UNAIDS goodwill ambassador and Ghanaian songstress has shared her bitter experience and psychological abuse she suffered during Black Stars’ last Group D World Cup encounter against the Chipolopolo of Zambia at the Kumasi Sports Stadium.
It can be recalled that prior to the big match which Ghana eventually won by 2-1; Becca was expected to sing Ghana’s National Anthem live at the stadium before the commencement of the match.
After the Zambian’s anthem, it was then the turn of Becca to sing Ghana’s anthem but unfortunately, she was not allowed to sing.
The directive not to allow her to sing was allegedly issued by some ranking officials of Ghana Football Association (GFA) but was not communicated to her even though she had gone through her sound check 7-hours to the start of the match.
The singer has kept her ordeal to herself for months, but speaking in her capacity as UNAIDS goodwill ambassador at the UN Agencies Cultural Night at Alliance Francaise in Accra, Becca broke her silence on the whole incidence and narrated her experience.
According to Becca, who addressed the gathering on the theme: “Gender, Gender Violence and her experience working with person living with HIV/AIDS”, the arrangement for her to sing the national anthem was made possible by the UNAIDS under its “Protect The Goal” campaign with FIFA.
“It had been arranged through the UNAIDS under its “Protect The Goal” campaign with FIFA and with all protocols observed i.e. the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Ghana’s Football Association, The Match Commissioner designated by FIFA, The Head Of Security at the Sports Council responsible for the Baba Yara Sports Stadium that I sing the National Anthem before the Black Stars match against the Chipolopolo of Zambia. In fact my singing of the National Anthem was so official that on the eve of the crucial match, national television reported it.”
“So it came to pass that I, together with my team reported to the stadium at 10am; a time that all stakeholders had agreed was best for my purpose. Even then the stadium was almost filled to capacity so I did my sound check and dress rehearsal quickly and retired to wait for the 7hour interval period before history was made.”
“As is the norm, the away team mimed their Zambian anthem with support from the stadium’s public announce system before Ghana’s turn. I was going to sing ours live through the cordless microphone made available for my act.”
“The stadium announcer acting as MC for the occasion introduced me because he had the official match day programme and was sticking to it. The stadium announcer and pressmen who had relayed the info that I was about to make history did not know that a directive had come from an authority or perhaps authorities that I do not sing the national ANTHEM anymore. Reason? I was a woman.”
“The authority had at the last minute remembered that my being a woman apparently was bad omen. In other words, because I could menstruate I was unworthy of singing our anthem. At least that was the explanation given to the UNAIDS when they sought why an event that had cost precious time plus efforts to conceive and hatch was basically dumped on the scrap heap of gender equality.”
“Whatever or whoever informed this superstitious twist should have known that the very Ghanaian flag the Black Stars defended and won on the day was designed by Theodosia Salome Okoh, a fertile woman. In fact, like nature, tradition is a description not a moral justification. Just because we’ve always done or believed a particular action, doesn’t mean it’s always or ever was justified.”
Becca addressed the gathering which had Girmay Haile, UN Resident Coordinator and UNAIDS Resident Director in attendance.
By Ebenezer Anangfio