Bongiwe Gambu is a Communication and Media consultant who recently appeared on PowerFM’s special women’s day lineup.
PowerFM listeners recently voted for regular caller Bongiwe Gambu to join the station’s lineup for Power Perspective, which included Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Felicia Mabuza-Suttle and Nomzamo Mbatha. Gambu is a communication and media consultant who is currently completing her Honours in Journalism and Media Studies at Wits. She previously worked at Government Communications and Information Systems (GCIS) for 6 years.
Her passions lie in active citizenship, youth issues and children. Wits Vuvuzela spent some time with this powerful woman.
Please tell us about your experience on PowerFM for the #987 Woman?
It was an awesome experience. It was humbling to have been voted in by other listeners. PowerFM is a unique radio station. The listeners are a huge part of it and with this opportunity I was able to experience this.
I was paired with a dynamic, fun, witty, opinionated young woman who happens to also be a farmer. I’ve been very vocal about the recent spike in food prices and engaging with someone like her was just an eye opener and a confirmation that I am not imagining things.
Food prices in this country are out of hand!! Having listened very closely to the lineup since it started on August 8th I was a bit nervous. All that went out the window once we’d had a briefing with the owner of PowerFM, Given Mkhari! He put it simply, “close this campaign. Remind listeners why it was a good choice to vote for you”.
Do you think Women’s Day is important and how?
It is still important however during this holiday I stopped and realised I actually hate how my country “celebrates” such a significant day in our history as women and as a country.
The struggle has changed yet it seems no one is talking about today’s struggles that women face daily. Rape, economic exclusion, abuse, exploitation, patriarchy, misogyny.
We go to Union Buildings annually to talk about women who dared stare down an oppressive government yet we have young women who are crying out to be heard.
After the recent anti-rape protest at the IEC and Rhodes Reference List, how do you think we need to tackle the issue of violence against women in this country?
We need to hear from the young women and give them the platform and space to voice all their issues, including what solutions they may have to deal with the different issues they face. We need to stop paying lip service to issues affecting young women and start implementing promises and build a better environment for students, especially the vulnerable (women, disabled, LGBTIQ).
We also need to dismantle the culture of victim shaming, invest in re-educating young men in all parts of society especially in education institutions about abuse, rape etc. We have to teach young men NOT to rape and change their perception about women.
What book are you currently reading?
I just started reading Rape, by Pumla Dineo Gqola and Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi.
Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I draw inspiration from the people I interact with. I love interacting with people and getting into their minds on varying issues. I also draw inspiration from my kids, music and my family. I love my country and always look out for those who go out of their way to assist other and to make a difference in whatever way.
What drew you to journalism?
It was my love for writing and story telling that drew me to journalism. I love writing and giving others a voice.
Do you think newspapers still have a place in modern society?
Definitely! Despite what people say about social media taking over, which is rather a lazy argument I must say, newspapers are still relevant. The trick though is how they innovate to make the connection between technology and print.