Pioneering Zimbabwe's First Digi-Tele Radio

Name: Kirstee Mudede

Age: 24

Location: Harare, Zimbabwe

Education: Very incomplete. Lol

You are a news anchor and radio personality at HStvZim. How did you know this was the right career for you?

Yes, I work for Zimbabwe’s first Digi-tele radio, I’m very proud of that fact, and we’re heavily centred around youth. 99.9% of the team are under the age of 35. So very young and fresh… and wonderfully strange.

I am a cast member for the breakfast show “The World’s Best Breakfast” from 7-10 am (very early morning Monday to Friday), I produce the news, as well as anchoring it and then, to top it all off, I am the anchor for the markets roundup segment, "Stock Exchange", which is funny because I honestly had absolutely no real understanding of stocks and the like prior but I guess it's all acting at the end of the day.

Film is actually where I plan to end up. Broadcasting just landed in my lap. I got sent an advert for talent auditions at the station, came to the auditions they saw something in me and the rest is history. It's such an exhilarating field to be in because no two days are the same, as much as one has a schedule. I love it!

Image: HStv

What is the most interesting news story or radio segment you have worked on to date?

I think I speak for a number of broadcasters and content producers when I say the passing of Robert Mugabe rocked us. I can’t speak for our international counterparts but locally, it was pandemonium. All the shows had to be rescripted, we had a team immediately deployed to go cover the story outside and I was liaising with them for in-studio updates. It was just deliciously hectic. I love a busy, adrenaline-fuelled day.

I can’t properly express the atmosphere in a broadcasting/journalism space during moments like that. The air is charged with electricity. You never really get time to digest the events until after you’ve covered them. It's a mix of emotion and tension and it's just… news. If that even makes a lick of sense.

Can you tell us about a challenge you faced at work and how you overcame it?

I haven’t really faced a ton of challenges. The space is very conducive for work, shockingly so. I think my biggest challenge was adapting to the workload. My workload is extremely demanding. I am talent as well as a producer and I am also required to do some marketing work while having a 12-hour day Monday to Friday and the odd event on weekends.

The challenge was really managing my time and balancing the need for rest. After a day as busy as mine, I’m fried. I can sleep for 8 hours and wake up feeling fried. I have just learnt to deal with it and force time for me to rest for my own wellbeing.

What does a workday in the life of Kirstee look like?

I’m exhausted just thinking about it! I love it, but a day in my work life is long and hectic.

My mornings start very early. At about 4 am, I need to prepare for my day, so a little lazy workout (it's really a couple of struggle situps and a sad squat) a quick shower, making something to eat (which often never happens) and putting my face on. I can never forget my face; if I can’t have her on by the time I leave home she comes on at work. At 7 am I am in the studio with my cast member for the breakfast show and news. The breakfast show runs till about 10 am so for 3 hours we’re putting on a show, and on the hour every hour, I’m in studio to do the news. The news comes on hourly from 7 am to 6 pm.

After breakfast I have coffee, a bite to eat then watch something stupid to help unwind from the show. I meet with my news team and organise the runnings for my day. We’re a start-up so the team is nice and small. Afterwards, till about 3:30, I script and send emails and all that boring admin stuff while I crack jokes and interact with my colleagues… A lot of jokes fly in this office.

At 3:30, after I’ve had a quick outfit change into some more corporate-friendly wear, I head on over with Keith, our head of production, to the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange to film our Markets Roundup segment, and then it's back in-studio for the evening news and then I’m done and heading home around 7 pm. So you know, a standard 12 hour day. Factor in a meeting here and there and that’s my day. I obviously make time to eat; it's important to fuel the body when you’re up and down.

You’ve been running a beauty, fashion and lifestyle channel on YouTube for about a year now. What made you decide to start vlogging and what kind of content can we expect to see in future?

I adore YouTube vloggers and bloggers, especially the likes of Cynthia Gwebu, Mihlali Ndamase and, most recently, I've fallen in love with InTheFrow. They inspired me to start my own channel. I was always quite a tomboy growing up, so once the girly bug bit me it left a mark and a half. I adore all things beauty, fashion and lifestyle, my soul just resonates with nice things, designer and otherwise. Zimbabwe has yet to really tap into the blogger/influencer sphere and I decided to jump on while it's still a young space.

This era that the world is in is obsessed with connecting digitally. People love to consume content that has accessible elements. We like to see the average person going to the spa, walking into Louis Vuitton and making a purchase and going home to cook sadza and madora. I want to really work on my consistency, churn out more beauty looks, more fashion content, take my subbies with me to have meals and go to the spa and maybe even take them to work. I’m also working on launching a website so my content is centralized.

And, I’m really excited for this, I have a product launching some time this year… and let’s just say it is all about DRAMA.

Image: @kirsteemudede

Finally, what advice do you wish you had been given when you were deciding what career path to follow?

That it's not instantly glitz and glam, and that, unfortunately in Zimbabwe, it's still a profession that not many people see as a viable career. That, of course, is slowly changing.

I wish more people understood that it's their life. This life is yours, you have to wake up every day and live it. The least you can do is bless yourself by placing yourself in a profession that you love and doesn’t make you feel like you’re working.

Three Things About Kirstee…

Most inspiring read – Barack Obama “Dreams From My Father”, It's so beautifully written, you get transported into his memories and experience them first hand.

Female role model – Rihanna, she’s a Queen!! I mean it's very self-explanatory. Lol

Go-to beauty product – Toner. Honestly, it's the hero of any skincare routine!

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© 2018 by nnyasha.

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