JournalismMy journalism career has been absolutely unconventional and I have fully embraced it. I am not a trained journalist which means I have never been to a school of journalism.
How unconventional is this: For shooting off my mouth at an Economic conference in Harare I was picked to anchor a national prime time television programme that became a huge success, launching me onto the national stage and journalism. Just like that! I had zero television experience.
Next I was spotted by a newspaper publisher who later appointed me assistant editor of the Financial Gazette which was then Zimbabwe’s only independent newspaper.
With the benefit of hindsight I believe my father introduced me to journalism when I was doing 5th grade. He brought home old newspapers from his employers which I enjoyed reading. I made scrap books from old exercise books and newspaper cuttings, mainly of political events. This was my own version of Twitter and Facebook. I proudly showed them off to friends and visiting relatives in our township home.
At the Financial Gazette I rose to the position of Executive Editor in seven years, winning awards and then I was fired for being too critical of President Mugabe and ZANUPF.
My world crashed around me. I felt humiliated, alone and exposed. I was angry at this treatment. My ego took a knock. My job was me, my identity and my livelihood. Three long months after this life changing experience I was forced to go into business.
Trials and TribulationsI have been arrested, had my passport seized and gone to court to get it back. I have had my citizenship withdrawn and have gone to the High Court to fight for my birth rights. All these incidents have shaken me but they have also made me a stronger person and a better leader.
However the periods of inconveniences I have suffered pale into insignificance when I compare them to what some of my colleagues have suffered. Many have been detained for extended periods while some have been tortured for doing their legitimate jobs
Because I have endured all this, conventional wisdom says I must be courageous. The truth is I am not. What choices does one have when life gets unconventional? Hide? Run away? Those are not options we have if we are to make a difference in life.