The Mandela Soccer Academy: Historical and Contemporary Intersections between Ghana, Lebanon, and the West

Itamar Dubinsky, Lynn Schler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Since their arrival in the late nineteenth century, Lebanese immigrants have come to play an important role in Ghanaian society, especially in commerce. In community development, however, their influence is considered to be less salient, and therefore it is less researched. The present paper tries to fill this lacuna by focusing on the Mandela Soccer Academy, which was established in 2012 in Ghana by Mohammed Issa, a Lebanese-Ghanaian entrepreneur. The paper argues that Issa’s hybrid identity is reflected in his vision for the Mandela Soccer Academy, and is central to understanding children’s experiences there. The functioning and vision of the academy reflect an attempt by Issa to expose the academy’s children to cosmopolitan messages that he believes will broaden their horizons and improve their prospects. At the same time, the academy provides him with an opportunity to bolster the social collateral of the Lebanese in Ghana. The paper explores the ways in which the academy has become a juncture of translocal cultural production that transcends national boundaries, and assesses the extent to which the children have embraced Issa’s worldview.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1730-1747
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of the History of Sport
Volume33
Issue number15
DOIs
StatePublished - 12 Oct 2016

Keywords

  • Football
  • Ghana
  • Lebanon
  • development
  • transnational

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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