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Ghanaian kids are dreaming big

Ghanaian kids are dreaming big

The last time I updated the Tour of Accra series, I was drinking coconut juice at Labadi Beach. As it is the case every weekend, there was a festive atmosphere. I wish I would have stayed longer, but time wasn’t on my side.

Initially, the afternoon plan was to visit Osu, Jamestown and Usshertown — with stops at the Christiansborg Castle, James Fort and Ussher Fort. Unfortunately, I was behind schedule. Besides, I had already been to Osu. The 1948 Christiansborg Castle shooting incident, mentioned earlier in this series, took place there. Finally, I ditched the three sites and took to the streets of Tudu within the Accra Metropolitan District.

I chose Tudu because that’s where the Aflao-bound shuttle terminal is found. Aflao is a bustling town at the border with Togo. I wasn’t done with Accra. However, I had to figure out how to get to Togo and, if need be, book a ticket in advance.

When my exit plan was set, I strolled around Tudu area and felt the heartbeat of the community. The first thing I noticed in the hood is how popular soccer is among tender-aged boys.

Soccer is the most popular sport in Africa. From grass pitches to dusty grounds of uneven surfaces, kids across the continent enjoy the game anywhere. In most cases, they play barefoot, and their goal posts are improvised.

Playing is important for optimal development among children. It contributes to their cognitive, physical, social and emotional wellbeing. The United Nation’s High Commission for Human Rights recognizes play as every child’s right.

Scenes of young boys playing their favorite game are common across Accra. There is enormous potential in their raw talent. If I was a scout, I would have discovered the next Lionel Messi. With the current exposure in what was once dubbed the dark continent, Africans will undoubtedly dominate the sport in the future.

Komi Osei, a 13-year-old prospect, is dreaming of playing professionally in Europe. A Paris Saint-Germain fan is also envisioning the day he will wear Ghana on his chest and shine on the sport’s biggest stage, the World Cup. "My generation will make Africa proud." He told me.

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