When you achieve so much in a very short-span of your young life, getting the fame and attention everywhere you go should be a given. People should shout your name out wherever you go and occasionally, ask for a picture or an autograph. Maybe Hollywood depictions has thwarted my view on this but with the subject of this feature not getting this kind of treatment on campus or national media, I felt the need to celebrate his story and that of many others like him.
Sitting down with Fiifi Anaman for this interview was a thrill for various reasons. For starters, he is an accomplished writer, something I aspire to be one day. Picking at his brain was like having premium access to the blueprint of a writer’s mind.
We talked tirelessly about motivation, finding that creativity needed to pen masterpieces and other times, mundane stories. Our conversation took us back to his primary school days through to his emotional outpouring in Dubai.
When I first heard the name Fiifi Anaman, it was with an “OMG!” reaction. The story had it that this final year student majoring in Political Science had been nominated for the “CNN Multichoice Awards”. This is a feat any ambitious journalist on the continent of Africa aspires to. The most interesting thing about this is, Fiifi does not fully consider himself as a journalist. If anything, he is a passionate writer trying to build on his craft.
Growing up, Fiifi was no different from the average Ghanaian kid. He loved football. This game is one of the ways Ghanaian men assert their virility. But not everyone can kick like Sulley Muntari or dribble like Abedi Pele. Some do the cheering and behind the screen coaching better. Others can put their thoughts about the beautiful game on paper more excellently. Fiifi knew that was his niche.
As far back as class 3, he was writing fictitious short stories which elicited the applause of teachers. To marry his passion for soccer and his writing prowess together, Fiifi took up sports journalism. This is a highly underpaid sphere with many others doing it pro bono Fiifi was not any different.
When you enter a space for the first time, you shoot for mediocre ventures and opportunities. The household names are usually out of your reach. That holds true unless you are the type who challenges himself to greater heights and unimaginable levels. After sending applications to multiples big name media houses, Anaman finally landed an opportunity with goal.com.gh.
There is very little you can write about international soccer to wow the pundits of the field, most of whom have decades of experience and locker room access. To stand out, you write the stories no one is talking about and profile the names few have heard of. One of such standout stories sure to get the attention of the world is that of an internal refugee who stows away to Argentina and currently plays for Boca Juniors. When Fiifi wrote this story, he had little idea how his name was no longer going to be the same.
“From Bawku to Boca Juniors, the story of Bayan Mohammed” was immediately a hit in the international media. It was translated into several languages and drew the attention of the same media houses who did not return his pro bono applications. In time, the job offers came streaming through and he started work with allsports.com, now pulse sports.
Meeting work and school deadlines is a hustle. The toll it has on a student is very significant and managing it is a true test of character. Fiifi’s success ensured his continuous upward projectile. An interview with one of Ghana’s biggest name in football, the late CK Gyamfi, again got the lime lights focused on this young man who used to spend hours milling around the ICT center because he had no laptop at the time.
The interview was so successful, the late man’s family contracted Fiifi to write the biography of their father. And guess what, it is all PRO-BONO.
Money certainly is not the driving force behind this affable young man’s story. The explanation lies in the passion he has for his writing and football. This passion got him to write a scathing piece on the Blackstar’s disgraceful world cup performance in 2014. His article, ‘How the Black Stars Stabbed the Nation in Cold Blood’ won him the prestigious “Sport Media Pearl Awards” which came with $10,000 in cash prize.
But even before the “Sport Media Pearl Awards” was the 2015 Multichoice CNN Africa Journalist of the Year Award nomination. Another article on how we forget about amputee footballers while we glorify able bodied individuals who already swim in pools of money got him that nomination.
When you achieve all this and more while maintaining a column with ESPN and The Telegraph, your story becomes worthy of sharing. Senioryearinlegon.wordpress.com is more than happy to feature Fiifi Anaman its “Legon’s Most Outstanding Students” list.