My full names are Ruth Namatama Kanyanga Kamwi, am 38 years old and the eldest child in the family of 6, I have 4 brothers and one sister. I am married to Terence Kamwi, we have 4 children, three boys, and one girl.
I currently work for the Zambia National Broadcasting Cooperation, the public service broadcaster as a senior reporter Aside from my work as a reporter, I also cast news on our TV2 channel and also present and produce programmes. I have been with ZNBC since 2000 and have worked in almost all the sections under programs, which include Radio, Television Production and News Room.
In short, I have been a broadcast journalist since 2000.
To add to my work as a Journalist, I am privileged to be a member of the Graca Machel Trust Women in Media Network, which has its presence in about 15 countries and attracts a membership of 36 women in media. Our role is to change the narrative of women and children in our respective countries and the continent at large from a negative one to a positive one but telling stories that inspire and empower women and men. Under WIMN I write stories that find space on allafrica.com on the GMT page.
It is also my honour and privileged to be a participant in the Population Reference Bureau’s Women edition 2017 – 2018. This is a program that brings together senior female Journalist from selected countries to champion Reproductive health, population, and development reporting. I am happy to have been selected from at least 178 applicants for this edition.
So, with my work, I basically focus on women and children’s issues nut off course I can report on any other issues.
Academically, I am currently in the final stage of my Masters of Communication for Development at the University of Zambia. I am finishing my dissertation on the role of communication and community participation in the implementation of the Lusaka water supply, sanitation and drainage project under the Millennium Challenge Account.
I also have a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication from Cavendish University Zambia plus a Diploma in Journalism and Public Relations. I also acquired a Diploma in international journalism from the Thomson Foundation in partnership with Cardiff University.
Professionally, I have a number of certificates in various specialized areas, among them, social media and digital reporting, financial and business reporting, reporting on fisheries, to mention abut a few.
My first job was as a trainee presenter and producer for Radio 2 at ZNBC.I got the job on part time straight from collage in 2000. It was a starting point to my dream of being a broadcaster and I thank God that I got the Job.
I love fine things in life; I go for brands in most cases. My preferred car is a Mercedes Benz and my first car was an A class and now I drive a B class.
I am very passionate about women empowerment; I believe women are key in developing all aspects of life. All they need is space to do what they can do best. Am also passionate about the welfare of the girl child. My current passion goes to ensuring that the girl child has access to reproductive health services and education.
WHAT FUELS ME?
I am determined to reach high and I believe it is through this determination that I have been able to successfully combine my role as a wife, mother, employee and student. I have acquired my Bachelors in between having my second and third child.
I started pursuing my Masters a week before my daughter was born and went back to class 10 day after she was born. I was faced with the challenge of leaving a newborn baby home with the maid but again I thought of the opportunity I had had to study for my Masters. I choose to carry along both and am glad I did. Through determination, I have worked for ZNBC for close to 17 years but have only seen one promotion. Despite this fact I have soldered on because my vision and goal is greater than a promotion. I want to contribute to the national growth through championing women and children rights and I believe this I can do at any level.
I believe my life is in God’s hands and my faith in God keeps me going. What I am and what I will be tomorrow is only by God’s grace. My life experiences have shown that I cannot do things without the hand of God, he holds me in the palm of his hands.
I cannot compromise this one thing. I believe in hard work and earning my bread and butter through hard work and genuinely so. Being a female Journalist comes with a number of challenges more so if you are a TV personality.I proudly say I have not compromised my life because of my professional work or any other aspect of my life. What I have and who I am is because of my hard work, my faith, and my determination.
MY GREATEST INFLUENCE:
My parents have been my greatest influence. They have taught me to work hard and never to give up in life. My mother has particularly taught me to use my hands to make money and earn a living and not to depend on others. She introduced me owning a small business at a young age and even now even I have a full-time job, I still do the business of selling anything I lay my hands on.
My father has been instrumental in my academic path. He also tells me to reach where he has not and as the first child, I never wanted to disappoint him. True to his word, I have reached where he has not. It is my father who has put it in my head that hard work is the way to go and to be content with what I have at any particular time but work hard to improve my life.
MY TOP THREE ROLE MODELS:
Professionally my role Model is Anne Mukabe. She is the Controller for the ZNBC Kitwe studios. I have been inspired with how she has managed to somehow balance her life. She started work at a young age and also married in her early 20s. She is a successful broadcaster and great supervisor. I admired her work even before I joined ZNBC and when I worked with her, I learnt a lot from her humility and attention to detail, plus her respect for other workers regardless of their age, tribe, race or creed.
Maureen Nkandu is my other role model. I love her career progression. From ZNBC to the BBC, to the UN and World Bank. Plus she has up graded herself academically. Iam inspired by the fact that in all these career achievements she has not had to wait for a government appointment but earned it all on merit. She spoke about this during her father funeral.
My other role model is Mrs.Graca Machel. My interaction with her has spiked something I thought I never had had. Her passion for women and children development speaks to me and spikes a sense of responsibility that I never thought I had. She is able to bring together women from different backgrounds and inspire them to achieve certain goals. Her belief in women working together for the good of African development if phenomenal.
IN THE NEXT FIVE YEARS…..
My goal is to run a Women’s Magazine, that will celebrate women’s achievements not just in my country, Zambia, but the African continent as a all. I believe that positive stories about African women change the perception about what women can do and are doing to contribute to development in every sector.
THE AFRICAN WOMAN’S CHALLENGE:
African women are faced with the challenge of poverty, diseases and illiteracy among others. They have to cope with looking basic needs for their families such as food, clothing and in most cases are responsible for the wellbeing of their families. Women are the most affected by diseases and in some areas have to walk long distances to seek health services. The women of Africa are the least educated. The cultural norms sometimes do not support education of women and issues of hygiene do not also favor the girl education in places where there is no proper sanitation.
Apart from highlighting the challenges that women are facing in my country, I have also chosen to highlight how others have moved ahead so as to inspire.
I have also come up with the project to help at least 1 girl child at a time through with education. Currently am keeping a 14 year old girl who is not my blood relative and helping her with education. No one in her family has reached grade 12 and I feel she will be an inspiration to others once she completes her education. She stays with us and is part of the family now.
I am also helping my former maid. She got pregnant while working for us. She stayed with us for the seventh month of the pregnancy until the baby boy whom I have named Joshua was born on 14th March 2017. The father to the baby boy has not come through and I feel I can empower her through some form of business. Currently, she is not doing anything but in order to help her find money for the baby’s needs, I call her once in a while to do piece work for us. But my aim is to engage her is some business.
WHAT I DO TO RELAX:
Well, I love family life; my children and my husband are a great source of relaxation .spending time with them makes me unwind. I also love singing and gardening. I grow my vegetables in my back yard garden. I love shopping and it does the trick – relives the tension.
MY – I.C.E. [INSPIRE|CELEBRATE|EMPOWER] VISION
The African women should be Inspired because she an achiever and can do so much with support. She has to be inspired because she is the back born of the family and development. She needs the inspiration to keep her going. The African women are determined and need to be celebrated because she can overcome any thing, she is hard working and once empowered, empowers others. The African women want to see a community free of disease, free of poverty and is not selfish that why she has to be empowered.
MY AFRICAN UNION PLANS:
I would seek to have the responsibility to work directly with women who have the potential to change their lives from that of lacking to that of having. I would also want to be responsible for identifying the women who need empowerment, be it through knowledge or funding to improve their lives.
I believe I have what it takes to inspire and champion change among the vulnerable women.as a communicator, I can easily reach out and drive change among the women through innovative programmes.
FINAL WORDS OF ADVICE:
My advice is that there is nothing that a woman cannot do, we are created strong and can hold on and overcome anything. All we need to do is work together for the common good.