Dishonoring The Queens: Ghana Black Queens Protest For Wages After Delivering the Nation Its First All Africa Games Championship

Ghana’s Black Queens are the 2nd most successful African women’s team behind Nigeria. They have qualified for the Women’s World Cup 3 times and qualified for 9-10 African Women’s Championships since its inception in 2003- finishing up with silver 3 times and bronze 3 times, with their 1st gold in 2015 avenging Cameroon, who beat Ghana to attain their 1st continental gold at the 2011 All Africa Games.

After bringing the 1st ever women’s football All Africa Games gold to Ghana, the Black Queens had to hold themselves in a self imposed hostage situation in their hotel rooms because they could no longer go home to their families, who depend on them as bread winners with empty promises in unpaid bonuses and general unpaid services as national team members.

I am saddened that we continue to show ourselves as a nation defining Einstein’s theory of “insanity” by doing the same things over and over again and expecting a different result. We learned nothing from our global shame with the men’s team at the World Cup with the same issues of non-payment. While the men refused to play without their pay, the women went on to play in honor to their nation, making history and the trust that their nation would do right by them in honoring their promises to them; yet instead of being honored as national heroes they were met as “small girls” who should keep quiet and be happy with whatever they are given, which was not the case with the men. A nation should not constantly force and push its citizens to their limits in forcing the hand of God in order to do the right thing by those whom they are to serve and those who serve them.

If you are rightfully going to give the title of “Black Queens” to the future of your nation then you must be a nation ready and willing to honor the title. Where are all the women leaders who talk about making their own history as Ghana’s 1st elected woman president and other elected leaders in speaking up for the Queens in their just due? How can one be a woman and a president without a voice and platform for the rights of women in their nation? This is not only a woman’s issue, but a wake up call to the continual issue of mismanagement, corruption and greed in all of our institutions that keep the dreams of the nation and its citizens deferred in crippling stagnation instead of moving forward!

A Women’s Right Organization, WiLDAF-Ghana has described the non-payment of the winning bonuses of the Black Queens as unfair.

The Communications and Advocacy Manger of the organization, Patricia Isabella Essel told Citi News that it is “simply unfair that what they are due is not been given to them.”

She lamented that the matter should not be associated with gender interpretations because “even if it was done to men it wouldn’t have been the best.”

 The senior female national football team members who returned to Ghana last Sunday after winning gold in the All Africa games in Congo are demanding for bonuses before checking out of their hotel in Accra.

“I will say that they should ensure that whatever promises they were given whatever entitlement they are supposed to get, they should be given because they are due it. All those who are responsible must also ensure that the women get what they are due because it’s long overdue,”  Isabella Essel added.

In a related development, the National Women’s Organiser of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Otiko Afisa Djaba wants the Minister for Sports, Dr. Mustapha Ahmed sacked if bonuses owed the Black Queens are not paid them in full.

“These young girls could also have refused to play if they didn’t have their bonuses paid to them in Congo but because for their love for mother Ghana they played so well that they won gold for the nation only to come home and be insulted and abused. That is unforgivable,” the NPP’s women’s organiser stated.” READ MORE

“The impasse between the Black Queens and the Ministry of Sports continues as the bonuses owed the Queens remain unpaid.

The drama reached an all- time high when the Queens were refused food at the M-Plaza hotel on Sunday. Matters took a comical twist when it emerged that national team coach Yusif Basigi himself went to the nearby Nima neighbourhood to buy waakye for the hungry Queens.

Prior to this, the Sports Minister in a phone conversation with some key members of the Queens had engaged in an intriguing back-and-forth on the Joy Sports Link on Saturday. 

Dr. Mustapha Ahmed, the minister, pleaded with the players to depart the M-Plaza hotel.

Read the transcript of the full conversation between Mustapha Ahmed and three Queens players. The show was hosted by Gary Al-Smith, who sat in for regular host Nathaniel Attoh.” READ MORE

President John Mahama has ordered the immediate payment of $5,000 each to the Black Queens, who have railed against the refusal of the government to honour them since their return from Congo Brazzaville.

He further promised to meet the team personally on his return from the United States, where he has been attending a gathering of the UN General Assembly.

The ladies won gold on September 18 in a gutsy final win against Cameroon in Brazzaville.

In what has been a very embarrassing week for the government machinery, the senior national women’s team have doggedly refused to accept the $2,000 (for each player) on offer from the sports ministry as winning bonuses for annexing gold at the All Africa Games.

The team had endured poor preparations before the tournament but still managed to put together a title-winning run over several games, beating highly-rated Ivory Coast and Cameroon en route to victory.

The win was historic as it marked the team’s first ever triumph at the All Africa Games, following a silver medal four years ago in Maputo. 

The drama, which has played to titillating public interest since the news broke, reached a new low when the Queens were refused food at their M-Plaza HotelREAD MORE

 “President John Mahama has directed the Finance Ministry to pay off disgruntled members of the Black Queens $5,000 each with immediate effect.

The directive comes on the heels of public uprising to settle the All Africa Games gold medalists, who have failed to vacate their hotel over unpaid bonuses.

President Mahama, who is attending a UN General Assembly in the United States has promised to meet with the heroines on his return.

But as to whether the team will accept the $5,000 remains a question crying for answer taking into account an earlier interview with some of the ladies.

“We won’t take anything less than $10,000, sign an agreement to collect the remainder later before we will leave this place. If you are owing someone $23,000 and you pay $2,000 is it not an insult?” One of the players said.

Earlier, the Youth and Sports Minister Dr Mustapha Ahmed incurred the wrath of the Queens when he offered to pay them a meager honorarium of $2,000 each from the $23,000 each owed them.READ MORE

Ghana captain Asamoah Gyan will host the gold winning Black Queens at his million dollar plush residence at Broadcasting on the Mallam-Kasoa highway DAILY GUIDE SPORTS can confirm. The unofficial meeting scheduled for November is in fulfillment of the Shanghai SIPG striker’s promise to top up the financial reward he promised the female side ahead of the Brazzaville All African Games. It is also to share his (Gyan) birthday with the team for honoring their word for winning the trophy and putting Ghana female football at the highest level.“Yes he will host them when he arrives next month, he promised them and he wants to honour his word. He just wants to bless the girls, he feels so proud for their feat.”“He told me he felt like blessing them in Congo, and that to a large extent worked like magic, and I can say it played a role in the team lifting the ultimate,” said Sammy Anim Addo, CEO of the Asamoah Gyan Foundation.” READ MORE

 

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