Veteran Sports Journalist Ken Bediako-The Writer

It’s disappointing that the projected novelty schools’ invitational athletics championships billed to herald the upcoming Accra 23 African Games has been called off at the last minute.

Affectionately dubbed NISAC 24, the five-day showpiece, involving more than 2,000 athletes, from nearly 40 senior high schools, was being sponsored by Citi TV under a memorandum of understanding with the Ghana Athletics Federation to revive interest in athletics in general and schools in particular.

Only last week I wrote a piece praising the Athletics Federation for their foresight in rejuvenating interest in athletics emphasizing that the timing was perfect.

I thought the event was going to draw more attention to the African Games than all the fuss about facilities at the Games venues. I could see it as a perfect test run for the newly installed modern gadgets, crowd and traffic controls etc for the African Games. I am told some hidden faces in authority who obviously have no sense of humour have pulled the strings “from above” and scattered the whole programme for reasons difficult to comprehend.

It seems too late to change this anti-sports action and it is my hope Dr Kwaku Ofosu Asare and his Local Organising Committee of Accra 23, will find another source of attraction to draw much more attention to the Games.

Ghana’s Golden sprints quartet of Abu Duah, Albert Agyemang, Eric Nkansah and Emmanuel Tuffuor receiving their medals at the 6th Games in Harare, Zimbabwe.

Too much focus seems to be on the state of the art facilities of the Games. There appears to be less emphasis on the quality of our competing sportsmen and sportswomen first class hosting acumen and qualitative spectatoring. We must excel in at least one of these attributes of a continental sports festival for Accra23 to be remembered for ever like the recent Afcon in Cote D’Ivoire.

This reminds me of a video tape advert by Maxell I saw in a tube station in London a long time ago. Here was a scrappy wedding picture with a recommendation to use Maxell tape so, “even if

the marriage doesn’t last, the wedding will.” In other words, the wedding picture would stand the test of time even if the marriage doesn’t last. I was really tickled by this advert.

May I take this opportunity to appeal to the LOC and the entire populace to be good hosts so even if Ghana fails to rake in the medals we shall be remembered for staging the best African Games in history.

On this note let me continue with the history of the African Games that began in Congo Brazzaville in 1965.

The focus this week is on the 6th Games in Harare, Zimbabwe, Sept 13-21, 1995.

Ghana sent a team of 75 competitors and officials to the Games. 

Of the 29 sports disciplines contested by 33 countries, Ghana participated in only six. These were athletics (men and women), boxing with the full complement of the various weight categories, four men tennis players, hockey (women) and two men for table tennis.

Ghana won one gold, four silver and one bronze.

The gold medal was won in the 4x100m relay for men and this was on technical grounds. Emmanuel Tuffuor, Eric Nkansah, Albert Agyemang and Abu Duah clocked 39.13 secs to place second to Nigeria but Nigeria was disqualified for drug abuse. One of their gold winning athletes, Egonye tested positive for using banned drugs. Ghana therefore took the gold, Sierra Leone Silver and Cote D’Ivoire bronze.

Emmanuel Tuffuor-sprinter

Ghana’s silver medallists were long jumper Andrews Owusu, Emmanuel Tuffuor 100m and 200m

Super heavyweight boxer Illiadi Alhassan and Zik Charway, Taekwondo bantamweight.

The female 4x400m relay team of Mercy Addy, Helena Wrappah, Agnes Nuamah, Asidatu Abdra won the only bronze medal.

Detailed medals per discipline are Athletics;

1.Emmanuel Tuffuor, Eric Nkansah, Albert Agyemang, Abu Duah 4x100m 39.12 secs gold.

2. Andrews Owusu, long jump 8.10m silver.

3. Emmanuel Tuffuor 100m 10. 28 secs silver

4. Emmanuel Tuffuor 200 20.29 secs silver

5. Mercy Addy, Helena Wrappah, Agnes Nuamah, Azidatu Abdra 4×400 m bronze

Taekwondo Zik Charway bantamweight silver.

BOXING. Only three of our boxers won any fight at all. Lightmiddleweight Raymond Narh outpointed Mbembo Jules of Gabon in his first fight but lost to Arson Mafuno of Zimbabwe in the next fight.

Welterweight Thomas Sowah outpointed Andrews Monis of Angola but was stopped in the second

round by Kenya’s Evans Ashira in the next fight.

The ballot favoured Illiadi Alhassan who reached the medal zone after knocking out Sam Ubokaye of South Africa in the second round This victory took him into the medal zone where he scored another second round knockout over Kamara Pono of Botwana. He however met his match in the final against Duncan Dokivare of Nigeria who gave the Ghanaian such severe pummelling that the corner threw in the towel in the second round Duncan had earlier stopped David Ayim of Kenya in the first round i of their semi-final encounter.

The Ghanaian boxers who were eliminated in the early stages were light flyweight Alfred Tetteh who lost to Kasaonavio Aniset of Madagascar. Featherweight Ben Odame lost to Leban Josiah of Mauritius Lightweight Ibrahim Marshall lost to Sybran Bates of South Africa.

Welterweight Moro Tijani lost to Tehi Misoioi of Tunisia.

Middleweight Mark Doku was knocked out in the third round by Painanto Owita of Uganda.


The women’s hockey team performed rather poorly.  They lost heavily 10-0, to South Africa in the first match, 2-1 to Nigeria in the second match and 3-0 to Namibia in their last match.

Just as I finished writing this piece a bird whispered into my ears pointing fingers to a self-styled athletics guru with high connections who scuttled the proposed senior high schools’ invitational athletics competition “to show some people where power lies,” no matter what.

Cheers everybody and keep loving sports.