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Zanzibar, Tanzania

Just before sunset, you see people playing soccer almost everywhere on Zanzibar Island. A lot of men wear soccer shirts from international teams with pride and enjoy chatting about their favorite team.


Soccer is very popular, but limited to boys and men. You don’t see women playing. The region follows a strict interpretation of the Koran and soccer is not permitted for women. Although Zanzibar’s first women soccer team was founded in 1988, they are still fighting for their right to play. When I asked the “New Generation of Soccer Queens”, one of the few women’s soccer teams on Zanzibar, what soccer means to them, they said: “Freedom. The opportunity to spend time with friends and hope for a better life.“


These young Muslim women athletes are redefining their roles in the community and dispelling long-held stereotypes with their strength and courage.

Text & Photos : @mirjamwaehlen

Canon EOS-1 N


Kodak Portra 400

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