I spent most of yesterday’s afternoon, in and out of my co-op apartment, reading that piece of picturesque travelogue written by the Leader-Proprietor of that famous team of private-for-hire investigators called Tiger-Eye PI and found it to be quite fascinating. The author is deliberately measured in his unassuming moral self-reflection, but it is obvious that Mr. Anas Aremeyaw Anas, a lawyer trained as a journalist, is unquestionably a formidable writer. Other than a few all-to-be-expected semiotic or dictional slips, for such an unusually long article, such as the use of “sporty” instead of “sportive,” and “longstanding Sports Director,” instead of “longtime or long-serving Sports Director,” his piece captioned “Nyantakyi’s ‘Co-Efficient’ Payouts Triggered ‘Number 12’ – Anas” was a fine read.
Well, as I often do, for the meaning of “Co-Efficient” or “Co-Efficiency,” I consulted with my top-of-his-class 7th-grader son and namesake who tersely explained the same to me as follows: “You see, Daddy, when you have the expression 2×, the coefficient is the number 2.” I don’t recall studiously following the controversial payment of the $ 577,000 (USD), involving some officials of Ghana’s senior national soccer team, the Black Stars, in the wake of the Brazil-hosted 2014 World Cup, but I contextually, though well after the fact, understood the President of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), Mr. Kwasi Nyantakyi, to have implied that the aforesaid controversial sum was split up or divvied up according to the number of sports officials involved, rather than those who had actually been reckoned by FIFA to be due or deserving of specific amounts of the bonus or whatever passed for the same.
This curious language of co-efficiency began to make quite a lot of sense to me, because I was meted a similar raw deal in 1990 by the movers-and-shakers of the African-American Studies Department, when I was admitted into the Doctoral Program at Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The “Afrocentric” Pharaohs of the program had decided against the decision by the Dean of the School of Social Sciences, and instead peremptorily stated that going by established ancient African tradition, I, and several others, needed to share our Full-University Fellowship Grant with those of our classmates who had not been deemed to be qualified for the same. That was how I came to acquire my humongous student-loan migraine (SLM), which has remained with me ever since.
Anyway, I also relished such sumptuous Anasisms as the following alliterative tautology: “forthright frankness,” as in the expression “Alhaji Abdul Karim Grusah is famous for his fierce and forthright frankness.” Who said there were no such a thing as poetic license in literary journalism or creative nonfiction of the sort so inimitably and felicitously pursued by Mr. Anas Aremeyaw Anas? I also enjoyed his creative deployment of such oxymoronic expressions as Countryman Songo’s being the “pet opponent” of Mr. Kwasi Nyantakyi, who was also significantly described as being “Northern Born.” This otherwise benignly otiose description was promptly afforded contextual credibility and propriety, in view of the fact that this man with an unmistakable Akan name would also own a soccer team, the Wa All Stars, in one of the so-called Three Northern Regions.
But I decided not to waste my time taking Anas any more seriously on his pantheon of heroes and villains of Ghana’s putative national pastime than the author himself did. You see, Dear Reader, one cannot seriously talk about the development and upgrade of Ghanaian soccer without the necessary mention of then-Col. Ignatius Kutu Acheampong, the brutally slain casualty of the Rawlings Revolution. For those of our readers who may not know this, it was Col. I. K. Acheampong, later Gen. Acheampong, who equipped all the stadiums, or stadia, around the country with floodlights, so that Association Football could be played well past 6 pm. Acheampong also, it was, who built the original Kaneshie Sports Complex, renamed Azumah Nelson Sports Complex by Chairman Jerry John Rawlings.
How could Anas Aremeyaw Anas so flagrantly and cavalierly ignore this glaring fact of history? The fact that the author might have been a toddler when the Kaneshie Sports Complex was built is absolutely no excuse, whatsoever. Which is why he was able to call it an “eyesore underserving of the honor and dignity of Azumah Nelson.” Maybe what he needs to be castigating is our poor culture of maintenance. He has absolutely no excuse because any well-educated intellectual and legal maven, such as he clearly demonstrates himself to be, has ready access to the records; unless, of course, the determined intent here is to play fast-and-loose with the canonical facts of Ghana’s soccer history.
I also found it rather weird, albeit quite understandable, that the writer would be drooling all over Mr. Ato Ahwoi as one of the greatest or most successful executive operatives of Ghana’s putative Premiere Soccer Club, to wit, Accra Hearts of Oak, when the same Mr. Ahwoi has been mentioned in some major news reports as having possibly criminally colluded in a coverup over sponsorship of the Black Stars with the embattled GFA President. One also got the quaintly unmistakable impression that Accra Hearts of Oak is the Entertainment Wing of the present main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC). Now who said there was any sharply defined boundary between soccer and politics in Ghana?
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