I woke up Wednesday feeling nauseous. Yeah, downright nauseous to the pit of my belly. Ghana – Germany, oh goodness, can we go through? Ok, so an African team is unlikely to win the first (and only?) FIFA World Cup on African soil, but can one of us at least make it through to the round of 16?
007 and his Bond girl had stayed the night but they had errands to run. They came back for me by 3pm so we made our way to Soccer City. We ventured into Soweto and found a local lounge, SoChila, to watch the England – Slovenia game. 007 couldn’t finish the game. He had to go out for a smoke to calm his nerves down while peeking through the window at the game hoping that England would score a second goal. I was checking up on the USA – Algeria game and it was all going well until that American goal (offside right?!) in overtime. 007 was not happy at all, and I was still quite nervous for Ghana.
At the stadium we met up with the guys who were wearing Ghanaian flags and other Ghanaian apparel. Everybody wanted to take pictures with us. In the hour leading up to kick-off they just sang and danced. I’m sure the Germans were amused. Other Ghanaians just joined in. I admit it helped calm me down. When the game started so did the vuvuzelas (of course) and the Ghanaian drums. Let’s just say that I survived the first half. At half-time, the boys were at it again by the food court causing a ruckus. A pleasant ruckus their song & dance, that is. You would think Ghana had won the entire World Cup. So of course when the German goal came early in the second half people were disappointed. The drums were still going however which I was glad for. I had been checking the Australia – Serbia game simultaneously and such was my joy when Australia scored the first, then the second goal. The drumming picked up vigor as the game came to a close and even though we had lost, the stadium belonged to Ghana! I mean the stadium belonged to Ghana! Drumming, trumpeting, singing, dancing, oh my goodness, where to begin?! Maybe the Germans were reserved because they topped the group and would have to meet England. Maybe they were reserved because after all they are Germans.
I’m sure the Ghanaians were not only excited to have qualified for the second round, but also because it is the US that we will be meeting. My perspective of course is that the Black Stars need to go back to “Football 101: How to Score a Goal” but my nerves were gone knowing that all that I had asked of Ghana had been accomplished. What a bittersweet victory.
Ghanafrica always the beacon of Africa. Always leading the way. Ei, our backs are broken eh, carrying the rest of Africa along. But it is ok. We will continue to do this for the rest of you…until such time you step up to the plate as well! 🙂
We went to Newscafe in Sandton for a quick bite. There was no stopping the guys – 20 men strong- from celebrating again as if this was the end of the tournament. There were other team supporters there; En-ger-land who took our cue to also cause noise, Germany, USA etc. Great times.
Around 3am we heard that the Ghanaian football team was at a party in a nearby hotel. As much as we wanted to party with the footballers it felt wrong that they should be partying instead of resting in preparation for more training (remember, remedial Football 101). But we went with trepidation but as luck would have it, they actually let us in. It was a swanky party with regular folks as well as groupies, footballer girlfriends, wannabees and has-beens! Ok, that’s a bit mean. There weren’t any Ghanaian footballers there, and I’m not sure if they were there earlier on or not. I wouldn’t mind if they were there for about an hour or so before midnight, but no more. Curfew! Discipline! Dudes, you haven’t scored significant goals, I hope you haven’t been partying! Your fans didn’t come to see you party but to score goals and win matches!
But I had myself a grand ole time. Took pictures with Edgar Davids and Patrick Vieira. Actually, 007 and I cornered each of them on their way out. Tacky I know. But at least they were not at risk of having everyone else asking for pictures as well, so we used some discretion right? Also present at the party were Jay Jay Okocha and George Weah.
Got home by 6am and called it a night.