1Tell us about your role as Partnerships and Media Manager at Giants of Africa. What does a typical day look like for you?
I oversee day-to-day partnership engagements for GOA on the continent, drive fundraising efforts, liaise with governments, the private sector and other development agencies.
I also work closely with journalists and media agencies in Africa curating stories for both digital and mainstream media.
My day-to-day involves working closely with the GOA media director on our media and messaging goals, supporting the bigger GOA partnership team, pitching to partners and constantly researching private sector trends and how to best achieve shared value with our partners.
2GOA’s mission is to support, educate and create opportunities for young Africans on and off the court. Share with us how you’re able to contribute to the quickly growing sport environment in Africa through your role.
There is a lot to be done in ensuring the industry grows on the continent and that the youth can reap the benefits of being part of it.
My role bridges the gap between the industry, private sector and governments.
We find ourselves in unique situations having conversations every day to help different stakeholders understand why we need to take sports seriously and its contribution to the people’s socio-economic development.
3Your past publications with Business Daily and Forbes touch on the untapped potential Africa has on the global sport scale. Share with us how you see this positively changing over the next 5 years and how GOA is leading the change.
We have prioritised infrastructure development and this means more talent development as we also grow programs.
Africa is abundant in talent and we are also big consumers of sports content.
We are leading conversations on seeing the sports industry for the multi-billion dollar industry it is and helping governments and the private sector invest better and drive better governance practices in the space.
There’s going to be more talent discovery and development in Africa, better governance, better infrastructure, better sports management education and much more.
We are doing our part on the grassroot development space but also bringing the decision makers along.
I am excited for what's to come. It will take collective effort and time to build the industry to a mature level but we are ready to do the work.
We have the number 1 raw material in abundance, talent and we are surely going to build around that.
4You manage fundraising, sponsorships, partnerships, and media for GOA in Africa. Tell our readers a little bit about your creative process when brainstorming new partnerships or fundraiser ideas.
I look for organizational values, whether or not we share most values. That’s a big one.
People make the world go round and we see organizations through its people.
We are big on building strong and genuine relationships before anything else. Their commitment to youth development on the continent.
Africa has a very young population and the future of the continent depends on how best we develop our youth.
We typically have conversations with organizations that have a strong commitment to the youth.
A big part of partnerships is caring about what other people value and figuring out synergies that ultimately result in a win-win situation.
Part of our team's creative process is paying attention to what other people care about and aligning our values and priorities. In partnerships and fundraising, listening to the other person is critical. We learn every day.
5One of the amazing initiatives GOA is putting forward right now is the commitment to build over 100 basketball courts all over Africa. Tell us about your role in this and the impact you see this making.
My role is to find like-minded partners and fundraise on the continent to help us bring this dream to life.
We have built 10 and have 90 more to go.
Our dream is to see more youth grow through the power of sports to inspire and empower them.
These courts go beyond basketball, they become breeding spaces for new friendships, powerful mentorships, offer employment opportunities and places where big dreams come true.
The values built from these courts go over and beyond in nurturing proper human beings. That’s the impact.
We will have CEOs, doctors, teachers, innovative entrepreneurs...you name it, come from these courts. We will have more communities enjoying the beautiful game of basketball and incredible talent being discovered every day.
6What advice do you have for aspiring sport professionals? Also, what advice do you have for aspiring professional basketball players?
Aspiring sports professionals have to be open-minded, curious and look beyond their borders especially in Africa.
There are numerous career paths in the sports industry and better awareness will help them make better career choices.
This industry is one of the most innovative and following the global sports trend will definitely give them an idea of where they would be best suited to learn, earn more and offer best value.
For aspiring basketball players, I'm going to quote GOA Founder and President and Vice Chairman of Toronto Raptors, Masai Ujiri, “If you are the best at what you do, you will be found”.
Aspiring professional athletes have to strive at being the best in whatever sport they are in, then the world surely becomes their oyster.
Emma's Final Thoughts
Sharon Allela, Partnerships and Media Manager at Giants of Africa, believes that investing in youth sport will change our future. She works to create meaningful partnerships to push forward this initiative and helps government agencies understand the impact these programs make. GOA has committed to building 100 basketball courts all over the continent, which will help boost opportunities for children in all aspects of their lives. Sharon's passion for not only the sport of basketball but for what basketball can provide communities is inspiring. As she said, these courts will nurture so many generations to come. Sharon and GOA are making a huge impact and amplify what sport is all about. She also provides some advice for aspiring sport professionals and gives hopeful basketball players an inspiring word from GOA's Founder and CEO Masai Ujiri.