March 2014


Black Stars Launch New Kit…

Black Stars World Cup Strip revealed

 

With 99 days left until the start of the greatest sporting show on earth the Ghanaian national team have revealed the strip they will be wearing in Brazil. The jersey (modelled by Ghana captain, Asamoah Gyan) still designed by PUMA keeps the original white and  red kit for Home and away respectively. The home shirt features bold African inspired graphic print inserts on the neck and sleeves that represent the pride of Ghana and the national team nickname the Black Stars. The print is created in the national flag colours, with stars and a football field graphic.

 

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The away kit in it’s trademark red has a similar print on the sleeve as the home kit but there is also a subtle larger design print on the front of the shirt which can only be seen at close quarters. The new kits feature PUMA’s new football apparel innovation PWR ACTV, a first-to-market use of both athletic taping and compression within the apparel.

The ACTV tape is strategically placed within the garment to provide micro-massages on the skin, working with the human body to help maximise performance and provide players with a faster, more effective energy supply to the active muscles. This combined with the underarm mesh inserts for increased breathability and freedom of movement, is designed to help Ghana have a competitive advantage at this year’s World Cup.

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The kit will be worn for the first time when Ghana take on Montenegro in an international friendly in Podgorica this evening. I will be sure to grab a jersey when it comes out

Will you be grabbing yours? let me know what you think of the new designs..

Ben Jk Anim-Antwi (@Kwesitheauthor)

Ghana @57: Q&A Debate at Ghana High Commission 28/2

Ghana- How Far Have We Come?

Ghana independence will soon be upon us again, and it is during this period of time when Ghanaians reflect on the progress, and in some cases lack of, the motherland has made since independence. It is with this in mind that a small Q&A session was held live at the Ghana High Commission in London last Friday night.

Set to broadcast on our screens on Sky 218 at 8.30pm on Thursday 6th March, exactly 57 years ago Ghana achieved independence from British colonial rule, the event saw prominent figures from the Ghanaian community discuss issues relating to Ghana – particularly where Ghana is at at the present, where it ought to be, and what needs to be done to move the nation forward.

On the panel were Prof. Kwaku Danso Boafo (Ghana High Commissioner to UK & Ireland), Dorothy Engmann (economist), Emmanuel Quayson (Chairman of Ghana Union UK) and Francis Poku (former National Security Minister in Ghana). Hosting the Q&A was Kwaku Owusu Frimpong.

In brief, questions put to the panel aimed to gauge whether Ghana had fallen short on the vision Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, the first president of independent Ghana had for the nation. And though the panellists had positives for Ghana, there were negatives as well. Sure Ghana is the beacon of democracy in Africa and we are not beset by divisive conflicts that have plagued many other African countries. However there are areas where Ghana sharply improve on, and among the problems the panellists and the audience touched upon were lack of infrastructure, education, accountability of politicians, youth unemployment and a stagnant agriculture and industrial sector.

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Unfortunately, time constraints did not allow for the panel to really explore solutions to our country’s problems, which was a shame. But I will say this: listening to panellists, especially Prof. Kwaku Danso Boafo, it dawned on me that Ghana had lost that nationalist pride and patriotism that propelled her to achieve independence in 1957.

Countrymen, the task ahead is great indeed, and heavy is the responsibility; and yet it is a noble and glorious challenge – a challenge which calls for the courage to dream, the courage to believe, the courage to dare, the courage to do, the courage to envision, the courage to fight, the courage to work, the courage to achieve – to achieve the highest excellencies and the fullest greatness of man. Dare we ask for more in life?”

The above quote was part of a speech by Nkrumah to the National Assembly on June 12 1965.  Nkrumah recognised that independence was hard work and he inspired Ghanaians to embrace that concept in order to move the nation forward, and I think it was a period where Ghanaians were truly united in a sense.

However since Nkrumah I don’t believe there has ever been a president in Ghana who has been able to arouse patriotism and national pride among the people. The mentality in Ghana has shifted from ‘how can I make Ghana better’ to ‘how can I enrich myself?’ If Ghana is to truly progress as a nation, then we must start with a change of mentality.  Only then can we move forward as a nation.

Let’s hope that when Ghana is 67, we’ll not be asking what we’ve achieved or not achieved – rather we’ll be celebrating accomplishments achieved from now till then.

It was refreshing to hear a member of the Me FiRi Ghana Team highlighting how not one person had mentioned legacy or youth during conversations. An air of silence and interest seemed to also be drawn when it was announced how the company Me FiRi Ghana would be launching a publication featuring Ghanaian Youth Under 35 years Pioneering in a variety of professions to celebrate Ghana Independence on 6th March. (I’m looking forward to seeing who will feature myself!)

*Catch the Q&A on Focus on Ghana Thursday 6th March at 8.30pm on Vox Africa Sky 218*

Yaa Nyarko (@ohenebayaa)

Introducing Nigel Botchey…

Founder of Elev8 on a mission to connect African football with the rest of the World

 

Two years ago 24 year old Nigel Botchey from London set about establishing a sports management company with a difference. Three things that have been in his blood from birth, Sports, Africa (Ghana) and Business, formed the basis behind the creation of Elev8 sports management.

Since then he has gained a scholarship to Brunel University and graduated in Economincs and International Business. He also mentored and assisted 40 young people into successful apprenticeship schemes during his time with South London Business Service.

However his road to success was not straightforward. After his own football career failed to reach the heights it once promised, Botchey used the passion he had for all the above and begun a fact finding mission. In order to gain experience he found work in the commercial sector of sports, football to be precise. However, during his time there he was taken by surprise at the lack of interest and respect for the administration of sports and its players in Africa. This led him to start his own business with the hope of changing the perception of African football and it’s administration.

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Thus Elev8 was birthed. The name was chosen as it summed up Nigel’s aim to modernise and professionalise the African sports industry. The commercialisation of sport is a recent phenomenon that hasn’t yet reached the shores of Africa. Elev8 believes Africans will benefit most from branding, marketing and professional consultation of the sport.  .

Elev8 have started operating in West Africa and in particular, Ghana.  As the homeland of it’s founder it was at the forefront of his mind. Ghana’s potential is scary, economically, socially and in our choice of field, sports. “Ghana is seen as a shining light and gateway to Africa and it’s about time we went to the next level in the sports industry and capitalised on our potential” says Botchey

The company exists to be the perfect middle man between Africa and the rest of the world in regards to sports.  Overtime they have realised two things people fail to understand, firstly, the African terrain and how things are done there, and secondly, how to maximise the commercial potential of Africa. A major issue a lot of people have when considering Africa, is who to trust. Elev8 hopes to eradicate these issues by having an understanding of both European business culture and African culture, allowing them to offer consultation working alongside clients to achieve maximum success.

timthumbIt is well known that a lot of African players find themselves abandoned in foreign lands with no finance, or shelter, having to prostitute themselves for survival all because they placed their hopes in dreams in the care of negligent and selfish individuals. This is why at Elev8 they offer a consultation and management service to African players on the continent and in the UK in regards to all things concerning their lives and careers.

Among the Services Offered by Elev8 are; client management, sports event management (Promotional Tours and Fixture organisation), sports marketing (Commercial and PR consultation and negotiation), player Scouting and club Partnerships.  They have also been Mandated by the Ghana Football Association to arrange international FIFA recognised friendly matches. Recently Elev8 signed a collaborative deal with EXP Ghana regarding events and commercial deals on the continent for European based clubs and athletes, plus they are potentially more big deals on the horizon

Botchey tells us he has a vision for Ghana, just as Kwame Nkrumah had when he first used football as a way to galvanise the people, giving them something to be proud of and aspire to, and it’s this vision with football that brings the nation and even the continent together today. He wants to see Ghana and other African nations become powerhouses of world sport and use the success and investment it brings to benefit society and our people.

Nigel Botchey Me Firi Ghana salutes you!

Get the latest news from Elev8 via their website – http://elev8-sports.com/

Ben JK Anim-Antwi (@Kwesitheauthor)