Female broadcasters continue to break barriers

By Memory Chamisa

AS the world celebrates women’s month, female broadcasters in Zimbabwe continue to break barriers as they make a mark in the broadcasting industry.

These are some of the women who have blazed the trail for their fellow sisters in broadcast journalism through their hard work that changed the course of the newsroom.

Many have experienced prejudice at some point in their careers but that has been their stepping stone to making it in the media industry and carving a name for themselves.

“The time we joined the broadcasting corporation men held all the editorial posts but we fought very hard with my sisters and at my time we had a female deputy editor which was a great achievement. But now I am very happy to notice that women also are winning prestigious awards even at Njama awards ceremonies which is very huge,” said Sonangani Ncube, former news producer and tv presenter.

“In radio, I am happy that things have changed in the industry as more and more women are now being able to handle the primetime shifts on radio and some are now being given managerial posts which were something that was not there for us in our time, so the industry has definitely changed for the better,” said Tendai Chakanyuka, former Radio 3 DJ and Power FM manager.

“When we first started, it was not easy and mind you that time women were regarded as secretaries and most of the typing that was needed for the scripts was given to us and we would use typewriters which were not easy again. Men used to read the prime time bulletins but things began to change and we would co-present with the Joseph Mandimbas and that in itself showed that we are capable,” said Evermore Sandati, former news producer and tv presenter.

Years later, the representation of women in broadcasting has taken enormous steps, with the current crop also printing an indelible mark, scooping top gongs at local, regional and international awards.

“I am actually grateful to all the women broadcasters who came before me and they set the bar high, this has made me work very hard as I also want to be celebrated when I hang the boot. Actually, me being nominated with men who are household names and coming out tops in the recent NAMA awards shows that I’m good at what I do which is an inspiration to that young girl out there dreaming to be what I am today,” said Rumbidzai Mugwira popularly known as Chamvary, a Power FM DJ.

“This women’s month I actually celebrate my fellow sisters as we continue to encourage each other in this industry,” said Patricia Jacobs Radio Zimbabwe DJ.

“We continue to be role models for the young ones who want to be broadcasters and nothing is impossible if you put your mind to it,” said Rutendo Makuti a Radio Zimbabwe DJ.

“As we celebrate women this month we will continue advocating for equal responsibility in the newsroom,” said Thabani Gambiza, a Radio DJ.

ZBC News and Current Affairs has also done well in uplifting women with Jackie Gwemende now the Manager Current Affairs, while Josephine Mugiyo is the Diplomatic Correspondent.

Oleen Ndori is the International News Editor and Abigirl Tembo was elevated to Health Editor.

International Women’s Month will therefore serve as a reminder that the women you see on your television and listen to on the radio more than deserve their spot in newsrooms and are only just getting started.