Twenty Ten Project Dream Team photographer: Emmanuel Quaye

Here is the second post in our series highlighting some of the content produced by individual members of the newly selected Dream Team. You can go directly to Africa Media Online to view the full articles and all images and gain publishing rights to them. The ‘Allstar’ and ‘Dream Team’ journalists of the Twenty Ten Project can be commissioned for specific projects in their home countries or in South Africa during the build-up to the 2010 World Cup. So, please feel free to contact us with story ideas you’d be interested in.
Emmanuel Quaye is a photojournalist based out of Accra, Ghana. He has produced two photo features for the Twenty Ten Project so far. In the two photo essays that Emmanuel has produced we get a great sense of the historical and contemporary roles that soccer plays in the lives of people in two different parts of Africa – Ghana and Nigeria.
The first feature, The Legends, focuses on the forgotten legends of Ghanaian soccer. These great players have been forgotten in today’s contemporary rush for money and fame, while these legends chose to play for their country out of a sense of pride and duty. “To wear the Black Stars football jersey was once considered a great privilege, and the dream of many young men. Some turned down lucrative offers to play football overseas, all for the love of their country.‘We were made to feel a sense of pride and we were prepared to die for the nation and not for money,’ said one retired football legend. Some of these heroes refused to wear football boots when they toured Great Britain as a mark of the pride they had in their homeland. Despite their glory days and the service they did for their country, many of these soccer legends now live in destitution. Some have died paupers, others are bed ridden or ill and cannot afford medical attention.”
The second feature, Makoko Sedation, focuses on the role that soccer plays in the lives of the inhabitants of the Makoko slum in Lagos, Nigeria. “Soccer sedates the inhabitants of Makoko, a slum in Lagos in Nigeria.The slum with an estimated population of 50,000 people, does not have good roads, the area lacks potable water and the waterside is devoid of a sewage disposal system. This results in high morbidity from malaria, diarrhoea and other infectious diseases.” For many of the inhabitants soccer is the religion that enables them to forget the conditions that they live in, “Friday Oliseh, a resident, said soccer is like a religion which unites a nation. To Kwame Asante, a Ghanaian migrant, soccer is like a medicine which cures all diseases. ‘With soccer you forget all your problems,’ he said.”
Here are some of the images from the two features. You can see more of Emmanuel’s work and those of the rest of the team at Africa Media Online website.