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Issues here and there - ‘There are no minnows in football’

Pavelyn Tendei Musaka

We have not done “issues here and there” in a while, right? And what a time to do it with all the activities going on around us. 

It’s been buzzing at the Euro 2016 currently going on in France, hasn’t it? There have been a few upsets already with the biggest two being Iceland taming Portugal and incurring Cristiano Ronaldo’s ire, and Croatia dealing the reigning champions Spain a deadly blow that got Twitter trolling David De Gea!

For as long as I can remember, there has always been that saying by football pundits and fans alike that “there are noIssues here and thereIssues here and there minnows in football” only for tournaments to come around for us to hype the big boys as potential winners and then some innocuous team brings us back to reality.

This particular tournament has shown that indeed there are no minnows in football as one “small” team after another have shown big surprises in how they have managed to slug it out with the so called big guns without many bruises to show.

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 As someone posited on Facebook, “no team came to France to watch the Eiffel Tower.” There have been many great television moments so far in this tournament.

Meanwhile, in the small matter of the Copa America, Argentina has shown that the big boys really do know when to turn up when they are needed to do so. 

They have booked their way to the final of this tournament and it remains to be seen if lady luck will smile to them this time around.

Last Tuesday night, the South American nation and two times World Cup winners got hold of the US Men National Team (USMNT) and trounced them like the widow of the late NDC parliament candidate for Shai-Osudoku trounced Dr. Michael Kpessa-White (I know it’s unrelated but I couldn’t help rubbing it in) in the semi final.

The captain of the Albicelestes, and reigning world footballer of the year, Lionel Messi came to the party and on Tuesday scored brilliant free kick and provided an assist to Lavezzi to down the Americans. Higuain scored the other two goals in the 4:0 drubbing.

This is the third major final that Argentina will be playing in two years. In June 2014 they lost in the final of the World Cup to Germany, in June 2015 they lost in the final of the Copa America to Chile and they are facing Chile this Sunday. 

Will captain Messi be lucky this time? It will be my greatest joy to see him lift the cup after leading his team to two previous finals and losing.

The dancing diplomats at diplomatic fair 2016

They say “trust not a man who cannot dance” but should we trust a diplomat who cannot? I think that depends on whether you see dancing as a part of the job description of a man or woman appointed to represent his or her country in another country.

The fact though is that you hardly would see an Ambassador or High Commissioner dancing or even imagine that in the first place. We see such people as very reserved and straight jacketed that it will be out of decorum to see them dancing.

However, the High Commissioner of Zimbawe to Ghana, Ambassador Pavelyn Tendai Musaka says diplomats are human too and when they get the, opportunity, they dance like all humans do. 

She was speaking at the Networking Session to climax the 2016 edition of the Diplomatic Fair which took place in Accra last week.

The three-day fair which started on Thursday and ended on Saturday at the Accra International Conference Centre(AICC) sought to connect diplomats and diplomatic missions in Ghana and also showcase what was available in the various countries they represent.

The fair brought together businesses such as banks, airlines, hotels, telecommunications companies and many others both in travel and tourism and other, areas, to interact among themselves and with the diplomatic communities.

Most of the diplomatic missions that made it were from the African continent. I saw stands from Angola, Botswana, Burkina Faso, South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Tanzania, Democratic Republic of Congo and others. They were all there to showcase their countries and culture.

There were side issues to the fair including forums addressed by the Ambassadors and High Commissioners all of who were available throughout the three-day fair. The cocktail event also drew participants from the travel and tourism industry as well as corporate Ghana.

Before the cocktail event was the tasting of food from all the countries that had participated. Lead sponsors Unibank provided the food from Ghana and it included kelewele and sobolo among others. We took the opportunity to sample food from all other countries and all were yummy.

Gospel artiste Nana Perbi, who MCed the food tasting, had his band on hand to perform at the Networking Session. 

His energetic dance moves fused with South African music and rhythms saw the Ambassador Musaka, who is also the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, hitting the floor along with the High Commissioner of South Africa, Ambassador of Angola, High Commissioner of Tanzania (who came all the way from Nigeria), Consul for Botswana and other diplomats dancing the night away.

In a short speech, (unlike politicians, diplomats are known for their brevity) Ambassador Musaka commended the event producers and thanked all those who made it to the fair while promising another Diplomatic Fair next year.

On her part, Mrs. Nancy Sam Quartey, President of Tour Operators Union of Ghana (TOUGHA), who organised the fair, was happy that they had a successful event and hoped that subsequent ones would be even bigger and more successful.

Television morning shows

I have been watching a lot of television morning shows these days just to get sense of what has been happening when some of you are in traffic going to work. I see a lot of similarities and also a lot of trash on morning television.

I had hoped to write a piece on it for your reading pleasure this week, but I have run out of space and time so let me consume some more and come back with a fitting tribute on what my views are on morning television programming very soon.