“We Deserve Equal pay. We are the most successful female team in Africa. – Desire Oparanozie
Written by Smooth FM on July 29, 2019
Super Falcons forward, Desire Oparanozie, has advocated for equal pay in the Nigerian football.
She also advocated for the Nigeria Women’s Football League to be televised. “The Football Federation must work on getting the women’s league on TV. With that, there will be more eyes on the league and sponsors can come in.” Oparanozie said.
She made her statement while speaking on a panel, along with Ghana Women’s National team coach, Mercy Tagoe, and former Banyana Banyana midfielder, Amanda Dlamini.
The Panel discussed keeping the barriers down in football at the 2019 edition of the Ladies in Sports Conference.
At the conference, athletes, journalists, administrators, coaches and stakeholders, discussed various issues affecting women in the sports industry and strategies to grow women sports across the continent.
NFF Vice President, Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi opened the discussions with the importance of girls and women in sports, highlighting that women have to work harder to get recognition in today’s society. “One of the things that can help Nigeria reach its potential is to give women opportunities in every area.”
Head of HR and CSR of Bet9ja, Kikky Boboye, Senior Associate of Nigerian law firm Aluko & Oluyole, Nta Ekpiken and many more spoke during the conference.
During the first panel session, Kenyan 800m World Champion, Janeth Jepkosgei, Afrobasket Champion, Nkechi Akashili and Athletics blogger, Funmilayo Fameso discussed their journey in sports, the challenges they have faced and more. Jepkosgei talked about taking a break from sport to have her first child, returning and plans going forward.
“Being a mother is the best thing to have ever happened to me. It has been a long way coming for me in athletics. I took a three year break and I just won my first race last year.”
“Biologically when you come back from a break, you become stronger. It’s the best thing to do but make sure you do it at the right time.” Jepkosgei said.
Coach Mercy Tagoe talked about her journey from being a footballer to a referee and a coach. Amanda Dlamini urged footballers to prepare for retirement, as that made it easier for her to transition into sports broadcasting after she hung up her boots. “Football is not your whole life. You need to get yourself ready for retirement. I had to go to the university to ensure I could do something after I retire.” Dlamini said.
As it was done in previous editions of the conference, five athletes were given grants as a reward for excellent performances in their different sports in 2018. Rivers Angels goalkeeper, Chiamaka Nnadozie, young Judoka, Adijat Azeez, Wrestler, Sunmisola Balogun, Track and field athlete, Rosemary Chukwuma and powerlifter, Esther Oyema were the recipients.
Organised, by A Non governmental Organisation; Ladies In Sports International, the conference was supported by various brands including; Bet9ja, Zaron Cosmetics, Smooth FM 98.1 FM, IR Digitals, Travel Trilz, Smice Technologies and Busy Buddies.