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Disabled athletes in Africa changing the game

Samson Adeleke | Daniel Plafker | Sella Oneko
April 23, 2024

These disabled athletes from Benin, Ghana and Rwanda are passionate about their sports, whether it be wheelchair basketball, amputee football or breakdancing. Not only do they have newfound confidence, but they are changing perceptions of what they can do.


Maasta MC from Benin has been playing wheelchair basketball for two decades now. He has taken his talents abroad to Nigeria, Senegal and the Ivory Coast, but his biggest impact has come at home.

"Other athletes didn't take us seriously," he told DW's 77 Percent program. "Before, we didn't have the right to play. But as we improved and showed them that this wheelchair, this basketball in wheelchairs, is not just something to relax, they saw that we are players. So slowly, they gave us a place."

Samuel Kwakye Ofe, a member of Ghana's National Amputee Football Team, expressed a similar sentiment. "If you are disabled, that does not mean you can't do anything."

Jean D'Amour, a member of a disabled breakdancing group in Rwanda, used his sport to gain confidence. "Before, I was too shy to perform in front of people, but because of dance, I'm no longer afraid."