The search for the body of a young man from Africa took over the world media for about 14 days, as the whole world focused on the crisis (earthquake) that befell Turkey and Syria.
Over 43,000 deaths have so far been recorded, with 60,000 plus injuries. The world for a moment seemed to have forgotten all of its problems, with an eye only on the Turkey and Syria situation.
Fatefully, in that unfortunate disaster was a footballer (Christian Atsu) from a third-world country (Ghana) whose name might not have been mentioned outside his country should he have died a natural death.
The world news of the over 43,000 deaths narrowed onto just one individual (Atsu), who before the day’s unfortunate incident had scored a winning goal for his club, Hatayspor.
Rescue teams descended on the scene, with a few success stories (of some victims being pulled alive), but many dead. The search continued till Saturday (18th February 2023) when “the lifeless body of the Ghanaian footballer was found and suddenly, interest in the Turkey/ Syria disaster for many Ghanaians and many in the international community seemed to have died, though in reality rescue efforts were still underway.
Almost all football matches played in all major soccer leagues on the Saturday (18th February 2024) reported this news- a ceremonial “one-minute-silence” was observed for Christian, with all major worldwide news portals (CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera, The Guardian, etc.) reporting on him.
Our beloved Atsu would not ordinarily have received such recognition on any day, but for his football exploits and the harrowing manner of his death.
The intent of this write-up is to draw the attention of leaders in Africa to the realisation that the path to full economic independence and making a mark on the International space, is to use the period before us (dedicating a decade or two or three) to develop talents here in Africa and our natural resources.
Our Talents – let us develop our Football and other sports, give attention to our artisans (dressmakers, shoemakers, etc.) and mark them up to the world’s standards.
Our Natural Resource- let us try with a conscious effort to add value to our natural resources and focus strongly on manufacturing firms.
We can rise again, together as one people with a common goal and destiny.
May the Soul of Christian Atsu rest in Perfect peace. Atsu, a Father, a Brother and Son, though you are gone under very unfortunate circumstances, the news about your departure with all the heroic accolades would be forever remembered.
We are very pained in our hearts, but you deserve a good rest in the bosom of your maker. And if He called you, who are we mere mortals to say no. We would have said a million NO if we know better.
Rest well Brother;, till we meet again.
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