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Opinions of Friday, 17 June 2016


Martha Bissah is her own enemy

Martha Bissah Martha Bissah

Ghana’s dream of producing its first ever Olympic Gold medalist at any level would have lingered on for decades, but a 17-year-old Martha Bissah made that dream a reality after winning the nation’s first-ever Gold Medal at Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games in China.

Bissah became a household name due to her stellar performance in raising the flag of Ghana high. She deserves every praise which came her way coupled with all the attention and reward she received. As the saying goes, “hard work pays” and indeed her hard work and perseverance elevated her from a village (Newaboi) champion to Ghana’s first Olympic gold medalist.

The taste of fame, therefore, transformed the once innocent, hardworking and determined Bissah to a controversial one. Unfortunately, she thought she was too good for the coach (Nii Odartey Lamptey) that spotted, nurtured and exposed her talent to the world hence sacking him. Bissah blew away an opportunity thousands of talents from the village couldn’t realise.

The Ghana Athletics Association gave her the platform to showcase her prowess but it later became a victim in the midst of the controversies surrounding the budding star. The GAA was tagged as a killjoy and seen as an entity working against the youngster.

I ask myself why will an Association expose the talent of an athlete to the whole world and later destroy it. It’s impossible!

The change of status from an obscurity to a celebrity is a situation many have battled to deal with and Martha Bissah is definitely not exceptional. This has also given a chance to some selfish ones and opportunists who have taken advantage of the young champ to use her as a tool of confusion, affecting her performance drastically.

It’s quite strange that a reigning youth Olympic Medalist now struggles to make the required mark for African Athletics Championship which is to serve as a qualifier for RIO Olympic Games. The worse of all was her inability to qualify for last year’s All African Games, despite the organisation of an extra competition by the same association (GAA) she is blaming for killing her career. As the saying goes “a child that does not allow the mother to sleep at night will surely not sleep”.

Bissah dug her own grave. She took the wrong decision by sacking her coach. She waded into a wrong battle with the GAA after she was given a platform to shine.

She must accept blame for being her own enemy. It’s about time she comes back to reality and distance herself from some greedy individuals who are taking advantage of her. Bissah cannot allow her career to go waste.

She needs Ghana the same way the latter needs her. She must stop listening to several negative voices and be humble enough to accept blame. It’s not too late for her to start all over again.

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