Harrison Tembo – Zambia

Harrison Tembo – Zambia

Date: June 30, 2015
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Harrison Tembo, a marketer at Yatsani radio, one of the Catholic owned Christian radio station in Zambia is one of the upcoming men who supports gender equality because they have seen the need for gender parity in all decision making positions. It would interest you to see Tembo as he takes a keen interest in discussing issues of gender, because it is his belief that it is only through gender equality that there can be a just and fair society.

Tembo works at Yastani radio station in the marketing department. Small as the media house may be, its demands are as urgent as bigger media organization. Tembo joined Yatsani Radio in May of 2012, in an institution which was then male dominated. The impression he developed was that male journalists were in one way or another superior or better than female journalists. Because of this belief, he had difficulties in supporting women to do assignments especially those deemed to be ‘special,’ because he had fear that they would not deliver. It was for this reason that he always insisted that the male journalists take them up. However after undergoing gender trainings by Gender Links, he came to realize that all human beings were equal. Tembo also discovered that after all, women sometimes would deliver better results as compared to their male counterparts. He also realized that women employees were more dependable as compared to their male counterparts if not more than the latter.

“It was only during the Gender Links Orientation workshop during which I was challenged by our Accountant Gertrude Malama Lange that I begun to look at the issue with different and better ‘gender sensitive spectacles'”. Although he came across GL 2013 during one of its gender trainings for Yatsani employees which was held at Lusaka Hotel, he has already placed gender issues at the center of his work. Tembo says it was a great experience as he came to realize that there was need for balanced broadcasts at the end of the day. “I also came to appreciate that balanced broadcasting is not only about having female journalists, but that even the voices being broadcast should be such that they include those of women, men, girls as well as boys.”

Gender Links can take much credit of his gender awareness because before then, he did not have much interest in gender issues. “Like many other people, I somehow believed that gender had more to do with women and not men. For example at the training that I attended at Lusaka hotel, we discussed issues of gender based violence and how men could be partners in ending the vice instead of being perpetrators. We also learnt that about sexual harassment and saw the need to be sexual harassment policies for most institutions in Zambia to protect both men and women in the working environment.”

Tembo attributes the change in his approach to work to other factors as well. Being a Christian radio station, all employees at Yatsani are treated equally with the due respect their deserve. He tries to make sure the same values are replicated at home and in his engagement with society. “The knowledge I gained is being imparted to other employees, because I am part of the gender taskforce team at Yatsani radio.” Tembo’s future plans are to intensify and spearhead the media Center of Excellency project at Yatsani, together with other employees so as to achieve tangible results by 2015. We want to see more women in decision making positions, more voices of women in the media and no pornographic materials so as to close the gender gap that exists.


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