- VOICE REPORTER SET FOR OLYMPIC GLORY
Voice Sport’s reporter Portia Ngwako is going for gold! The lucky lass from Francistown flies out today to cover the Olympic Games in London in time to see Botswana bring home its first ever medal.
The thrilled journalist was awarded her dream ticket after the Botswana National Olympic Committee managed to secure an extra accreditation, and asked the local branch of the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) to recommend a journalist.
The 24-year-old reporter, who until this week did not even have a passport, could not believe her ears when she heard the news.
“For a minute I thought I was daydreaming! My knees just went to jelly, my heart was racing and I felt I was about to collapse. Then I thought it might have been some kind of practical joke. But now that I know it’s true, if they awarded an Olympic medal for smiling I would get the gold,” she giggled.
The Limkokwing graduate who has worked for The Voice for three-years added: “When I began my career I was not hell bent on specialising in sports writing, but because we were five interns in the newsroom at the time and we would scramble for beats and space in the paper, I decided to give sports reporting a try as no-one else was doing that.”
Now Portia’s dedication has paid off and she about to take on the biggest assignment of her career. She will be in London on Saturday to cover the busiest and most exciting weekend of the Olympic athletics programme.
If she is suffering the effects of jet lag after the 12-hour journey to London 2012, she is sure to get an adrenalin fix when she enters the hugely impressive Olympic Stadium in the morning to see Isaac Makwala compete in the first round of the men’s 400 metres. Later in the evening she will witness the woman’s 400 metres semi-final as Amantle gets set for glory in the final the following day.
The highlight of her visit will come on Sunday when at 10.10 pm Botswana time all eyes will be on the golden girl of Botswana athletics as she brings home Botswana’s first ever Olympic medal.
She will barely have gotten over the excitement of that before she will be amongst the privileged few to see live the 100 metres men’s final, an event that will be watched by millions around the world.
Then on Monday morning she will return to the Olympic stadium to see Nigel Amos in his bid for glory as he goes in the first round of the 800 metres.
“Amantle is my friend and my editor has given me the assignment of getting an exclusive interview with her in the belief that she will celebrating her medal success. I have also been ordered to get a picture of myself hugging Usain Bolt after his 100 metre success for next week’s back page exclusive!” Portia said.
When asked to explain the criteria that the Media Institute of Southern Africa Botswana (MISA) used to select the chosen journalist, director Phenyo Butale said: “We chose Portia because she is a promising and upcoming female writer. This is an opportunity for her to showcase what she is capable of. It’s also a learning opportunity for her to gain as much experience as possible and to encourage other females to join the male dominated cadre.”
Meanwhile the Communications and Marketing manager of BNOC, Boniface Mabeo said that they decided they needed a second accreditation to the games, so they purchased several tickets and created a float for the media so that Batswana could get to read as much as possible about the games and follow the team.
“We asked MISA as the custodian to do the selection because we wanted a very fair choice. I fully support and am happy with the journalist MISA selected. I have read her articles and she is a good writer and trust MISA’s judgement. All we want from her is to concentrate on the Botswana Team and to get as much of the experience as possible. You never know what may follow,” he said.
Portia will write a daily diary of her four-day visit from London that will be updated on our popular Facebook page at TheVoiceSpeaksForItself. She returns on Wednesday 8 August.