Pakistani TV host and sports presenter Zainab Abbas gained a lot of popularity, and she won over the hearts of numerous people.
She was recently part of a virtual event called ‘Fearless‘; where she talked about the challenges she faced as a woman to make her mark in the industry.
While talking about why she’d chosen to be associated with sports, she said she was really passionate about cricket growing up.
“The idea of sportsmanship stems from the fact that sport is generally an equaliser irrespective of gender, race, or skin colour. It focuses on your talent, skills, strength, and above all, merit”, Abbas said.
Despite her passion, she had to face a lot of challenges before becoming a successful sports presenter. She faced a hard time convincing her parents about her career choice.
Zainab distanced herself from the world of sports after graduating and joined a corporate organization in London, where she experienced a lot of racism and prejudice. Even when she got the opportunity to audition for a World Cup cricket program in Pakistan, her interviewers questioned her knowledge because she was a woman.
Abbas faced a lot of hate from her colleagues after becoming a sports journalist. People would accuse her of ‘stealing’ their content and entering the field because of ‘nepotism.’
To her disappointment, some cricket legends refused to let her interview them because she was a woman.
“I was heartbroken because as a child, these were the people I looked up to. But I realised that I need to keep my focus as it was the only thing that kept me going even in times of adversity”, Zainab said.
She added that the world was not prepared or used to see a woman taking lead in a male-dominated field. But she didn’t let all the setbacks define her, she learned never to let critics bother her and made her mark in a career that was guarded by men for so long.
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