Lamin Jammeh is an entrepreneur and captain of the Gambia amputee football team.
Almost every day there is a big football match on TV, be it Premier league, La Liga or Champions League. Which is great for Lamin’s video club business. Every match, he will carry his two TVs down to his video-club in Sukuta, Gambia, walking carefully on his prosthetic leg, he plugs in the speaker system and the sports zapper box, and waits for his customers to arrive.
He uses a barn near his compound, which he has filled with benches, it can fit a hundred people in, and some games have filled the place, like Liverpool vs. Barcelona in the Champions League, and any match featuring neighbouring Senegal. It is 10 Dalasi to get in, 15 for a big game. The atmosphere is fantastic, two games at the same time, loads of shouting, cheering, arguing and passion. He stashes away half of his take to reinvest, that’s how he just purchased the second TV, next he will buy a fridge, so he can stock and sell soft drinks and cold water.
“We are in a bubble, just playing each other, so we don’t know how good we are, we want to go to another place, like Sierra Leone, play the team there, train with them, they are a good team we must see if we can hold our own against them”
Lamin has big plans for the football team, he is the captain and plays in central defence, he calls himself John Terry, but has a better smile. It is the one year anniversary of the Gambia team this weekend, and he tells me that they are ready to go and play teams in other countries. They train every Saturday and Sunday, but have never played a team from outside Gambia.