As a joint BA Law and Media Cultures graduate, Nyasha Mutizwa's had the opportunity to experience the best of both worlds. Now working in the Republic of Congo as the only Southern African at Africa News, she's taken the time to answer some questions about her career journey so far and what the future holds.
Image: Nyasha Mutizwa in The Herald (Courtesy of Zimpapers Ltd)
Name : Nyasha K Mutizwa
Based in : Ponte Noire, Republic of Congo
Education:BA Law and Media Cultures; Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice
1. Although you studied a joint degree in law and media, you have a clear preference for the latter. What is it about working in media that excites you?
I love telling stories! That is what journalism and media is all about. I love being part of something that keeps people accountable be it politicians, corrupt business men, profit making church leaders etc. When I worked in radio I also really loved interacting with different people from different backgrounds and learning that at the end of the day, we are all human beings and we all just want to be respected and to be heard.
2. You worked as a producer, presenter and legal resources person at Capitalk FM, Zimbabwe’s premier talk radio station. What drew you to them and what did you love most about your time there?
I was drawn to the idea of telling the Harare story. Finally, a community radio station for us, a voice for Harare! What I loved the most was the challenge of tackling so many different kinds of topics and subjects. We would jump from property dynamics, to religion, to food and wine, to business, so on and so forth. Sometimes it was very difficult because some topics were not my area of expertise but it really left me very knowledgable about a wide range of issues.
Image: CapitalkFM Logo
3. Of all the ideas you pitched and topics you spoke about, is there one that stands out? If so, what makes it so memorable?
That is a difficult one. I guess a memorable one for me was tackling a discussion about teaching Islam in schools around the time when people were debating the introduction of the new curriculum in Zimbabwe. That one really got people hot under the collar. I got to learn that Hararians are very protective about their Christian values and you really have to be sensitive to the fact that people view Zimbabwe as a Christian nation. I realised many people are very fearful of how an introduction of other religions might impact the values they want to carry forward to their children.
4. You recently moved to the Republic of Congo, where you are currently working as the only Southern African TV journalist for Africa News. What has your experience been like so far?
Its been interesting to say the least. I love my job and I get to tell some amazing African stories. I also get to dispel many myths that people have about Zimbabwe as a country and about Southern Africans. In terms of general life, some of my biggest challenges include finding food and dealing with weather change. The biggest challenge of all is the language barrier. I studied French in high school up to A Level so I thought it would not be so difficult to adjust but I was so wrong. Every single thing here is in French and most people do not speak a word of English. Simple things like buying airtime and filling out cbank forms in French can prove to be a challenge. I will get by though it will take time.
5. What are your biggest career highlights to date?
One big highlight for me is getting to host the first ever Capitalk FM Town Hall Meeting where I interviewed the Minister of Tourism & Hospitality Industry, Hon Priscah Mupfumira. I was very proud to be selected to host such an auspicious event. Another highlight is being recruited for my current job. I am the only Southern African in the orgnasition and I am very honoured that they deemed me fit to help tell the
Southern African story.
6. What does a day in the life of Nyasha look like?
Well, with this new job in a new city I am still trying to figure that one out myself. What I can say is in a day there is a lot of talking to God, talking to family and friends, lots of singing, engaging people on social media and when I am at work, just trying to tell the best and most captivating stories. Food and sleep are also in there somewhere.
7. Where do you see yourself in the next ten years?
I see myself opening a media house in Zimbabwe. I have big dreams to own something that will open doors for people like myself who love Media and Entertainment. It would be divided into two centres. Firstly a Media Centre; this department would include TV and radio stations, including online and print platforms (journals, newspapers, magazines). Secondly I would have an Entertainment Centre. I am also a musician and a general lover of the arts so I would want to create an academy of sorts. This would include recording studios, a theatre, an artists centre and perhaps some dance as well as designers studios.
Image: Harare City Centre
8. Finally, what advice do you have for those wanting to pursue a media-related career?
Be well read and keep yourself updated on what is happening in the world. Be curious and have an opinion about anything and everything. The media business is brutal: one minute you are in the next you are out, so work on thickening that skin. Know who you are and be proud to be that, you WILL be tested.