Sports Features of Friday, 12 October 2012

Source: Gary Al-Smith

Bigwigs hail Ken Bediako's outstanding league compendium

"If it was not written, it was not done." That's what historians will tell anyone willing to listen. And so it was a "very proud but also very humbling moment" - his words - for Ken Bediako when the first complete history of the Ghana Football League was outdoored.

This is the first time anything so comprehensive on football in Ghana has been written in the country by a local. Bediako, who authored the manual, put it on display and called it his "pride and joy."

The book chronicles the careers of Ghana’s footballers and clubs and highlights some funny bits of history, too. A veteran sports journalist, Ken Bediako is one of those men who can be described as being "around forever".

At a simple launch - typical of the well-written man - the sheer spread of the book's coverage left information whores uncharacteristically mellowed by the audacity of effort alone. For Bediako himself, it was simply the continuation of a passion. "I think it's been a long time since I've wanted to do something like this. But now that it is done, it's time for more of such works to be done, because we, Ghana, have a great story to tell," he said.

Three hundred pages of history jumps at you when you get "The Complete History of Ghana Football League: 1958-2012". The book has come not a bit too early, as younger generations have continually grappled with appreciating the factual details of the struggles and joys of the national sport. From the heady days of post-independence to the turbulent times of Ghana's first coup in 1966, local football leagues have been a silent witness to the country's life.

Having worked for the state-owned 'Daily Graphic' for several years, as well venturing in and out of freelancing cumulatively for decades, Bediako is in a unique position, as an authority, to put his thoughts together on the subject.


Documentation such as this provides a written account of activities as they happened. Books like Ken Bediako's are places to go when time has passed and memory fails even the best of current journalists. "Ken Bediako's book is a concise, yet comprehensive compilation of the body of knowledge that's been left unkempt by all of us," intoned information minister Fritz Baffour, who contributed $500 to the effort.

There was more praise from all over the place. "It is also a form of written proof that something was done or said. Documentation gives the ability to have another account of a situation and helps us have something to fall back on other than the word of one individual," said Nana Sam Brew Butler.

Butler himself has been a regular feature within Ghana's football administrative setup from the 1970s till many years after the turn of the millenium. He, together with Kwame Ofosu Bamfo (Sikkens), contributed $25,000at the launch of Bediako's outstanding effort.

After the 2006 World Cup, Ken Bediako launched his first book, a 120-paged co-written enterprise called “Pride and Glory – The story of the Black Stars in Germany 2006”. Bediako put that together with three other seasoned sports journalists - Joe Aggrey, Ebo Quansah and Felix Abayateye, and edited by Kwesi Gyan Appenteng, also a journalist and a media