Ghana’s Under-17 national team, the Black Starlets are bent on beating fellow West Africans, Mali in the quarter final of the 2017 FIFA World Cup in Mumbai on Saturday.
A victory on Saturday will send then into the semi-final and also serve as a sweet revenge over the Malians who pipped them in the African Championship in May.
But these are not the only reasons for their resolve to win. They want to meet and socialize with the cast of the famous Kumkum Bhagya telenovela and only qualification to the next round may help them in that regard.
The city of Mumbai is the home of India’s vibrant movie industry, Bollywood, and the Ghanaian contingent had hoped the Mali would have afforded them the opportunity.
“We want to meet and take photos with some of the actors, and even the producer, anyone will do. We don’t mind even if it is for five minutes [but] we have heard that since there is a festival now [Diwali], everyone has gone on vacation. But we might get another trip to Mumbai very soon”, Kwadwo Baah Agyemang, Board Chairman of the National Sports Authority (NSA) told the Indian Express in obvious reference to the semi-final at the DY Patil Stadium, should Ghana qualify.
Kumkum Bhagya is a Balaji Telefilms production which has been dubbed into a local language and has been airing on Adom TV since for close to two years.
Though there have been many criticisms of the series affecting local productions and being too dramatic, its popularity is not dwindling as the Starlets players have shown.
Just about two months ago, Second Lady Samira Bawumia who was in India for a summitvisited the set of Kumkum Bhagya and took some photographs.