There was a time when I was crazy about soccer. When I told my mother to take me out of school and drop me into a soccer academy because “Change of Subject” and “Photosynthesis” were super boring compared to chasing a ball up and down a bare field with 21 other boys. That was the time when Kotoko lost to Hearts of Oak and I spent the evening crying like a broken hearted character in a Nollywood movie. Man, I cannot forget Joe Hendrix missing that penalty!
Today, I am far from your soccer obsessed dude. Yes I “love” Manchester United and you could probably catch me arguing about why Messi is better than Ronaldo. But you will most likely not see me in the TV room on a Wednesday night when the Champions League is on. I have morphed into the Ghanaian who only shows his soccer IQ and coaching prowess when the Blackstars line up in their white puma jerseys chasing after the Ghanaian taxpayer’s money. Soccer has little appeal to me now and accounting for my waned interest in the “beautiful game” would be one heck of a job.
Maybe it happened after Asamoah Gyan broke the collective hearts on Ghanaians on that dark July 2010 night in South Africa. My heart still breaks a little whenever I see Suarez’s chisel shaped teeth smile after the ball ricocheted off the goal post. Or maybe I gave up on soccer after Moyes messed up my beloved Manchester United, the Kotoko-Hearts rivalry lost its luster and the Blackstars continued to give us reasons to support Germany, France, and Brazil etc. in international tournaments. But despite my apathy towards the game, I do keep tabs on what is happening and everyone in soccer circles knows the biggest trending story is Mourinho and his crappy Chelsea FC.
There is an unspoken agreement amongst Manchester United Fans to hate two teams passionately, Chelsea and the noisy neighbors, Manchester City. So whenever one or both of the two teams struggle in the league, we glee. Every team goes through the occasional slump where they lose a game or two and draw a couple. But what Chelsea is currently going through cannot be called a slump. If anything, it is best described as a hibernation. For with a slumber, the more friendly description of Chelsea’s current situation, you can wake up after a couple of games. But that does not look like the case anytime soon. Chelsea has been averaging one win a month, lost several games at the once fortified Stamford Bridge and is no longer the defensive juggernaut we knew it to be. With this has been the several clever jokes and memes Twitter has not failed in blessing us with.
Chelsea’s one win a month has made it the same as a menstrual cycle. Their continued fall is not different from an oil exploratory team. And the once loquacious Mourinho has become a shadow of his former self. Well not entirely so. He continues to blame referees whenever he loses and attacks other coaches whenever he gets the opportunity. But his boycotting of press conferences and shortage of words when he does attend them is both shocking and a breath of fresh air. We are tired of the braggadocious Mourinho. Defeat has made him get in touch with his inner humble spirit.
Thousands of miles away from Southwest London is a character a bit like Mourinho. With ego on steroids and anti-establishment complex, Shatta Wale has endeared himself into the hearts of young people peeved with the existing societal institutions. His lyrics attack the corporation which awards musicians, he beefs with other rappers gratuitously, asks them for forgiveness and in a heartbeat, he is back in the studio calling them unprintable words. He speaks to the soul of the so called Sakawa Boys (Cyber scammers) and even prays for their success (whatever that means). And so his fan base is nothing like the music industry has ever seen. He fills up auditoriums and gives us a throwback to the Osibisa era albeit with way more profanity. But his success was never handed to him. He fought for it and earned it. From the “Bandana” days when he was more solemn to his newly found niche of Dancehall.
That probably explains his megalomania. Because whenever he releases his diss tracks, he knows there is a ready audience which will retweet, share and Bluetooth it and defend him no matter what. And of course there is his imposing and brawly manager, Bull Dog. Or should I say his ex-manager. Being the intrepid soul we have all come to know him as, nothing Shatta Wale does is out of the blue. But when news came last week that he had parted ways with his sidekick and manager, Bull Dog, it sent shockwaves around the industry. For starters, Bull Dog seemed like the only loyal guy around Shatta given how Shatta parted ways with many a sidekick. And then there is the whole SM4LYF noise he makes everywhere he goes.
What was more shocking were the revelations Shatta made. The allegation that his former managed once said in a fit of rage that he had killed someone before and was ever ready to do so again. This declaration becomes serious given Bull Dog’s link to a murder case sometime last year. The veracity of that statements definitely needs to be averred and that should be left to the legal guys. For us plebeian folks, we should be more concerned with Shatta Wale’s blabbering tendencies. If he could easily throw someone like his Bull Dog under the bus in a minute does that not tell us how society’s almost deification of this character has gotten to his head? I am not advocating a “ride or die” code but for a man who talks much about loyalty, does it not seem rich for him to, using his word, sell out Bull Dog?
But loyalty seems overrated these days. Ask Nana Aba. After her date with “Ghanaian Twitter” which shows us by the day that it “got no chill”, and her long silence, she has resigned from TV3! We all knew it was a matter of time before she left her position on Diva’s Show and Sunrise. Nana Aba’s Twitter gaffe has given Ghanaian celebrities a free “Social Media Relations 101” lesson. For “Ghanaian Twitter” will never forgive a “too known” celebrity who falls prey to its ravenous fingers. Hannah Tetteh knows this first hand.
Was TV3 smart in pushing her to doors and necessitating her resignation letter given the station’s crumbling image? Posterity will tell. The station has lost most of its star broadcasters and big names to its competition and Nana Aba was definitely a big loss. But the loyalty Nana Aba claims to have shown the TV3 brand seems to have not been appreciated and that is unfortunate. But the corporate world is no babysitting arena and its always business as usual even though I struggle to see how her lying (it was a lie and not a prank as Nana Aba would have us believe) about being at Old Trafford affects business.
Does leaving TV3 spell Nana Aba’s doom? I doubt. She will most likely be poached by another media house, become a communication guru for some corporate entity or get hired as Juan Mata’s Bae. She could have called Mourinho for tips on how to manage the mess her picture cropping caused for it is surprising that the Russian billionaire has still kept Mou at post.