This isn’t your usual political feature.
Ghana like many countries in the world, is at the center piece of a power struggle between two political titans. The ruling party, National Democratic Congress (NDC) and main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), from the way I see it, are at level pegging zipping through every corner of the earth’s central land canvassing for votes ahead of the December elections.
Both parties disagree on anything and everything. And I mean everything. From constructing major projects like the recently commissioned Kwame Nkrumah or “Dubai” Interchange to minor ones like subsidizing prices on agricultural products like fertilizers, both parties are at polar ends of the table.
However, in the once mighty industrial hub of the Greater Accra Region called Tema, representatives of either party has inadvertently teamed up to grow something special in the municipality. Though Tema is still a thriving knit of industries, it has become synonymous in mainstream culture for music as its youth dominates the sector.
Unlike their peers who find joy in throwing money around without any positive impact for but a few people; these elected individuals are doing it with the community in mind. And that is what makes them unique and worthy of praise in a land where blind partisan glasses have blinded many.
The Tema Community Basketball League’s maiden season has ended with Nungua Coldstore winning the title at the expense of Ashaiman Lions courtesy a 47-37 win.
The game which took place in the wee hours of a Sunday evening on October 30 at the Community 4 Court was possible after NDC Candidate for Tema Central Constituency Ebi Bright funded the total overhaul of the court’s lighting system. For many years, the court which has a storied history had no lights meaning pickup games and before Bright’s intervention, league games, ended early to avoid playing in darkness.
She was given a helping hand by some veteran players who chipped in their bit to replace the sorry state of a backboard with new ones complete with standard rims. With the lights installed and shining brightly over the court (that she had painted after the veterans had painted the worn out paint on the playing surface some weeks before) the title game was an enjoyable one for all. It also helped, a special November 6 held tournament, appropriately named after her, got some big fishes in Ghana Sports Minister Nii Lante Vanderpuye and Tema Mayor Isaac Odamtten to troop to the venue popularly called Chinese Court. Prior to Coldstore’s win over Lions on that day (October 30), Community 12 played against Flashlights of Tema New Town for third place honors.
One thing stuck out aside the athletic showcase from Flashlights in the game. Clad in turquoise blue, Community 12 looked sharp and clean in the strip purchased by incumbent Member of Parliament for the Constituency Kofi Brako from the NPP. With a few weeks remaining to the end of the postseason, Honorable Brako donated three sets of jerseys to three teams competing in the league. The donation came in handy as the teams were not appropriately suited up for games. Fast forward to November and the Ebi Bright Basketball Tournament final game is taking place with home team Tema Central taking on Flashlights.
And just like that it hit me the smallest place one could find in the big municipal gave a glimpse of what the nation stands to gain from working in unison. Here was a tournament funded by an NDC rep, at a venue lit up courtesy the same rep, featuring a team clothed by an NPP rep with individuals from the community cheering on every shot, fake, pass and dunk from court side. With the help of leaders from both parties, the Chinese Court is in a better place than it was in the league’s second week on my first trip to witness the burgeoning league. Through their efforts, the Tema League was a success subsequently spawning two tournaments that enriched the season.
By collaborating, a positive thing has been achieved that will bear limitless fruits and win or lose, both candidates should be proud of what they have achieved.
By Yaw Adjei-Mintah