The economy of Ghana is based on cocoa, and its people are as warming as hot chocolate. They have an inherent vitality, which they bring to sport as well as everything else, and a happy facility for hoping that everything will turn out happily. When their first Prime Minister, Leftist Kwame Nkrumah, had himself proclaimed President for life in 1962, the population (7.5 million) learned to do what it called the Ghana Twist—look-over-your-shoulder-to-see-who-is-behind-you-before-you speak—and rather placidly put up with him until last February. Even his overthrow said something about Ghana. In spite of Nkrumah's legions of secret police and his presidential guards, he was ousted in an all-but-bloodless coup. Now saddled with Nkrumah's shocking budget deficit and numerous useless projects that are monuments to his quest for international prestige, Ghana is attempting to reestablish itself, presumably making use of the same kind of enthusiasm that the people show for sport. A British colony until 1957, Ghana has become the sports leader among the West African nations. Its national soccer team, Black Star, is the finest of any among the emerging nations of Africa, its boxers won this year's All-Africa championships and its track men, two of whom are exercising above, did well at the last Commonwealth Games. An idea of the country's passion for soccer is conveyed by the portrait opposite and the photograph on the subsequent two pages. The latter shows 60,000 people filling a stadium in Kumasi, a city of 185,000 some 170 miles inland, to see a big game between the home club of Kotoko (the Porcupines) and Brong Ahafo United, top teams in Ghana's best league.
An official rooter for the Porcupines has a rattle and charms, as well as a fly whisk that he uses to cast spells. The white clay on his face is symbolic of victory. The fly whisk works: Kotoko won 3-1.
JAY MAISEL AND MARVIN E. NEWMAN