Cracking Liberia’s ‘grass ceiling’ – the girl mixing it with the boys

By Tamasin Ford| BBC Africa, Abidjan|

Jessica Quachie: The 10-year-old Liberian with a big footballing dream

A girl in a striking turquoise dress flies past the boys. The football, almost flat, never leaves her bare toes.

A stream of sandy dirt puffs into the air as a boy crashes to the ground trying to tackle her.

After she scores, the kids crumble to the ground laughing, dizzy in the heat.

Girls have not traditionally played football in Liberia, so much so that the sport is referred to as ‘man-ball’ in many communities, but 10-year-old Jessica Quachie is helping change perceptions.

She comes from West Point, Liberia’s biggest slum community in the capital Monrovia, which sits on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean.

“This is where I started playing football when I was six,” she tells BBC Sport, proudly pointing to a patch of dirt between a cluster of tin-roofed houses.

It’s an inauspicious springboard for a journey that has enabled her to learn to read, fly on a plane for the first time and develop dreams of a professional career.

In the last month, she has also shown off her talents in front of scouts representing Manchester United and reigning French champions Monaco.

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Source: BBC Sport

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About Cholo Brooks 15575 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.