Bukom: Where boxing legends are born

When the word boxing is mentioned in Ghana, the first name that comes to mind is Bukom, the undeveloped urban community in Accra. Since independence, Bukom has created a name for itself as the hub of boxing in Ghana and West Africa, a place where so many Ghanaian boxing legends were born and trained to get to the world level.

Ghanaian boxing legends like Iyke Quartey, Azumah Nelson and Joshua Clottey were all produced by the humble Ga community of Bukom. What makes this feat more surprising and worth praising is the fact that Bukom isn’t known to have modern boxing facilities that exist in other countries, yet it has made use of improvised training equipment like concrete blocks and heavy car tires to produce title-winning champions.

WBC honours Azumah Nelson on his 60th birthday
WBC honours Azumah Nelson on his 60th birthday

In fact, it is common to go to Bukom and see kids and teenagers of school going age in boxing gyms after school, training hard with the hope of following in the footsteps of the likes of Azumah Nelson and become world champions someday. Children born in Bukom are made to know right from infancy that fighting is a skill that when guided onto the right path could lead one to greatness and riches.

For this reason teenagers who get into a fight on the streets of Bukom are hardly stopped, as it is believed that is it during these tangos that the talented boxers are discovered and then nurtured to conquer the word.

To reward the community for its production of so many world champions in boxing, the government of Ghana in 2016 commissioned an ultramodern 8000 capacitor boxing arena in the community named Bukom Boxing Arena. While the boxing arena may not be enough to appreciate what the community has done for Ghana in terms of the sports, it reminds everyone that Bukom is the home of boxing in Ghana.

Bukom Boxing Arena
Bukom Boxing Arena

And if ever anyone thought Bukom was done producing world champions, well then you are not far from being wrong. Richard Commey, the current International Boxing Federation (IBF) Lightweight champion is just the latest world champion to come from Bukom and be added to the tall list of champions produced by the community. If ever you embark on tour of Accra, be sure to visit Bukom and have a tour of the town that gave birth to Azumah Nelson, Iyke Quartey and the countless world boxing legends.

Community Profile: Jamestown

Jamestown is arguably one of the most popular communities and suburbs in Accra and Ghana at large. The community is responsible for hosting the annual Chalewote Street Arts festival.

Jamestown is also the oldest district in the Greater Accra region with the community being founded as far back as the 17th century when the Europeans started arriving on the coast of Accra. Today, Jamestown is one of the biggest fishing communities in Ghana, with the craft starting somewhere in the 16th century by inhabitants of the community, the Gas.

Aside being known for its fishing activities, Jamestown is also famous for its historical and ancient appearance. The community which can be described as hugely under developed has remnants of the country‘s colonial past, making it a prime tourism destination for tourists who want to see remnants and monuments of Ghana’s colonial past.

In the center of the community lies the famous Jamestown Lighthouse, built by the British in the early 1930s to replace the original one built by the British in 1870. With a height of 34metres, tourists can see the whole landscape of Jamestown once at the top.

James Town Lighthouse
James Town Lighthouse

James Fort, another important monument of Ghana’s colonial past is found in Jamestown, just beside the Jamestown Lighthouse. The Fort was built by the British traders to serve as a trading post in 1673, making it the third oldest fort in Accra and only behind Fort Christianburg (built by the Danish in 1653) and Dutch Fort Crevecoeur (built in 1649).

James Fort Prison
James Fort Prison

Even with the transformation of Accra into a uniquely cosmopolitan city, inhabiting people from all parts of Ghana, Jamestown has managed to remain a predominantly Ga community, with the indigenous Gas accounting for a huge chunk of the population. Traditionally, the community is ruled by a chief who is chosen and installed according to the Ga tradition and customs.