In this area of Accra, an association trains young girls to increase their self-confidence and may train professional female athletes.
The sun sets on the ocean of postcards, but all eyes are already on the ring. A small group of dancers warmed the audience. A few meters away, two young women are preparing, stretching and giving a massage accompanied by a coach. Blue, Faruiza Osman, 22 years old. Red, Priscilla Assofa Adbakudi, four years older than him, was recently recruited by the army. Both have represented Ghana in international boxing matches.
Their fighting was fierce but short-lived and almost friendly. The goal is not to win a KO, but to set an example for the little girl crowded near an elevated platform in the middle of a busy street in Accra on Saturday, March 20. “This sport is reserved for men, this shouldn’t exist!”, Harangues Faruiza Osman stepped on the rope, sweating under the lace-edged turban: “Anything a man does, a woman can do it, and often do it better. We are always told that the outside world belongs to the boy, and the girl’s place is in the kitchen. But, it’s over now!”
The cheers of the audience interrupted his tirade: Two barefoot girls had just entered the arena. They are less than 7 years old and it is difficult to wear leather gloves that are too big for them. The referee quickly explained the basic rules to them: tighten your fists, not strike below the belt or the legs. But the girls already know.
“Boxing is the DNA of all residents of Boko”, Explained Sarah Lotus Asare, a member of the Greater Accra Boxing Association (GABA) and co-organizer of the event. The area is famous for being a champion factory. In recent years, there have been dozens of clubs there. In the evening, it is not uncommon to participate in outdoor fights similar to tonight’s fight against frail boxers.
since “Box! » Initiated by the referee, the blue young boxer gave the red right hook, thereby releasing the crowd. The inaccurate punch is the defect of the disproportionate glove on the little girl’s arm, as thin as a chopstick. But the blow is influential: the little ones make up for their lack of technical aggression. When the referee separated them, they smiled behind the mouthguard. Outside the ring, red and blue are good friends.
After the first female wrestlers dropped, two new lightweight athletes boarded the plank. All competitions are not won: you only need to participate in the competition to be selected by the league. After the competition, 24 girls and teenagers will be recruited in two stages, one in Bokum and the other in the nearby Chorkor district. For GABA, it is still possible to persuade families to let their daughter join the association, and then organize apprenticeship training.
“In Ghana, there are very few women boxing, Expressed regret to Sarah Lotus Asare (Sarah Lotus Asare). Of course, we have our own big names: Faruiza Osman, Sarah Apew, legend Yarkor Chavez… But currently, there are no professional boxers in the country. “
On the Saturday after the first night fight, the recruits signed up as a group in the GABA conference room under the supervision of relatives or neighbors. All of them have girls shaved: the youngest is only 5 years old, and the oldest is only 13. “When I participate in the competition, I am not afraid at all. fanfaronne Diana Naalaale Otoo. The boxer makes me happy, and I can’t wait to start the class. I want to be the first woman to bring the World Cup back to Ghana to make history! ” Mary Nortui is more humble: when she was 12, she thought “Become a boxing teacher and teach other little girls how to fight”.
First of all, once a week, every Saturday in class to select talents. “If you want to train future world champions, you must make them young”Highlighted the Secretary General of GABA Alex Ntiamoah-Boakye. The best people will have a coach who will train them several times a week. “
But for others, boxing is not a waste of time. “We want to make them more confident and enhance their self-confidence, Called Alex Ntiamoah-Boakye. This is also a way for us to fight teenage pregnancy so that if older men make love to them, they can refuse. We hope these little girls have a boxing future.Our creed is “Book before hook“ [les livres avant les coups de poing]. By meeting with their parents, we tried to persuade them not only to send their daughters, but also to send them on the way to school. “