The Northern Region is such a changed place. It no longer frowns upon a woman playing football. The practice is no longer an abomination, no longer seemingly divinely designed for the man. The woman’s place is no longer the kitchen. If willing, she is at liberty to not only kick the ball around for fun, but kick it to earn a living. And how impressively this is taking center-stage!
The last couple of years have seen a boom in Women’s Football in the region. There are two clubs playing in the Ghana Premier League, many Division One League clubs and a host of Division Two League clubs. One of such D.O.L clubs, Bagabaga Ladies, have a jewel of a player called Abdulai Salamatu Nte. She is a striker by trade and quite clearly distinguishes herself with her gifts.
Salamatu, affectionately called Nte, has endeared herself to many, thus making her a household name in Tamale. Amongst her strengths are a burst of pace, skillset, intelligent off-ball movement and an eye for goal. She is her side’s major source of goals and hardly disappoints. Her name is almost always on the scoresheet and frequently makes the assist list as well.
There is a periodic tournament, dubbed Unity Games, that Women’s Football organizers in the region roll out when schools are on holidays. It has become a popular championship that rotates from one town to another, sometimes from one school to another. Nte is one of the few names that have become synonymous with the tourney.
Bagabaga Ladies are two-time winners of the tournament, in the editions held at TAMASCO and GHANASCO, with their star player being topscorer in the latter. She was also the goal queen in two other editions at Kasalgu and Kumbungu. The Unity Games shot her to prominence and she has never looked back. Both Premier League clubs in the region have been on her heels to sign for them but to no avail.
Her exploits meant it was a matter of time until she would attract attention from the national teams. She was called to the U-17 national team, the Black Maidens, for preparations towards the World Cup in India in 2020. She played in the qualifiers and scored against Liberia in Accra. However, the tournament was postponed to 2021 and later cancelled because of Covid-19.
Currently, Nte is a member of the national U-20 team, the Black Princesses. This is clearly an ascension in her career. Information picked indicates she is highly regarded by her coaches courtesy of her impressive performance. With the rate at which she progresses, her talent is sure to take her places. That is a given.
If a player is as good as her coaches and managers, then those who handle her at Bagabaga Ladies deserve commendation. The coaches and technical director have impacted on her development. Salamatu Nte has a special gift as a girl player. She has a clear path to travel to the top. She is the next rising star in Women’s Football in the North. The North cannot wait to bring her forth.
Yours in the beautiful game