IS Ruvheneko Parirenyatwa just a lucky young woman born with a silver spoon in her mouth piggy backing on her family name?
Fact is that she is the granddaughter of the late national hero Tichafa Samuel Parirenyatwa after whom a street in Bulawayo is named and a hospital in Harare as well.
With that kind of background, is it not then reasonable to conclude that she has had a distinct advantage over many to make it in this world?
One may surmise that she was “lucky” to be born in a family of one of the Zimbabwe’s ruling elites.
But the 25-year-old Zimbabwean woman is making a name for herself through her career as a broadcast journalist.
Ruvheneko presents talk shows on Zimbabwe’s fastest growing and first ever private radio station in Zimbabwe, ZiFM Stereo while having read for a degree in Media, Writing and Political Science and a post-graduate diploma in marketing from the University of Cape Town in South Africa.
Not resting on her laurels, the newly-married young journo is deputy chairperson of the Harare Youth Council where her youth activism is rising. She has recently been placed at #23 on the 100 Most Influential Young Zimbabweans under 40. Recently, Ruvhi (RP) snagged the relaunched Miss Zimbabwe contest ahead of many seasoned master of ceremonies (MC) and handled the business quite well.
Southern Eye Lifestyle’s Admire Kudita (AM) sat down with the young lady to find out her journey this far.
AM: You compered the Miss Zimbabwe contest what are your reflections on the event?
RP: My reflections on the event are mostly positive. Where my negativity comes in is in the reluctance of Zimbabweans to support the pageant. It’s sad that people are quick to support successes. I remember reading out that a list of sponsors as though they all bought tables or donated money, but they didn’t. Granted that list of people helped in their own right, but I just wish we would all support each other more.
I know there was negative feedback on the cost of the tickets from people who would have loved to come, but couldn’t afford to, so their support came in, but they couldn’t necessarily show it. That being said, let’s allow the Miss Zimbabwe pageant the time and the room to grow in a positive light as it once was.
AM: What are your thoughts about beauty contests?
RP: Beauty pageants are there to promote the arts sector. Particularly modelling, fashion and music. The reality is that there will always be young girls who want to model, to be groomed, to see their faces on billboards and travel the world showcasing designer brands. Just because we are a developing country with bread and butter issues, it does not mean that a career in modelling cannot be someone’s bread and butter.
Furthermore, the arts sector in general (beauty pageants included) are underrated in terms of putting Zimbabwe on the map globally.
Let’s support our own in whatever field they are talented. However, I must emphasise that I think beauty pageants should diversify beyond beauty, glitz, glamour and money prizes; they should be more about the bigger picture; that being — if you’re beautiful, use it to change lives other than your own and please have a brain under all that, please have a heart and please have ambition.
AM: How did you get the gig?
RP: Mary Chiwenga and I got talking about Miss Zimbabwe last year when it was supposed to happen and since then she had me in mind as the MC as I had already agreed to it back then.
AM: You host two shows at ZiFM, how did you get into broadcasting?
RP: I host five shows on ZiFM Stereo. My first degree was a BA in Media and Writing and Political Science from UCT. In my second year I joined the campus radio station; UCT Radio as a current affairs talk show host — so it’s safe to say I got into broadcasting then and have stayed in it. My passion pays my bills so I’ll probably stay in it a while longer!
AM: What is your most memorable show and why?
RP: My most memorable show was interviewing Tsitsi Mutendi the founder of JEWEL magazine because she came with her daughter and her husband to the studio.
Her daughter was barely two years old at the time and was making so much noise in the studio. I loved it. I thought it added a nice touch to her “balancing wife, mommy and editor” image but I was asked to take a commercial break and get the baby out.
That upset me, but it had to be done. I absolutely adore babies but I’m probably also a little broody lately and being newly married, the whole image of her with her whole family supporting her just got me warm and fuzzy.
AM: Would you describe yourself as a glamazon?
RP: Hahahaha . . .
AM: Personal ambition?
RP: Aikazve! It’s personal ka! (Until it’s achieved)
AM: Do you consider that you might go into politics yourself at some point in the future?
RP: It is under thorough consideration indeed!
AM: What is involved in being the daughter of a high profile figure with regards to the circles you move in or the world of work?
RP: The biggest involvement in being the daughter of a high-profile figure is that I am involved in the life, image and reputation of this high-profile figure every single day of my life.
I consider how hard he’s worked to be where he is, I respect his station and I do what I can to keep myself out of trouble because trouble for me means trouble for him. I am often always mwana waDr Parirenyatwa, so I am working tirelessly to ensure that someday soon people stop and ask him muri baba vaRuvheneko?
The circles I move in are very diverse so being his daughter has no bearing per se. He has always allowed me to be me; but reminds me often, Uri Muzvare. Zvibate or Nyati haidaro.
. . . to be continued