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Coach Appiah: A Signifier of What We Can Do

Fri, 18 Oct 2013 Source: Mensema, Akadu Ntiriwa

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*By Akadu Ntiriwa Mensema, Ph. D.

**I wrote this poem in the immediate aftermath of the Black Stars’ victory over the Egyptian Pharaohs. I decided not to publish it and waited, hoping that President John Mahama would congratulate Coach Akwasi Appiah and the Black Stars for winning the first encounter, at least, to inspire them for the second match in Egypt. But it has not happened. If Coach Appiah had been a white man, Ghanaian powers that be would have sung his superior praises and celebrated his whiteness. Ironically ordinary wives of Western heads of state as well as unknown Presidents of American backyard colleges have access to the President. Meanwhile when Ghanaian leaders visit the USA the American media hardly mentions their names. Not surprisingly, Mahama announced his presence as a billboard of CNN! Time has come for us to recognize our blackness as a gift, one reason why Nkrumah, the peerless pan-Africanist, named our national team the Black Stars to tell the world that blackness is as incandescent and luminous as whiteness.

So many Serbian coaches

We celebrated them

We overpaid them

We have demonized Ghanaian coaches

We have underpaid our own

Poising a bouquet of hope for white coaches

Poising invective arrows at black coaches

Akwasi Appiah arrived

We mocked

We cajoled

We insulted

We derided

We taunted

We parodied

We caricatured

We inferiorized Akwasi Appiah

And we inferiorized our blackness

Akwasi Appiah remained

Persuasive

Potent

Poignant

Poised

Packaged in self-assuredness

Of elegance in soccer erudition

With no inferiority meltdown

Like black ice before a white sun

He stood his Ghanaian grounds

Proud

Ebullient in spirit

Proud to be a Ghanaian

Radiant in his duties

With no troubling signs of blackness

Of immemorial inferiority

With no troubling signs of inferiority

Akwasi Appiah is a master of his craft

Dazzling craftsmanship

Resplendent in his calmness

His incandescent instructions

He illuminates the field of play

His symphonies of instructions

Wields rhythms of play

Akwasi Appiah is excellence

Epitome of our excellence

Of our potential moments of excellence

Of what we can do

Of what we should do

Of what we must do

Of what Ghana needs

Of what Africa needs

Exemplary commitment

Loyalty, devotion

Hard work, altruism

Dying a little for Ghana

To brighten up Ghana

In the horizon of nations

Making Africans proud

Akwasi Appiah the maestro

He is an epitome of all of us

Rising up with hope

Holding hope

Caressing inspiration

Doing our best

Showing our best

Akwasi Appiah the watershed of calmness

Animated, inspired calmness

Animation in undefined space

Inspiration in defined space

Forcing opponents to chase mirages

Like Saharan elusive mirages

Akwasi Appiah shows steely excellence

Africanizing sparkling hope

Birthing pan-African hope

Filmic signification of excellence

Inspiring a fountain of hope

Hungry with a sense of purpose

Ah! Watershed of pan-African doable

Akwasi Appiah arrived

Epitome of excellence

Worthy of emulation

Akwasi you are a fountain of hope

Akwasi you exemplify what we can do

When inspired

When we are true to faith

When we are not corrupt

When we are not nepotistic

When we are not pen-armed robbers

*Akadu Ntiriwa Mensema, Ph. D., is a nationalist Denkyira beauty. She is a trained

oral historian cum sociologist and Professor in the USA. She lives in Pennsylvania

with her great mentor and teaches Africa-area studies at a college in Maryland. In

her pastime, she writes what critics have called “populist hyperbolic, satirical”

poetry. She can be reached at akadumensema@yahoo.com. All my poems and essays on

Ghanaweb and elsewhere must not be reproduced in full or in part for any academic or

scholarly work without my written permission.

Source: Mensema, Akadu Ntiriwa