I have followed with keen interest the bonus row between the Black Queens of Ghana and the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
I have listened I have read ... and I have observed the shameful act of the Ministry of Youth and Sports. I have asked myself countlessly why such a thing must happen after exactly 14 months from the debacle of Brazil. So when are we going to learn as a country?
I am one person who was hugely surprised by the headlines that Botsyo Nkebe's silver medal winning feet at the just ended All African Games made. Yes I was shocked that some websites and newspaper headlines read - Breaking News: Ghana wins first silver medal at the AAG. Hahaha! Were u not surprised yourself? Ghana's preparation for the event has been so poor that even a silver medal is a breaking news for us. Oh, where is Dr. Kwame Nkrumah? Your Ghana is sick!
Now tell me, if silver medal is breaking news, then what should be gold medal? ... keep your answer for now.
When the Black Queens won the second gold medal for the nation, everyone was proud of the beautiful queens. Oh yes they are beautiful. Check Rosemary Ampem and Linda Eshun (hope my wife is not reading)
We all hailed them with the believe that they will be given national recognition when they return. But surprisingly, the recognition given them was shamelessly shameful. ... unpaid bonuses.
I was at the airport to welcome the team and I must confess the minister dedicatingly sat with us and waited for close to five hours before the team arrived. We interacted and spoke on various things. That was when I got the impressing that the minister was not ready to help the system. I realized that the ministry was not happy that we won gold. Yes they were not happy because they felt it was coming with a cost. But ..., hmmm let's leave it here.
When the team was leaving for their hotel I sensed danger but I kept quiet. Now here we are. Ei so in Ghana if you don't demonstrate against something, officialdom will never mind you right? So if the Black Queens had not insisted on their bonuses being paid before they leave the hotel, it would have been the same old story right? Am sad. So it is now a sin to win gold at a major tournament?
So must we always wait for the President to add his voice before we take action? What country is this?
The ladies deserved their monies and should have been paid long before now. It has continued for far too long. Why must they demonstrate acts of insubordination before we give them their due? So was the ministry not aware of the monies they owe them?
So even if the team had accepted the $2000 when would the arrears would have been paid? Tweaaaa! That would have been the last time they will hear of money. Not until there is an international assignment. So I support the Queens 1000% for the action they took. This must tell us something.
Well the action of President John Mahama has been timely but shameful to Ghana as a country. Ei, so if Mahama had not called from the US where he is attending the UN General Assembly, the Queens would have been at the hotel till thy kingdom come right? Shameful! So what is the role of the Ministry of Sports? So couldn't they have done anything? Oh if they couldn't do anything then they are useless and must not be kept there. Afterall they have failed all of us and have disappointed the whole nation.
Do we by these acts, expect our sportmen and women to die for the country whenever they represent the nation on assignment? No! They will not and the few prospects like Ignatius Gaizers and the Magaret Simpsons will surely naturalise for other countries. ...and JB Danquah will ask, is this nation worth dying for?
Ideally, the Queens should have been given the treatment that is always given to the all other national teams. They won gold for God's sake and must be respected as such. If we think we cannot treat them in a particular way, let us not start it at all. Because what is good for the goose is equally good for the gander.
But here is a situation where not even a single of the treatment given the other national teams is given to the Black Queens. Yes they cannot be treated equally but they can be respected equally. Yes respect them and that will do the trick.
Of course we know the Black Stars are owed their winning bonus for their match against Rwanda but the Black Queens are owed for close to three years. Aaaaba! How?
Now the Black Queens are likely to leave the hotel with at least $10,000 each on Tuesday after the president intervened through GFA President Kwesi Nyantakyi. But when will the rest be paid?