Renowned novelist, Chimamanda Adichie, has said she once had a mild crush on a Ghanaian footballer, Michael Essien.
She made the revelation in the introduction she wrote for a picture book, Africa― The Future of Football, authored by a photographer, Pall Stefansson.
Recalling how Nigeria was absent at a football tournament she watched in her introduction titled “Football Nationalism”, Adichie said she became “Ghanaian” after the Ghanaian football team caught her attention.
“I watched the game with my best friend, Uju, often shouting and then hugging each other when Ghana finally beat the United States.
“You know some of our boys started playing this game without shoes’, Uju said. ‘Our boys’ were, of course, the Ghanaians.
“A small consequence of that game was my developing a mild crush on the Ghanaian player, Michael Essien, as much for his looks as for his dexterity.
“But the larger and more important consequence was my realisation that sports allowed us, black Africans, to address historical and political grievances in the most cathartic way.”