REST IN PEACE UNCLE FIIFI
Kojo Addae Mensah
Posted on: Thu Jul 26, 2012
Since Tuesday it has been difficult to talk about anything else other than the loss of his Excellency President Mills to the Almighty God. As an avid sportsman, Ghana sports have lost a great man. As a campus boy, I have known Professor Mills virtually all my life.
Of course since he ascended into politics and the high office of Vice President and then to President, meeting him had become extremely difficult. If I recall, I think I met him just a few times during that period and he would say, ei Kojo otin den. Edaho bo ball aaa. Meaning how am I doing and do I still play football.
These days the advents of soccer academies have come to destroy juvenile soccer but the Prof. was very passionate about juvenile soccer and in our campus days, Prof. Mills used to organize matches for us to play, especially between kids of Little Legon (where I lived) and Lower Hill. He also used to organize Kwabenya vrs Legon for us and oh my, those days were good days. You will see the Prof. cheering both sides on and giving us all encouragement.
Between him and Prof. Hagan I can’t really remember who bought me my first football but it was surely not my father. It was him who encouraged me to play soccer. At some point his love for hockey was pushing me but surely hockey was not my piece of cake. I just could not bring myself to playing the game to his disappointment. Oh Uncle Fiifi, I will miss you a lot.
I was looking forward to a day where you will quietly retire and then I can come and visit you again like the good old days and tease each other on Hearts-Kotoko matters. Yes that was also one thing. Uncle Fiifi tried and tried when I was a very little boy to woo me into Hearts of Oak but it never happened. I was staunch Kotoko supporter already and we even used to play Hearts vrs Kotoko as campus boys and he will drive by to watch us play before he proceeds to do anything else.
Ghana sports have lost a great man indeed. This man loved all sports. Hockey, soccer, athletics, boxing, handball, everything just name it and he had deep knowledge about them as well. He was not just an ordinary law Professor. He was an all-rounder. But I remember going to his home was always a nightmare with the viscous dogs that guarded him and Aunty Ernestina.
He used to even scare us with it when we are playing soccer and not playing well. He will say “hey Kojo, ebo adze djendjan aaa me dze bodom no be ba wo do”. We have had some really good times as kids in the Legon neighborhood. These days when I drive through Legon, I wonder what sort of life the kids are leading there. It is not as protected as we used to have it with too much commercial activity going on there. I wonder if there is anyone like Prof. Mills there who will organize the kids and get them to play soccer and learn leadership and teamwork at that youthful age. Legon has lost a great man.
While we mourn the Prof., issues are also happening in our beloved club. I am aware a lot of scouting and deals have started going on about player purchase and sales and I am still very worried about the number of players on the Kotoko wage bill. I think the technical team should be firm enough to ensure that we prune the team down. I know we are going into Africa next season and need as many good options as possible as the strength of any team is always the bench.
Last Sunday I fell in love with Berekum Chelsea at the display they put up in DRC where they shocked TP Mazembe with a stunning comeback from two goals down. That side is improving and Kotoko must take a cue from what they are doing to ensure that we get things right and also qualify to the group stage and do very well. The Chelsea side proved again that they are very fit and compact and though they have some lapses in defense, they are still a very good side and difficult to beat.
Kotoko will continue to struggle to beat them if they continue to play like the way they did. I don’t think Berekum Chelsea have forty players yet they are doing very well and have a consistent team. I know we do not want to create any acrimonies amongst the players and so have asked them to get deals and come to the team for a cordial transfer rather than for us to just put “unwanted” players on transfer which always creates issues for both club and player but the more players we keep on the fringe the more we have issues on our costs.
I hope we are being very circumspect on our purchases. As I say all the time, I have seen many players with big pedigrees where they are coming from only to wear the red shirt and totally flop! I will like to end today with honour and respect to Uncle Fiifi, may his soul rest in peace.
I remain your true red fabulous aficionado.
Kotoko Beku Me.
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