It was during midweek when my mother picked my sister and I up after school to head to Accra Sports Stadium to watch my father play. The atmosphere was rather intimidating and despite all the noise in the stadium, a younger me still felt right at home. It was the first time I got to see my dad at work. He was a tough and intelligent defender. He was the captain of his team and led the team to a win, which led to the supporters chanting his name. From that day, I knew I wanted the same job he had. Fast forward to another match I saw which featured my uncle, the younger brother of my dad in my hometown Tema. Like my dad, he was also a crowd favorite for his side. The crowd chanted his name but not for being a tough defender but a pacey winger. He was the most skillful and flashy player on the field and he did what he wanted, when he wanted. From that day I knew I wanted to be the man scoring goals and showing my skills offensively.
I come from a footballing family and from childhood, all I knew was the game. I watched it so much that even back then, I knew every player's name and team. My favorite player growing up was the Brazilian Ronaldo. I recall my mother saying that when Brazil would lose, I would throw tantrums and refuse to eat for the entire day! I was always playing football when I could and when I was 9 years old I joined my first team and played the same position my Uncle did. I tried to emulate his skills while keeping the same intelligence and tenacity my dad played with.
I am proud to say that my dad is an Olympian and holds a bronze medal from the 1992 Olympic Games which were held in Barcelona, Spain. Through my dad I met several of his teammates whom I absolutely adored. The likes of Abedi Pele, Anthony Yeboah and Samuel Osei Kuffuor will forever be legends in Ghanaian football. My dad showed me grit; that if I wanted to make it in football I had to always work hard and never give up. I had to sacrifice partying and going out with my friends on some weekends in order to be well rested for training and games. He showed me that if you put the work in and you train like a professional then you will be successful. For that I say, thank you dad.