March 8 will be observed the world over as the International Women's Day. Ahead of this day aimed at shining the light on the achievement of women, www.hilltopvoices.com talks to Leocadia Bongben, a media professional with out standing achievements in sports reporting.
Hilltopvoices: What inspired you into sports reporting?
Leocadia Bongben: I can say I found myself in sports reporting by accident but turned it into passion. I discovered colleagues at The Post were in for more political news and that was not my domain. So, I decided to wonder around sports, and discovered this was virgin land. That is how I stayed, was consistent and learning.
Hilltopvoices: How did you become a sport reporter?
Leocadia Bongben: I followed the local championship, was where every important football activity was happening, because that is the king sport. I had a space where many were not clamouring for, the back page.
I was among the lucky few who went to the Egypt the Al Ahly-Cotonsport Champions League game.
It was the article I wrote for this game that I used to apply for a project, African Media on the Road to 2010. I was among the 118 journalists in Africa selected. We were trained sports reporting in Ghana and during the World Cup wrote articles published and paid by the project. I discovered that where to find good stories, not the 90minutes of game but issues and people around the game. The push came in 2010 and i got an opportunity to string for BBC Sport from 2011
Hilltopvoices: What are the challenges you have faced?
Leocadia Bongben: The challenges faced are many, one is to be out at odd hours when women should naturally be at home taking care of kids and the husband. Events at times went late in the night and I have to be there to get the information first hand, especially audio for radio, and website quotes (working for BBC Sport from 2011)
Hilltopvoices: Can you share with us your best moments?
Leocadia Bongben: My best moments were obviously, my by-line in The Post or BBC Sports. Having the opportunity to cover Indomitable Lions games, in Morocco, Togo, the African Nations Cup in Angola, World Cup in South Africa…
Hilltopvoices: What are Your regrets?
Leocadia Bongben: No regrets, I relish every moment reporting sports, the passion, the controversy, the actors, are overwhelming. Sports reporting has given me everything, media officer women’s national team…
Hilltopvoices: What are your ambitions?
Leocadia Bongben: My ambition is to mentor young female journalists to report sports, write a book…
Hilltopvoices: Should young women follow your path? Tell us why
Leocadia Bongben: Young women, journalist should follow this path because it is an area like any other for journalists. It is an area where news is often glaring and handy requiring only angling and originality. Then, I would advise women journalists specialize and freelance for big media houses that have a good sports policy.