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Opinions of Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Columnist: Kennedy, Arthur

Is the fault in our stars or ourselves?

The above question, crystallized in Cassius' appeal to Brutus to join Caesar's assassination plot, was given new impetus during this Olympics.

Cassius had told Brutus, "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars but in ourselves that we are underlings".

Fernando Prass is a 37 year-old Brazilian goalkeeper who is Captain of Palmeiras club. Despite being quite accomplished, he had never been capped by Brazil. Then lightening struck. When Brazil submitted it's list of players for the Olympics, he was one of the over-aged players included.

Rumours had it that coach Micale even planned to make him Captain. Then, the cruel hand of fate struck. Just before the team's final trial match, he fractured his elbow. His international dream was blocked by a cruel fate. A similar thing happened to one of my idols and a Star of Osei Kyeretwie Secondary School, Agyemang Prempeh in 1978. He was a talented left footed player who was destined for great things.

His former coach, Osama Duodu, had become coach of the Black Stars. Then just before the victorious 1978 Cup of Nations campaign, he broke a leg and he was done. I am sure you know of a few such hard luck stories in sports. They occur in politics too. Tancredo Nevis, after a stellar career, was elected President of Brazil in 1985. Before he could be sworn in, he fell into a coma and died.

It leads to interesting questions:

Was Danquah destined to die in prison or did he die there because of Nkrumah's vindictiveness? Was Rawlings destined to be President or was he let in by an inept PNP and Limann?

Are there some people who are not destined for certain things? Are there some who are never destined to be President? Was Cassius wrong after all?

The lessons, from Prass, Danquah, Nevis and everything we know is that we must work hard for our goals even as we pray for divine favour and guidance. We can never, as mere mortals, do it on our own.

That is why the Akans say, "Nyame na osi hene" ( It is God who enstools kings). Let all candidates be humble before God. Only he, if he chooses, can make kings.

God bless you and have a great day.