Growing up, I always had a love for radio. I went to two unsuccessful auditions whilst I was still in varsity (Midlands State University in Gweru, Zimbabwe). Before I graduated, the arts faculty was relocated to Zvishavane. That’s how I got to know about YAFM and I became a regular listener. What struck me was its uniqueness and authenticity and that’s what reminded me I needed to cling on to my dream a little bit longer.
I finished my final year of varsity in August of 2018, but the official ceremony was set for November of the same year, so that meant I had to wait till November to get my transcript. I was applying for jobs in communication and public relations for the whole of August, but I didn’t get lucky. So, I decided to take a leap and leave Harare to try my luck in Zvishavane, specifically at YAFM. I left Harare beginning of September with all my clothes and money that could take me through September and not beyond.
As soon as I got to Zvishavane, I printed my CV and dropped it off at YAFM. Weeks went by and I didn’t get a response from them, so I decided to follow up in person. I got there and the only position they had was for social media management and it was a volunteer post.
I was disappointed, but I chose not to give up. I followed up again after three days. This time around I was lucky. I got to talk to the station manager and he was courteous enough to ask me what I was really interested in. I told him I wanted to read English news.
Coincidentally, they didn’t have an English news reader at that time. The only reader they had was on leave and so I got my shot to record my demo that very same day. I recorded it and they liked me. That’s how I got my spot, but I was still volunteering.
For the duration of September to December, I was getting rent money from my parents, walking to work. No matter the circumstance at home, no matter what the weather was like, I’d still walk and report for work praying and believing that one day God would reward my efforts.
Slowly, people at work started noticing my work and I started getting extra shifts.
Initially, I had negotiated to volunteer for three months and so when my three months were up, I notified the management that my time was up and I was leaving.
I was anxious and excited at the same time. Anxious because I didn’t know where to go next or if I was going to find a stable job, but I was excited for the journey ahead. I always try to stay positive even when things are ugly, so I was still hopeful I would turn out okay.
Little did I know that that day would cement my place at YAFM. That was the day I was offered a permanent contract and I became the official English news reader.
Perseverance pays and I believe effort gets rewarded as long as it is sincere. Background, age, and experience are not enough to keep you down. What you need is determination to keep pushing forward.
I faced challenges at work. People are always protective of their space; as a result, I didn’t get any mentorship. Usually, one goes through training before going on air, but in my case, I was not trained and it didn’t sit well with some of my colleagues. I had to put in the work myself, listening to other news readers and learning from their mistakes.
[My experience] definitely taught me gratitude can change a person’s perspective. It makes you so much happier in any circumstance. I also learnt never to underestimate myself. Some situations are presented to push you out of your comfort zone and elevate you.
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