BORN TO PLAY: YOUNG GHANAIAN FOOTBALLER LIVING HIS DREAM
I had to forgo higher education to pursue my dream — Blackstars’ Samuel Tetteh
The African continent harbors millions of raw and untapped football talents. Churning out the likes of the internationally recognized Michael Essien, Didier Drogba, Samuel Eto’o, Asamoah Gyan, Emmanuel Adebayor etc, the continent however continues to produce more of such budding exceptional talents who are unfortunately robbed off the opportunity of bursting onto the international scene due to lack of the needed financial support and a great management team.
The Story was however written differently for Samuel Tetteh, a young Ghanaian footballer who at the early age of twelve (12) discovered his football skills. Born in Accra on July 28, 1996 to Madam Doris Lardi and Mr. Joseph Tetteh, he decided at an early age to create value for himself by pursuing his lifelong passion in the year 2008.
Growing up in an average family with three (3) other siblings, he described his childhood as a bit rough. In his words “I was never born with a silver spoon in my mouth. My parents did their best to provide us with the best of education coupled with the basic necessities of life. My mother at a point in time got engaged in the sale of second hand clothing or what Ghanaians popularly call ‘obroni wawu’ to support the entire family. My mum had no shop to sell her wares, so she would move from neighborhood to neighborhood, street to street and perhaps house to house with a pan of second hand clothing mounted on her head with the sole aim of making enough income by close of day.” He continued, “Unlike other young teenagers who always aspired to become doctors, lawyers and other reputable professionals, I always dreamt of becoming a footballer but that didn’t sit quite well with my mother who was a strong educationist. So regardless of what I personally wanted to do, I was still enrolled at the Kaneshie Anglican School.”
At age fourteen (14), fate smiled at him after he joined a group of friends to play a local justifier tournament at the Darkuman Park. His display of exceptional skills and professionalism on the field was spotted by an official from the West African Football Academy (WAFA) who was there to scout and recruit for young talents into the academy. His dream was finally becoming a reality!
Joining the West African Football Academy was the first step towards the realization of his dream. After settling in at the WAFA camp he was enrolled at Senya Secondary school as a fulfillment of a promise made by the Academy officials to his mother. Speaking on his newly found life he said “well, my first week at the Academy was quite boring because I was ‘the new kid on the block’ and had to try all I could to fit into my new environment but after that very week, I began to appreciate the beauty in my new home at Fetteh in the central region of Ghana.” He further stated, “I however began playing for the Black Satellites (Under 20 National team) in 2015 and later got the chance to play in the Under 20 world cup in New Zealand the same year. Upon return to my motherland, I was invited to join the Black Meteors (Under 23 National team) for the All-Africa Games in Congo. Fortunately, the senior national team had a friendly match also in DR Congo and urgently needed to select five (5) other players from my team to fill in the empty slots. Two (2) minutes to the end of the game, I assisted a teammate to score a goal and that paved the way to a greater door for me.”
‘Zidane’ as nicknamed by his peers because of his prowess on the field, was later called to join the Black Stars Team B for the CHAN qualifiers. Due to his undeniable performance on the field of play, he was again invited to join the senior National Team A in Kumasi for a tournament and that was where he won the heart of Former Black Stars coach, Avram Grant.
Touching on his greatest fear in life, he said, “My worst fear in life is to miss Heaven. It would be extremely heartbreaking to be denied entry to the kingdom of God after spending years of turmoil on earth. I owe what I am to God and I believe He directed my life towards His purpose so it is only natural for me to desire to spend eternity with my Maker.”
Currently playing for FC Red Bull Salzburg in Austria, He aspires to be like Neymar and perhaps play for FC Barcelona in the nearest future. In the world of entertainment he is the biggest fan of Shatta Wale and Kojo Nkansah ‘Li Win’… interesting!
This smart and intelligent young gentleman who hails from Odumase Krobo in the Eastern Region of Ghana lives his life doing what he does best… FOOTBALL! FOOTBALL! FOOTBALL! At age twenty (20), he seems to have his life running in the exact course he described as his divine purpose and calling after growing through the toughest conditions.
Alas! The cameras captured an up-close shot of him as he made way for another player to take his place during the AFCON 2016, specifically, the Ghana — Burkina Faso match. A little murmuring could be heard as the clueless female soccer fans asked among themselves “who is that cute guy?”
Well, if you care to know, this is Ghana’s priceless gem and FC RedBull Salzburg’s very own, Samuel Tetteh.
By: Nana Yaa Asabea// facebook: Naya’s column// instagram: @naya_233// email: email@example.com