- Akosua Adjei is one of Ghana's few but topnotch sports journalists who are female
- Her love for sports was birthed while living in Obuasi with her grandmother and an uncle who worked for the National Sports Authority
- The Kumasi Girls' Senior High School alumnus got to learn more about the soft side of sports, thanks to a friend who used to purchase 90-Minutes newspapers for them to read in school
- She gained admission to study at the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation School as a journalist after completing the University of Cape Coast and currently works with GTV Sports+
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Sports of all kinds are enjoyed by many across the globe. However, there are few women who venture into sports journalism to broadcast such sports. Ghana is blessed with the likes of Juliet Bawuah, Veronica Commey, and Gloria Peprah, among others, but unfortunately, the list is quite short.
At a very young age, Akosua Adjei dreamt of becoming a newscaster just like her idols, Aku Shika, and Gifty Anti, but she eventually realised that she enjoyed everything sports and decided to become a sports journalist. Her journey was not a smooth and perfectly laid-out one, but the good thing is that, years later, she is exactly where she hoped to be.
Akosua's story is one of perseverance and going after what one wants. In an attempt to educate, inspire and challenge our readers, YEN.com.gh highlights her path to becoming a sports journalist.
Lawrencia Nyamekye Adjei, popularly known as Akosua Adjei, grew up with her grandmother in Obuasi and started basic education there. As a young girl, she developed a particular interest in sports, thanks to her uncle and how invested the residents in her town were when it came to supporting the football team, Ashanti Gold.
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"My uncle used to work for the National Sports Authority so I got to know more about sports and also, growing up in Obuasi, there were a few things you could do. For example, you either enjoy sports, dancing or mining. I, therefore, got to know bits and pieces of everything", she told YEN.com.gh.
Her interest in sports grew even bigger when she moved to Kumasi Girls' Senior High School. A friend of hers who was a day student used to bring the latest 90-Minutes newspaper to class every time, which informed them about the world of sports and the lives of celebrated sports personalities beyond the pitch.
Thanks to the newspaper, Akosua realised that sport was not just about commentary and hard talks, but there was a softer side to it. This spiked her interest even more.
"The newspaper always had interesting stories. For example, it had nice pictures of Christiano Ronaldo and his girlfriend, and it was almost as if every other edition of 90-Minutes had Christiano Ronaldo with a different lady. This really heightened my interest in sports in secondary school, the fact that we could talk about other things athletics."
Akosua gained admission to the University of Cape Coast after secondary school, and as fate would have it, she met another person who built on her interest in sports. In level 100, she became friends with a girl, Bernadine, in her hall of residence, Ogua hall. Bernadine was equally fond of sports just like her, and one of Akosua's unforgettable memories was when she could talk about sports at length with another female.
In the Ghanaian setting, girls are not typically known to enjoy sports, let alone spend hours discussing sports news; hence for Akosua, she felt the best way to fit in was to hide or suppress her interest.
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"I didn't let a lot of people know the extent to which I love sports, particularly football, so anytime there was a match I was interested in, I ditched going to the JCR where the guys were and would rather go watch at a pub somewhere in Cape Coast."
Joining Ghana Broadcasting Corporation (GBC) School to become a sports journalist
Akosua successfully completed her bachelor's degree in art and worked as a research and teaching assistant for her national service. However, after one year, she knew lecturing was not what she wanted to do, so she left Cape Coast for Accra to see what life had for her. As hard as she tried, she, unfortunately, could not land a job for a year and a half.
Still determined to succeed, the UCC alumnus discussed her situation with a friend, who later introduced her to a lady who works at GBC.
"I got in touch with Nana Ama and she told me GBC has a training school so she thinks I should apply and start from them. So I did that, got accepted and went through the training. After completing, we had to do an internship, and I was posted to work as a production assistant on the Breakfast Show", Akosua revealed.
After working on TV for a while, she was required to switch to radio for some time. Akosua finally saw an opportunity to venture into sports journalism and insisted that she be sent to the sports department.
Becoming a full-time sports journalist at GTV Sports+
The sports department welcomed her with warm and open arms, especially because she became one of only two ladies there. According to her, the other lady was happy that another female was in the department.
She worked on radio for a while until one day, one panellist for a show on GTV Sports+ show could not make up. Akosua was in her office when she got a call to sit in the show for the absent panellist. She shared with YEN.com.gh that she was a bit hesitant at first as that was her first time in front of the camera, but she gave her best, and the show was successful.
"After that day, I was always the one who was called to sit in anytime a panellist could not make it to a sports discussion on TV", she told YEN.com.gh.
Eventually, she returned to TV to do more production works, including 2017 Under 17 Men's World Cup in India and the 2018 Under 20 Women's World Cup. As chance would have it, a vacancy for a show host opened up and thankfully, she was recommended for the position.
Why there are few female Sports Journalists and advice for up-and-coming ones
The GTV Sports+ journalist mentioned to YEN.com.gh that when it comes to the low number of female journalists, particularly for sports, she believes it can be attributed to the fact that many opportunities are not created for women to grow in that space compared to their male counterparts. According to her, hiring managers tend to be concerned that women may not deliver as male sports journalists would, making them reluctant to engage females.
" It looks like even if ladies are given chances to pursue sports journalism, it is done mainly with the intention of representation. It is just so they would clear their conscience in term of the number of women in the team."
Sharing more about her success at GTV Sports+, Akosua revealed that the key attribute that has made her successful at GTV Sports+ is that she was given the free will to express herself exactly how she knows how to. For her, the fact that she did not have a lot of rules confining her in one place was all the empowerment she needed to perform her duties with excellence.
For Ghanaian women who hope to become sports journalists someday, Akosua encouraged them to read and learn more about sports. She also urged them not to look forward to just working from an office but rather be ready to gather experience from the field.
Juliet Bawuah: Successful Ghanaian Female Sports Journalist wins Imperial African Woman in Sports Award
Still, on female sports journalist, YEN.com.gh earlier reported that Ghana's very own industrious and award-winning female journalist, Juliet Bawuah, made her country proud as she won the Imperial African Woman in Sport award at the GSport Awards organised in South Africa in 2021.
According to Juliet, the award is a win for all African women in sports who put in efforts to achieve their set goals. The honoured sports journalist expressed her gratitude to the jury and fans who voted for her.
GSports4girls shared that, the Imperial African Woman in Sports award sought to honour a woman who impacts sports on the continent and goes the extra mile to raise the profile of women’s sport in Africa.
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