What do world boxing champions Azumah Nelson, Ike Quartey and Joshua Clottey all have in common? They were all raised in Bukom, Ghana. The densely populated community is vastly inhabited by fishermen, but fishing is not their only export.
The city is renowned for having produced the most world boxing champions from Africa, and for the first time, British-Ghanaian film-maker Scilla Owusu explores and dissects how this Ga-Mashie community made boxing their cornerstone in a raw and riveting 60-minute documentary (trailer above).
The documentary will give viewers a glimpse into the grungy boxing gyms, the old townships, and interview some of the greats to unpack what it takes to become a heavyweight champion.
City of Bukom: The Documentary
City of Bukom is a manifestation of the evolution of boxing in Ghana, addressing aspects of post colonialism which confront us in the present day. This documentary features the likes of renowned boxers such as three-time world champion and one of Africa’s most celebrated boxers ‘The Professor’ Azumah Nelson, Ike ‘Bazooka’ Quartey who held the WBA welterweight title between 1994-1998, the rock-solid Joshua Clottey who in 2008 won the IBF welterweight title and fist cutting with boxers such as Zab Judah, Manny Pacquiao & Diego Corrales. British-Ghanaian Olympian and light heavy-weight boxer Joshua Buatsi, Ghana’s first boxing champion D.K Poison and more.
It also includes boxing promoters and enthusiasts to give a holistic view of the sport in the region. For many in Bukom, boxing is the ticket out of the town, away from the poverty, unemployment, and lack of opportunity. This documentary aims to tell their stories.
About the director: Scilla Owusu
Speaking of the inspiration behind the ambitious project, Owusu who has been featured on the BBC and in Forbes said: “After attending ‘This Is Ghana’ photography exhibition by Danny Wonders there was an image of a young boy wearing boxing gloves which caught my eye and attention. The photo was the catalyst which led me to start researching the boxing industry in Ghana. Communities like Jamestown & Bukom had me immersed in a deep yearning to chronicle the rich history of boxing through film. “Says Scilla Owusu.
By: Scilla Owusu