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Daren Ganga, in this article in the Trinidad and Tobago Guardian, writes of his first tour with West Indies to South Africa in 1999 and a surprising phone call that changed his life.
January 14th, 1999 was my 20th birthday; we played against the South African team that day at Newlands Ground in Cape Town and I received birthday wishes via the electronic scoreboard at the ground--this was very exciting and overwhelming. I returned to the team hotel that evening and had just entered my room when the phone rang. The operator said, "Mr Ganga, I have the President on the line to you." I, of course, assumed it was the WICB or TTCB President, so I nonchalantly accepted the call with the routine "Hello, good evening."
I was immediately taken aback at the unfamiliar voice on the other end. The soft spoken gentleman on the other side of the line identified himself, with his South African accent as President Mandela. He said he was calling to wish me a Happy Birthday. In total amazement, I enquired politely whether I was indeed speaking to the President of SA, and he confirmed with a yes. Needless to say, I was in total shock and struggled to keep my wits about me during this conversation, but I will never forget the words spoken to me on that day, or the humility of the man who spoke them.
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