Mudongo brings home a chess bronze medal, The Botswana Gazette

Date: January 1, 1970
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A Botswana woman chess player clinches her country?s first medal in the Chess Olympiad.

This article may be used to:
  • Illustrate the use of gender sensitive language.
  • Show a positive example of the portrayal of women.

Trainer’s notes

This article provides a positive example of how a woman can be portrayed by the media in the world of sports. Chess champion Boikhutso Mudongo is portrayed as articulate, intelligent, and a team player. She is a young woman(22) who is still in school, and the article depicts her as a player who knows the game, knows where she wants to go and what she needs to accomplish her goal.

The story focuses only on her professional achievement and depicts her as an accomplished player who has brought pride to her country. Her team spirit comes through in her reference to the other women players on the team and their contribution to the team’s success. Her confidence comes through in  the quote where she attributes her winning to being “talented”, yet she is humble enough to recognise the importance of gaining more experience.
In the image that accompanies the story, Mudongo is seated playing the game and the headline and sub-header all complement the packaging of the central message of this piece: a woman achiever who has won many firsts in the field of chess.
This story is a good example of gender aware reporting because it:
  • Challenges stereotypes about women in sports;
  • It uses simple, accessible gender sensitive and gender neutral language;
  • There is no open prejudice;
  • No ridicule;
  • Overall fairness in how the subject – a female chess player- is portrayed.
The story, however, could have been balanced with the views of her female and male sports colleagues.
Training exercises
Exercise one: Portaryal of women
Discuss the following:
  1. How is the young woman chess player portrayed in this story?
  2. Is the language used in the story gender-bias?
  3. Who speaks in the story?
  4. Who does not speak?
  5. What value would different voices bring to the story?
  6. What messages do the headline, sub-header and image convey?


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