Angela Asante is a Ghanaian Sports Journalist. She talks to Maame Yaa Tutu about career, and inspiration.
Q. How did you become a Sports Journalist and which year was this?
I got my first paying job in July 2008 but I began as a volunteer for a blog during Euro 2008. I am a self-taught journalist. First, I developed a passion for football in 2004 and improved my English. Then I learned football terms in English through BBC World Service and official English Premier League shows. I learned how to type fast and use the internet. I remember training my writing skills at home before I ultimately found a job.
Q. What is your educational background?
I never schooled in Ghana. I attended various French schools as I was raised in France. I had very good grades. I was particularly good in French, Socioeconomics and Fine Arts. However, I felt the need to drop from High School and start a career immediately because I’ve always believed in my capacities much more than in the educational system.
Q. Why Sports journalism? Was it what you had in mind growing up?
Growing up, I wanted to be many things: a novel writer, a banker, an artiste… then I had a strong desire to become a DJ and entertainment show presenter on radio. My love for a career in the media was still young when my passion for football gradually took over. I then decided to make a career out of my passion because I believe life is about happiness; doing what you love. Fortunately, things worked out for me in the sports industry.
Q. What are some of the challenges you face as a sports writer?
As an online sports writer, the biggest challenges I face are power outages or internet service breakdowns.
Q. Which website/news portal do you write for?
I work for US-based website LiveSoccerTV.com. I am also a freelance reporter for the multisport show on BBC Afrique based in Dakar, Senegal.
Q. Does it pay to be a Sports Journalist?
I’d say that it pays to do what you love and what you believe in. It’s an exceptional feeling to be part of a project, to make it grow… that’s what I’ve been doing at LiveSoccerTV.com since 2009. The experience is special.
Q. What inspires you?
God, myself and my environment. Anything positive is inspiring. I have zero tolerance for weak links or constant excuses. As the Writing Team Leader at LiveSoccerTV, I believe in team work. Nothing is more inspiring than feeling a great synergy connecting the members of my team.
Q. Would you advice any young person to be a Sports Journalist?
The best advice I can give to young people is to discover who they are and to follow their path. We are all different. What works for me may not work for someone else and what doesn’t work for me may work for someone else.
Q. If yes, what advice would you give to such person?
But to any youngster that aspires to be a sports journalist, the first rule is to remain objective while reporting.
Q. Apart from being a Sports Journalist, is there something else that you do?
Certainly. I am also a voice-over artist and a translator in French and English. I have worked for Radio France Internationale among others, for example.
Q. What are your thoughts on the current state of Ghana football?
Ghana football, at senior national team level, is apparently benefiting financially and psychologically from the crazy amount of passion the nation has for the Black Stars. When it comes to club football though, I think results speak for themselves: the country produces a lot of footballing talent but the way clubs are ran and retired footballers are treated is questionable. Clubs like Asante Kotoko and Accra Hearts of Oak should have been worldwide brands by now earning millions and contributing to tourism and employment like Bayern Munich, Manchester United or Real Madrid.
Q. Any advice for Coach Kwesi Appiah and the Black Stars with the 2014 world cup in mind?
Belief comes first. In sports, victory is not guaranteed. What is guaranteed is failure as long as you carry fear and negative thoughts because doubts kill more dreams than anything else will. The Black Stars are in a very tough group so mental power will be key to reach the next round. I think that at this point, the best advice I could give the coach and the players is to focus and avoid listening to distracting talks from fans and the press.
Q. Which of the teams in Ghana do you support?
I am neutral. But of course, it’s always good to see Ghanaian teams doing well at continental level.
Q. What of the foreign leagues?
When it comes to foreign leagues, I follow the English Premier League and the Spanish Primera Division closely. I’m neutral but I love excitement. It was boring to see Arsenal and Liverpool struggle in recent years so it’s nice to see them win games this season. As for Real Madrid, I follow them because that’s where my favourite footballer plays – Cristiano Ronaldo, I mean.
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