By Akyereko Frimpong Manson
In an era where our El Clasico (Kotoko-Hearts clashes) is seemingly losing it’s last glints, Kanawu ensured excitement was sustained and drummed home many impressive nostalgic memories that might be lost forever.
He used a particular patent to hype Hearts-Kotoko games which we might never be able to reproduce in an attempt to entice fans back into the stands. Kanawu’s main stamp was his powerful yet humorous rhetoric which always gave off-the-pitch victories to the Phobians whether they were playing at the Accra Sports Stadium or the Baba Yara Stadium.
At a time when there is gnawingly deep doubt about the technical gifts of Kotoko-Hearts players, which has taken the shine off their clashes and lowered the interests and standards, Kanawu devised a tactic to gather strayed supporters back into the stadium.
He was also one of the best on-the spot lyrical composers of his day – a gift Kotoko fans did not hate but love him for.
He could develop, compose and sing Hearts of Oak songs on his feet and his extraordinary multi-lingual talents helped him to spread his relationship and Phobiacentric messages.
Though an Akan by birth, his most cherished vocal works include the famous “SOLO N)NI EWO” which claimed seasonal dominance on the airwaves, has typical Ga lyrics. He groomed, advised and installed great confidence in players he came across.
Samuel Afum, a former Hearts of Oak striker but now with Swiss side Young Boys has fond memories of the former Deputy PRO of the National Chapters Committee (NCC) of Hearts.
“He was a good man always with packs of jokes but a great confidence builder. He always remained confident when others have given up on you.”
Asiedu Attobrah, the hottest local transfer target of Kotoko and Hearts also worked with Kanawu during his flashing spell with New Edubiase United as Deputy Spokesperson.
“[Your] advice has really brought me far [and] all I say is may your soul rest in perfect peace. Mr Kanawu,” he updated his facebook status after the news was announced Thursday morning.
It would have been selfish for Kanawu to limit his gift only to the benefit of his club but he was no selfish man. He served Ghana football with exceeding devotion and dedication. At the 2013 FIFA U20 World Cup in Turkey, he was in the stands to cheer on the Ghana U20 squad as they won Bronze and also showed great commitment towards* the Black Stars and would seize your microphone in the studio to hail Sulley Muntari’s screamer or praise Stephen Appiah’s dedication.
And Goal Ghana’s Edmund Okai Gyimah remembers his encounter with Joe Laka – a renowned Ghanaian Sports Journalist, in 2004.
“I will remember Kanawu for one particular thing, in 2004 during the World Cup Qualifier in Kumasi when Ghana beat South Africa 3-0, the next day he was on Kessben FM and Joe Laka asked him to describe Sulley Muntari’s goal. Kanawu; “It was a cococious goal, Dan Quaye ran with the ball and delivered a semi onetimistic cross for Sulley Ali Muntari to hit a bulleticious left footed volley into the net” Oh Kanawu Kwaku Adusei Rest in Peace”.
In every era, messiahs are sent upon us. Kanawu was one. Maybe, just maybe we underutilised his superabundant talents and suppressed his administrative suggestions yet he will forever remain an embodiment of true humorous fanatism.
Definitely an unwavering branch has been removed from the Oak Tree and Ghana Football has lost one of its supporters’ anchors.