MONTEVIDEO, NOVEMBER 15, 2018 — Ghana’s Mukarama Abdulai has not had it easy.
Her leadership qualities were vindicated in scoring the first hat-trick of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in a 5-0 win over hosts Uruguay. Such a performance from the skipper was not a fluke: she is leading scorer in the 2018 African U-17 Women’s World Cup qualifying tournament with 12 goals. Coach Evans Adotey simply describes her as “his live wire”.
The Northern Ladies captain plays her football with grace in the National Women’s league in Ghana. She is a rising star, a leader and even a pacesetter.
But Muka – as she is affectionately called her team-mates at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup – grew up in a home with a single mother, six brothers and a sister. She derives her mental fortitude from her older brothers.
Muka hails from the northern part of Ghana where national football legend Abedi Ayew also comes from. She had to prove to her mother why playing football was all she wanted rather than join in her business.
There are no big-name women footballers in the north for her to look up to so she has drawn strength from former players such as Adjoa Bayor, Mamunatu Suleman and Alberta Sackey who broke the glass ceiling for women football in the country.
Muka proudly credits the stage she has reached to all her coaches for their unflinching support and belief in her.
She said: “All the coaches who have managed me continually convinced my mother of the potential I have before I had the support I am enjoying from my family especially my mother.”
Muka also has an education to return to at the University of Development Studies or a possible switch outside Ghana to continue her football career.
The stage is set for her to blossom into the star she is and also make mummy proud for finally allowing her to live out her dream. There is another dream: “I would love to play for Chelsea Ladies”.