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Opinions of Saturday, 2 February 2008

Columnist: Nuviadenu, Kobla

Kufuor Motivate Black Stars To Victory

One of the cardinal tests of good leadership is the ability to motivate and inspire followers to rise up to the occasion in rough and trying times. When all seem lost, and everything looks like crumbling, that is when a leader needs to show his resolve and the stuff that he is made of.
The above really epitomises the nature and person of the sitting Ghanaian President, H.E J.A. Kufuor. After two not so impressive wins of the Black Stars in the on-going Ghana 2008 African Cup of Nations, a barrage of criticism was levelled against the players, especially the youthful, affable and hardworking Asamoah Gyan. Some fans even went to the extent of sending threatening text messages to the family of the young lad. So tense was the situation such that the Gyan brothers threatened to desert camp.
This was when an inspirer, a motivator, a father (and a level headed one at that) was needed to calm the nerves and reduce the uneasiness that had engulfed the camp of the Black Stars. And as usual, the Gentle Giant rose to the occasion.
H.E. visited the players at their hotel base, spent about an hour there, trying to bring smiles to their faces. Using his own experience as President, he intimated to the players that criticism is part of every human endeavour, especially when the act involves passion, as is the case with soccer. He urged them to do their best to make themselves and the nation proud, assuring them of the support of the entire nation.
And who says the dose did not work? You saw the gallant performance of the Stars against Morocco? You saw the scintillating performance of the much criticised Asamoah Gyan and all the Black Stars players, not forgetting their technical team?
And as if the motivation was not enough a winning bonus package has been announced for the boys. Who says their efforts will not be rewarded when they bare their hearts out to play for God and country?
The government and for that matter the whole country has made a lot of investment in its quest to host and win this tournament. Some fans have died in the process. The token that Le Roy and his boys can do for us is to play impressively, score goals, and win this cup for us. We are counting on them. We thank them for the feat against Morocco, and we salute President Kufuor for his timely and inspirational intervention.
On a lighter note, I made an observation during the Ghana-Morocco match. My companion at the popular stand, Mr. Boom, was missing in action. The man says he is with and for the masses, and so will not sit at the VIP. Where did he sit when Ghana and Nigeria co-hosted the 2000 edition of the Nations Cup during his tenure as President? At the popular stand? Anyway, might his absence have contributed to the Stars sweet and convincing victory?

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