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QueenShumba, Changing The Media Game In Zimbabwe

Samantha Mary Musa is a 27-year-old mother, sister, daughter and last but not least, media enthusiast. Her nickname Shumba derived from her totem which is a lion. She takes pride in where she comes from and being an African Daughter; therefore she gave herself the nickname QueenShumba paying homage to her tribal clan.

MisRed, which she is also popularly known by is a name given to her a few years back by some friends because she came back from South Africa to live in Zimbabwe, wearing a different shade of red lipstick and that’s how she developed the nickname MisRed.

I asked Samantha why she decided that she wanted to become a media personality in Zimbabwe, and this was her response, "I became a media personality by both a mistake and necessity. I have also always had a passion for TV and Radio, as I grew up listening to Bridget Gavanga, James Maridadis, Sophie Chamboko, Simon Parkinson, Mbuya Mlambo, Marc Pozzo - ironically enough, I now work with Marc Pozzo on Radio!"

She had this to add, "In 2013 I was living in Pretoria, and I needed a reason to move back home because my daughter was in Zimbabwe. I heard of the new radio stations opening up in Zimbabwe; which I applied but to no avail. Maybe the universes came together, because one guy heard my voice and I started doing voice-overs, and from there I pushed passion and here I am today."

I derive inspiration from the likes of Peace Hyde, so I had to ask Samantha about her worst day in media and how she overcame it. She told me that it was the day she decided to be open with her opinion on the Zimbabwean Government. However, her opinion was solely on her personal social media. Her narration of the incident is as follows, "It was a day after my birthday, and I woke up feeling hopeless and thought to myself how many other people feel the way I do. To my surprise, this sentiment resonated with a lot of young people in Zimbabwe. I did a series of Twitter posts which had some people cautioning me and calling me a dissent. You wouldn't believe the type of calls I receive until today because of that! However, I overcame that bump in my career and because of that, I'm better for it."

"I am human, I make mistakes, but tomorrow is my hope that allows me to aspire to do better than I did today." - QueenShumba

Furthermore, the opportunities given to Samantha by being a media personality have come as being the ambassador for multinational companies, telecom companies, global cosmetics brands, beverage brands, as well as getting to work on projects that she is passionate about in communities with support from corporates. She has also been a part of consultative processes dealing with youth issues in Kenya, South Africa, and Zambia. Rising her fortunate enough to receive invites to cover global events, namely; MTV European Music Awards, AFRIMA Awards, Lake of Stars and MTV Africa Music Awards to name a few.

Samantha's sharp mindset and knowledge for media in Zimbabwe has primarily been attributed to herself as well as guidance from her confidanté and mentor Tonderai Katsande, of which she had this to say about him, "He has been there from day one. He calls a spade, a spade and there is no better teacher than someone who has the amount of experience he has. He has worked in South Africa; he was part of the first generation Channel O presenters, and he worked at Metro FM, Highveld Stereo and is also a well-known radio broadcaster for ZiFM Stereo in Zimbabwe."

To finish off my chat with Samantha, I asked her what other endeavors she is involved in; of which she told me about currently being a Public Relations student, and also having a few business interests in farming and mining. She is also a volunteer for an organization called Girls-R-Us, which helps to mobilize sanitary wear for girls in marginalized areas as well as in urban settings for those who genuinely can’t afford them because of their social-economic background. She joined this organization as a call to action to be able to assist in an area that people take for granted.

Some researchers and policymakers have argued that menstruation may be causing girls to miss a significant number of school days. At the maximum, some have estimated that girls might be missing as much as 10 to 20 percent of school days due to menstruation. Anecdotal evidence seems to support this. Girls report missing school during their periods and lacking access to modern sanitary products. Girls-R-Us tries to combat this by providing sexual reproductive health lessons during outreach in which the pads are distributed, and documented on Twitter with the hashtag #MyPeriodMyPride. Samantha encourages everyone to get involved in the campaigns to give the girls the dignity they rightfully so deserve.

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