Karabo Mokgalagadi walked away with the Woman in Radio award at the 2019 Momentum gsport Awards, and has since been promoted to Sports Editor at North West’s biggest commercial station, YOU FM.
Mokgalagadi rates her victory on the gsport stage as her biggest career highlight, and says she and is earning the respect that she has been working hard for over the years.
On 31 August last year, she went up against two big names in South African sports media – Romy Titus and Lerato Phago – and it still warms her heart to date that it was her name that was called out on the night.
Winning the gsport award has had a positive impact on Mokgalagadi’s life and she says that she is forever grateful for the recognition which opened doors for her at YOU FM.
She was also awarded the opportunity to be a guest speaker for a women in sports dialogue where phenomenal women, veterans in sport, like Ria Ledwaba, Ntambi Ravele, and Cecilia Molokwane, were part of the panel.
In the next five years, Mokgalagadi hopes to venture into television, adopt a girls’ soccer team and study Sports Management.
Speaking with Celine Abrahams, Mokgalagadi also thanks her father for his influence, and shares her lessons learnt to inspire the next generation.
Karabo, as we gear up for another year of the Momentum gsport Awards, you won the Woman in Radio award last year! Please explain to us what it was like winning on the gsport stage?
Hi Celine! Uhm, I think for me more than anything it was a humbling moment, especially looking at the other two nominees; Romy Titus and Lerato Phago, these are two big brands, you know and looking at my experience and at the same time looking at the fact that I am in the North West, it was really a humbling experience, a humbling moment. But, most importantly it was that affirmation for me that I was doing great. I hardly get that, so for me that moment, that was it for me and I am forever grateful for that experience. It just warms my heart, I still get goosebumps whenever I think of that night walking up that stage.
How did winning that award impact your life?
The impact winning the award has been positive. Firstly, looking at the fact that after the awards I was promoted to Sports Editor for the only commercial radio station in the North West province. That says a lot because usually men hold up those posts and I am one of very few women who hold that position, so that is one of the impacts, positive impacts that winning the award has had on my life.
“I’m getting much more respect; I don’t get so many disappointments anymore in terms of organising interviews with people. Usually they would just hang up, not live up to their promises, we would agree on interviews and then they would not be available for those interviews but now that really isn’t a challenge anymore because people are aware of me.” – Sports Editor, Karabo Mokgalagadi
And, I’ve had calls from people that I never thought would call me just to congratulate me. People that I didn’t even think that they knew of me but thanks to gsport people now know about me. Big names of people in sport – male and female – they now know about me. I’m getting much more respect; I don’t get so many disappointments anymore in terms of organising interviews with people. Usually they would just hang up, not live up to their promises, we would agree on interviews and then they would not be available for those interviews but now that really isn’t a challenge anymore because people are aware of me. This award has really got me some respect.
What are your thoughts on the partnership between Momentum and gsport to enhance the gsport Awards?
You know, getting corporate companies supporting or sponsoring women’s sport is a challenge and I think it’s great that Momentum continues to partner with gsport and this also just shows how Momentum believes in this great initiative that was started by a phenomenal woman in Kass just to celebrate women in sports as well as their journeys. And, for Momentum to have the campaign #NoApologyForMySuccess, I think that is exactly what gsport is celebrating and honouring women who are really unapologetic for their success. The women who are not afraid to show off how great they are, so I think these two – Momentum and gsport – partnering is really great and it excites me looking at how these two are meant to be working together.
When was the first time that you heard about gsport and the work being done to promote women’s sport?
I think I heard about the gsport Awards back in 2015…Yeah back in 2015, and I immediately got excited because being a producer of a sport show and you do want to put a spotlight on women’s sport but it’s hard to get that information because not all media houses cover women’s sport, they would just cover the national teams and that’s it. But, getting to know more about individual players, getting to know about administrators, people that are just doing this for the love of it and they are really not in the public eye, so gsport for me was that platform that got me to know more about women who are in sport and are excelling.
What do you think of the growth of the initiative?
The growth of this initiative really fills my heart with so much joy and warmth because women in sports are still facing challenges that I feel shouldn’t be facing anymore, it’s 2020 and the challenges are still massive, yet through all those challenges women are coming out victorious. Women are breaking those glass ceilings that have been built there. Women are coming out and they are shining and having gsport shining the spotlight on these women I think it’s just great.
“Acknowledging women on the continent and internationally that is huge, it just shows how huge gsport is now because there are women who are doing great on the continent and internationally and I think it is also a platform where South African athletes or women in sport will be known worldwide as well.” – Mokgalagadi speaks on the growth of gsport.
For the fact that there are now two new categories looking at African Woman in Sport and Global Woman in Sport Awards that is just massive! Acknowledging women on the continent and internationally that is huge, it just shows how huge gsport is now because there are women who are doing great on the continent and internationally and I think it is also a platform where South African athletes or women in sport will be known worldwide as well, thanks to gsport because it is growing and the exposure for women in sport is growing as well.
Generally, what are your thoughts on the recognition that women in sport are receiving from various media houses?
Honestly, I think things are better looking at recognition from media houses and I’m saying this because we now have women who are working in these media houses and they are strong women that want to expose and put a spotlight on women’s sport, so I think that with the little or few women that we have in various media houses I think that is really just helping us in the recognition of women in sports.
Personally, what have been the biggest lessons that you have learnt that you would like to share to young girls who are looking to make a name for themselves in the sport industry?
Looking at the biggest lessons that I have learnt is not doubting yourself. Self-doubt will just kill you. Confidence as well, be confident in your craft, don’t look for the, “You doing great,” “You doing a good job,” because those compliments are rare, you know. It’s hard for you to get those compliments. I’m in radio, I’m in sports as well and both these industries are male dominated where women don’t host radio shows, they don’t host sport shows, there’s a very few of them that are doing it. There is still this belief that men should be doing this or men know better so I think just believe in your craft, go in there with that confidence, talk to other women who have been in the industry. I think for me that has also made me understand that this is not just happening to me. The challenges that I’m facing, I’m not the only one that is facing them, and it’s challenges that women have faced, are still facing and women will still face.
So, just know that there is also this “beef” that women have with one another, I think that also just needs to stop. We need to build each other, guide each on how the legends or the veterans that have been in the different sport industries, they need to be open with their stories so that we know, I think that’s the way to do it but most importantly you have to believe in yourself! If there is a door that you are seeing, knock on that door and never give up, never give up because you will get to where you want to be with that determination. All you need to do is really just keep pushing.
What are you biggest highlights?
My biggest highlights have to be winning at the Momentum gsport Awards because that has opened so many doors for me, like I had mentioned earlier being Sports Editor of a commercial radio station. I had the opportunity to host the North West Sports Awards, I also had the opportunity to be apart of…I was a guest speaker for a women in sports dialogue where phenomenal women, veterans in sport, the likes of Ria Ledwaba, Ntambi Ravele, Cecilia Molokwane, just to name a few, were part of the panel.
“Just getting that call from the MEC to invite me to be a part of the women in sport dialogue was massive for me I must say.” – Mokgalagadi speaks on hosting a women in sports dialogue.
So, it really was an honour for me to be surrounded by those women where we were invited by the MEC of Sport. Just getting that call from the MEC to invite me to be a part of the women in sport dialogue was massive for me I must say. I’ve had some great highlights. I think highlights for me as well is being able to now have big names on the show where my show now has weight because I’ve got the confidence. I must say that the gsport award has given me so much confidence where I can approach anyone, talk to them and invite them on the show, so that as well has been a highlight. When I look back and the interviews that I had, it really brings a smile to my face.
What are you hoping to achieve in the next five years?
In the next 5 years I’d like to venture in TV, still doing sports. I’d like to adopt a girls’ soccer team as well while studying a sports course – Sports Management.
Today we celebrate Father’s Day. What is your message to your dad and the other father’s who have had an impact in their daughter’s sporting careers?
Billy Graham once said, “A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed and yet one of the most valuable assets in society.” To all the present dads, thank you for being their unconditionally and Happy Father’s Day.
To my father, thank you for always being there. As strict as you have always been, sometimes it didn’t make sense but now it all does, that also helped me realise who I am, the values you instilled in me as a young girl groomed me to be the woman I am today and for that I’ll forever be grateful. I am proud to call you daddy and I love you so much. Happy Father’s Day!
Photo 1 Caption: Karabo Mokgalagadi walked away with the Woman in Radio award at the 2019 Momentum gsport Awards ceremony and has since been promoted to Sports Editor and earned the respect that she has been working hard for over the years. Photo: Supplied
Photo 2 Caption: On the 31st of August last year, she went up against two big brands in South African sport – Romy Titus and Lerato Phago – and it still warms her heart to date that it was her name that was called out on the night. Photo: Supplied
Photo 3 Caption: Winning the gsport award has had a positive impact on Mokgalagadi’s life and she says that she is forever grateful for the recognition which opened doors for her at YOU FM. Photo: Supplied
Photo 4 Caption: She was also awarded the opportunity to be a guest speaker for a women in sports dialogue where phenomenal women, veterans in sport, the likes of Ria Ledwaba, Ntambi Ravele, Cecilia Molokwane, just to name a few, were part of the panel. Photo: Supplied
Photo 5 Caption: In the next five years, Mokgalagadi hopes to venture in TV, adopt a girls’ soccer team and study Sports Management. Photo: Supplied