My Journey

Anoziva Marindire
Posted July 21, 2016 from Zimbabwe

I remember my 4th grade teacher asking me what I wanted to do when I grow up and without any hesitation blurting out "I want to travel the world to speak!" I am not sure I knew what I meant and it probably made no sense to my teacher as well because she asked me "what else?" (chuckle..).

I was a shy child, the last of six children living in one of Harare's (Zimbabwe's capital city) highly populated ghettos. My father was a salesman and my mother made doilies for the cross-border women in our neighborhood but their combined earnings were hardly enough to cater for all our needs. I excelled in languages because I loved reading, it provided a much needed escape from reality.

I hail from the beautiful Great Zimbabwe. I am an activist focusing on gender, youth & climate change, journalist and social entrepreneur, I am passionate about seeing the development of African women and helping them take an active role in the building of their communities, nations and the continent.

While in my last year of college, as part of my gender and new media class, myself and a group of friends co-founded an all-female led, gender focused online magazine called Paradoka, giving female journalism students a platform to practice & develop their skills and an opportunity to write stories they are passionate about but rarely find in mainstream local media. Within our first year online we had received an invitation to the African Union, Africa's mother body, to come represent the youth of our nation especially its young women during a few of their youth consultation meetings and summits.

I am hoping this training will help myself and my team expand and grow, as well as create meaningful connections with other change-makers iun this community.

Comments 15

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Drew Dakessian
Jul 21, 2016
Jul 21, 2016

Anoziva,

I was so delighted to read your story. Like you, I am a passionate believer in the importance of women in journalism and new media. I am so in awe of the fact that you took it upon yourself to form a coalition of "journalistas." What is your ultimate goal? By that I mean, if there were no barriers whatsoever to your ability to ascend to your dream position/role/job/life's work, what would it be? In any case, you have a coherent and commanding voice, and I'm looking forward to reading more from you! Keep writing! 

Anoziva Marindire
Jul 22, 2016
Jul 22, 2016

My goal is to create a network and platform for training young girls living in Zimbabwe's under-served communities on media, advocacy and coding so they can ignite social change, while at the same time equipping them with much needed skills that will help them get/create jobs. Young girls living in high density suburbs/ghettos find themselves excluded in such programs because of their demographic location, they cannot attend schools that offer tech/coding/computing etc as a subject because they cannot afford the fees and the bulk of the donors/NGO's teaching girls tech skills all flock to the rural areas. High rates of abuse, teenage pregnancy and unemployment are common characteristics found in such places and these young girls usually have no voice and platform where they can share their stories, learn skills out of school and connect. When combined IT/Tech skills, media skills and advocacy skills can make a woman a powerful and unstoppable force. I have started the journey to launching the center and hopefully Girls Speak Out will be operational by year end.

Pushpa Achanta
Jul 23, 2016
Jul 23, 2016

Hello Anoziva,

Glad to know of your significant and committed initiatives to project unknown and unheard voices - we grow mainly by letting others grow. Deeply moved by your poem.

Continue the wonderful efforts, my dear.

Best,

Pushpa

Anoziva Marindire
Jul 24, 2016
Jul 24, 2016

Thank you Pushpa

Mary Morgan
Jul 23, 2016
Jul 23, 2016

Hello!

What did you bring home from the meetings and summits as far as something learned or things you'd like to focus on next? Do you think your ultimate career goal will be journalist? I could see how that's a good way to combine the advocacy in all the areas you are interested in!

Anoziva Marindire
Jul 24, 2016
Jul 24, 2016

Hello MaryCait, I studied and I am practising journalism already☺☺. One of the things I have learned from traveling, the summit's & meetings I have been part of is how in other countries technology & science are not subjects that is introduced in Secondary school but things taught early on, also I have seen how much change women can bring to their communities and the world when connected and working collaboratively and how technology is a great & necessary tool in the fight for equality that young women must be equipped with...and this is what I am working in back home, equipping young women with the required skilled to bring change & development to their communities and creating platforms that promote networking and collaborative action.

torilynnfox
Jul 25, 2016
Jul 25, 2016

How inspiring! It seems you have already accomplished so much. I'm very excited for your future work and the amazing difference you are making. You are beautiful and have so much to offer. I praise you for all of your hard work. I'm certain this training will help you and your team grow. This community is such an amazing resource and you will connect with so many great people!

Anoziva Marindire
Jul 27, 2016
Jul 27, 2016

Thank you for your kind words Tori and looking forward to learning, growing and connecting with the beautiful and amazing changemakers in the program.

 

Ese Ajuyah
Jul 25, 2016
Jul 25, 2016

Dear Anoziva,

I admire your determination and tenacity to inspire change. You are doing great work in your country that is really commendable. May I ask how impactful is your work both for you and the young females you are working with?

Keep blazing the paths earth is sure grateful to have an amazon like you on her.

Cheers,

Ese

Jul 27, 2016
Jul 27, 2016
This comment has been removed by the commenter or a moderator.
Anoziva Marindire
Jul 27, 2016
Jul 27, 2016

Thank you for the kind words and encouragement. We have seen significant impact through Paradoka, the first group of cub journalists/bloggers we had are now working in mainstream media i.e print newspapers mostly and because of the mentoring and opportunity to develop their voice and skills that Paradoka offered them, they have managed to make a name for themselves covering issues that most mainstream female/male journalists do not cover. One of the girls we started with is now a senior reporter and handles the administration aspect for the newspaper she now works for, one of her documentaries was cited in an article published here on pulse about a month ago. Personally having the opportunity to work and network so many young women, journalists, bloggers, web developers, activists and even government departments has opened my mind in terms of how I think as a person, as a journalist, poet, activist, and entrepreneur. I am more conscious of my actions not only as a woman but as a human being and how my words and actions carry the power to build or destroy and I believe most of the ladies we have worked with leave with that sense of awareness that says "you aren't on earth just for yourself but you have the ability to leave a lasting and positive impact on those around you, even if all you have is just a word."

Ariel
Jul 27, 2016
Jul 27, 2016

Girl you are speaking my language! Paradoka sounds like such a cool, innovative and important platform for women to write in. What inspired you to create it? I also loved that you mentioned you are a youth & climate change activist. So am I! I currently am working for a nonprofit whose vision is all 6.2 million students in California being environmentally literate. What kinds of effects has climate change had on your community? How does your community feel about it and what are youth in your community doing to address it? I hope I haven't bombarded you with too many questions!

Sincerely,

Ariel

Anoziva Marindire
Jul 27, 2016
Jul 27, 2016

Hi Ariel the story that inspired Paradoka is sad and funny at the same time. While in college studying journalism, I had to take these two classes, gender reporting, and new media, they really fascinated me and around the same time I had to do study related work attachment/internship. While studying I had managed to get a mentor who was working at one of the radio stations in the country and I would often under study him while he was in the studio/on-air and I often got opportunity to go on radio too, so when it was time for me to do the work related attachment the first person I approached was my mentor and unfortunately he saw that as the open gate to hit on me, so I severed ties with him and felt I couldn't ask for work at the radio station he was at as well. I went around a couple of radio stations and media houses and somehow always met with men who clearly weren't really interested in me learning but in something else. Then one day while sitting and talking with a group of other female journalism students from different colleges whom I had connected with, we found ourselves sharing our experiences regarding looking for internship, we found out our experiences were nearly similar and how we weren't willing to get internships using our bodies. So we said fu*k it, lets use the skills we learned our new media and gender reporting classes and lets start our own blog magazine! A few days letter we walked into the US Embassy and asked for any help they could give us, one of us got enrolled for a mentoring program they had for female journalists, but most of us ended up attending the classes and seminars the program was offering, we started a facebook page, posting stories and links to articles we felt aligned to our cause and within 2 months we had the blog magazine online and female journalism students and bloggers a space to publish their stories and fine tune their skills.

I grew up in a high density suburb in the capital of Harare, where my mother and almost every woman in that area had a small piece of land they farmed to help with food in their homes and sometimes even for sale, to supplement their family income which was in most cases very low. The change in weather patterns, droughts etc has had a very huge impact on families living in these poor urban communities who depended on farming for food and sometimes income, couple that with a high unemployment rate and failing economy, the results are drastic. We have noticed that young people are aware of climate change and effects but are hardly interested in venturing into agriculture and hence arent really concerned about it's effects in that area, there is however an increase in interest when it comes to environmental conservation in schools and among school going youth, with young people planting trees and learning about climate change. There is also an increase in innovation and awareness campaigns on a broader scale in the nation by young social entrepreneurs and media specialists in creating innovations that help rural folk address climate change and learn more. I however feel we could do more especially in the high density urban areas and would love to hear more regarding the following; "I currently am working for a nonprofit whose vision is all 6.2 million students in California being environmentally literate" Ohh most people even if they know about climate change are passive about addressing it, the government has a dedicated ministry for climate change but the actions that we see indicate to their passiveness to take the matter seriously.

Aramide Oikelome
Jul 27, 2016
Jul 27, 2016

Hello Anoziva!

Reading through your journey, I see a young woman full of fire, energy, strength, determination and a strong sense of purpose to impact her world.

You are a superwoman.

Like you, I am a journalist; like you, I am passionate about empowering women and girls.

Keep the fire burning! Let the flame burn brighter!

We should be friends you know? Yes, I look forward to a very vibrant relationship with you. Wishing you all the best in your endeavours!

Love and Light!

Aramide Oikelome,

Lagos, Nigeria

Anoziva Marindire
Jul 28, 2016
Jul 28, 2016

Hi Aramide, thank you for the words of encouragement. Let's be friends! And hopefully we will be collaborating on some initiave soon.