It is quite obvious that the Ghanaian team is doing well in the ongoing world cup football tournament in Qatar. In the two matches played so far, the first against Portugal and the second against South Korea, the Ghanaian team has put in a stellar performance. This has sent many tongues bubbling with praises for the team. Whereas some people are full of praise for the team in general, others have been specific in their praises for some players.
The various social media platforms have been inundated with varied comments about the team. Out of the many comments, one that seems to be catching steam is the argument about the origin of some of the players of the team. Many had taken to social media to write lengthy articles to trace the home origin of some of the players, especially those who kept up spectacular performances. From all indications, it seems it is most Ghanaians of northern extraction that are much more particular about the origin of some of the players.
After the first match, many Kusasis took to social media to pour praises on Bukari Osman for scoring Ghana's second goal against Portugal and linking his achievements to his tribe. Also, one Upper Easterner took to Facebook to state the two goals of the Ghanaian team against Portugal were scored by two proud Upper Easterners, that is Bukari Osman and Dede Ayew. Another such player whose home of origin has been contested by many is the scintillating Mohammed Kudus. The people of the Savannah region have argued strongly that the man of the match in Ghana's match against South Korea hails from the region. They have supported their assertion with the fact that Kudus paternally hails from Kpangri in the Sawla- Tuna- Kalba district and maternally from Nahari in the Bole district of the Savannah region. Some have also posited that he(Kudus) is an Upper Westerner. The people of Nima are also claiming ownership of him. Kamaldeen Sulemana whose father is a Gonja and mother a Dagomba is also part of the team and the people of the Savannah region are proud about him.
Let me be particular here about the players purported to hail from the Savannah region because that is my home region. It is indeed a feather in our cap to have our kinsmen not just make it to the Black Stars squad for the 2022 World Cup football but also doing exceptionally well. But the question I keep asking myself is that would they have realized their dream of becoming stars in football if they had lived all their lives in the Savannah region? Which of our politicians, businessmen and woman, chiefs, and the other creams of the society would have been ready to spend their money on them or use whatever means possible, though lawful to make them develop their talent in football? Otherwise, they would have joined the queue of talented footballers in the region who would have their dreams crushed because of the refusal by prominent sons and daughters of the Savannah region to influence their success.
In a moment, take a cursory glance around your community or district or traditional area and count the number of talented footballers who have had their aspirations to become international footballers unrealized because they had nobody to push them through. For my area, on top of my head, I can remember Atiti, Aya Fabulous, Adam Bashiru Gambo, Alhassan Baharu Figo, Mubarak( Mullo), Mohammed Manucho, Gafaru Fabregas, Kuffuor Friction, Sadik Diego and many more from Larabanga and, Washiw Sanka Amoroso, Carlos, and Yussif Rayan, Rahim( Dan Bontey), Mubarak Diouf etc from the Damongo town. Seidu Dawudu( Dawudu Kpara), Donyame Walanyor, Alhassan Yahuza Amos, Zannabile Sixtus, etc from Mole Game adds up to the number.These were guys that one would love to watch over and over play football but have had their dreams of becoming celebrated footballers in the world remain on the streets of their hometowns. The likes of Soale Hakim(Essien), Soale Muftaw( Song), Mohammed( Pedro), Adam Yakubu( Dida), Mahama Awal(Zouma), etc from Damongo and Rahman Zelele, Billy, Mahama Solu, Sadat among others from Larabanga are currently doing extremely well but are about to have their lights dimmed for lack of one to support them. The list is endless and I know it is the same for your area.
As priding as it is for us to have a fellow tribesman be part of such a historic event, it is more priding to be part of making the fellow tribesman such a star. Could you have imagined the joy and felicitation if Mohammed Kudus or Kamaldeen Sulemana in one of their interviews will mention a son or daughter of the Savannah region as the person(s) behind their exploits in the football industry? Let us stop taking glory in footballers that we never contributed an iota to their success. We have lots of talented footballers in the region that are getting "rotten" day by day. It is the same in the area of music. Lots of talented youngsters in the area of music in the region remained untapped. We should be seeing our " big men" from the region invest in our youngsters in the area of football and music. If that is done, we will have thousands of the likes of Kuduses in the region or those who will even do better than him.
May the Blackstars triumph in the coming match against Uruguay on Friday, 2nd December 2022, and our Kudus score goals and keep shining.
By Iddi Adam Osman