For women that make it into the sports industry, as great as it is, it can be one of the most uncomfortable situations in the world.
Sometimes, the uncomfortable situations are created by fellow women. The fact is, for an industry that lacks a lot of women for the ones that make it sometimes, they are assumptions that you are there because you are either dating an athlete or because your family member is within the league or knows someone within the league.
A situation I am sure, the majority of women have experienced at some point and I know for a fact that, once your work starts to speak for itself, the assumption changes and you get the one hundred percent respect you deserve, but before that, you sometimes have to battle.
This is an experience I have faced ( a triple disadvantage – a woman, black, brother played in the league and now is a GM), so you can only imagine the battles I have had to face to get my flowers in the sports industry. But an experience that Poizon Ivy The DJ has faced numerous times.
Ivy started as a Dallas Mavericks ball girl and became the first female DJ in franchise history. It’s safe to say the Nairobi native is only scratching the surface, building a substantial fan base with each incremental move. Even Forbes is paying attention as she was named as part of the 30 Under 30 class of 2020. Where 29-year-old Ivy earned a spot in the sports category. She was joined by athletes like Patrick Mahomes, Breanna Stewart, and Paul George. She’s one of 11 women featured, and the only DJ.
This week, she joined me on the BAL podcast to discuss the importance of women of colour in the sports industry coming together to support each other in an environment that can be hostile to women. She shares her story and the support she received from me over the years to help her settle and encourage her to do more for women in sport but also women in Africa.
As Africa prepares to welcome the new Basketball Africa League, we have a focus to develop the next generation of women in sports and entertainment to help grow the economic power through sport. An exciting time ahead and I am proud to have had the opportunity to interview Poizon Ivy. A huge star in the making and looking forward to speaking up the African sports and entertainment scene with her in the coming years.