Celebrating Manicaland Women in Journalism
MUTARE- Journalism requires more than just great reporting. For news organizations to thrive
and serve their communities, they need diversified revenue plans, an audience-first approach to
product development, and thoughtful audience and community engagement strategies.
The journalism industry has however continuously faced issues such as gender inequality,
unequal pay and bias in the newsroom.
In many news organizations around the world, women are leading these efforts to achieve equity
and sustainability during a time where the only constant seems to be change.
March is Women’s Month, and to celebrate these women, Pungwe News highlights four
powerful female journalist in Manicaland who have made an impact in the newsroom.
Each woman comes from a different background, works at a different type of organization, and
is at a different point in their career.
Wendy Nyakurerwa- Matinde has worked in the communications industry for more than eight
years with her journalism career taking off in 2013 as Assistant Editor at The Sunday Mail.
She was then appointed first female Editor of The Manica Post in 2020, a post she holds to date.
Her greatest strength in the newsroom is that she has practiced public relations as well as
journalism, and that makes her understand both worlds.
She however hastened to mention how difficult it was for female journalists to cut through the
male dominated industry and to make visible impacts.
“Both men and women find it difficult to accept and believe in women being the leaders. Women
themselves to do not believe in each other and that in itself makes it difficult for a woman to earn
respect from her colleagues. This results in one having to put in the extra effort as compared to
male counterparts in order to make the cut,” she said
Being in the industry for nearly 10 years now, it was important to speak to Wendy about any
advice she would give to young female journalists wanting a career in journalism.
She stressed the point on how the newsrooms are still very traditional and the amount of effort a
woman needs to put in to be recognized and respected.
“I want to be transparent and say it’s not easy and in newspapers there is still a very traditional
environment. It is mainly still men set around making decisions and even if they bring in one
woman, for that one woman it’s not always easy to argue your case.”
Fungai Munyoro- Chingaira
Fungai Munyoro is a passionate sports reporter who specialises in all forms of sport.
She is currently Sports Editor for The Masvingo Mirror as well as acting Bureau Chief for the
paper’s Chipinge office.
Munyoro-Chingaira was a sportswoman from a tender age having participated in athletics,
netball, cricket and soccer.
Having been forced to quit soccer and focus on her studies, she decided to venture into
journalism with her main focus centered on sports reporting.
She has been working in sport’s journalism since her attachment period at Pungwe News in 2014
before she later joined The Manica Post as their sports correspondent. In 2020 she was recruited
to work for The Masvingo Mirror where she was eleveated to the group Sports Editor.
Talking about her success, Munyoro-Chingaira explained that she has never set out to be
successful or earn a certain amount of money.
“I’ve always done things because I care about them and they’re important to me and that’s
always been the thing that’s motivated me and kept me up working at night.”
Munyoro-Chingaira said women’s sports coverage had developed, though there is still room for
attention, as well as the number of female journalists.
“Now you switch on the TV or radio and it’s quite normal to hear a women’s voice, to have been
part of that journey and to have seen the changes is satisfying,” she said.
She then spoke about her personal experiences with gender inequality and reporting in a very
male-dominated working field.
She said: “I’ve experienced tonnes of inequality and tonnes of sexism, whether it was another
journalist making sleazy comments or sexual innuendos, it felt like a not very safe space for
women to be in.
“I have been in situations where a footballer would ask if I wanted a lift back to the station, and
of course as a journalist you want to get in the lift, you want to carry on the conversation, but
then you’ve got the other side of ‘Should I as a young women get in the car and if I give them
my number will they treat it professionally?’,” she added.
She is however pleased to be married a supportive husband who religiously follows her work and
encourages her to soldier on.
Norma Tsopo is the Editor of The Explorer, online magazine as well as the first elected female
Zimbabwe Union of Journalist (ZUJ) chairperson for Manicaland region.
Having started her career soon after college, Tsopo found breaking newsroom barriers a
challenging feat and decided to make a name for herself.
The online publication, Thexplorer, she has termed her ‘baby’ is a product of unified effort
between her and her husband which speaks volumes to how men are slowly accepting the global
change in innovation and business.
“It takes a lot to be recognized as a female in journalism. It is however not all doom and gloom
as a few men out there are slowly accepting embracing female prowess and leadership. I
acknowledge the support I get from my husband and this speaks volumes to how society is now
viewing female journalists in light of the digital world,” she said.
Her level head and rationale mindset also landed her the post of ZUJ chairperson in the province
to help steer advocacy for journalists’ welfare in the newsroom and beyond.
“The newsroom is a very traditional set up which is male dominated. It takes a firm woman to
stand for the equity of women in the industry and this I hope to help steer during my tenure in the
union,” she added.
Evidence Chenjerai is one of the few female reporters who has made it to reporting on global
scale working with an all female reporters team.
She specialises in coverage of environmental justice, a topical issues that has seen women at
the disadvantaged end of the spectrum.
Chenjerai said she works with a supportive and diverse team that helps shape global narratives
and this has helped shape the perception of women in the newsroom and beyond.
“Our all-women reporting team is trained to leverage powerful source access to deliver one-of-a-
kind stories that help transform global narratives,” she said.
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