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    Sports Journalism Is My Life -Juliet Mafua

    She is not intimidated that she is operating in a male-dominated industry. Juliet Mafua is happy presenting sports even as a woman and she plans to go places with her chosen profession.
    In this interview she granted James Osarehmen, Mafua speaks on what she has been doing over the years and her plans for the future.
    Who is Juliet Mafua
    I am a lady from Delta State and I graduated from Delta State University, Abraka, where I studied Linguistics. I’m the third of four children.

    How was your growing up like
    I grew up like a normal average Nigerian kid in Lagos, Okota to be precise, but it was fun for me. I am from a religious family that loves football and takes the game as a second religion in the house. That brought about my passion for it.

    But why didn’t you study a sport related course
    I knew football was what I had passion for and I knew I could not play it and that was why I went into the talking part of the game, which is what I do now. I studied Linguistics in school because it is communication related.

    Were you intimidated in this male-dominated industry, while coming up
    Not at all, because I am not the first lady sports journalist in the country; we have the likes of Aisha Falode, who gave people like me hope. Though we don’t have many females in the industry, men respect you when they know you are good at what you do. It is about knowing what you are doing and why.

    How long have you been doing this now
    I have been on it professionally for six years. I started from Delta State, where I do sport shows. I also continued at NTA 2, when I did my NYSC. I did sports show there too before I moved to TVC. But I would say that NTA gave me the platform to showcase myself.

    What about your experience so far
     It has been awesome; there is nothing like doing what you have passion for, it is like living your dream. Even before I started doing sport shows, I was casting major news bulletins, but I was not happy doing it because I knew I wanted to do purely sports. I later made my intention known to all and I was given the chance to do what I have passion for. I remember missing my English paper at NECO because I wanted to watch a game. Though this was because I knew I already had English before then at WASSCE. So, sport is just me and my life, I am very happy doing it now.

    How have the feedbacks being like
    I get a lot of positive responses via phones, facebook, etc from fans, who praise me for what I do; especially from guys. Some fans also give suggestions on how I can be better; it has been wonderful.

    So, how have you been able to handle male admirers
    Generally, any lady that comes on air will get male admirers, no matter the profession.

    ...(Cuts in) especially when you are pretty
    Yea, that’s true. Apart from the fact that I love sports, I have a lot of guys as friends. I feel very comfortable around them and that is why I have more male friends than females. But I have found a way of making our discussions revolve around sport.

    What about the stubborn one
    They are really not stubborn to me.

    ...Because you shun them
    Not at all, I just stand my ground and make them understand that it is a no-go area and they later let go with time.

    Are you presently in a relationship
    Yes, I am.

    Does he not get jealous
    He does sometimes, but he is also a sports person and he also gets his own attention too. He knows what it takes. He tries to control it and he understands who he is dating.

    Is he a sports presenter like you
    No, he is a sports person.

    What is your normal day like
    I wake up as early as 4:30 a.m to beat Lagos traffic to office and when I get to office in the morning, I go straight for my make-up to prepare to go on air. I am always in the news every hour for our international station. I leave office sometimes 5am and get home maybe before 11pm.

    But do you sometimes get bored with this routine
    Yea, sometimes because it takes the social life away from you; I just try to get that balance. I hope to be on my own someday; I know it is not going to be easier though.

    How do you now unwind
    I love movies and when I have the time to relax, I go to cinemas to catch a film. I just do away with sports when I want to unwind.

    Do you feel comfortable, when you are cheered on the streets when you step out
    Seriously, I don’t feel happy about it because it takes away your normal person; people see you as a demi-god. I remember stopping on the road to buy fried yam one day and some guys, who saw me told me that I should not be doing such a thing because I am a TV person. In fact, the seller gave me more than I wanted and she did not collect money from me. That is one of the gains of being on air though.

    Where do you see yourself in the next five years
    Outside the country; doing it at a bigger level.

    Who is the biggest star you’ve interviewed
    I have interviewed a lot of past and present stars like Jay Jay Okocha, Sunday Oliseh, Mutiu Adepoju, John Ogu, Samson Siasia, Stephen Keshi and many of others.

    Has any of them made love advances to you
    (Long laugh) Oh my God, yes, it has happened, but I have a very cordial relationship with many of them. They are my friends and I hang out with most of them, especially when they are on holiday. But I handle them just like I do my other male fans. They also have that respect for who I am. Footballers respect girls who don’t run after them like some other girls do.

    But do you think some of these footballers give you attention because of your beauty 
    I might say yes to that because there was a particular time a male colleague of mine wanted to interview a player, but he was denied. He approached me to help and I got in touch with the player on Facebook and he was even the one ‘chasing’ me about; though I did not at first tell him the media house I was representing because I used the same name as my male colleague. It is easier because a lady can easily get the attention of these football stars.

    Who is that footballer you would have loved to date
    Hmm, (laughs). I don’t think I want to mention the name of the person.

    Why
    Nothing, I know the person and I like him for who he is, but I don’t want to mention his name.

    Can it be Okocha
    No, I like him for his person, he is intelligent.

    Is it Sunday Oliseh
    If you say so, but I don’t know (laughs).

    But for the fun of it, who is this guy
    No, I won’t get into trouble for that.

    Don’t worry, your boyfriend won’t dump because of that
    No, he could (laughs); I won’t.

    It is just a crush
    I have given you hint that he’s smart and intelligent. Of course, he is good looking and eloquent.

    Is the person in the 94 Squad

    Yes.

    A former skipper
    I don’t know (general laughter). But yes, he is a former skipper.

    Sunday Oliseh
    I don’t know, I’m not going to mention his name.

    Okay, who is your crush in the present crops of Eagles
    No, I don’t have any.

    Is it because they are not intelligent and smart enough
    No, but apart from the crush I had on the old player, I did not mention his name, I don’t have any amongst the present players because I am very close to many of them. That has taken away any form of excitement from me. I only had a crush on the old player because I admired him when I was younger because of his boldness.

    What about international stars
    I would want a Kaka because of his personality; he is not an everyday footballer. He is calm and cool.

    If you are to change anything about yourself, what would that be

    Physically, none. I like who I am, I can never do cosmetic surgery or even draw tattoo on my body; though I like it on people. I would love to make Nigeria a better place and I would have loved to be Barack Obama’s daughter (laughs). I am proud to be a Nigerian.   
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    3 comments:

    Ada said... July 24, 2017 at 12:15 PM

    Keep it up Juliet. I really admire you for what you are doing and how you go about it. God will give you the wisdom to deal with difficult situations when you meet them.

    Unknown said... October 5, 2017 at 11:39 AM

    I have to confess,I always rush to the screen anytime you come on air

    Unknown said... October 5, 2017 at 11:39 AM

    I have to confess,I always rush to the screen anytime you come on air

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