The truth is you don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow. Life is a crazy ride, and nothing is guaranteed unless you create your own tomorrow”.
These words from him were unremitting throughout the hour chat, and he was fully disposed to look on the bright side of it.
Dodzie is a very familiar name in the annals of the Ghana Premier League. Kwabena Dodzie was all the go, markedly in the middle of the millennium.
Kwabena’s flamboyance in dreadlocks, grinding play and oomph endeared him to the fans of BA United, Great Olympics and notably, Kotoko, with who he won the title.
Whiles Kwabena’s series of transfers and financial figures made headlines, his younger brother, Benjamin was thrilled to follow in Kwabena’s path, and make football his craft.
But Benjamin will live to grow a great abhorrence for the game he so adored. Benjamin Dodzie’s first taste of the Ghanaian topflight was with Kumasi-based King Faisal and as a youngster, he enjoyed every bit of it.
The towering centre-back also had stints with BA Stars, Bofoakwa Tano and was a key member of the Aduana Stars batch that secured promotion into the premiership in 2009.
After over 15 years of teetering between the topflight and second-tier of Ghana football, Benjamin has decided to look elsewhere – and his rare choice of life after football is far-flung from the game.
He wants to, as difficult but possible, stay away from the game and have nothing to do with it.
“Ghana football hasn’t treated me fairly, and this I say without feeling apologetic”, Benjamin Dodzie said.
“I speak for myself. I know some others who have had the best from the game and are enjoying it, but I feel disappointed anytime I look back at the numbers of wasted years in the game”,
“I do regret recounting the number of clubs I played for, and the years, without anything to show for those toils”.
“But in all, I take solace from the fact that; everything happens for a reason. Perhaps those times taught me good lessons”.
Benjamin, who also had short stints with Dolphins of Nigeria and Kakamenga Boys of Kenya, now roasts corn on the streets of New Dormaa, a suburb of the Brong Ahafo capital, Sunyani. Just behind the corn roasting install is a wooden compartment where he retails second-hand clothes.
“This business has helped me more than the over 15 years I spent in football. I have been in it and I know what I’m talking about”.
I roast corn and sell. I set up this small business for my sister but I take it up and roast it myself when she is not around, and this I do alongside my second hand clothing business”,
“I always say, life after football is very dangerous, and I urge my colleague footballers to plan life very well because hour after hour, the future draws closer”,
“Some of my teammates and I could go six to seven months without a salary in the top flight and when it is time for payment, you either receive GH 100 or nothing at all”,
“But I invest some GH1,000 in this business and it brings great returns. Why should I choose football over this”,
Many footballers struggle to cope with life after football, having to sustain and balance popularity in financially difficult periods. But Benjamin Dodzie has channeled his energy into doing something that most of his colleagues will find very challenging and repulsive to pursue.
And despite criticisms and ridicule, he believes it has been worth it.
“This is not arm robbery and not an illegal trade so why should I feel shy doing it”,
“Everyone have gotten their own house numbers. I don’t care about what others say and I don’t get downhearted by criticisms. I married a woman who understands me. She knows she will depend on me and once my business isn’t illegal, I don’t mind doing it”,
“Ghana football is like slave trade. People will use you and make their lives better whiles you remain in abject poverty as a footballer”,
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