I read this morning that Alejandro-wannabe said he's happy to be in Ghana. I would too if I were him considering all the many opportunities I'd be enjoying soon. 

In an interview with one of the local radio stations, the ex- Gitmo detainees stated they watched the World Cup and cheered when Ghana beat the US in previous competitions. Alejandro-wannabe said he liked Asamoah Ghana a lot and so did other detainees. I wonder how they felt when Asamoah Gyan missed the penalty? It's totally possible that there were wagers on the match and some people lost money. What if they want revenge for the money they lost? 

I could go on and on about the possibilities but i'm guessing you get the point and i've succeeded in spreading more fear and panic than is already in the system. 

You are welcome