‘It takes a lot of grounding to be a 300% woman!’

Posted on August 28, 2020

Angelica van Dou, acting marketing manager at TuksSport, tells Tukkievaria about her role in “changing the narrative around sport”, how she achieves a work-life balance and why “men need to step up”.

Angelica van Dou, who hails from Mahikeng in North West, chats about the role she is playing in the future world of sport, how she hopes to help TuksSport continue to ‘remain ahead of the curve’ and offers her thoughts on women’s issues.

Tell us about yourself and your educational qualifications.

I’m interested in marketing, entrepreneurship and business, and have a background in radio broadcasting, marketing and academic lecturing. I am completing my master’s in Entrepreneurship at UP, with a focus on corporate entrepreneurship. I hold a postgraduate diploma in Entrepreneurship and an undergraduate degree in the same field from UP.

What is your role at UP?

I am the acting marketing manager at TuksSport, and I work with a team of seven people. We are an innovative department that drives the adjustment of our sporting codes to the digital landscape. We champion content creation, athlete profiling, recruitment, sports eventing and sports marketing training; we also handle filming and PR engagements. 

What are some of the challenges of your job?

Adjusting the narrative around sport, and creating a level playing field for athletes of all demographic backgrounds, races and genders, while helping young girls and women to cement their place in the sporting arena.

What keeps you motivated?

The idea of leaving everything I come into contact with better than I found it. This includes myself – in areas where I feel uncomfortable or under-skilled, I keep pushing myself to gain competencies and deliver at the highest level possible. My goal is to help TuksSport to continue breaking the mould and remain ahead of the curve, by putting the research, groundwork and hard work into developing competencies needed for the future world of sport.

What are your aspirations at UP and for your life in general?

In terms of TuksSport, I think there are many avenues by which to become big players in the digital space. The COVID-19 pandemic has given us a glimpse into the future of every avenue of our organisation, and the agility of our marketing team, heads of programmes, athletes, coaches, directors and administrators has seen us continue to deliver value to all our stakeholders. I hope this continues well into the future.

I believe we create the lives we want, even if life doesn’t always deal us a great hand. My passion is to empower youth through skills-sharing programmes that increase their aptness, making them agents of change in their own lives and in their communities.

How difficult is it to manage your career and family?

As a young mother, the balance has been an interesting one to find. Work needs 100%, as do family and my studies. It takes a lot of grounding to be a 300% woman! Luckily, I have been blessed with a partner, co-workers and lecturers who play their role, making it much more manageable.

What do you consider to be a highlight of your career thus far?

Being part of the annual Bestmed Tuks Race. It requires immense planning and collaboration behind the scenes, but that rainy Saturday morning sees the indomitable human spirit in action – thousands of runners and running clubs from across the region running for a cause.

How would you describe your experience as a woman working in a male-dominated industry?

The field might be male-dominated, but TuksSport is very diverse. We all play to our strengths and lead with the mindset that makes the organisation function better. I place myself in the shoes of each person that I interact with – this allows me to see things from their vantage point and to identify concerns or biases that I am able to work around. After all, we understand others only to the extent that we understand ourselves. Also, there is never a shortage of women holding each other up – from our Deputy Director, Lydia Monyepao, to our Marketing Coordinator, Marli Toerien, there is support in every corner of the dynamic champion factory that is TuksSport.

How do you think the issue of gender-based violence should be addressed?

We need abusers to step up. A lot of the time, privilege affords men a seat at tables that many women can only dream of being invited to. It is at these tables that they must give voice to their actions and take responsibility for their silence. Men need to speak up and find outlets that do not result in women and the LGBTQIA+ community bearing the brunt of their inability to vocalise and express their emotions. We also need to have an open conversation about what these violations look like, and encourage survivors to speak up, and so dispel the stigma around speaking out against abuse.

What advice would you give to women today?

You are the entire package. You have the power to set anything you have ever dreamt of in motion. Remain unwavering in your pursuit of this. 

- Author Khayalethu Nocanda

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