Wednesday, March 04, 2009

So far, so ‘ChanChan’

For those of you Ghanaians in the Diaspora or those of you nonresidents of Ghana in Ghana - or better still those who ARE in Ghana but haven’t set an eye behind their tellies in ages, you may or may not be familiar with the brand of hair cream called ChanChan. It's supposed to be great and good for the hair. And the expression 'ChanChan' has come to mean anything good and proper – just like Nana Ama McBrown who fronts it.

To the credit of African football, that’s the way the Championship of African Nations is going...just ChanChan. From the initial fears that Cote d’Ivoire’s recently ended civil war would cause low attendances to infrastructural headaches, the West African nation has come through pretty well in terms of organisation. To the credit of Africa, the hitherto ‘short-sighted’ Confed of African Football (Caf) has done something great.

I am not there in Abidjan and the textile city of Bouake but the vibe I’ve been getting suggests that Cote d’Ivoire is not anti- ChanChan at all in the organization department - and we give them thumbs up for that!

Now to the football proper. The goals have not been coming exactly thick ‘n fast but it’s been appreciable. Caf’s insistence that it may be a good talent hunt for the national teams of the continent is a fairly good idea. The skeptics should be seeing the light at the end of that particular tunnel. But there's also the small matter that many many of the lads taking part in the CHAN would be flying off to the ends of the earth in search of greener pastures soon after the last whistle blasts on Sunday.

And as we near the end of the mini-league, I’m really looking forward to the continent living up to all the hype that Blatter’s been giving us. Don’t forget that we’ve landed the job of hosting the World Under 20 championships in Egypt and before that the Under-17 tournament in Nigeria. And so back to CHAN, which is gunning to its end. What legacy would Cote d’Ivoire Africa leave? We hope it’s a good one.

But so far the tournament, exclusive for locally-based players, has been very ChanChan!