“He was despised before he even stepped on the green turf to play for his dear country, Ghana. He was written off. Totally disregarded. All because “through no fault of his”, he was born to a legendary father. A maestro!
And when he finally wore the white jersey of the Black Stars on that 21st August 2007 in far away London for his debut match for his country, the highest verdict was passed on him. He does not qualify to play for the Black Stars, they said. He was measured by the standard set by his great father, Abedi Ayew Pele, a three-time African Footballer of the Year, a UEFA Champions League winner, and countless League and Cup winner across the world. He was just 17 years old by then, but none looked at that”.
The above was how I introduced an article I wrote in June 2010 titled “Andre Dede Ayew, the Baby Maestro” and published by myjoyonline.com and other website portals.
Interestingly, the hatred towards Andre Ayew has never ceased, almost 12 years after his first game for the Black Stars. Sadly, most of these haters are those Andre unfortunately “inherited” just by being the son of the legendary Abedi Ayew Pele.
Today, Andre has developed to be one of the important players in the current Black Stars set-up. On numerous occasions, he has proved himself to be having the right skills, talent, motivation and determination to play for his dear nation. He is more experienced than he was in 2007. After Asamoah Gyan, he is the senior-most player in the current Black Stars team. If his name is being mentioned today for the position of Captain of the Black Stars, it is because Andre has earned that right, and not because of an inordinate desire to be a captain at all cost, like the naysayers have struggled to pushed for a while now.
Maurice Flanagan was right in saying “some are born leaders, some achieve leadership, and some have leadership thrust upon them…”. Andre was born a leader. His ability to weather the storms of unwarranted and unfavourable criticisms that have been thrown at him for over a decade is a strong testament of a player destined to achieve great things with the National team. A lot has been said about the perceived Asamoah Gyan-Andre Ayew camps that exist within the current Black Stars team. What most of the critics have failed to admit is the fact that, even in the face of these differences that have resulted in the perceived camps, Andre Ayew remains one player that is always down to earth within the Black Stars and easily build bridges with all his colleagues. If there is that player who can approach all other players regardless of ones’ perceived camp, it must be Andre Ayew. He has that “anointing”!
Ten years ago, Andre captained the Black Satellites to win the Under 20 World Cup, Ghana’s and Africa’s first ever. Those close to that team can attest to the quality of Andre’s leadership in Egypt. If the mantle has fallen on him again to lead Ghana’s Black Stars to Egypt 2019, nobody should doubt his ability to deliver once again.
It has been over 12 years of loyalty and selfless service to Ghana’s National teams. Like other players, Andre has duly paid his due. He is not asking to be praised nor rewarded, but at least he deserves some respect. Andre Rami Morgan Dede Ayew must be cut some slack. Enough is enough!
Nii Ayi Anteh