Sports
Photo by Hakeem Adam.

In Photos: This Is What Africa's First Baseball Olympic Pre-Qualifier Looked Like

Burkina Faso establishes themselves as a thrilling prospect at the first African pre-qualifier for the 2020 Olympics.

It's no secret that sporting talent is well distributed among Africans, both at home on the continent and in the diaspora. Across all disciplines including football, tennis, sprinting, long distance running and now to winter sports like bobsled, you will find African athletes displaying stellar physical and mental performances at the top level and simply thriving. Baseball, which has traditionally been an American sport, might soon be the next place where African athletes will display their magnificence.

Back in March at the KOSHIEN Baseball Field in Accra, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Nigeria and Ghana's national baseball teams in locked horns for a chance to qualify for the only African spot in baseball at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. The tournament which was organized by the Ghana Baseball and Softball Federation.

Ghana, the host team, were the top-seeded team coming into the tournament, ranked at number three in Africa. With a healthy home support cheering on, the Rising Stars approached the contest with the same fierce spirit of song and dance that their colleagues in football have made the nation known for globally. However, it did not quite come together for them with Burkina Faso, the underdogs, proving to be the much more tactically disciplined opponent, taking advantage of Ghana's lack of pace on the field. The Upright Men, which were also the youngest team, completely dominated the event—beating both teams they faced to top the group and make it to the next round of qualifiers as champions of West Africa. They exhibited a high level of professionalism and teamwork, making intelligent plays to get past the more experienced Ghanaian and Nigerian teams while thoroughly enjoying themselves in the process. Nigeria also recovered from their loss to Burkina Faso on the first day of the tournament and made it through at Ghana's expense, beating them in a closely contested final game.

Regardless of the results, the qualifiers proved to be a great exposition for the sport that is very much on the fringes in these parts. For someone completely new to baseball like myself, it was refreshing to witness the young men from Burkina Faso send the crowd wild with their home runs. Photographing the event gave me a deeper appreciation of the efforts of all involved who are keen to make the most of the opportunities the game could provide them.

It's still a long road ahead to Tokyo, but take a look at the possible African history-makers at the Olympics in 2020 below.


Photo by Hakeem Adam.

Photo by Hakeem Adam.

Photo by Hakeem Adam.

Photo by Hakeem Adam.

Photo by Hakeem Adam.

Photo by Hakeem Adam.

Photo by Hakeem Adam.

Photo by Hakeem Adam.

Photo by Hakeem Adam.

Photo by Hakeem Adam.

Photo by Hakeem Adam.

Photo by Hakeem Adam.

Photo by Hakeem Adam.

Photo by Hakeem Adam.

Photo by Hakeem Adam.

Hakeem Adam is an instinct creative in love with beautiful sentences and the angst of communicating complex ideas in poetry. He frequently expresses this angst in simple sentences on his blog. He also loves to talk about African film and music classics on his platform, Dandano. Keep up with Hakeem on Twitter at @mansah_hakeem.

Video
Photo: James Kwan.

Watch Lady Moon & The Eclipse's New Video For 'Global Warning'

Just in time for Earth Day.

Brooklyn-based outfit Lady Moon & The Eclipse, who we've previously covered for their blend of R&B; and afrobeat, are back with the new single, "Global Warning."

The song and music video, which we're premiering today for Earth Day, is a head-nodder anchored by a heavy funk bass line and led by vocalist Lady Moon's (Ngonda Badila) lyrics about our drastically changing environment.

The new video for "Global Warning," directed by James Kwan, is a shape-shifting affair that cycles through colorful animated drawings and collage-like scenes of Lady Moon dancing in front of different habitats.

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News Brief

Ugandan Lawmaker and Activist Bobi Wine Has Been Arrested by Authorities—Again

The outspoken artist, activist and legislator was detained Monday after police shut down a recent concert of his.

Ugandan police have arrested artist, activist and legislator Bobi Wine, AFP reports.

He was detained Monday after police shut down a recent concert, where they fired tear gas at his supporters and fans, according to his wife Barbie Itungo Kyagulanyi. "He has been arrested in Busabala, where he was to address the media on the cancellation of his concert by the police," she says to AFP.

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Audio

Listen to Larry Gaaga and Wizkid's New Single 'Low'

Plus, watch the track's new music video.

Larry Gaaga recruits Nigerian superstar Wizkid for his latest single, "Low."

The new song, which is produced by BlaqJerzee, pairs a sparse beat with smooth synth keys and Wizkid's delivery about keeping things "on the low."

It comes paired with a brand new music video, directed by Mr. Moe Musa, that shows Wizkid and Larry Gaaga in a pristine white room as they perform the song along with some company.

Larry Gaaga, the Nigerian music executive-turned-artist, has been churning out some hits and big time collaborations lately like the 2Baba-featuring "Iworiwo" and "Baba Nla," alongside Burna Boy, D'banj and 2Baba.

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