I feel driven to write my thoughts on the game between Ghana and the United States yesterday. I watched the game and like many Ghanians, I still feel the knife curving in my heart still…
I’m having an outer body experience at this moment. Let’s take a step back. As I saw our coach say hi to the German coach, I thought to myself, what an uneven match! I can appreciate this, because I have sat in classes in the first world country, where appreciating the fluid minds of classmate is key to your survival.
For the first time in our history, we have given the highest honor on the pitch to one of our own. This was a big risk and a big opportunity. Our problem though, is to not recognize the limitations we might have to deal with, and the patience we will need to exercise to achieve our goals.
The advantages of the German coach start very early. Good nutrition from generations before him. He is therefore born at the optimal physical peak. He is likely to be averagely taller than the Ghanaian. His social thinking and training, as well as his education, prepares him to assert himself confidently in the global market. He has the resources, and therefore flexibility to identify his talents early and work to achieve his potential, all the while, having parents and a society that supports his self-actualization and encourages him to take risks. At the same time, possibly, our coach is born in a completely opposing environment. Let me mention also, that the Germans were conquering the world way before we were thinking of selling our own for gunpowder! They have therefore had years, to perfect the art of strategy and excellence.
Aren’t we all reflected in this situation? Even as the game begun, the USA played an international advert that proclaimed the virtues of their country. Their team came well prepared for this game in every sense. Down to the bus that drove them to the venue. Whiles Ghana barely struggled along without a distinct strategy and resources to meet our strategy and optimize our potential. Yet, we expect to compete on an even turf? Is this being realistic? As a nation, our people and industries compete on an uneven playing field all the time. Let me not foray into the domain of industry and why our economy will remain handicapped for a long, long time! as we speak, we still don’t have any long term strategy for creating an enduring framework that allows our industries to grow. I traverse the globe fairly frequently, and thus, the clarity of our disadvantage cannot be lost on me.
Here we are, bravely deciding to give the honor of both our coaches to our own. We will have to exercise the patience to give him the space and understanding to make mistakes, to learn, and to grow. Let us not be too quick to cast him out, for as we hurt him, we hurt ourselves. Lets use this opportunity, insight and bravery we have to take this step, to encourage others to follow suite. We do expect him to stand shoulder to shoulder and we will get there; but we will have to pay the price first. We are impatient for growth, but are we willing to pay the price. This coach is just a symbol that brings into the light, what we all need to face within us. Perchance we should be a little more charitable to ourselves and threat us with more kindness? If we hope to empower our own, we will have to be more patient; understanding that we have years to catch up with the players in the field that we are seeking to penetrate.
I am just saying…