African leaders should learn from Asamoah Gyan’s penalty miss at the FIFA 2010 World Cup
Ghanian striker Asamoah Gyan’s penalty miss in the dying seconds of extra time against Uruguay on Friday cost the African side a place in the World Cup semi-finals and broke hearts across the continent. The event of that day triggered a series of reactions such as an invitation from Nelson Madela, father of the African continent entertaining Black Stars team to dinner and soccer fans around the globe calling Luis Suarez’s action as unsportsmanlike. But what truly caught my attention and triggered my pen to write was the reaction from African leaders like Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf (Liberia), Ernest Bai Koroma (Sierra Leone), John Atta Mills (Ghana), Blaise Campoare (Burkina Faso), Abdoulaye Wade (Senegal) and of course Jonathan Goodluck of the Great Nigeria as they all mourned such missed golden opportunity for the rest of Africa. Well, now they know how we (the poor people of Africa) feel when they miss penalty on corruption.
As I looked at Asamoah Gyan after his penalty miss I felt sad. He looked so down cast as if the entire African Continent was placed upon his shoulder. He could hardly look up or down and I thought to myself, how I wish our African Leaders could feel the same way when their motorcade drive pass homeless children, dilapidated bridges and heaps of garbage after sharing among themselves high interest loans from IMF/World Bank meant for development. As an African (Sierra Leonean) it is only fair to use this unfortunate scenario and let our leaders know that the same way they felt about Black Stars missed opportunity is just how the poor people in their respective countries feel when they miss the opportunity to score on corruption that could take the continent to a higher level of economic prosperity.
It is unfortunate that the corruption on this continent can drive any well intended organizations to the grave. Take a look at OAU now AU formed in 1963, yet the significance of this organization is felt only among the rich, the powerful and those who run it affairs. It’s a shame that strong wine and womanizing have tempered with the consciences of our leaders that they don’t know or are careless about what truly affect the people they serve.
Steven Morie Samuels, USA
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