Patience Chisanga is a Radio and Television Broadcaster who has worked her way up in the industry through hard work and determination. From Volunteering at a University Radio station during her time at the University of Zambia to being the Face of Zambia’s only indigenous telecommunication Company (ZAMTEL) through weekly educational historical and cultural Documentary series. Her passion and determination to bring professionalism in her work as a Radio Dj and Television broadcaster have driven her to being one of the most respected young women in the industry interviewing some of the most respected leaders in the country including Zambia’s first President Dr Kenneth Kaunda. She is not just a pretty face with a Pretty voice. She is a Communicator and an educator. We had a chance to interview her online while she attends the Mandela Washington Fellowship for young African leaders in the United States
KAPA187: Briefly tell us about yourself.
Patience Chisanga: My name is Patience Kalusanzhi Chisanga. I was born in a family of 3 on the Copperbelt Province where I was raised by my single Mother in Luanshya district. I attended government schools throughout my school years and studied Mass communication at the University of Zambia. Currently I work for Hot Fm Radio as a Radio Presenter and Zamtel as a researcher writer and presenter of the Companies weekly Television show.
KAPA187: What first got you interested, and made you decide to take up a career in the media industry?
Patience Chisanga: I studied Broadcasting at the University of Zambia and that sort of just laid out the foundation for me. I must admit it was not my first option on my career list but it so happened I could only get a place a school place in the Mass communication department. That was the beginning of my passion and journey in Broadcast media.
KAPA187: How can the media be used to bring about positive change in our communities?
Patience Chisanga: There are so many ways that Broadcast media can be used in bringing about Change especially in today’s fast changing world that is becoming a global village. We need to use media as a platform where people can learn and understand the world they live in and make decisions based on well researched programs. It also provides a feedback platform where audiences can share their views on social issues. We hold our Community leaders accountable through media and we offer a level playing field on this platform as all of us on the same page. I think of Media as a place we call ‘Insaka’ in our villages where people come and sit in a circle to discuss issues affecting them. The key thing is to have key messages or key issues that are affecting us and finding the right people to discuss them at the same time allowing audiences to have a say after all the audience is why Media outlets exist.
KAPA187: Do you think the media in Zambia is doing enough to effect the needed change?
Patience Chisanga: Social media is growing in Zambia and it is pleasing to note that Social media to a certain extent has provided that platform for Zambians to share their stories and their thoughts on issues making them engage with other people. I feel Radio and Television have also provided that platform. Hot Fm for example is one Radio Station that has really shifted and balanced the agenda when it comes to promoting social change. It has become a place where Audiences meet the leaders in different fields through on air open discussions. This is something that all Media outlets should emulate; and I am not saying this because I work there but because I have seen the value of this type of broadcasting. However there is so much room to do more especially when it comes to mobilization and focusing on some of the most pressing issues affecting our communities outside Politics. There are a number of Media institutions that are pushing forward the agenda to address issues like health, unemployment, Youth innovation, entrepreneurship and Governance. However most or some of these are programs that are paid for by NGO’s. Media outlets need to and can afford to set these Platforms with or without funding because it is for the greater good of our society.
KAPA187: Almost all media houses in Zambia seem to specialize in programs to do with politics. Why do you think other issues are seen as less important?
Patience Chisanga: Traditionally media plays the role of holding leaders accountable for their decisions. I would say that everyone is interested in the way the Country is being run. At times almost every sector somehow brings us back to what the Government or Political leaders are doing to address what is WRONG. Every citizen is concerned about how his or country is being a run. This also brings in the question of whether there are too many things that people think Politicians are doing wrong. But what we should not do is think that setting our agenda should only revolve around Politics. What happened to having more success stories around people who are not politicians but are doing something to change the world for a better place, what happened to setting the agenda on Morality, health education, culture promotion and our Heritage? These are just random thoughts am sharing and am not saying no one is doing this, all am saying is can we have more Media platforms that address other issues we are over looking.
KAPA187: You hosted a TV documentary, “Zambia’s road to independence”, that highlighted significant events that happened in Zambia’s history. Do you think Zambians; especially the youth are knowledgeable about their history and their culture.
Patience Chisanga: What I realized whilst working on Zambia’s road to independence is that there was so much I took for granted that I appreciate today about my Country’s history. Today’s youth are knowledgeable about the Country’s history, but the question is do they appreciate it and do they know how valuable it is? Are they willing to guard this history as part of our treasure? Or do they know about our history because the School curriculum requires you to learn this bit in a classroom? Our leaders and senior citizens will not be with us for forever. One day it will be in our hands to relate our history to our Children. We will have to conserve this part of our history and pass it on to our Children and our Children’s Children. I think that we as young people need to be passionate about our history and learn as much as possible from our Senior citizens. This is what our Documentaries have taught me. Our aim is to learn from the past to understand today and look into the future with a clear view of where we are coming from. Every young person needs to have this drive.
KAPA187: Zambia is a very beautiful country filled with many tourist destinations, some of which you showcase on a TV show “Today with Zamtel”. How has the experience been travelling all over Zambia, and what can be done to encourage more local tourism.
Patience Chisanga: I always say I count it a blessing to work on Today with Zamtel. The experience travelling around Zambia ,what I now call a little piece of paradise on Earth, has been very exciting and educative. Our country has some of the richest Tourism resources in Africa. There is more to see in Zambia than the Victoria Falls. Think about Lake Bangweulu, white sandy beaches not found anywhere in Central Africa, the Mwela Rock art paintings monument, representing some the densest ancient rock art population in Africa ,a world heritage site, and the dozens of waterfalls in Northern Province. The list is endless. I think there is more need to promote the places around Zambia that are touristic. Tourism promotion is key. More investment by the government in that sector is vital. We all need to develop a habit of Traveling around Zambia and appreciating what the country has to offer if we can, we can utilize the low season market when tourism players reduce their fees for activities. Tell a friend about the places you have visited or should visit. If it means incorporating site visits into school programs, let that be done.
KAPA187: Having worked as both a Radio and Television presenter, which one do you enjoy more?
Patience Chisanga: Wow…. I was not expecting this question. This has to be one of the toughest questions in this interview. I love both but because Radio was my first love I think I will say I enjoy it more. It takes me to a whole different world. I think Radio is my Therapy.
KAPA187: You were selected to be part of the Mandela Washington fellowship. Tell us what it is about, and what you hope to gain from this experience.
Patience Chisanga: President Obama launched Young African Leaders Initiative in 2010 to support young African leaders as they spur growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance, and enhance peace and security across Africa. Its 6 weeks spent in the United States learning about Leadership and in my case am also learning about Business and Entrepreneurship. I hope to learn everything I can about Entrepreneurship and Leadership. When I come back hope I want share this knowledge with the rest of Young Zambians. They are today’s leaders and I believe they can have control of their destiny by the leaders they want to be in various settings and can start up their own enterprises; therefore instead of Looking to find Jobs, they will be looking to creating Jobs for others.
KAPA187: You seem to have a lot on your plate. What do you do to relax and have fun?
Patience Chisanga: I love to travel, so you know I really enjoy my work. It involves a lot of Travelling. I listen to music a lot; it takes me to my happy Place so you know I love my Radio Job. I love watching television and spending time with my Family and Friends.
KAPA187: Is there anything you would like to add?
Patience Chisanga: I would like to share a life quote that I hope inspires who ever will come across this interview. ‘It does not matter how fast or slow you Move, Just don’t stop Moving, Life is a Race you have to run at your own Pace, You are your own Competition.’