Saeanna Chingamuka

Saeanna Chingamuka

Date: March 27, 2011
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Yes, women are like tea bags, they only realise their true strength when they are put in hot water! A friend of mine reminded me early this year that this was part of my personal e-mail signature some time back. I stepped back for a moment and reflected on my life at Gender Links. All I could see is the strength that I currently exhibit in the work environment and my personal growth. Nothing can stop me now!

My positive growth in 2010 has restored my faith in my skills, my capabilities and that personal growth does not stop at anything for as long as one has a willing spirit. I can as well confess that I have become emotionally attached to my work and to the organisation as a whole. I get scared sometimes, because emotional attachment can bring heartbreaks.

Anyway, life doesn’t simply end there. My biggest lesson for this period is that just having somebody who has faith in you and your capabilities can change your whole life. I have swiftly moved portfolios with confidence and remember that. However, I have embraced it and seized the opportunity to bring in new ideas to the media programme. This is what I would term growth and it can only happen in an environment where you are given the space to explore, Gender Links.

A few highlights about my work in the past year. In 2010, I successfully ran the Soccer 2010 campaign by convening seminars to discuss the opportunities and risks provided by the mega-event. I managed to organise three consecutive seminars which probed various issues such as human trafficking and the plight of sex workers in the region. I ran GMPS and GIME consultative workshops with two new staff members and I had to be at my best so that the new staff members could learn the values of the organisation from me.

Another highlight is that we managed to complete the Gender in Media Education (GIME) research and the regional book was launched at the Fourth Gender and Media Summit in October 2010. We have since put to bed 13 country reports which are now available on the website. This was a remarkable area of growth for me, where I was involved in the inception of the research project and saw it through to completion.

Media training has also been one of the most exciting part of my work at Gender Links. I recall two incidents this year when I called two media houses to enquire about newspaper subscription. At one, I had a woman who thought that gender and sex means one and the same thing. At another, I was put on hold only to hear a voice over which partly goes “Who guards, the guardians? Who watches the watchman”? So, I asked the marketing person who the “watchman” are? She explained to me that they are people such as ministers and parliamentarians. I then told them that this is unfair and for all the obvious reasons excluded women. However, the woman on the other side of the line just said to me, “maam, I think you are just reading too much into it.” Not so much so because these are cases that I am going to personally take up. As a trainer, I need to walk the talk. Watch this space in 2012!

Saeanna Chingamuka is the Gender and Media Diversity Centre Manager at Gender Links.

0 thoughts on “Saeanna Chingamuka”

Kuda Mundowa says:

I am a fan and support all the good work you are doing

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