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African leaders should learn from Asamoah Gyan’s penalty miss at the FIFA 2010 World Cup

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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  • Thank you Steven for this eye opening article. Indeed we Africans should not just sit and be quiet anymore and let others take the first step to the change we all need and deserve.Our leaders are just heartless and don’t care about the well being of their people except themselves and their families, so if only they could learn from the mistake of this wonderful man Gyan and let it sink into their head, then Africa will move in the right direction. Until then only God can help our people. Congratulations on this beautiful article. God Bless you and God Bless Africa. Katovia.

    12th July 2010
  • I want to look at this in a different way. We shouldn’t have been in a penalty shootout, if Suarez did not steal the Black Stars out of the World Cup. Its the same old story. I see it as the same continuation of African exploitation.

    12th July 2010
  • I feel the same bro. Hope there is a lot to be learnt from such an unfortunate situation. I hope our African leaders can use use this as a teachable moment

    12th July 2010
  • Well said, but who knows if the impervious African political leaders so oblivious to the sufferings of their citizens are listening. All I know is that someone is listening and watching from a distance – God. He only is righteous and caring.

    12th July 2010
  • Well said brother. I hope they are listening

    12th July 2010

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