The final match in the 2010 World Cup is this Sunday, but it ended for me last weekend, as my two favorite teams, Brazil and Ghana, were eliminated. First off, let me say that I am not a sports fan. At all. Whenever the World Cup is on, I tune in sometimes and watch, cheering for different countries. But this year was different. This year the World Cup is in South Africa so everyone is talking about Africa, rooting for Africa, cheering for Africa, singing about Africa, and that pulled me in.
I was rooting for all the African teams, but most of all I was pulling for Ghana. I’m half Ghanaian, on my father’s side. It’s not something I usually identify as because I hardly know the man. I don’t know anything about him, or the culture, language, or people of Ghana. My father has an accent, has a house there and regularly goes back. He was born there. Never once has he talked about his experiences to us. So when people ask what my background is I say Canadian, which is what my mother and her family are. But as Ghana slowly advanced in the Cup, and we got attached to the players, my sister and I started getting in to it. We claimed the team as “our” team, and proudly stated that we’re Ghanaian. We watched all their games on the edge of our seats, jumping up and screaming when they scored. When Ghana beat the USA, I didn’t have a voice the next day. I felt so incredibly proud to claim Ghana as the country of my father. That’s not something I usually feel.
Last Friday they were beaten by Uruguay, in a match that was so close. I felt so sad, watching the players that I had grown to love cry and to see the very last African team be eliminated. I’m still kind of sad about it. However, it was so beautiful to see all of Africa cheering for this team, an entire continent, including Nelson Mandela, rooting for them to win for Africa.
There were some hot guys on the team that kept me interested as well, but that’s kind of obvious considering I’m not really a sports fan. There are still parts of soccer that I don’t understand, but I had so much fun watching Ghana’s games and will root for them in 2014.
I guess the World Cup brought out the nationalism in me. It does for everyone. You could see that with all the flags on cars. People cheering not for the country they live in, but the country they, or their parents, come from. Did the World Cup make me want to talk to my father and learn more about Ghana? Not really. I hope one day I could go there, travel all over Africa because I do feel so proud to come from such a beautiful place and strong people.
Check out the players and information on the Ghana team here.