By M X Muriuki
The Liberian national soccer team is called the Lone Star. That may change for that star has found a perfect companion in its galaxy, with the election of arguably Africa’s greatest footballer since Eusebio, George Tawlon Manneh Oppong Weah, as the country’s president.
They simply call him George Weah. He is one of the few soccer players in the world to have received a mention in Lingala music. Yes, I am talking about Awilo Longomba singing about George Weah, “Waka Waka…”
That man, is now president.
Here is a man who once perfected the art of shaming defenders and humiliating goalkeepers. He is now his excellency Mr. President .The people of Liberia hawapendi ujinga! They now have him as the chief executive. May he shame and dribble past the injustices that have dogged Liberia and more so score the most important goal of his life by ensuring every Liberian has a decent shot at life. May Liberians be on line to celebrate the greatest victory of their lives orchestrated by their idolized soccer player.
For 16 years, George Weah gave it all to Liberia and Africa. I remember watching his last appearance for the Lone Star in the 2002 Africa cup of nations. A broke Liberia did not even have the resources to send the team to the tournament. You guessed it, Weah funded the team.
In 2002, I watched George Weah kick the ball for the last time. But my attention was drawn to his ridiculous talent in the early 90’s. As an AC Milan supporter, I was sad that club legend Marco Van Basten was leaving. Who would replace him? It was not long before George Weah provided the perfect answer every soccer fan was looking for.
Who can forgot the charming runs George Weah made his identity, not to mention his dribbling skills and a lethal partnership forged with Filippo Inzaghi!
It is interesting that the United Nations will have within their ranks a Ballon d’Or winner and a FIFA world player of the year! In addition, the African Union will now welcome to its membership a man who was touted by Franco Baresi as the greatest teammate, ever.
What I am excited about is the fact that African dictators are a bit concerned granted Weah may decide to take them on, Mundu Khumundu, in the same manner he dealt with Porto’s Jorge Costa before receiving a six match ban
I wish George Weah won the champions league. He would be an insult to the injury of Arsenal! But then again, what of Eric Cantona or Roberto Baggio.
George Weah! Waka waka!
Or is it time to sing Michael Jackson’s Liberian girl! Oh Liberian boy! Hail King George.
Ps: This post was written in October, 2017.