Association football is one sport that needs versatility and human networking to meet the ever evolving facets of the game.
Journalists across the world have to network themselves with colleagues from other continents to say updated despite the magical work of social media. The quest for updated content in the game demands human networking, thorough understanding of the tangential growth of football norms, ethics, and the nitty-gritty of the game.
As a country blessed with many vocal sports journalists, Ghana certainly earned her rightful place among the elite both on and off the pitch. The legendary Ken Bediako, Joe Tetteh Kofi, Kwabena Yeboah and other great personalities from Ghana, elevated the inky fraternity across the African terrain. Like culture however, the journalism profession has contemporary color. Each generation comes with its finest in the industry. One name that is resonating in decibels in the current class of football administrators if Tophic Abdul Kadri Sienu, known in the inky fraternity as Sheikh Tophic.
Like any hybrid product, Tophic Abdul Kadir Sienu comes to the party with northern genes embossed on a southern frame. The hugely revered sports journalist has northern genotype superimposed on a southern phenotype. His parental roots from upper West regional added to his Bekwai and Zongo life in the Ashanti region.
On the educational hierarchy, Tophic Abdul Kadir Sienu attended Methodist Primary and Junior High School for his Basic Education before heading to Wesley College of Education for his Tertiary Education. A Diploma In Basic Education paved way for B. Ed In Basic Education via the University of Education, Winneba. As a fan of the media and inky fraternity at large, Tophic headed to Christian Service University College for BA in Communication Studies. He needed an avenue to spin so as to feast on his soothing voice. Strangely, the devoted Muslim had his entire educational life in Christian School.
Described by many as a team player, Sheikh Tophic headed to Garden City Radio (GBC Kumasi Branch) to test his punditry prowess behind the microphone. It was a litmus test he passed with distinction. His tactical nous came to the forefront in what can be described God-sent. He analysis the game as though he could predict the outcome of pending events. He was near perfect when it comes to Association football.
The media houses took notice of this budding talent and in no time Chief Larry and Jeffery Asare of Primeval Media poached him for their online portals. Spell with www.sportscrusader.com saw Sheikh Tophic gaining prominence thanks to his weekly compilation of stars on the local terrain. Sports Crusader Team of The Week gained nationwide affection, trust, and above all acceptance even from opposing media houses. It was an avenue that unleashed the Bekwai-born Kpolwogah star. The ‘village boy’ from Upper West region had suddenly evolved into a nationally recognized sports writer.
Then Ghana FA Communications Director, Ibrahim Saani Daara, snatched Sheikh Topic from Primeval Media into West Africa’s largest sports news portal, www.ghanasoccernet.com. Such was his class that despite the array of stars writing for the website, this explosive writer commanded his own audience across the continent and the globe at large. His weekly column on the Sheikh’s drawing board became a source of knowledge for many radio pundits.
A move from Ghanasoccernet.com to www.442gh.com saw an exponential growth in the class of Sheikh Tophic and his new employers. Committed audience from the prolific writer followed him to 442gh.com, where he worked with a team of writers specialized in Ghana football. In just a little over one year, current Ghana FA president, Kurt ES Okraku, poached Sheikh Tophic away from the grasp of 442gh.com. It was the beginning of a new era with www.footballmadeinghana.com.
Now the editor in chief of the portal, Tophic again carved a niche both online and on radio punditry work. His rise in stature earned trip to German under the ticket of 442gh.com thanks to his contribution to German Bundesliga on Star Times.
From GTV Sports+ to Max TV, Metro TV to Happy 98.9 FM, Asempa to Fox FM, the soothing voice of Sheikh Tophic graced the radio waves on daily basis. His intellectual arguments, point build up, historical antecedence and comparative analysis of football matches, made him unique like the primary key in a database.
On the administrative table, Tophic succeeded in overturning the fortunes of the national Division One League and his Bekwai Youth FA. A league where data was as scare as rain water in the desert can now be accessed by the click of the mouse can only have one committed administrator behind it. The name is Tophic Abdul Kadir Sienu.
He might not be a member of the Ghana FA communication team for now, but a future slot with CAF, WAFU or other such continental platforms cannot and must not be ruled out.
By : Saani Abacha