On Saturday, hosts Cameroon and Nigeria will play the final of the 2016 Women’s African Cup of Nations, the culmination of a two week tournament with eight participants vying for continental glory. Will the hosts be able to topple the defending champions?
Cameroon has proven to be stronghold for women’s football. The tournament has galvanised fans, with stadiums and streets buzzing. From television screens and billboards, this African Cup of Nations has been a perfect advertisement for the women’s game.
Last year, at the 2015 Women’s World Cup in Canada, Cameroon was the only African team to progress into the knockout round, and Gaelle Enganamouit became the first African to score a hat-trick en route to emerging as African Women’s Footballer of the Year.
The Lionesses have continued their steady rise with a perfect record in the 10th edition of this tournament, finishing at the top of Group A with a 100% record, nine points and no goals conceded. In the semi-finals, a reenactment of the African Big Four with Nigeria, South Africa and Ghana, Cameroon edged the Black Queens of Ghana with a scrappy goal in the 71st minute from Raissa Feudijo.
Darius Meke, a Cameroonian photographer, has been tracking the journey of the Lionesses (as the Cameroon women’s team are called).