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Finding new perpectives

I would like to start my story about ten years ago, when I was a girl and would spend my weekend afternoons in front of the television, fully engulfed in the rollercoaster of emotions that come with watching a game of soccer you really care about. My father uncle and I all sat there together, piping in our own two cents and opinions between those of the commentators. In this setting we all had an equal voice.

My frustrations kicked in when I was around my peers. In situations where we all sat together and conversations about whichever ‘big game’ was on that weekend came up and even though I was often given the opportunity to speak, my opinions were often not taken seriously, or brushed off with a kind of, ‘oh, she thinks she knows soccer, cute,’ kind of way.

Although I did eventually manage to get the respect I deserved in this group, when I stepped out of the comforts of home in Zimbabwe and found myself alone in Cape Town, I soon discovered that I had barely begun the battle to be heard. Whether you are a man or a woman, for people to take the time to notice and think about what you have to say you need to do it well. I feel, you need to make sure you hear and see what the world is telling you so that your voice is not only yours, but carries with it the voices of others.

Sport reporting goes beyond match reports and player ratings. It extends to the social and political implications that anything sports related has on a community, from who is included to who is benefitting or is hurt by the political and economic effects of staging any kind of sports competition. I applied to Voices of the Future because I feel it will give me the opportunity to stay true to my passion for sport in a space where I feel that so long as I am producing work of a certain standard it will be respected regardless of my gender, whilst also prompting me to further investigate what role it has played, if any, in other women’s lives.

Comments

laurabstull's picture

Hi MudiwaM, I'm glad that you

Hi MudiwaM,

I'm glad that you pushed beyond your frustration at not being heard and persevered to make others hear and respect your voice! I too love a sport, and I have been on the roller coaster of excitement and emotion while watching my favorite team battle for the win. Sports and athletics are not solely a man's realm!

Your work examining the impact of sports on society and politics is a fascinating one, and it is relevant throughout the world. I would love to hear more about your analysis of it, best of luck through the rest of this month!

Laura

Pushpa Achanta's picture

Interesting piece...

Dear Mudiwa,

Thanks for your frank expressions. It's great that you're pursuing your passion.

As a sports fan myself, this story made me recall the unwelcome reaction from my male classmate in high school when I corrected his statistic regarding an Olympic gold medallist. I'd just moved into that school from a girls only institution and evoked some irritating responses for my uninhibited foray into the "boys' domain". Fortunately, many guys I've met weren't and aren't that unfriendly or insecure!

Warmth and love,
Pushpa

Kim Crane's picture

I can sense your determination

I am so happy that you are paving the way for Zimbabwean women to enter the field of sports reporting! It must have been so hard to grow up knowing that this was your calling while being ridiculed by those you loved. Congratulations for staying strong and staying true to your dreams! I hope you will share your work on PulseWire for those here who love everything about sports, and for those like me who are usually ambivalent but can be drawn into the sports world by a great story. Best of luck!

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