The plan was to meet up with the guys and go to the game in Dusty Rusty (Rustenburg) together. Upon arrival at the campus, I was met by a group of Americans getting ready to leave for the game as well. They were so excited and confident of their chances. Each had the biggest grin ever as they greeted me in my Black Stars 2010 outfit. I asked why they were so happy and was told that they knew they were going to win. When I reminded them that we met in 2006 and we (Ghana) schooled them (US), they in turn reminded me that we were yet to score “a real goal” this tournament claiming that if they could prevent causing a penalty they would be just fine. Touche! Of course I was silenced, as that has been my own complaint about the Black Stars. I just prayed that we would prevail – I couldn’t imagine going back to the US with them winning this game!
I hadn’t worn my Ghana flag eyeshadow makeup and I would like to think I’m not superstitious. But I asked myself, what if this one time that I don’t wear my makeup, we lose, and lose bad? Right?! The guys also had their battle-gear on – their jerseys, face paint, and Ghana flag capes, hats, wigs and what not. On top of this they decided to warm up by participating in the Black Label whiskey from the night before. I took a shot…and another. Then they brought out a Green Label and I just had to try that too!
On the three hour (or so) ride to Rusty Dusty the boys, well prepped, began their ruckus and drumming. Apparently, what I call a ruckus is known as “Jama”. I joined in where I could.
I must say that the Ghanaian Jama is so much fun. It puts “cheerleading” to shame. We had about an hour to kill when we arrived in Rustenburg so we found a shabeen where a lot of Americans had already gathered and made sure to let our presence be known. It was loads of fun.
The Americans were amused only to the point of taking pictures of us and listening to what we were singing. There were only feeble attempts at USA! USA! USA!. Weak I say!
Eee Ef Gee Eech
Ai Jay Kay El
Em En O Pi
Wo ya wo USA!
USA a lo go
Logo logo liggi
We continued our jama all the way into the stadium and had barely settled down when Boateng scored Ghana’s first goal! Oh it was on! Yes the US did equalize – ironically with a penalty kick! – but it was evident that Ghana was playing better. They even tried to chant USA! USA! USA! but again were very quickly silenced by the much larger crowd of Ghana supporters (at least where I sat).
But in the last 10 minutes of the game, I couldn’t handle it anymore. US only had to score another goal (by mistake or just good fortune) and we were over, especially as it seemed in the second half the Black Stars were mostly defending. I got up to pace around until the game went into extra time. For whatever reason, the Black Stars changed to attack mode in the first half of extra time and there we were 2 – 1.
What a sweet victory!
daa naa aa sii
Da Onyame asi
Na na ado
Da na asi
daa naa aa sii
Da Onyame asi…
The guys broke out in singing the Ghanaian National Anthem and doing Jama again and were joined in by other Ghanaians. The Americans seemed to quickly flee the stadium.
What a high!
On our way back to Joburg, we stopped at a rest stop for refreshments and were cheered on by South Africans around. The Black Stars of Ghana had suddenly become BaGhana BaGhana of South Africa. Our plan of course was to return to Joburg and celebrate properly. But I don’t know why I even call the guys “boys”. They are old men proper! By the time we arrived in Joburg, it was about 2 am and they were intimidated by the line outside of Moloko nightclub and fatigued at the thought of dancing inside. So they changed their minds and decided they would rather have a relaxed night at Newscafe. But just before we left, who do I see but my dear Idris Elba. Oh, I so badly wanted to stay at Moloko by myself. He even gave one of the boys a high five. I’m sure it’s because he has Ghanaian heritage and we were still wearing our capes.
At Newscafe, the guys, I mean the old men, continued their languish. It was terrible. You would have thought we had lost a battle or something. Come on dudes, we are the victors!!! Alcohol only barely roused them up. I mean Newscafe was crowded and we had a Ghana flag spread out on our table like a tablecloth and still had on our capes. Groups of people would come around cheering Ghana!, Ghana!, Ghana! or asking to take pictures with us. All the boys could do was nod and grin. So weak. They had jama-ed themselves out already pre-game. Even one of the SABC sport panelists came by our table to congratulate Ghana and bought us a bottle of cognac and though the boys were grateful you could clearly see that they were wiped out. The highlight was when one white South African dude came up to the table and started to sing…
That was amusing!
We stayed until closing (around 5am) then dragged ourselves home to bed.
Oh what a day!