She saw it as one of the high points of her steadily blooming singing career but popular Afro-Pop star, Becca found the words stuck in her throat as she got ready to sing the national anthem at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi last September during the Ghana versus Zambia Brazil 2014 World Cup qualifier.
Somebody had apparently pulled the rug from under her feet at the very last moment and she expressed her displeasure at the incident when she spoke at the UN Cultural Night at the Alliance Francaise in Accra last Friday.
“What I, the stadium announcer and pressmen who had relayed the information that I was about to make history did not know was that, a directive had come from an authority or perhaps authorities, that I do not sing the national anthem anymore.
“Reason? I was a woman. The authority had, at the last minute, remembered that my being a woman apparently was bad omen. In other words, because I could menstruate, I was unworthy of singing our anthem.
“At least that was the explanation given to UNAIDS when they sought to know why an event that had cost precious time and effort to conceive and hatch was dumped,” Becca painfully said.
She became a Goodwill Ambassador for UNAIDS a few months ago and said the arrangement for her to sing the national anthem at the football match had been done through UNAIDS under its Protect The Goal campaign with FIFA.
“The visiting team mimed their anthem with support from the stadium's public announcement system. I was going to sing ours live through the cordless microphone made available for my act . The stadium announcer acting as emcee for the occasion introduced me because he had the official match day programme and was sticking to it,” Becca said.
Obviously disappointed that the only reason why she was not was allowed to sing on the occasion was because of her gender, Becca described the incident as ‘psychological abuse.’
According to Becca, she did not recount her ordeal to create a platform for cheap political points. Rather it was to bring to light, a challenge that women have had to deal with for generations and which must cease.
“I have refused to be drawn back by such events and believe my urging all women to do same is a positive step in the right direction. I’m determined, competitive, confident , ambitious, courageous and productive just like any other person and that is why I will not be suppressed,” Becca asserted.
A spokesperson for the Ghana Football Association (GFA) who was part of the planning for the Ghana-Zambia match, told Showbiz it never cropped up in any of their pre-match meetings that Becca was to sing the national anthem.
“What we knew all along was that the Ghana national anthem would be played over the stadium public address system. If some arrangements had been made is some quarters for Becca to sing live, the GFA was definitely not aware of that,” the spokesperson said.