It turns out, according to the Kansas City Star, that Moussa “Dadis” Camara won the Guinean presidency after the Christmas coup not because he was the driving force behind the putsch, nor because he was the most senior plotter, nor even because he was the best man for the job. No, he won it in a game of spoof. After a major row over the leadership with Sekouba Konate – who as an army colonel was way senior to the captain Camara and much better known by the public – Camara suggested resolving the dispute by drawing lots.
The word “president” was written on a piece of paper, which was put in a mayonnaise jar with several pieces of blank paper. Camara picked the winning ticket, but the dogged Konate demanded a second round. Amazingly, Camara picked the right one again. Such fortune cannot be ignored in Africa, so the colonel backed down and Camara got the top job.