Eniola Aluko and Afua Hirsch | Studio B: Unscripted

Launching the second series of Al Jazeera’s Studio B: Unscripted, writer/broadcaster and professor Afua Hirsch and former footballer/author Eniola Aluko discuss how they have navigated racism and gender discrimination as outliers in their professions.

As a striker, Eniola played 102 caps for the England national team as well as for several clubs in Europe and the US, including UK’s Chelsea and Italy’s Juventus, winning at least six major trophies.

In her memoir, They Don’t Teach This, she details becoming an unintentional whistle-blower by speaking out against racism in the England national team, after which she was dropped from the squad. After several failed investigations, she testified before a UK parliamentary committee and was eventually offered an apology by the Football Association. Eniola is now the Sporting Director of Aston Villa Women Football Club.

Afua’s first book, Brit(ish): On Race, Identity and Belonging, explores the legacy of imperialism, her identity as a British-Ghanaian and how she has tackled the subjects of race, class and gender along her journey.

She has worked in human rights and development, has been a correspondent, editor and opinion writer and is also a professor of journalism at the University of Southern California. In their frank conversation, Eniola also draws parallels from her British-Nigerian background and their hyphenated identities.

Afua and Eniola delve into their mutual drive for the pursuit of justice (alongside playing professional football, Eniola qualified as a lawyer). In her illustrated book, Equal to Everything: Judge Brenda and the Supreme Court, Afua draws from her experience as a lawyer to encourage children to seek fairness and justice.

The views expressed in this programme are the guests’ own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial stance.

Studio B: Unscripted is a free-flow conversation between two guests and a small audience, with no mediation, no MC, no TV presenter – focusing on what brings us all together and how we can tackle and discuss some of the big issues of our time.

Note: Videos of Eniola Aluko in introductory package courtesy of Chelsea TV and video of Afua Hirsch courtesy of Vintage Books.