Ugandan writer Joseph Opio wins 2024 Sports Emmy Award

Ugandan Sports Writer Joseph Opio shows off his award. Courtesy photo

New York, (US):- Joseph Opio, a Ugandan sports show writer based in New York, US, is fast turning into the DJ Khaled of the Emmy Awards.

The Daily Show writer made history last January as the first ever from Uganda to taste success at the Primetime Emmy Awards. But just a few months later, Opio has won “another one” earning himself an unprecedented two Emmys in one calendar year.

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The Ugandan comedian won the 2024 Sports Emmy for Outstanding Writing; Long Form at a glitzy ceremony held in New York City on Tuesday.

The Emmy award celebrated Opio’s work on “The World According to Football,” a five-part documentary narrated by South African megastar, Trevor Noah.

The Sports Emmys celebrate the best and brightest in American sports broadcasting. And Opio had to shrug off competition from established sports juggernauts like ESPN and HBO.

“I want to thank my good friend, Trevor Noah,” Opio began his acceptance speech. “Not just for narrating this docuseries. But also for allowing me to always shamelessly ride his coattails from the very first day we met.”

Opio has written over 1,200 episodes of The Daily Show. But “The World According to Football” marked his debut in the world of documentary filmmaking. It was also the first time Opio and Noah expanded their artistic collaboration beyond Comedy Central.

But after thanking his South African partner-in-crime, Opio used the climax of his Emmys acceptance speech to shout out His Royal Highness the King of Buganda, Ronald Muwenda Mutebi and Queen Sylvia Nagginda.

“Ssabasajja Kabaka Awangale,” Opio declared in his closing remarks to an auditorium packed with American celebrities and sports royalty. “Ne’nnabagereka agerekere o’Buganda.”

It was a dramatic twist to an inspiring speech. And Opio, who wrote for New Vision Sports Desk before embarking on his American Dream, revealed there was a method to the madness.

“I was born and bred in Kampala,” Opio acknowledged in an exclusive interview with New Vision. “I grew up strictly speaking Luganda. And even if I earn a living writing in English now, I still think and even dream in Luganda.”

He added: “True, I was accepting the most prestigious American accolade on American TV. But I wanted to conclude by reverting to my default settings and speaking in my mother tongue. And if you’re gonna speak Luganda on an international stage, you have a moral duty to pay special tribute to the Ssabasajja Kabaka, Magulu Nyondo, Beene, Ccuucu himself.”

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