Dhlomo penetrating media world across SADC region

Dhlomo penetrating media world across SADC region
Published: 10 June 2013

Female Zimbabwean politicians are still disadvantaged, female journalists fewer than males, but female publishers? Almost totally unheard of!

Minenhle Dhlomo seeks to change all that and has already begun to take the first steps towards her dream of becoming not only the publisher of a top-selling continental newspaper, but also a media mogul. She reckons that while men want to continue to control everything that happens in the world, it is high time a woman jumped into the ring and challenged the status quo. A former official at the District Administrators office in Nkayi, Matabeleland North, she has had a feel of what it is like to work in an environment that lacks gender balance.

"I realised the need to change the society in a way that would see women rising to the top, instead of remaining downtrodden and treated like doormats by male chauvinists. But that would not come from standing on treetops and complaining that men are exploiting us," she told Byo24.

"I realised that the media is one of the most powerful tools that men use to get to the top, or to promote those they want to see up there, so I had to choose the same channel to fight for women's rights." While most women's publications have been restricted to music, fashion and lifestyle, she decided to tackle the bull by its horns and delve into the most controversial and complex issues of politics, business and human rights.

"The first challenge will be to prove that womanhood is not always about raising children, singing, modelling and wearing good clothes. It is much more than that. Women can also be leaders, as Joyce Banda has proven in Malawi and Margaret Thatcher in England. We just need to get that chance - and such opportunities can only come when a good and powerful platform is provided for women just as it has been provided for men," said the married mother of two.

Dhlomo is currently the Chief Executive Officer and co-publisher of Sann21.com, an online website and agency - Southern African News Network 21.

"Besides empowering women, our aim is to help communities understand their surroundings. We cover all beats, with our major focus being on ICT, engineering, business, politics, health, education, investing and mobile and telecommunications. We are doing mainly citizen journalism by reporting from the grassroots. We also want to influence a balance in the living standards of the urban and rural populace because we are tired of people undermining those with a rural background," she said.

"The organisation is still in its infancy, but we aim to be a news-feeder to various radio and television stations across the country and SADC region. We are now in the process of courting newspapers so that we can be their news feeder, especially on issues of rural and ICT development. We are fighting to become a leading media house in the region and our five-year plan involves launching a 24-hour TV station that focuses strictly on news reporting station."

The agency has 25 young journalists, most of them female. Dhlomo holds of an Honours Degree in Local Governance and Administration. She was born in Bulawayo and did her secondary education at Hlangabeza High School in Nkayi. She is inspired by her mother "whom I saw struggle every day to see me through my education" and says she still owes her a lot of success to prove that she did not toil in vain.

Visit Southern African News Network 21 (Sann21) for more information at: www.sann21.com
You can as well e-mail her at news@sann21.com
- Byo24News
Tags: SADC, Dhlomo,

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