Mashingaidze speaks on broadcasting journey

Mashingaide (AM), who is also a consultant, certified life coach and an entrepreneur shared nuggets on her professional journey on the platform In Conversation with Trevor, which is hosted by Alpha Media Holdings chairman Trevor Ncube.

Broadcaster Amelia Chipo Mashingaidze has spoken of how she joined the industry by accident after she was identified while staging a theatre play.

Mashingaide (AM), who is also a consultant, certified life coach and an entrepreneur shared nuggets on her professional journey on the platform In Conversation with Trevor, which is hosted by Alpha Media Holdings chairman Trevor Ncube.

Below are excerpts from the interview.

TN: Amelia Chipo Mashingaidze, welcome to In Conversation With Trevor.

AM: Thank you, Trevor. Thank you so much.

TN: Amelia, where does that name come from?

AM: My parents. My father particularly, I think.

My family, my parents, as a couple had a friend that was called Amelia, I think that they enjoyed very much.

 And when I was born, I was fortunate enough to be given that name.

But I have been studying what that name means and I appreciate it a little bit more.

It means someone who works. Someone who is endowed with gifts, and someone who employs those gifts.

TN: That sounds like you?

AM: I did not know what it meant initially...

TN: It sounds like you. So, Chipo you are a broadcaster?

AM: Yes.

TN: An advertising and communications expert. You are a certified live coach, and an entrepreneur, set yourself up as an entrepreneur.

 I want to ask you first this question. What have been the defining moments for you in your career?

AM: Okay. I will mention perhaps two or three.

TN: Yeah.

AM: The first defining moment was when I went to university, I think.

I had applied to study law because that’s what you did at that time.

At that time, if you were in the Arts, they expected you if you do well you study Law.

 But during that year the pass rate was so high I did not have enough points to make it into law.

They were taking [those with] 14 and 15 points.

I did not make that with the grade.

My second choice had been psychology, and the situation was just as dire for me.

So, you could say one of my first defining moments was failure to achieve the grade that was required for me to go the path that I had chosen.

My third option was to study English and have a subsidiary subject, and I had French as one of my subsidiary subjects and psychology.

So that I call a defining moment because it was a divergence from my preferred path, but with hindsight if I had not been taken along that path, I would not have ventured into other spaces that were truly me than if I had gone into the path that I had selected for myself.

So it defined me in that I think divine intervention took me away from what was popular and what would have looked better.

Say Chipo put the lawyer would have looked better I think in the environment that I grew up in, than Chipo the English graduate.

But looking back the English graduate had other doors for her that opened because she was an English graduate.

TN: What is the lesson from there Chipo?

AM: The lesson from there is sometimes you are informed in your choices externally more than internally.

I think if I had been true to self at that young young age and had introspected, I would have honestly said Law was not for me.

Now when I look at it, I would have failed dismally.

I would have done well in that I am a studious person and I really work hard to do what I do, and I would have succeeded to a degree.

But I would not have succeeded in fulfilling my purpose and my calling, and I am big on that.

TN: Fascinating, isn’t it?

AM: Yes, it is.

TN: So let me share with you, because your story almost sounds like mine.

When I applied to go to the University of Zimbabwe, my first choice was law. Their cut off was eight points.

AM: Yes.

TN: I had seven points. I spent the two weeks of what is it called  orientation, sulking and being sour and everything else because I wanted to go to Law.

AM: Yes.

TN: I was checking almost every day to see if somebody dropped out and I could go in.

So there there I was, I ended up doing economic history.

I tried to do geography, the numbers just got me, the angles and the degrees and whatever.

I ended up doing economic history and history, and here I am. So just like you, God knew.

AM: Yes.

TN: What He created me for, and closed that door, and I thought I should be knocking that door down, but that did not happen. What is your next defining moment?

AM: My second defining moment was post-university.

I studied English and as part of the English programme we had theatre, yeah.

We acted. And I continued to act after my degree, and I was a member of a group called Zambuko iZimbuko. Yes.

And one of our performances was at Belvedere Teachers College, and I was one of the key actors.

You know how you multi-role in some of these stage performances.

TN: Yes.

AM: I had three roles in that performance and ZBC was there filming it.

I cannot even remember why they were filming it, but they were filming that production.

And at the end of the performance, the producer Richard Mlambo, I do not know whether you remember (him).

TN: Yes, I remember Richard Mlambo.

AM: He approached me, and he said I would like you to try television.

TN: This is spooky! I will tell you why it’s spooky. But continue.

AM: And I looked at him and I thought this guy, I do not know him from a bar of soap...

TN: [From] whatever.

AM: But why why me out of the whole cast? And I laughed and I said why?

He said you have got a TV voice. And that did not me mean much to me at that stage.

TN: You did not know what that sounded like?

AM: I did not know what that was supposed to sound like.

And I said yeah sure thing, call me, and I sort of fobbed him off.

To me to my mind at that age it was like this young man has seen a young girl on stage...

TN: Yeah.

AM: And he has found an avenue, he has found an entry point to start a conversation.

So I went back to work. I gave him my work number, there were no cell phones then. I had a landline at home, but I was not going to give him that.

I gave him my work number and he called a couple of weeks later and he said there is an audition going on for a morning show called Good Morning Zimbabwe.

I would like you to come and audition.

I said this guy is really serious about this, he really wants to talk to me. I said oh yeah sure I will come.

On the day that I was supposed to go there I had laryngitis, so I had no voice.

 It was good for me [as] I did not want to go anyway.

So I asked a friend to call him and say I cannot come I have laryngitis.

He thought I was pretending, but I genuinely had laryngitis, but he persisted.

Long story short, I eventually went. I remember I was coming from a stock take at my job.

So I changed in the cab! I took a cab to the [TV] station, and I was sitting at the back.

I had tights and stuff inside, so I just switched and changed.

When I landed at ZBC, the reception area was filled with these young people around my age who looked like supermodels, and I was a plain  Jane.

I had my little afro, no makeup just vaseline on my lips and I looked around the room [and] I said I am in the wrong place.

It scared me, and I started walking out, and as I turned Richard was there.

He said oh you here. I said yes, I am here. And he said where are you going? And I said to the bathroom hahaha.

TN: Hahahaha!

AM: And he said no there is a bathroom this side, so he made me make a u-turn and go back inside.

A week later I was called and told I had gotten the job. That was a defining moment in that there is a way that you look at yourself.

TN: Yes.

AM: And the way that you look at other people. And you position yourself.

TN: And there is a way that other people look at you?

AM: Yes. That you do not even recognise.

And I had seen myself as a misfit, just by looking at the people that were lined up for the audition I thought this is not for me.

And I had already disqualified myself. So, I was surprised when the call came and I was told can you start, when can you start.

TN: And yet broadcasting has become part of who you are?

AM: It has become...

TN: Because Richard Mulambo picked you up.

AM: Yes.

TN: And you did not think you fitted the bill?

AM: He was a wonderful producer, and he introduced me to presenters like Georgina Godwin, you remember Georgina?

TN: Yeah I remember her indeed.

AM: Yeah, she did the audition with me  because what happened with the audition was you came in and you sat like we are sitting now, and the first part of the interview Georgina would interview you for five to 10 minutes and then you were given a break.

Then they would tell you saw how Georgina did it, can you interview her?

And they would switch the roles, and that was part of the interview.

 In the production room of course, they would be checking out how you present, how you posture yourself, your body language, and your vocal tone, your excitement and all that, they were checking all that.

TN: So hold your third defining moment so that I share mine.

Remember I said it is spooky? Really spooky because I was part of the Zimbabwe Economic Society whilst I was at the University of Zimbabwe.

I [got] invited, we [got] invited to attend a conference at the Monomotapa Hotel, and we were debating you know economics and that kind of stuff.

And after the three-day conference, which is a regional conference, ZBC decide that they want to run a series.

And the guys in the Economic Society of Zimbabwe say Trevor we want you to anchor this.

I [was] like I have never done this, I do not know what you are talking about.

 I anchored that thing, it became prime viewing between seven and eight in the evening, [it was called] Zimbabwe’s economic change or something of that sort.

AM: Yes I think I recall that.

TN: Eventually it was taken over. That is how I was introduced to the world, to Zimbabwe.

 That is how I got into journalism. Isn’t that spooky?

AM: Some people call it chance. I call it divine appointment hahaha.

TN: Absolutely! You third defining moment?

AM: My third defining moment I was already working in the corporate world, and I was in [the] corporate relations department, which is really public relations and a little bit of corporate marketing.

There was a training that was required, and our training department felt they did not have the capacity within to run that training, but there was no budget to invite someone from without.

Because you are friends and you are mixing, at lunchtime I was talking to one of the training guys and they were saying you know we are struggling with this, and I said can I give it a shot?

I do not even know why I said that hahaha. But I said let me give it a shot, let me put together a module and let us see whether it works. So I gave it a try.


  • “In Conversation With Trevor” is a weekly show broadcast on  The conversations are broadcast to you by Heart and Soul Broadcasting Services. The conversations are sponsored by WestProp Holdings.

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