She is only 25, yet she has already made a name for herself as a journalist and activist, as well as recently been placed at number 23 on the 100 Most Influential Young Zimbabweans under 40.
Her poise and smile say it all; Ruvheneko Parirenyatwa is a woman on the go – even the sky will not limit her.
“Ndiri muzvare, mwana waMwari [I am princess. I am a born again Christian, God’s child] and a daughter of the soil,” are her own words that give an apt description of the vivacious yet down-to-earth young lady who says she would have studied Law if she hadn’t chosen journalism.
A talk show host on Zimbabwe’s fastest growing and first ever private radio station in Zimbabwe, ZiFM Stereo, she holds a Bachelor of Arts with majors in Media, Writing and Political Science and a Post-graduate Diploma in Marketing from the University of Cape Town in South Africa.
She captures the attention of many through her shows which cover politics, social issues, health matters and youth-focused discussions.
Her never-say-die spirit is probably the reason why she is also thriving as the Deputy Chairperson of the Harare Youth Council, while her bubbly other side has endeared her to many folk as she has become a new favourite as an MC for functions and events. As if all this were not enough, Ruvheneko is also an entrepreneur who runs a shop at Harare International Airport.
“I am here living fully in the present and preparing for a future that I don’t even comprehend because I was told recently by a mentor that my dreams offend God because they aren’t big enough. So before I offend him further by telling you ‘who I am’ let’s just tread carefully!”
Describing her passion as working towards her ambition and helping others achieve theirs; Ruvheneko loves everything media and her passion clearly rests on its bosom. What she loves most about it is that she gets to interact with the public and reach out to them; the fact that she may never meet or see them frightens and excites her at the same time.
“I just stop and ask, ‘Dear God, who am I that you can give me this microphone? You must trust me a lot! but I know it’s not me he trusts — but the power of Him in me.”
According to her, people who try to control and filter her content have been her biggest challenges in her career; she does not conform to “safe journalism” and this in essence, is what defines her. Being a talk show host, she is a natural debater who likes dialogue and discussions on anything and everything.
In terms of principles and beliefs, the phenomenal new wife puts God first above everything as she believes that this way, there will be love in the world because every religious leader who ever made a difference in this world taught love. While she remains steadfast in her beliefs, she acknowledges that although people will differ in views, there is a need for us as fellow human beings to share our space and respect differences. It is evident that Ruvheneko cannot tolerate bullies in the world as she believes that kills the whole point of co-existing.
On family, she expressed how deep her love is for her parents, siblings and husband, adding that there would be more to tell on her fresh and new marriage after the wedding. Despite working very hard as Deputy Chairperson at The Harare Youth Council in community-based projects there, the humble young woman does not feel she has achieved anything big yet.
“Everything I have done up until now has been in preparation for and on the way to my biggest life achievement. I am disappointed in myself about that; I should have a ‘biggest life achievement’ but for me, nothing I have achieved is good enough to be ‘big’ – yet. The fact that you’re asking me this question says it all. If there was something that huge, it would speak for itself and your question would be, “Ruvheneko, how did you achieve…”
At the council, Ruvheneko together with her team work tirelessly to reach out to young people and meet their needs. Of late they held a successful fundraising dinner which managed to raise funds to begin work on vocational training centres and farming projects.
“I want Zimbabwe to know that I am not a spoilt and privileged minister’s daughter. There is more to people than meets the eye. Zimbabwe should learn to know people as individuals and not label them by affiliation. We are all born who we are; but what we become is who we really and truly are.
Ruvheneko’s inspiration comes from many sources, including the news. “Bleak and depressing as most news stories are — on whatever channel or source — I find inspiration in every story. I am inspired to discuss a certain topic on one of my shows, or I’m inspired to go donate clothes, or to go for a long run, or to go visit my grandparents, but mostly to work hard and leave something behind when I’m gone.”
As a parting shot, Ruvheneko — who’s love for bubbles has her keeping a bottle in her room all the time to keep the child in her happy — had this to say to fellow young Zimbabweans, “You should learn to balance your life; there is time to be serious but there must always be time to breathe a little . . . and be little for a little. You are never too young for anything — except sex, alcohol and a driver’s licence. Find what you are good at and be the best at it. There are so many people in Zimbabwe yet the news rotates the names of about 100 individuals over an entire year.
Are we not living hard and well enough to catch the attention of the media? So again, find what you are good at and be the best at it; the cameras will follow — and even if they don’t — your reward is waiting for you on the other side. The biggest honour you can give to your creator is to accept His reason for creating you and live it out to the fullest!” – Prudence Muganiwah