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Ugandan Journalist Wants More Women in Sports

As a child, Aisha Nassanga lived a self-described “privileged life.” Her father was on the national soccer team, which allowed her to attend one of the best schools in the country. At school, she was exposed to a number of different sports, including cricket, basketball, netball, running, and swimming. Although she loved sports, her studies were also very important to her; she stopped playing sports in secondary school to focus all of her attention on her academic work. “After primary school, girls don’t have the luxury of continuing in sports. You must pass the exams to get to the next level. For me, I stepped away from sports and gave all my attention to books, books, books.”

Aisha later went to the university, where she received a bachelor’s degree in International Business. Her first internship after graduation was in the marketing department at a local broadcast station. After several months, one of the producers asked her to try out for the sports radio show. To her surprise, she liked it and was very successful. After radio, they asked her to be on television and gave her the opportunity to cover the Olympic Games and the World Cup. She was hooked!

Aisha is now a committed sports reporter and strong advocate for female athletes in Uganda. She feels a tremendous responsibility to use her platform to promote women’s sports and to challenge the discriminatory practices that exist for aspiring women in sports media. “We have many sports for women. Unfortunately, the males are not going to cover it. So if you are a female and you don’t cover women’s sports, then it won’t get covered. As women, we owe this to one another.”

Through this program, Aisha hopes to create pathways for other women to enter the field of sports media and to combat the discrimination and harassment that currently exists in the newsroom and in the locker rooms. She wants to change the culture and perception that women are not capable of handling certain jobs and to present herself as a positive role model for others. We believe the female leadership under Allyson and her team at Coca- Cola provides Aisha with the role models she needs to make an even greater impact in Uganda.

At The Coca-Cola Company, Aisha will find strong women in positions of leadership who will be able to share their own challenges as females and offer advice on generating respect and credibility in the field. Under Allyson, Aisha will receive specific training in the field of communications and how to market herself as a female leader worthy of promotion. During her mentorship, Aisha will also have access to two of The Coca-Cola Company’s very important initiatives: Active Healthy Living and 5by20 (women’s economic empowerment). Aisha has a tremendous platform with her own shows on national radio and national television. We believe the experience at The Coca-Cola Company will equip Aisha with the resources she needs to change public opinion about the role of women and girls in Ugandan society and will drive national attention to issues of health, physical activity, and women’s empowerment. We are excited to see the results.

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