To start with, this is not my first time in Ghana but this trip is special to me because of the magnitude of the occasion. It was a rare privilege to fly with the team to Kumasi on Thursday morning which I am grateful for.
I have also longed to return to Ghana after my first trip in 2018 (when I spent just three days, even more than I will spend this time). I was hopeful to see some of the hyperbolic features (as it turned out) and supposed good life which I coveted from countries like Morocco and Egypt in the past.
Well, we got a rude beginning when we landed at the Kotoko International Airport when our Flight Pilot announced that we would wait a little longer before alighting because the analog ramp brought for the flight was inadequate. A still small voice whispered to me “Here we go.”
NFF President Amaju Pinnick then showed some good leadership traits by jumping off the comical ramp and encouraged others to do same as no one was sure how soon a better ramp would arrive. We all did and the result was what went viral on social media on Thursday.
We then set off for our hotel, giving me a chance to feed my curiosity on the city’s aesthetics since I was in Accra the last time I came. Well, as seen in the Twitter link below, it was just like a typical visit to my in-laws in Awgu Local Government area of Enugu state as the roof colours and even road patterns bring back such memories.
It's 33°C in Kumasi with some intense humidity. Good a thing that Ghana vs Nigeria is billed for 7:30pm local time tomorrow. The legion of Europe based stars for both teams should have no excuses. #JollofDerby pic.twitter.com/RGQyP4ie84— Fisco Statto (@Fiscosports) March 24, 2022
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In some Nigerian higher institutions, dark Nigerians (like myself or even darker than I am), are nicknamed Mensah or Ghanaian names which implicitly means that we believe that Ghanaians are predominantly dark. Now, I can tell you why.
After a couple of hours in Kumasi, what kept ringing in my head was a line in Beautiful Nubia’s song, Seven Lifes where he sang “I was born where the heat is like a second skin.” I would think that he has been to Ghana before because… The heat, even at just 33°C (perhaps aided by the humidity) was a reminder for me to be focused on this our heavenly race o. Hell will not be funny.
The game on Friday aside, the Ghana vs Nigeria rivalry social bragging rights were also on my table. Many Nigerians have been made to believe that our West African brothers enjoy uninterrupted electricity supply but it took me just two hours to unravel that.
At our first port of call – a nice hotel where some of the members of delegation were lodged at the Ashanti region – I first noticed that the ceiling fan cushioning the effect of the heat at the bar stopped rolling and before we blinked, the generator was powered.
“Oh, una dey use Gen for here too?” asked Sulaiman Pooja rhetorically. That bragging right was evaporated at that instance. To rub salt to injury, the generator developed a major fault moments later and smoke engulfed the hotel bar where we were. They compensated us with a very delicious meal though. Of rice, salad and beans salad. It was truly nourishing.
If light nor dey go, how come una get generators?
Another beautiful Queen
Moving to our hotel apartment, we met a very lovely lady called Queen who is ‘gifted in the right places’. I have met some lovely ladies named Queen in this my life and this one is not an exception. She is the human version of “God is Good”.
Queen attended to us for like three hours, in a simple, accommodating and very down to earth manner. Don’t let me say more than that. Well, we’re checking out on Friday afternoon, pity.
I will try to give a ‘relatively unbiased’ analysis of the Ghanaian Jollof on my second and final diary for this Ghana trip tomorrow. Crucially though, give us this day oh Lord.