Although the most well-known form of commercial art in Africa is the barbershop or beauty salon sign, those who paint those signs are truly accomplished artists. They are able to paint for anyone’s purposes and often advertise their own artistic talents painting whatever subject appeals to them, most commonly stars of sports and music, athletes and musicians. As in most of the world, football aka soccer, is the most popular sport in Ghana and this man, Mallam Yahaya has been one of its biggest stars. When he was much younger, an up and coming player on the national football scene in Ghana, he played for the National Under-17 Team, the Black Starlets (the national team is called the Black Stars). Now, at 41, he plays for a German team, Amicitia Viernheim.
This portrait of his, painted years ago, measures 39 1/4 x 30″ (1 m x 76 cm), a large painting. In this rendition of this well-known man in Ghana, he is wearing a green Ghanaian team football/soccer kit, white knee high soccer socks and black and white striped soccer shoes. He is kneeling on a green football/soccer pitch, his arms crossed on his right knee. The sky is visible in the background above the trees.
The painting is on a thin board with a black border, very worn around the edges, the wear which is common on a genuine, older, used sign.