Passionate Ghana soccer fans add colourful buzz to the Bay

THEY are wacky and weird and they have created an electric vibe wherever they go around Nelson Mandela Bay, singing and dancing in their colourful national colours in support of the Ghana soccer team.

So passionate are the team’s fans they are even staying at the Formula 1 hotel on the beachfront, just a stone’s throw from their beloved Black Stars, who are at the Holiday Inn Garden Court.

Adnan Merzongo, a “superfan” from Ghana’s capital, Accra, said he knew his team would “go all the way” and win the Africa Cup of Nations.

“We have a strong team that is willing not to disappoint the fans. With God on our side Ghana will be the victors,” Merzongo said.

The wackiest supporter, traditional doctor Ibrahim Kailani, said the mood and the vibe in Port Elizabeth was exactly what he needed to help push his team to victory. Kailani has been seen around town, his face a scary white thanks to the calamine lotion he diligently applies every day as instructed by his ancestors.

“I love this city. This place is exactly where I need to be to speak with my great, great grandfathers so that they can assist me and pave a way for Ghana to win this tournament,” Kailani said.

“I speak with the team before a game, then they tell me what to do and I do my magic. It’s been five years now doing my traditional magic for my team and I know my ancestors will never let me or my team down.”

Another fanatic, Frank Adu, said he loved the women in Port Elizabeth.

“I love the friendliness of the locals and we have not had any trouble so far. But one thing though is the food here. We have to go somewhere where we can buy our own food because we are not used to the South African menu,” Adu said.

Singing her heart out, Najat Aita said she was enjoying the South African men.

“I have been here for a week and I must say that South African men are nice and fine. The weather is also playing a role because I get to see them [men] with no disturbance from bad weather,” she said.

Ghanaian team spokesman Ibrahim Sannie said the support from their fans was phenomenal.

“These guys follow us everywhere we go. Apart from praying for us, they make us feel wanted and welcome regardless of the match outcomes,” Sannie said.

“After the draw with DRC on Sunday they came into our room and assured us of their unshaken support for us and I think that really boosted our esteem.”

Ghana will face Mali at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium today at 5pm.

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