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Ugandans love for football, Ghanaians madness with soccer

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Added 14th January 2017 10:16 AM

I wanted to know more about the city from the local perspective and I turned away from the town direction towards the beach. Along the way, I discovered a cozy place, by the road side, where a few people were seated, sipping drinks while a lady nearby was roasting “plantain” here commonly known as “gonja’ popular in Namawojjolo. I joined the group.

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I wanted to know more about the city from the local perspective and I turned away from the town direction towards the beach. Along the way, I discovered a cozy place, by the road side, where a few people were seated, sipping drinks while a lady nearby was roasting “plantain” here commonly known as “gonja’ popular in Namawojjolo. I joined the group.

By Keefa Kaweesa

Human nature is a very interesting aspect because it develops a system of what it loves most. The Indians declared love for cricket cannot be matched with football made in German; however, one thing is pretty certain, every person has a soft spot for a game.

The Labadi beach was a natural and a clean encampment stretching all the way from Cocoa beach through Labadi cantonment area. It was a well-planned homestead fortified with old ancient trees. I had walked away from the beach hotel to get the local breezeand hopefully get that Accra feel after those air conditioned conferences.

I wanted to know more about the city from the local perspective and I turned away from the town direction towards the beach. Along the way, I discovered a cozy place, by the road side, where a few people were seated, sipping drinks while a lady nearby was roasting “plantain” here commonly known as “gonja’ popular in Namawojjolo. I joined the group.

Nearby was a football field and teens were playing football.  A seemingly coach would occasionally bark instructions in English which we could hear.  I was impressed at these Ghanaians application of language, the actions of fast dribbling and passing of shot balls and total making comments in English, surprisingly not with their language. I greeted the members of the group, ordered for a drink and a plantain and sat down.

The duos were discussing football. I joined the discussion. You must be from East Africa, one of them said. I asked why? You were polite. If you had been from West Africa, you would have inquired whether there were any of your countrymen present. I confessed that I was from Uganda. One of them introduced himself to me as a PhD holder and a lecturer in economics at the University while another also with a PhD and a teacher, in a secondary school. I also presented my credentials. We continued with the road side talk but I tried to steer it away from it to political side.

I inquired about their politics and got the usual dull stuff. I then made a direct inquiry on the legacy of Osagyefo, one of the admirers of my dreams. “Osagyefo”, the learned scholar repeated,“has been relegated to the dustbin of African and Ghana history”. “The more he wanted to be talked about in Ghana and elsewhere, the more he has been cast in the doldrums.”

He wanted only two things, African unity in which he would be the leader and building the Akasombo Dam so that he would sell electricity to all African countries. He never achieved any of the two and never cared for an ordinary Ghanaian. 

“Talk about soccer, don’t talk about Osagyefo unless you are inquiring about his tomb, which is in somewhere in his home place in Ann and the remains here in Accra” the professor lamented

“Talk about the great Measah, Robert “Bob” Mensah the king of football. Everyone talks about him, the young, the old, everybody.  Does Museveni ever discuss soccer? They inquired from me. Who can be talked about soccer in Uganda?” the second scholar added.

 From 1885, the Ghana people have struggled with education and most are PhD holders but have no decent jobs or pay. The economy is just in shambles and it is only of recent when oil deposits were discovered. The only solace for an ordinary person was to discuss soccer, because it unites people, just as you can see those youngsters the professor added. I nodded my head, trying to take in what the lecturer had said. Ghana’s last soccer game with Uganda was held in Tamale and it was a draw because they said that  the local chief was not approached to organise a Juju offerings, next time they said will be a massacre.

This is the country Uganda is drawn with in AFCON and indeed Ugandans football lovers are not aware of what we are faced with.

The writer is a Lawyer

kefasen@yahoo.com

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