South African football analyst Gloria Brown has for many years used her extensive football knowledge and passion for the game to keep the sporting fraternity glued to their radios and television screens.
Recently, Brown was part of the SABC analyst team as she worked on her fifth FIFA World Cup tournament. According to Brown, she never thought she would work on five World Cups, but for her it took persistence and perseverance to be entrusted with sharing her expertise on global tournaments.
She says although the pressure working on global tournaments is intense, she certainly enjoys the exposure and recognition that comes with the job.
With an impressive CV, Brown is still aiming to tick a few boxes on her bucket list, revealing that she is up to the task of working on the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup tournament.
Speaking with Tlamelo Kganakga, Brown chats about her fondest FIFA World Cup memories and shares advice to young girls who aspire to get into sport analysis and commentary.
Gloria, thank you for chatting to us! You were part of the analysis team for the recently concluded FIFA World Cup, how did it feel doing it for the fifth time in your career?
Thank you for choosing to talk to me, I am humbled and honoured and believe it was the perfect time. In life, I take nothing for granted, I respect and treasure everyone whom I serve, it is done with dignity, respect and dedication. Yes, nervousness is part of the package, it feels new every time… it is such a huge moment, for me and my family.
Being blessed with such a talent, I need to give praise and honour to my God for placing me in this space and strengthening me every day. So ,when you are asked to do a job, never take it for granted because it could have been someone else. I never thought I would count up to 5 but persistence and perseverance has kept me going.
What is it that you enjoy about analysing on a global stage?
What I enjoy about the global stage is the exposure it gives one and the recognition. The pressure is immense, but one needs to be resilient and well researched.
Between radio and TV, which one do you enjoy more?
The two have different disciplines, one which is Radio is where you are creating a picture for the listeners, you practically bring the stadium and the emotional side of the game and allow the listeners to visualize what they hear. It is much more difficult, and the preparation is very intense.
With TV, you go beyond what the viewer can see and share with them the finer detail that is not obvious, you need to be very cautious about every output and tell a story, there is no time for editing anything, both need diligence and thorough preparation.
With the past four World Cup tournaments, what’s your fondest memories?
My fondest memory is undoubtedly the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and having a direct impact even on a global stage. To share my most memorable take away is the following, during the preparation or the bidding, SABC was doing a presentation to many broadcasters around the world, I was fortunate that they used a clip to which I was analyzing the game and being very articulate and on point, to the disbelief of many, during this time there were not many (women) football analysts around the world. It was then that the UK started to get ladies behind the mic, after being inspired by this South African “me” it gives me great pleasure to know how I have helped influence and shape the game around the globe. I believe that will be the greatest moment. Since that influenced many, I knew then during 2010, I had to be at my best and on point, which was within my capabilities.
Any ambitions to do analysis when Banyana Banyana represent SA during the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup?
Yes. I am ready, capable, and able. I am ready if given the opportunity by the people of power and those who hold the key to making such decisions. I have been a commentator in the PSL for many years, I have been a commentator in the Champions League and in the CAF Confederations Cup, COSAFA Cup and our very own Hollywoodbets Super League, I do not see why not. I was also privileged to commentate the first women’s champions league. Regrettably, I have been ignored by CAF for whatever reason. However, time will tell, when called upon I will answer the call.
What’s your advice for women who want to get into commentary and analysis?
To all future aspiring women commentators, believe and persevere, it’s not easy but make sure you keep that dream and hope alive. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t, it’s possible I’ve done it and there are many commentators on radio and on TV. If you need a mentor look no further. Nothing gives me more pleasure when I see all the women who are on your TV screens and behind the mic and know that I had a contribution by paving the way… stand up and be.