Adil El-Kamhawy shoots his mouth off for a living. He gives his opinion when it isn’t wanted. He’s more passionate about games than anything else, and he’s one of the top sports radio show hosts in Egypt.
El-Kamhawy owns two hours a day on Korat Elnaharda, which is a station dedicated to Egyptian soccer game coverage and sports-related news. While most other radio personalities working for the station tend to only do sports reports and game coverage, El-Kamhawy dedicates about an hour of his show to trash-talking about soccer players, coaches and even fans.
“They hate me for it, but they love me for it. Soccer fans like to be angry, and I like making them angry,” El-Kamhawy said.
“El-Kamhawy began working at Korat Elnaharda in 2007, right after he finished studying journalism at Cairo University. He began his career as a field reporter for small, unpopular soccer teams’ games. He spent his early career writing statistics reports and creating prompts for the stations’ hosts. Three years later, he got his first chance on the air two days after he turned 23.
“We had him filling in for the show’s regular, and he really surprised us. He said some things that many people wouldn’t dare say, but he had everyone laughing. That’s a good thing, to get Egyptians to laugh. They hated him and his opinions, but they wanted to hear from him again. He was different, and that’s the key,” said Adam Shaher, one of the station’s managers, said.
El-Kamhawy said that he became a sports journalist because he loved soccer, but couldn’t be a soccer player.
“I didn’t have the talent, or the agility or the body type,” El-Kamhawy said. “At least when I talk about soccer, my career doesn’t end when I’m forty.”
A few years after El-Kamhawy got his own slice of Korat Elnaharda air-time, he received a several violent threats from two fans of El-Zamalek soccer team. They had been brought on by a comment El-Kamhawy made about the team’s star player, Ahmed Hassan Kamel.
“I said that Kamel’s a second-rate player. He was a midfielder for Al-Ahly and they got rid of him. Everyone knows that the two teams absolutely hate each other, but Al-Ahly is a better team. Zamalek fans don’t like to hear people say that out loud,” El-Kamhawy said.
El-Kamhawy has been on the receiving end of a lot of hatred, but he shrugs it off as something that is “typical to the business.” When asked about how he feels about other sports journalists, El-Kamhawy shook his head and laughed:
“They hate me enough as it is.”