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The scariest thing about the stories told by the pundits was subtle suggestions

that the supernatural often affected the destiny of our football teams

and therefore the results of the games were dependent on how strong

was the “Juju” or witchcraft consulted. In our boarding school,

our teachers insisted that we prayed hard to win the games. Rev. P. E Adotey Addo

 

John Agyekum Kufuor, Ghana's head of state                                                                                   

 
 

 

How the Spider Became Bald: Folktales and Legends from West Africa  /  Talking Drums An Anthology of Poetry

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Football in Ghana & the World Cup

Some Things Never Change: Looking at Ourselves in Africa

By Rev. P. E Adotey Addo

 

One of my fondest childhood memories was the almost fanatic enthusiasm we had for football in the Gold Coast, as Ghana was called during my childhood. In addition, as it is today, everyone, young or old has a good football story to tell. This passion for the game has been around for over one hundred years and it has reached its highest today. I was born  and grew up at  Osu,  the most  beautiful  part of  Accra , the capital city of Ghana. I grew up hearing outrageous stories from football pundits and fans about Ghana football. When it comes to Ghana football, some things never change.

In Ghana, there are those who believe that when it comes to the game of football there are other forces at play other than the players, which influence the result of the games. The pundits refer to teams consulting witchdoctors who perform special spells and magic to ensure a specific outcome of the games. Magic or “Juju” is an age-old belief passed on from generation to generation and has been central, according to the pundits, to football in Ghana for a very long time.  I have heard many of these stories whether true or false from the pundits for years about football and most of them have been outrageous to say the least. The place of magic or “Juju” according to some pundits is central in Ghana football but usually is never discussed publicly and it includes special ceremonies to ensure the success of the games.

Football is so deeply entrenched in the body politic and soul of Ghana that it runs through our daily lives.  In fact, football is perhaps the only issue one can find universal agreement on among Ghanaians from all occupations. Until recently, some pundits laughed about those who played football barefooted and without uniforms or protective equipment in the past. In my boarding school, we played barefooted, but as we played, we dreamed of the time in the future when we would have the proper equipment and protective gear as we saw in the movies. It turned out to be just a dream. The scariest thing about the stories told by the pundits was subtle suggestions that the supernatural often affected the destiny of our football teams and therefore the results of the games were dependent on how strong was the “Juju” or witchcraft consulted. In our boarding school, our teachers insisted that we prayed hard to win the games.

The belief in “Juju” has created its own cadre of “Juju” men and women as well as witchdoctors, who are highly regarded in towns and villages and has brought some real wealth to these practitioners.  To the football pundits the best goalkeeper was always the one with some good magic or “Juju” or medicine.  The “Juju” men easily and conveniently explained a loss to bad medicine.  Now that Ghana has qualified for the World Cup, the pundits will have to eat their words.

After the 1948 protests demanding Independence from Britain some stores were emptied.  In the villages near the capital, there was an abundance of what many assumed were bars of chocolate. In one of the villages, some of these innocent looking bars of chocolate were fed to the visiting team at the suggestion of the consulted witchdoctors. The home team won because those innocent chocolate bars turned out to be laxatives, which incapacitated a large number of the visiting team.  It has been over fifty years now and the dispute is still on in those two villages.  Then there was the time a team from another village accused the people of the village where I was a teacher that they had been fed with some unknown “Juju” portion that caused them to lose the game to the home team.

Well it turned out to be nothing but some good old extra hot pepper and fish.  The chief had to decide that case.  For the first time I must admit a practical joke played on a senior student at our boarding school who was the senior class  goalkeeper  and was about to play the sophomore class. We sold him a green loofa sponge as a magic portion for a very small fee to help him as a goalkeeper, but the senior class lost the game anyway and we were all severely disciplined by the headmaster who refused to admit our defense that the goalkeeper asked for it.

Another interesting incident occurred when the witchdoctors from the suburbs of one of our large cities were apparently consulted by the home team but unfortunately, the visiting team won the game with a last minute penalty shootout. Well, when the home team demanded a refund the witchdoctor indicated that the team never paid all the fees promised: two chickens and one goat plus some currency. When the team complained, the story goes, the witchdoctor placed a curse on the team and for years the team never won a game until they went back to pay the witchdoctors the part of the fees that was never paid.  By this time, the fees had jumped to ten live chickens and four live goats and an amount equaling ten times the money promised at first.

Football may not be the most popular sport in the world, but in my country, it remains as popular as it has been for over a hundred years. I love football but I dare not pretend that any one could predict the outcome of the World Cup games. Nevertheless, I am reminded that our pundits and elders still believe that it takes more than practice and skill to win. I must say I agree with them. The national enthusiasm, support, pride, and spirit of contemporary Ghanaians have destroyed any doubts that Ghana may yet bring home the World Cup. Unbelievably this dream does not lose anything in translation.

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Originally From EVERYONE HAS A GOOD STORY; a Ghanaian contribution to a  compilation of stories from the 32 participating nations in the 2006 World Cup in Germany published by www.cafediverso.com.  1€ from the sale of each book  donated to the UNESCO endorsed and administered World Literacy Program.

Rev P E Adotey Addo / http://www.retirementwithapurpose.com/africanchristmas.html

P O Box 13356,Greensboro NC 27415 / 336 375 5761   Fax 336 375 0068 / Web Address: http://www.addo.ws

posted 12 July 2006

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How the Spider Became Bald

By Peter Eric Adotey Addo

In a world where children are more apt to watch the pathos of Jerry Springer, Addo's "How the Spider Became Bald" adds to the treasury of works parents can turn to for their childrens' need to have positive reading. Spider has the ring of an Alex Haley folktale as heard on his grandmother's porch...where Haley pieced together threads of his family's tales: leading to Roots. Addo's decades as a cleric show through as does his keen sensitivity to linking West African folklore to the Faulkner and Twain genres of American South folklore. This little book is indeed a tour de force. Should be in homes & school libraries, especially for parents and teachers who search for Afrocentric treasrues. This one's a gem.William H. Turner, PhD, Winston-Salem, NC May 23, 1998

 

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Mockingbirds at Jerusalem (poetry Manuscript)

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AALBC.com's 25 Best Selling Books


 

Fiction

#1 - Justify My Thug by Wahida Clark
#2 - Flyy Girl by Omar Tyree
#3 - Head Bangers: An APF Sexcapade by Zane
#4 - Life Is Short But Wide by J. California Cooper
#5 - Stackin' Paper 2 Genesis' Payback by Joy King
#6 - Thug Lovin' (Thug 4) by Wahida Clark
#7 - When I Get Where I'm Going by Cheryl Robinson
#8 - Casting the First Stone by Kimberla Lawson Roby
#9 - The Sex Chronicles: Shattering the Myth by Zane

#10 - Covenant: A Thriller  by Brandon Massey

#11 - Diary Of A Street Diva  by Ashley and JaQuavis

#12 - Don't Ever Tell  by Brandon Massey

#13 - For colored girls who have considered suicide  by Ntozake Shange

#14 - For the Love of Money : A Novel by Omar Tyree

#15 - Homemade Loves  by J. California Cooper

#16 - The Future Has a Past: Stories by J. California Cooper

#17 - Player Haters by Carl Weber

#18 - Purple Panties: An Eroticanoir.com Anthology by Sidney Molare

#19 - Stackin' Paper by Joy King

#20 - Children of the Street: An Inspector Darko Dawson Mystery by Kwei Quartey

#21 - The Upper Room by Mary Monroe

#22 – Thug Matrimony  by Wahida Clark

#23 - Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

#24 - Married Men by Carl Weber

#25 - I Dreamt I Was in Heaven - The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter

Non-fiction

#1 - Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable
#2 - Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans
#3 - Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane
#4 - Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper
#5 - Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You're Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant
#6 - Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey
#7 - The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight
#8 - The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing
#9 - The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 - John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 - Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 -The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 - The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 - The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 - Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can't Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 - Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 - Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 - A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 - John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 - Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 - Age Ain't Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 - 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino
#23 - Chicken Soup for the Prisoner's Soul by Tom Lagana
#24 - 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 - Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

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My First Coup d'Etat

And Other True Stories from the Lost Decades of Africa

By John Dramani Mahama

Though the colonies of sub-Saharan Africa began to claim independence in the late 1950s and ’60s, autocratic and capricious leadership soon caused initial hope to fade, and Africa descended into its “lost decades,” a period of stagnation and despondency from which much of the continent has yet to recover. Mahama, vice president of the Republic of Ghana, grew up alongside his nascent country and experienced this roller-coaster of fortunes. In this memoir, Mahama, the son of a member of parliament, recounts how affairs of state became real in his young mind on the day in 1966 when no one came to collect him from boarding school—the government had been overthrown, his father arrested, and his house confiscated. In fluid, unpretentious style, Mahama unspools Ghana’s recent history via entertaining and enlightening personal anecdotes: spying on his uncle impersonating a deity in order to cajole offerings of soup from the villagers hints at the power of religion; discussions with his schoolmates about confronting a bully form the nucleus of his political awakening.

As he writes: “The key to Africa’s survival has always been . . . in the story of its people, the paradoxical simplicity and complexity of our lives.” The book draws to a close as the author’s professional life begins. Publishers Weekly

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Blacks in Hispanic Literature: Critical Essays

Edited by Miriam DeCosta-Willis 

Blacks in Hispanic Literature is a collection of fourteen essays by scholars and creative writers from Africa and the Americas. Called one of two significant critical works on Afro-Hispanic literature to appear in the late 1970s, it includes the pioneering studies of Carter G. Woodson and Valaurez B. Spratlin, published in the 1930s, as well as the essays of scholars whose interpretations were shaped by the Black aesthetic. The early essays, primarily of the Black-as-subject in Spanish medieval and Golden Age literature, provide an historical context for understanding 20th-century creative works by African-descended, Hispanophone writers, such as Cuban Nicolás Guillén and Ecuadorean poet, novelist, and scholar Adalberto Ortiz, whose essay analyzes the significance of Negritude in Latin America. This collaborative text set the tone for later conferences in which writers and scholars worked together to promote, disseminate, and critique the literature of Spanish-speaking people of African descent. . . .

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Predator Nation

Corporate Criminals, Political Corruption, and the Hijacking of America

By Charles H. Ferguson

If you’re smart and a hard worker, but your parents aren’t rich, you’re now better off being born in Munich, Germany or in Singapore than in Cleveland, Ohio or New York. This radical shift did not happen by accident.  Ferguson shows how, since the Reagan administration in the 1980s, both major political parties have become captives of the moneyed elite.  It was the Clinton administration that dismantled the regulatory controls that protected the average citizen from avaricious financiers.  It was the Bush team that destroyed the federal revenue base with its grotesquely skewed tax cuts for the rich. And it is the Obama White House that has allowed financial criminals to continue to operate unchecked, even after supposed “reforms” installed after the collapse of 2008. Predator Nation reveals how once-revered figures like Alan Greenspan and Larry Summers became mere courtiers to the elite.

Based on many newly released court filings, it details the extent of the crimes—there is no other word—committed in the frenzied chase for wealth that caused the financial crisis.  And, finally, it lays out a plan of action for how we might take back our country and the American dream.Read Chapter 1

 

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Allah, Liberty, and Love

The Courage to Reconcile Faith and Freedom

By Irshad Manji

In Allah, Liberty and Love, Irshad Manji paves a path for Muslims and non-Muslims to transcend the fears that stop so many of us from living with honest-to-God integrity: the fear of offending others in a multicultural world as well as the fear of questioning our own communities. Since publishing her international bestseller, The Trouble with Islam Today, Manji has moved from anger to aspiration. She shows how any of us can reconcile faith with freedom and thus discover the Allah of liberty and love—the universal God that loves us enough to give us choices and the capacity to make them. Among the most visible Muslim reformers of our era, Manji draws on her experience in the trenches to share stories that are deeply poignant, frequently funny and always revealing about these morally confused times. What prevents young Muslims, even in the West, from expressing their need for religious reinterpretation? What scares non-Muslims about openly supporting liberal voices within Islam?

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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Negro Digest / Black World

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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 -- The Founding of Haiti 

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