The Culture Joint

African Giants light up 2024 African Games in Ghana

Credit: On

An interactive celebration of athleticism and inclusivity inspires audiences at the 2024 African Games. Sports Equity™ Lab and Swiss sportswear brand On’s “Right To Run” program joined forces to present the installation “African Giants” this week at the University of Ghana. 

Images of six of Africa’s most iconic athletes light up the front wall of the University of Ghana’s sports stadium and take center stage for all visitors approaching the venue of the 2024 African Games in Accra.

The installation – Ghana’s first sports interactive LED – invited attendees to contribute their photographs, symbolizing solidarity with the athletes and becoming integral to their stories. The submitted photographs collectively form the images of the African Giants and connect visitors to the aspirational athleticism of African athletes.

Handpicked for their remarkable achievements, the featured sports personalities include On athlete Hellen Obiri, the only woman to have won world titles in indoor track, outdoor track, and cross country alongside Feryal Abdelaziz, the first female Egyptian karateka to win Olympic gold; Raphael Botsyo Nkegbe, the first Ghanaian to qualify for the 2020 Paralympics; Noemi Alphonse, the first Mauritian para-athlete to reach a Paralympic Games final; Mpumelelo Mhlongo, a multi-world championship Paralympic Games medalist; and Abedi Ayew Pele, regarded as one of the greatest footballers of all time.

“Despite being faced with myriad challenges – limited resources, insufficient funding, and systemic biases – Africa continues to produce a constellation of stellar athletes who defy odds and etch their names in sporting history year over year, and generation over generation”, SEL founder Prof Dr. Yetsa Tuakli-Wosornu points out. “We’re grateful for the opportunity to add value to the Games with this campaign; showcasing our unwavering commitment to driving inclusivity and the transformative power of sport as a catalyst for social good.”

Sports Equity™ Lab (SEL)’s mission is to foster social justice and decency within the realm of sports. Through science and research, community engagement, and creative content, its aim is to promote inclusivity, equality, and fairness across all aspects of sports, eliminating discrimination and creating opportunities for all individuals, irrespective of race, ability, gender, socioeconomic status, or any other form of marginalization.

At the 2024 African Games, On’s social impact program Right To Run supports Sports Equity™ Lab’s Victory in Unity campaign that showcases exceptional African athletes of all backgrounds.

It includes the “African Giants” installation and a Game Changers Pan-African Networking Dinner to celebrate, amplify, and establish an enduring, inclusive legacy of the 13th African Games. On’s Head of Africa, Navalayo Osembo, was a keynote speaker at this important event on the African sports calendar. 

“As one of the African continent’s prime sports events featuring over 4000 athletes from 40+ African countries competing in 29 different sports, the reach and relevance of the African Games are unparalleled. Being present at this impactful event and helping to further Sports Equity™ Lab’s mission of increasing inclusion and reducing inequities in sports has been a vital project for us, especially as On’s engagement in Africa is still in its early stages,” says Osembo.

Since their initial collaboration in 2023, Right To Run and Sports Equity™ Lab have made significant strides in promoting awareness and inclusion within the sporting community.

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