At the turn of the millennium as the economic situation in Zimbabwe took an ugly turn, most Zimbabweans moved abroad to seek greener pastures. One of those people who left the country is Bhekinkosi Sibanda, pictured, a young talented broadcaster who is now making waves in Ireland Dublin.
Daily News on Sunday Lifestyle Writer Jeffrey Muvundusi had an interview with him where he shared with us the journey he has traversed so far. Below are the excerpts of the interview.
Q: Tell us about yourself
A: My name is Bhekinkosi Sibanda, I am a preacher, motivational speaker, broadcast journalist, a radio presenter. I am also into sound engineering. I studied journalism at the National University of Science and Technology. I was born in Bulawayo on March 4, 1991.
Q: What do you do for a living and where are you based?
A: I am currently based in Ireland, Dublin where I am attached to Radio 54 Africa Panorama, which is known here as Africa’s finest radio station.
Q: Why did you decide to leave Zimbabwe?
A: I left Zimbabwe some few years ago, my wish was always to practice my talent as a broadcaster abroad and my dream came true when I came here after opportunities opened up for me. Actually I found greener pastures as the economic situation back home made everything difficult for me. But generally I am happy that I am doing well here and I have made my own name.
Q: Which radio stations did you work for back home?
A: l worked with Radio Zimbabwe and Khulumani FM where I mostly did motivational speaking. I also worked with PAWC Radio, Praise and Worship Centre a Christian radio station as a presenter. I also had a stint at South African radio station Ukhozi FM where I was also a presenter.
Q: Generally how have you been faring that side?
A: Working as radio presenter has always been my dream or passion as a result at Radio 54 Africa Panorama which is my home now, I can safely say I am having the time of my life. Things are working out for me; I can’t really complain. Given an opportunity, I would have loved to see more talent from Zimbabwe coming down here to showcase their talents.
Q: Who inspired you into broadcasting?
A: When l grew up l loved to listen to the local radio stations such as the then Radio 2 before it became Radio Zimbabwe. I got inspired by Ezra Tshisa Sibanda and Eric General Knight and Malaki Nkomo just to name but a few. Since then I told myself that one day l want to be a radio personality and be as popular as those who inspired me. So I can say it’s a dream that came true, as I see myself now rocking the air waves.
Q: What’s your take on the state of broadcasting in Zimbabwe and where do you think we are going as a nation?
A: Zimbabwe has broadcasters that are immensely talented. I can safely say Zimbabwean broadcasters are among the best in the region. Given a proper platform they can shine at any given international stage.
It’s unfortunate the economic situation has suppressed their talent while others have left the country and are now pursuing other professions that have got nothing to do with their radio talent, which is sad. As a result, due to this economic downfall problem it will take time for Zimbabwe to reach to the international standards of broadcasting.
Q: What’s your advice to aspiring radio presenters?
A: My advice to aspiring radio DJs it is to keep on fighting and never give up, learn more things each day, upgrade yourself and advance with technology.
It’s not an easy road though but it needs patience, persistence and sacrifice. Some of my programmes on radio equip and motivate my audience while also entertaining them.
Q: Your parting shot?
A: My message to Zimbabweans back home is we are living in deadly times where coronavirus is wreaking havoc, we need to pray to the Mighty God to save us, but above all we should protect ourselves through social distancing, sanitising and wearing masks among other measures. Stay safe.