Livhuwani Magidi – South Africa

Livhuwani Magidi – South Africa

Date: August 24, 2015
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Working for both radio and print media houses is the best experience

“Hard work pays! Women work harder so they should be paid for it.”

“I was confused when I heard Gender Links (GL) would be coming to do training on gender because I expected training on production or news coverage.” These are the words of Livhu summarising her expectations of the media COE in-house workshop in Thohoyandou, Venda. Livhu says she expected a workshop that would focus on the way women should be treated and to her surprise the workshop was entirely about professional journalism and gender sensitivity. Livhu is a passionate news reader and writer and has been in the community media sector for over two years.

She describes the GL work as exceptional and remembers the session on sex and gender. According to her the discussion will never end and the most interesting part of the discussion happens when a journalist begins to engage the readers or the listeners. “We have the responsibility to inform the readers and listeners and in that way we educate generations to come”.

Livhu started her career as a news reader at Univen FM and later at Ghoho news, both are situated in Thohoyandou in Venda. She was part of the news team that took part in the Peace and Conflict Resolution workshop in 2014. Although Livhu’s time with Univen FM ended abruptly she believes she has learned a lot from the station and she believes the station will grow and improve. She highlights her excitement in realising that GL works with Ghoho news and says that she doesn’t feel at all lost. “Á have moved from radio to print but trust me, the experience here is as appealing as in radio” she says with a smile.

Livhu shares with GL a sad tale about the injustices to which women are subjected and points out that the work that GL is doing will ultimately assist in striking a balance. “I applied for maternity leave at one organisation and when I returned after three months I was told I no longer had a job” she says. “It was sad, even worse because I had just completed my probation and was hoping I would be absorbed by the organisation on a fulltime basis.” Livhu never gave up her career or her dreams, but rather kept working harder at her studies until her appointment at Ghoho news.

“My entire life as journalist has changed, I am now more aware and informed about issues of gender than before.” She points out that her attitude, knowledge and views around gender have changed drastically.

“I had a sense of dislike towards people of a different sexual orientation. As a Christian, I always believed that they were demons.” Livhu says that through GL’s work her attitude towards gays and lesbians has changed.

Livhu says she has learned a lot from GL’s workshops and her focus is now on imparting the knowledge to the vast bulk of her readers. “I honestly didn’t even know that gender was different from sex. When we had this discussion last year I thought that GL had sent a crazy or dumb facilitator.” Here she is referring to Mr Madikana Matjila.”

Livhu says she started writing stories about different issues that affect her community. Some these issues include sexual harassment, forced marriages and gender based violence.

She has vowed to keep engaging different groups in society. The most affected and vulnerable, according to her, are usually women and children and her intention is to work with home based and faith based organisations, victims support groups and old age homes.

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