If you ever see huge balls of kenkey choking the gutters of Accra or Fufu choking the gutters of Kumasi, then you know there was a match between Hearts and Kotoko. This time, the Ashantis got to eat their Fufu.
As part of the Ghana Soccer story I’m working on, I decided to photograph the Accra Hearts of Oak versus Kumasi Asante Kotoko 9th May match. It was a significant game I couldn’t afford to miss.
Nine years ago, 127 Ghanaians died watching a match between Ghana’s arch rivals Hearts and Kotoko at the Ohene Djan Stadium in Accra. If I remember the facts correctly, it was some incompetent Policemen who made the matter get out of hand.
I went to church in the morning and only got hint of the match on Peace FM on my way home. By the time I dropped the family and returned to the stadium, they were already in the second half. Just before I could park, I noticed I had left my wallet at home so I had to turn around and go fetch it. When I came back, it was just about 5 minutes to the end of the game.
The good thing though was that, that was when Hearts was mounting all the pressure on Kotoko, trying to equalize. That allowed me to get some amazing shots. The fans were also charged up. The light was just right. I hanged around a bit after the game and I feel my perseverance really paid off.
The Police at the Stadium were just amazing. Super friendly, extremely professional, really tolerant. The Hearts fans felt robbed but they were very friendly. It was a game of healing and everything about the atmosphere was positive. It’s a game to remember.