Kundai Chiyanika is a Zimbabwean television and radio host. She is fun loving and always keen for an adventure. An explorer at heart, she loves new places and new people.
A proud mommy of two, Kundai is building a name for herself in the entertainment industry. Her life motto is ‘Be happy and stay happy’ and she’s focusing on building her brand around that. SLA contributor Ruva Samkange recently caught up with Kundai to learn more about her brand.
You recently moved back to Zimbabwe, what did you want to do when you came back?
I had lived in Cape Town for a long time and had some personal issues so I felt that it was time to move back home to be with family and regroup. At first, I really didn’t have an idea of what I wanted to do. I had enjoyed baking so I started a small baking business in my hometown. The market was not sustainable and I felt like it wasn’t what I really wanted to do.@KundaiChiyanika wanted to make sure she was not just working because she had to Click To Tweet
Even though I struggled with what I what wanted to do, I always knew I wanted to work actively with people and that an office job wasn’t for me. I wanted to make sure I did something that suited my personality and was not just working because I had to.
You ultimately went into radio at ZiFM. What made you go into radio?
Well, radio found me. A friend of mine sent me a flyer about an entertainment company that was looking for a female co-host for a radio slot. I shared it with another friend and she asked me why I wasn’t trying out. I was scared but she encouraged me.
The experience has been amazing, I never thought I would love it so much. My co-presenter Dannythatguy and I get along like a house on fire, we present The Switch and Fire Friday. Our show is the pre-party, helping people get ready for a Friday night.
You now work on Kwese Sports, what made you venture into television?
I’ve secretly always wanted to be an actress since I was a child. So television has always been something I would jump at the chance for. I think it is a natural progression. A lot of people I work with did radio.
I get to diversify my portfolio through television with exposure to different mediums, Kwese Sports is a Pan- African channel. Even though I’m a couple of months in I have traveled and will continue to travel between across Africa and I can’t wait to get more African stamps in my passport.
How hard has getting into media been?
I have been very fortunate that an opportunity became available when I was not looking. But the industry is so competitive. Once you are in, the pressure is on to produce a quality product because there are 10,000 people behind you hungry for your job.
I have learnt that passion is not enough. You have to keep chasing the dream. Fight for it and keep trying to improve. There is always room for more.You have to keep chasing the dream. Fight for it & keep trying to improve - Kundai Chiyanika Click To Tweet
How different are radio and television?
With radio, my personality comes out a whole lot more because my show allows that. Television is a whole different beast. If you are nervous people can see it a mile away and there is more pressure to be perfect.
Like I said its a very natural progression. Television is the next step for a lot of radio personalities. Once you conquer one, you’re hungry for the next challenge. I am lucky I still get to do both.
What advice would you give to someone looking to get involved in television and radio?
Don’t copy anyone. Be inspired but always be yourself. Also, keep making demos and keep sending them. Try to make those contacts. Entertainment in Zimbabwe is hard, you need to become visible to build your brand. Do promos, host events, be relevant.Be inspired but always be yourself if you're looking to get in TV and radio @KundaiChiyanika Click To Tweet
I’m not a social media person but I had to open myself up and become active online. Having updated Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts will let people know who you are. Make sure your name comes up when people are are looking for an entertainment personality to host events or when job opportunities arise.
What are the most important lessons you’ve learnt on your journey?
Try not to compare your journey to someone else. Unfortunately, this industry is about comparisons and people’s preferences so you have to sometimes put blinders on and focus on what you need to do. Not every job will be for you. Try not to dwell too much. The hustle never stops.
If you’d like to share your story with She Leads Africa, let us know more about you and your story here.