Main content

African icons unveiled

Image: Nathan Dyer

African role models unveiled a series of exquisite cultural portraits to mark Africa Day.

North Melbourne’s very own Majak Daw was in attendance, proudly revealing a stunning image, captured by Nathan Dyer.

"I'm proud to celebrate and lucky enough to represent my South Sudanese heritage," Daw said.

Born in Khartoum, Daw’s heritage is Ruweng from South Sudan. His portrait portraying two representations of Daw; one in his Kangaroos' playing kit and the other in traditional dress.

Collingwood’s Isaac Quaynor, Richmond’s VFLW Akec Makur Chuot and Hawthorn’s AFL Changkuoth Jiath also unveiled their portraits at the event held in The Huddle.

“The talent of the players and the umpires from African heritage that are coming up through the ranks is really exciting,” AFL general council and general manager of game development, Andrew Dillon said.

“Currently we have 61 players from African backgrounds listed in our NGA (Next Generation Academies) academies, so in the upcoming years hopefully we’ll see a number of them come through to play at the highest level.”

Designed to highlight cultural connections and celebrate the contributions made by African communities to the game, the event drew hundreds of guests to the North Melbourne Football Club's headquarters.

“Whether you speak the language or not, sport is a language that all of us understand,” Dr Mimmie Watts, from the Victorian Multicultural Commission said.

“I think that AFL has been absolutely wonderful in not just engaging the African community and other communities, but bringing people from different cultures together, which is something that we should really celebrate about AFL.”

Africa Day will be celebrated on Saturday, May 25.