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GHA | Mar 1, 2023

Akwaaba, Asafa! Jamaican icon warmly welcomed in Ghana

/ Our Today

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The Powells receive a warm welcome from the people of Ghana. (Photo: Contributed)

Akwaaba, which means welcome in Akan, could be heard rippling across the Kotoka International Airport in Accra as Jamaican track legend Asafa Powell arrived in the Ghanaian capital.

The excitement was palpable as hundreds turned out to see the sprint legend in person and local media lined up for interviews to find out what the now-retired sprinter—and the Ghanian Olympic Committee (GOC), headed by president Ben Nunoo Mensah—have in store for the athletic community in Ghana.

Asafa’s wife Alyshia Powell was born and raised in Ghana, and she was excited to be able to share her homeland, culture and family with Asafa on this trip as well. This trip will allow Asafa, the fourth-fastest man in history and the first Jamaican to break the world record in the 100-metre dash, to connect with Ghana on both a professional and personal basis.

Asafa Powell speaks with the media shortly after arriving in Accra, Ghana. (Photo: Contributed)

Powell kicked off day two in Ghana with a visit to Ghanaian Sports Minister Mustapha Ussif, who hosted the former sprinter in his offices. Asafa and his wife also got to visit Black Star Square as well as The House of Parliament in Accra.

The retired Jamaican athlete also met with popular Ghanaian football player Asamoah Gyan.

“The welcome I received upon landing yesterday was truly amazing, the warmth, the music, the dancing and the hospitality was beyond fantastic…I feel like I am in my home away from home,” Powell shared.

Asafa Powell and Ghania Football player Asamoah Gyan. (Photo: Contributed)

Today (March 1), Asafa will visit Christian Atsu’s residence to sign the condolence book for the Ghanaian footballer who died a few weeks ago in the deadly Turkey-Syria earthquake.

They will also see Powell attending a media meet and greet at Accra City Hotel, hosted by the GOC.

On Thursday, Powell and his wife head to the Cape Coast to visit the school she attended as a child as well as to trace his ancestral roots. He will meet some of Alyshia’s family as well as the chief of Cape Coast.

The GOC president has thanked Corporate Ghana for their swift response in supporting the visit and embracing Asafa as their own.

The Powells visit Black Star Square. (Photo: Contributed)

The retired sprinter will be in the African nation until Tuesday (March 7) where he will meet and speak to athletes, pay a courtesy call on the President of the Republic at the Jubilee House and also engage the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Ghana Olympic Committee, the LOC (Local Organizing Committee) of the African Games Accra 2023 as well as the Ghana Athletics Association on how best Ghana sports can benefit from his huge image on the international sports arena.


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