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Tabloid News of Thursday, 7 February 2008

Source: daily guide / by a. r. gomda

Chicken Man Predicts - For Black Stars

As the Black Stars engage their Cameroonian counterparts in what has been described by soccer pundits as an epic duel at the Ohene Djan Stadium in Accra, anxious but superstitious Ghanaians are closely watching the number of guinea fowls the mystery man, Hakeem would parade.

Hakeem, who has been a regular sight at the Stars matches with his trademark, holding of guinea fowls to foretell the number of goals the Ghana national team would score against their opponents, also adds to the excitement of the game.

In this era of ?ways and means?, there are those who strongly believe in the power of juju and see the guinea fowl as nothing but sorcery.

When he first made an appearance holding some chickens during the Stars? maiden encounter in the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations tournament with Guinea?s Syli Nationale, many did not pay any serious attention to him, especially the number of birds he had in his possession.

In that soccer duel with Guinea, he had in his possession two birds which portended two goals. Surprisingly, Ghana gained the upper hand with two goals.

Then came Namibia and the mystery-man brought a guinea fowl. The Stars brought down their opponents by a lone goal.

The Moroccans kissed the canvas by two goals which matched the number of birds Hakeem brought to the stadium.

When the Nigerians turned up, he flaunted two and Ghana?s neighbours were given a corresponding two goals.

It is not surprising therefore that with the progression of the matches, even those not predisposed to superstition are eager to find out just how many birds Hakeem is going to flaunt today in this battle of the Titans to find out the outcome of the match.

When he was interviewed during a radio programme earlier, the mystery-man stated that he always consulted an oracle before the Stars? matches.

As a person, he explained, he could not determine the outcome of such encounters, in a bid to dispel any notion that he had any supernatural powers.

Whatever it is though, for those who have always watched Hakeem at the stadium, today is a special day on which they would particularly want to see how many birds he is going to display.

This way, perhaps, they could find out what the outcome of the encounter would be, and most of all establish whether or not superstition has a place in such pastimes as soccer and other competitive sporting engagements.

If the number of birds he flaunts today turns out to correspond with the number of goals the Stars score, Hakeem?s image could be enhanced in the eyes of the superstitious.

Hakeem, though, refuses to foretell the score-line other than flaunting the varying number of birds during matches; a mystery-man of sorts, some have considered him.