Meet young Gambian women in sports journalism, breaking barriers

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Sarjo Baldeh and Fatou Camara

By: Alieu Ceesay

In pursuit of breaking boundaries in sports journalism, the young and ambitious Fatou Camara and talented female sports photographer Sarjo Baldeh face gender bias while working in a predominantly male environment. Despite encountering setbacks caused by others’ doubts about their abilities based on gender alone, they persevere with unwavering determination.

During International Women’s Day celebrations in March, The Alkamba Times highlighted the increasing number of women entering sports journalism in The Gambia.

Football is a beloved sport in The Gambia, and male reporters dominate sports journalism despite its popularity.

Despite having a country that loves sports such as football, female voices need to be heard more in Sports Journalist discussions; instead, male counterparts tend to receive recognition during events like Gambian Press Union Award ceremonies.

“My journey in sports journalism was not without challenges. I encountered resistance from male colleagues who doubted my abilities simply because of my gender,” Fatou told TAT. “I refuse to let their negativity hold me back. I prove myself through dedication, knowledge, and an unwavering passion for sports.”

Fatou earned an Advanced Diploma in journalism and communication from the prestigious Media Academy for Journalism and Communication. She now aspires to pursue a degree in sports journalism.

Sarjo Baldeh, also known as Baldeh, is a notable female sports journalist in The Gambia and Africa. She has covered major events like the 2023 AFCON and the recent African Games in Ghana.

Baldeh’s journey also aims to break barriers and promote Gambian football, similar to Fatima’s. She has worked with Real De Banjul and is currently contracted with Fortune Football Club in the Gambia Football Federation Division One Men’s League.

“I have never dreamt of being a sports photographer, but I believe I am destined to make Gambia’s sports photography grow,” Baldeh’s reflected. “It is challenging and lacks support, but I persevere because I believe that one day it will thrive.”

The number of female sports reporters in The Gambia is expected to increase with support and adequate capacity-building training. Muhammed S Bah, President of the Gambia Press Union, expressed his impression of the growing number of female sports reporters and encouraged them to continue their hard work and dedication.

“I am well impressed by the growing number of female sports reporters in the Gambia, and I want to let them  (Female sports reporters) continue their hard work and dedication.”

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