A walk into the life of Commissioner Magosvongwe

Sharon Chigeza


MUTARE-She is confident and poised, comfortable in her own skin. She carries
herself with grace and dignity as she enters a room and sits with an elegant upright
posture as of royal etiquette. She knows when to speak and when to listen. And
when she does speak, she speaks with fluency.
Having trained and worked as an air hostess for several years in her youth, the
profession groomed her elegance and etiquette that is quite admirable. Her poise
communicates with you before she even whispers a single word.
She is a communicator par excellence who has a passion for story-telling and
communicating with the world.
This woman is a commissioner and current chairperson of the Zimbabwe Media
Commission. Her full name is Ruby Magosvongwe, born and bred in rural Makoni,
Manicaland. She is woman who grew up with a passion for flying high up in the
skies as an air hostess, a profession which was short lived due to the socio-political
environment of the country soon after independence.
She however found her true calling when she enrolled for a degree in English at the
University of Zimbabwe. She had always loved hearing and telling stories, a
culture cultivated in her by her grandmother during her childhood.
“One of the beautiful things I learned from my grandmother was story telling so I
thought literature is not any different from story- telling. So when I failed by a
mere two percent to qualify for the special honours degree in English, I opted for a
Bachelor of Arts General degree in English, Shona and Religious Studies,” she
Soon after completing her studies, Professor Magosvongwe went into teaching for
11 years at Queen Elizabeth before taking up studies once again where she pursued
the dream of taking up a special honours degree in English.

The love for the English language continued to flow in her veins and she did not
give up her pursuit for ‘story-telling’ and learning the Queen’s language.
The passion drove her to take up a Masters of Arts in English a feat she admitted
was not easy and took a miracle for her to get there.
It is at this point in her life where she had to struggle balancing work, study,
marriage and pregnancy all at once!
“Unfortunately at this point of my career I was not accorded study leave for me to
go and study for my Masters degree. This meant I had to teach in the morning, rush
in for lectures and study in the evening. I have to admit it was not easy and at one
point had decided to deregister. I was facing a lot of storms all at once and it was
so heavy for me,” she said.
According to Professor Magosvonwe, it was a miracle that she made it through the
storm and attained her Master of Arts in English after which she decided she
needed to take a break and live a little.
She went back full throttle into teaching and was at that point invited to lecture at
the University of Zimbabwe in the early 2000’s.
She gladly accepted the invitation and took up a career as a lecturer, a post she
holds till present day and is still passionate about teaching the English language.
Turning to her post as a commissioner and current chairperson of the Zimbabwe
Media Commission, Professor Magosvongwe said she was exposed to the need to
nurture media studies in local tertiary institutions as the country was losing most of
its media students and professionals to neighbouring countries.
“We introduced at undergraduate level in the department of English a degree
program in Media and Communication Studies. I honestly thought that when I
went beyond the borders for my studies, I met so many Zimbabweans studying
media and the department of media itself was headed by a Zimbabwean as well.
That’s when I realised we needed to capitalise on such and the much needed
foreign currency that we were losing to other institutions across the borders,” she

As commissioner of the media commission and with a passionate love for
communication, Professor Magosvongwe has committed her life to the betterment
of the media and communications industry and hopes to see the Zimbabwean
media industry grow in leaps and bounds.
“Having a platform to share ideas, aspirations and expectations across all media
players has always been my dream and the National Media Indaba we just held is a
dream come true. It is my hope that we create a vibrant and unified media
landscape where the media, despite differences in opinion helps shape each other
helps each other build the nation and foster peace and development throughout.
“I also call on board educators and the academia to step up in helping shape future
media professional right from the beginning. We lose such professionals from the
fundamentals and I hope to engage the Ministry of Primary and Secondary
Education as well as the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education in mapping the
best way forward in grooming future communicators,” she added.

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