Herbert Mensah lauds corporate Ghana

Herbert visiting relatives of May 9 disasterFormer Asante Kotoko Chief Executive and businessman, Herbert Mensah, is urging corporate Ghana to look to sports for investment because it offers real business opportunities.

Describing football in particular as the biggest form of entertainment in Ghana, he said corporate Ghana should explore opportunities in the sector to grow their businesses.

Herbert Mensah was addressing executives and representatives of a number of businesses, sports fans, media men and families of victims of the May 9, 2001 Stadium Disaster on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the regrettable incident that claimed 126 lives.

A walk through some of the principal streets of Kumasi was held to mark the occasion, taking participants from the Cultural Centre through Kejetia, Adum, Asafo and Amakom before ending at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium. Money and other gifts were presented to families of three victims of the stadium incident.

The march was organised by members of the Herbert Mensah Fun Club.

Herbert was particularly grateful for the active participation and support of a number of corporate institutions in observing the day, saying it marked an important partnership between corporates and their publics.

He mentioned companies such as Printex, Kwatsons, DHL, Interplast, GHACEM, Ghana National Procurement Agency, Golden Tulip Hotels, Propre Washing Powder as having supported the observation.

Calling those who perished in the disaster which resulted from disagreements in a league game between Accra Hearts of Oak and Asante Kotoko as the “real heroes of Ghana” who should never be forgotten, Herbert Mensah prayed that great lessons of unity, brotherliness and fellowship would be drawn from their sacrifices.

“We are brothers first and as we gather, I would hope that all Ghanaians would watch and look and listen to the most important people of Ghana who are here united today. Beyond being Hearts and Kotoko they are Ghanaians and they walk side-by-side. The loss of a life is a terrible moment for everybody and for us we have tried to make sure that people do not forget. We have done it not for publicity but we have done it so that people, Ghanaians, the world can recognise that we respect ourselves.”

Herbert who conveyed special greetings from Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II to the families of the victims, urged them not to give up hope but to draw strength from the misfortune, assuring them of support even if governments fail.

“For the big men in Ghana, they should realise that they are nothing. The real people are the people standing here. We have seen governments come and we have seen governments go. We have seen the fact that they do not care, we have seen that they do not contribute. We have seen that they sit up and talk platitudes, talk big talk without being here. They should have been here today marching with the families. They should visit the families in their homes. The culture where the big man does not care is something most of us are simply tired of. Today is the 10th anniversary and I am humbled because of the great people who are beside me. I have shed tears, but my tears are not as pure as their tears. They have lost fathers, they have lost money earners, they have lost friends, they have lost people who would guide them for the future,” he said.

Alhaji Suleimana Braima, also known as Alhaji Hearts, who was so overwhelmed by the solemn occasion broke down in tears, managing only profuse thanks to Otumfuo for pleasantly receiving him to the Manhyia Palace on the occasion of his (Otumfuo’s) 61st birthday which fell last Friday.

Mr. Ben Nti, a member of Asante Kotoko’s management and Mr. Osei Tutu Agyeman, aka Kotoro, the Ashanti Regional Football Association chairman, took turns to counsel football fans and supporters of the various clubs to be guided by lessons of the disaster and to strive at all times to comport themselves at matches to avoid such incidents in the future.

Story by Isaac Yeboah/Myjoyonline.com/Ghana

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