Stephen Osei Poku and Joseph Dankwa cut a slice of football history last Saturday night when their musical composition and poem respectively were chosen to be used as official song and poem of the 2008 MTN African Cup of Nations (CAN 2008) tournament in Ghana.
Last Saturday the Local Organising Committee of CAN 2008 moved its pre-event publicity campaign to a higher level when it organised the final song and poem competition with an elaborate show at the LOC Secretariat at Ridge in Accra.
It was a grand musical event that brought together such LOC big shots as its chairman, Dr Kofi Amoah, Vice-Chairman Lepowura M.N.D. Jawula, Abedi Ayew Pele, boxing legend, Azumah Nelson, musicians like Amandzeba Nat Brew, Rex Omar, Philipa Baafi, Gyedu Blay Ambolley, among other dignitaries, who witnessed a display of creativity and stagecraft by the final contestants in the two competitions.
Dankwa may have swept the audience off their feet with his masterly rendition of his poem, but the night belonged to 18-year-old Poku, who swept aside seven other contestants to ensure that Ghanaians and visitors will be singing to his composition during the January 20-February 10 competition.
Poku, an SSS 3 graduate of Apam Secondary School, made history and became ¢50 million richer barely three days after writing his final examination. He won the hearts of the audience and judges — Lepowura Jawula, MUSIGA President Alhaji Sidiku Buari, renowned artistes Nana Akua Busia, and Amadzeba.
With his song composed on the theme for the tourney, the teenage sensation beat much-fancied reggae duo, SW 1 to second place, with Calvis Hammond finishing third.
Poku earned a winner's prize of ¢50 million in addition to a scholarship to the university, sponsored by Readwide Limited.
Throughout his appearance on stage Dankwa left little doubt he would emerge winner despite an equally impressive poetry rendition by sports journalist and SWAG Secretary, Richard Avornyotse, of the Ghana News Agency.
A student of the Wisconsin International University in Accra, Dankwa's outfit of a long black robe and national colours, his body movement and lyricism left the audience spell-bound with wild applause during his presentation.
Runners-up Avornyotse and Franklord Appiah earned similar compliments for their masterful renditions.
Dankwa took home a winner's prize of ¢30 million sponsored by Toyota Ghana and a university scholarship provided by Readwide Limited, with Avornyotse and third-placed Appiah receiving a TV set and a refrigerator respectively.
Story by Maurice Quansah