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Africans in Sports: Telling inspiring stories of Africans athletes

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Al-Farouq Aminu is one of the athletes to be featured. PHOTO: David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Digital sports media startup Africans In Sports (AIS) is on a mission to share the stories of African athletes from around the world.

The USA based AIS team travels around the world to sit down with African athletes who are impacting the world of sports. Their flagship interview talk show can be watched on PlayersTV, a sports lifestyle network available in the US, UK, and Canada exclusively on Samsung TV Plus.

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You might recognize some notable interviewees such as Al-Farouq Aminu, a NBA basketball player who helped lead Nigeria to two Afrobasket Championships, Seun Adigun, the first summer and winter Olympian for the continent of Africa who also pioneered the Nigerian bobsled and skeleton federation, Seyi Olofinjana, a former Super Eagles of Nigeria midfielder and more.

The show is hosted by a charismatic New Yorker in Chris Stratchan, better known as COSeezy. The interviews are candid and dive into the subject’s African heritage.  The viewer walks away with a better understanding of how Africa has influenced their sporting career and beyond.

Founded in January of 2019, the AIS team embarked on a journey around the world to places like the UK, Poland, and all across the US, sitting down with influential African athletes of all nationalities and sporting disciplines. AIS has interviewed many current and former athletes, whether it’s basketball, football, or American football, just to name a few.

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The Guardian Nigeria spoke with members of the AIS team, including their founder and CEO Charles Asuen, and lead producer Jordan Berns to find out what inspired this extraordinary project.

“I’m Nigerian, and I’ve been a huge sports fan all my life,” said founder and CEO Charles Asuen, “I saw that Africans were leading the world in all aspects of sports whether its Ethiopians and Kenyans breaking world records in marathons, or a Nigerian becoming NBA MVP or the Liverpool team led by Mo Salah and Sadio Mane winning the European Cup. I realized how little I knew about these athletes and me being Nigerian; I knew their stories must be incredible.”

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Asuen also believes these stories have the power to affect the culture of sports, “Growing up, my parents weren’t supportive of my siblings and I playing sports. They always pushed us to be doctors and lawyers. The athletes we interviewed had the same pressures growing up. We hope to inspire young African kids to not give up on their dreams.”

With the help of some friends, Asuen put together a small but passionate production team. Once the team was assembled, they were off to London to interview two-time Super Bowl champion and analyst for The NFL Show on BBC, Osi Umenyiora. “The first interview was a success. Even better than we expected.” Asuen said, “After that, we hit the ground running.”

By the end of 2019, they put pen to paper. AIS signed on with PlayersTV, a sports lifestyle network available in the US, UK, and Canada exclusively on Samsung TV Plus that launched in March 2020.

“Our talk show is just the beginning,” said Asuen, “With the exponential growth of Africans online and with Afrobeat opening the rest of the world to African culture, we see the need to bring a fun, personal, and modern approach to African sports media.”

You can learn more about Africans In Sports and watch their show by following them on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) and checking out their YouTube page.

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