Multi award-winning Ghanaian sports journalist, Juliet Bawuah, broke new ground in 2019, launching the African Women’s Sport Summit to offer a platform for greater mentorship and training for women to succeed in the sport industry.
The progress Bawuah and her team have made so far since the summit a year ago has been significant and she is hoping it presents a rallying call to all to join the mission.
With her success as a well-travelled journalist who has interviewed some of sports’ biggest names, many are inspired by her incredible career journey to date.
She has attended some of the world’s biggest events including the last three GLO CAF Awards, and a FIFA Media Conference in South Africa in 2010.
Across two respected award schemes, Bawuah sits on panels that decide Africa’s Footballer of the Year every year, one being the Confederation of African Football.
In 2015, she made the final nominee list for the International Sport Media Pearl Awards in Abu Dhabi.
With all her success, the Communications specialist believes she is still a work in progress and her ambition is to see the African woman in sport win big.
Speaking with gsport, Bauwah reflects on her journey and shares thoughts on what needs to be done to improve the state of women’s sport in Africa.
Juliet, thank you for making time for gsport. How are you managing the transition from Covid-19 lockdown to live sport slowly returning?
It’s been a major learning curve in the past few months. We have seen live sport being impacted in ways we never envisaged. It has taught me to be ready at all times and also constantly build on my pool and library. Managing the transition has been quite daunting but through it all, we are slowly immersing ourselves into what is available at any point in time and run with it.
How did the lockdown impact your work and what did you do to overcome challenges faced?
It disrupted every plan we had lined up for the rest of the year. The fact that we had to put all that away and adjust to a new normal meant so many things. At a point, it felt like nothing was ever going to return but we kept pushing. With most gradually making a comeback – and even though we all miss capturing the fan excitement – we are looking at closely maximizing the potential of what we can lay our hands on and make good use of.
Reflecting on your journey, where does your love for sport come from?
“The competitive nature of sports brings out the best in all of us and covering the industry over the years, I have seen the dedication and beauty of toil that goes into winning.” – Multi award-winning sports journalist, Juliet Bawuah.
My love for sport comes from the need to see people excel. The competitive nature of sports brings out the best in all of us and covering the industry over the years, I have seen the dedication and beauty of toil that goes into winning. Those are the things that excite me.
What has shaped your broadcasting journey and brought you to this point in your career?
It has to be my fetish for seeing things through. I believe there is absolute power in executing things and that has been the attitude I attach to every work big or small.
You have interviewed some of the biggest names in sport and you have achieved fantastic milestones. What truly stands out for you when looking back on your journey?
This is difficult to tell since every story matters. But it definitely has to be all the amazing stories that brought out the beauty of humanity in others. From touching lives through talents in prison to exposing a young boxing talent to the world, it has been beautiful so far.
You broke new ground last year with the launch of the African Women’s Sport Summit which was a great success. How can women in sport get involved and show support for this initiative?
We created the Africa Women’s Sports Summit to offer a platform for greater mentorship and training. The gains we have made so far has been significant and that presents a rallying call to all to come join us on this journey. We seek to do more to ensure that the African woman in sports succeeds at what she does.
What do we need to do to improve the state of women’s sport in Africa?
A lot of support and this must come from all sectors. We must all be active participants.
Which country globally is getting it right when it comes to women’s sport?
It’s hard to tell because what we presently consider to be best practice may be basic elsewhere. But in the last few years we have seen a deliberate effort being made. Things will get better.
How can we encourage women in sport to keep shattering new barriers?
“Women fight all manner of stereotypes and that alone should motivate us to look beyond our limitations and build legacies that last.” – Bawuah speaks on women in sport breaking barriers.
The task is for us to be better than we are currently. Women fight all manner of stereotypes and that alone should motivate us to look beyond our limitations and build legacies that last. History is going to be kind to us one day.
Which women in sport inspire you?
The African woman in sport – both established and upcoming.
What advice do you have for women who are aspiring to work in sports media?
You must have an appetite for big things and go for them. You will need a lot of hard work, too. The dedication must also go hand in hand with prayer.
What is your greatest ambition?
I have not achieved that yet. I am work in progress but what would pass as a significant ambition is to see the African woman in sports win and win big.