The Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC) has offered a peek at the official costume Team Ghana will wear for the opening ceremony of the 2018 Commonwealth Games which gets underway in a few hours in Gold Coast, Australia.
A tweet by the GOC reveals that the members of Ghana's team at the Commonwealth Games will take to the Carrara Stadium, Carrara, Australia wearing a colourful kente strip.
The ladies will wear their pink kente vests over white long sleeve shirts. and kente skirts while the men will their kente vests over black trousers and white long sleeve shirts.
Ghana would be represented at the opening ceremony and throughout the Commonwealth Games by 71 sportsmen and sportswomen in 12 disciplines, with 35 technical men aiding them, with support from four medical doctors and 12 officials.
Athletes currently lodging at the Games Village include boxers Suleman Tetteh (49kg), Annan Ampiah (52kg), Samuel Addo (56kg), Abdul Wahid Omar (60kg), Jessie Lartey (64kg), Abubakar Quartey (69kg) and Musah Rahman Lawson (75kg) who are handled by the head coach, Ofori Asare and his assistant, Vincent Akai Netty.
The female hockey team represent the largest group comprising, Bridget Azumah, Mavis Ampem Darko, Vivian Narkuour, Elizabeth Opoku, Martha Sarfowaa, Roberta Sarfo, Deborah Whyte, Lydia Afriyie, Janet Adampah, Benedicta Adjei and Nafisatu Umaru, the team captain.
Others are Adizatu Suleman, Mavis Boatemaa Berko, Emelia Fosuaa, Serwaa Boakye, Ernestina Coffie, Cecilia Amoako and Juwaila Acquah. They are handled by head coach Emmanuel Ahadjie and his assistant, Richmond Attipoe, with Rosemary Lamptey as the team manager.
The table tennis team, Black Loopers, are represented by Derek Abrefa, Bernard Joe Sam, Felix Lartey, Emmanuel Asante, Cynthia Kwabi and Celia Baah Danso, with Anthony Owusu-Ansah and Annag Whyte as the head coach and assistant respectively.
The para-athletes are represented by the duo of Felix Acheampong and Botso Nkegbe, with Emmanuel Sowah as the coach.
Ghana’s badminton team comprise Abraham Aryeetey, Emmanuel Donkor, Daniel Sam, Michael Opoku Baah, Grace Atipaka, Eyram Yaa Migbodzi, Stella Ansah and Gifty Musa, with Davis Ephraim and Philip Baah as coaches.
The cycling team will be represented by Abdul Razak Umar, Abdul Razak Abdul Mumin and Anthony Boakye Dankwah and are trained by Elvis Alikpui.
Ghana’s track and field team includes three home-based athletes such as sensational sprinter Hor Halutie, a former student of T.I. Ahmadiyya SHS in Kumasi; Rafiatu Nuhu of Kumasi Girls’ SHS and Sarfo Ansah.
Halutie, the star of the GAA Circuit Championship in Cape Coast in February, has been included in the women’s sprints quartet (4x100m), while Ansah has been added to the men’s 4x100m relay team.
However, Rafiatu, who won the female 400m race at the circuit championship, is competing under the competition’s developmental clause as a promising young athlete even though she did not make the qualifying mark. They have Samuel Ayer and Salamatu Musa as coaches.
Ghana has won a total of 57 medals in the history of the Commonwealth Games comprising 15 gold, 18 silver and 24 bronze medals.
In the lead up to the Commonwealth Games, Ghana's Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports, Pius Enam Hadzide announced a $15,000 cash prize for any gold medal winner from Ghana.
According to Mr Hadzide, who doubles as the Head of Ghana's International Games Committee (IGC), his outfit decided that the government will contribute $5,000 to the total sum while an Australian philanthropist offered to contribute the remaining $10,000 for gold medal winners.
He added that silver and bronze medal winners from Ghana's contingent will also receive $3,000 and $2,000 respectively for their efforts.
View photographs of the costume below;
Kente, known as nwentom in Akan, is a type of silk and cotton fabric made of interwoven cloth strips and is native to the Akan ethnic group of South Ghana.
Kente is made in Akan lands such as Ashanti Kingdom, (Bonwire, Adanwomase, Sakora Wonoo, Ntonso in the Kwabre areas of the Ashanti Region). It is also worn by many other groups who have been influenced by Akans.
Kente comes from the word kenten, which means basket in Akan dialect Asante. Akans refer to kente as nwentoma, meaning woven cloth.
It is an Akan royal and sacred cloth worn only in times of extreme importance and was the cloth of kings. Over time, the use of kente became more widespread. However, its importance has remained and it is held in high esteem with Akans.