Rachael Kalapa – Zambia

Rachael Kalapa – Zambia

Date: June 30, 2015
  • SHARE:

Her first encounter with Gender Links dates from 2011 when she was invited to attend a two day training workshop for journalists under the media centres of Excellency project organised by Gender Links in Lusaka, which she says was thrilling, as it exposed her to the SADC protocol on Gender and development.

“We know that Zambian women are faced with a lot of challenges, including poverty and food insecurity among many others. The workshop was an eye-opener in that it gave me a real sense of placing women and children first in my line of duty, and made me able to speak on their behalf by bringing out issues that concern them or hinder them from achieving their dreams” says Rachael Kalapa, a producer at Christian Voice in Zambia.

Rachael says it was the same training that made her realise that media practitioners like herself were not doing enough in sensitising the public on the dangers of gender based violence (GBV), and also help them understand the importance of gender equality in decision making positions.

But at the end of the Gender Links workshop, Rachael realised the growing need for her to join the race and help combat GBV and bring about gender inequality.

She notes “Leaning my back against the positive attitude of the adage: Where there is a will there is a way has to date made me realize that the sky is no longer the limit and that I can actually fly into cyberspace and acquire what I want to achieve in life” .

Before she joined the media, Rachael already knew that what she wanted to do for a living was journalism, although her father never agreed with her ambitions.

Rachael’s job as producer/presenter involves editing and producing radio news features on any given topic, but especially those to do with issues concerning the under privileged in society.

It is during her line of duty that Rachael is able to highlight issues affecting and conveying the same issues to policy implementers (government) and law-makers, thus bringing about change in many people’s lives.

“I have chosen to break the silence by speaking without fear or favour; I believe it’s a one great difference one can ever make; just breaking the silence” says Rachael. “The worst experience is to have people affected by GBV conceal the truth, and not be willing to talk when they know exactly what is going on in their lives. I have learnt to be patient with such people by being friendly to them and give them enough space to let them confide in me – it has not been easy.”

Radio Christian Voice, established in 1993, is a non-profit making organization, whose goal is to touch a billion people with God’s Love through Radio. The programme schedule includes music, news, sport, entertainment, health, education, business, agriculture and general interest programmes alongside teaching and training.

Rachael says the interaction with Gender Links has made her to be open-minded towards the promotion and protection of women’s rights in Zambia and beyond. Rachael identifies intensive reading, networking and research on the topics of gender as some of the other factors which have made her gender sensitive.

“Yes! I believe it is my role to make a difference, because I have a platform on which I can speak and be able to lobby for change through the many news stories/features or programmes I present and produce,” says Rachael. Rachael further says she has learnt a number of things from Gender Links, but she has no reason to relax now in ensuring a just and gender equality society.

“There is no reason to relax, fold my hands and engulf the information to myself. I’ve been able to share information with a few colleagues in the media circles and so together we can fight GBV” she says. She said she has, as a result of talking to other people about GBV, seen some women being able to freely talk about their GBV experiences and even seen a change economically and socially.

Rachael recounts the following incident, “One instance is that of one young lady ran away from her matrimonial home because of her violent husband. After she left home, it was difficult for the husband to take care of the school-going children and ensure that the needs of the family were met every day, but after the woman came back, joy was seen on the faces of her children, and her husband vowed never to raise one finger on his wife. He confessed how life had become difficult to manage without his wife home.”

She has encouraged other media practitioners to emulate her work and contribute to making a difference through the power of the pen. Rachael concludes, “Among the many principles I embrace, making progress and moving on to another level in every given aspect of life is my motto. I would like to see a free GBV Zambia and gender equality. All this will only be possible if we put our efforts together and fight with one spirit.”



Comment on Rachael Kalapa – Zambia

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *