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    • Mimi Nartey posing on a soccer field with gear and a book

Myralyn "Mimi" Nartey: For Former Pro Soccer Player, Future Kicks Will Promote Health Among African Girls


When she was 15, Myralyn "Mimi" Nartey ventured far from her family’s home in Arizona to the Republic of Ghana, where her father had been raised, to play professional soccer for the Ghanian women’s national team. While there, she contracted malaria. At first the team administrators and medical staff failed to appreciate the magnitude of her illness. When Nartey began to deteriorate, she was taken to the nearest hospital, which she barely recognized as a medical care facility. “It felt more like an open-air marketplace,” she recalls. As she waited a seemingly interminable period to be seen, Nartey saw frightened-looking women with sick babies on their backs. “They had no idea what was going on, or if they were going to be able to pay for what they needed,” she says.