Candice Mwakalyelye better known on sical media as “NdiCandice” has taken over radio broadcasting as the newsreader and talk show host on ZiFM. She has won many hearts with her relatable and bubbly personality. We got an opportunity to talk to her about her journey in the media industry, her other ventures and inspiration. Here’s what she had to say.
Q: How would you best describe Candice?
A: I am an ever evolving being but what remains constant is my passion for anything I do, my desire to learn and my drive to make a positive impact on anyone who comes into contact with me.
Q: Your twitter handle “NdiCandice”, how did you come up with it?
A: So, after a couple of other (mostly ridiculous) handles, I finally asked myself what the first thing people should say when they see me or meet me for the first time and it was, “Ndi Candice!!!” Every time, someone yells that I burst into laughter, so it also means my mood is improved without much effort. However I think what was most important in choosing @NdiCandice is that the simpler your handle is the easier it is for people to remember it and interact with you.
Q: What did you want to be growing up?
A: Strangely enough, I had it in my head that I would be a pilot or an air hostess (I wanted to travel the world – still do) or a child psychologist (I have always loved kids and I wanted to help fix young broken spirits)
Q: Have you always seen yourself as a newsreader, how did radio broadcasting come about?
A: News reading never crossed my mind – ever- and yet when it came my way it fit so well!! Radio happened to me. I was in Tanzania when an opportunity came up with a regional media house there. I was suggested purely because I spoke fluent English but that (and apparently) my voice, tone and pace were something that literally fell together during the audition.
Q: What’s the not so fun part about being a newsreader and what’s the most cringing moment you’ve had on air?
A: The not so fun part is that some of the stories you have to read will break your heart in so many ways but you cannot let your emotions be heard in your voice…then you have to read it over and over again as if the first time was not bad enough. A mention worthy cringe moment would have to be when I choked on air…from nowhere!! I could have just died on that day….lol!
Q: What else do you do besides radio?
A: I am a resident MC for an amazing entertainment venture known as Unplugged Zim- I also mc various other events on request. I am also a journalist, a voice over artist and the brand ambassador for local accessories brand DeeKawZee Accessories,as well as Make Up By Gamu. I am in the process of setting up my portfolio as an events and public relations consultant as well.
Q: Who are some of your radio heroes you look up to?
A: There is a young woman in Tanzania, her name is Babbie Kabae and she does the breakfast show on ChoiceFM. She is intelligent, relevant and entertaining all in one! Having had the privilege of working with her, all I know is when I grow up I want to be like her 🙂
Q: What are the advantages of being on radio as compared to Television broadcasting?
A: I think for me there is still a certain level of private space I am allowed to maintain and that means a lot to me. I can have my meltdown and you won’t see it, all you’ll hear is my happy voice….I can have the worst bad hair day and only my co workers will know. In this life that makes all the difference.
Q: Do you face any challenges as a woman trying to work her way up in the media industry?
A: The media in Zimbabwe is still very male dominated and so sometimes just getting someone to take you seriously is difficult. However it is work in progress in a positive direction and we have changes that play to our favor as women that we can take advantage of.
Q: What do you know now about the industry you’d want someone starting out to know?
A: There is a lot of hard work that needs to be put in before you can claim to be anyone of substance. It is no longer just about being able to read well for an audience, you have to know what else you bring to the table or when the tide is over and a better voice comes forward, you will fall by the wayside with nothing to show for it.
Q: Where do you draw inspiration from to continue doing what you do?
A: I am inspired by different things in life ranging from wanting to build a legacy for my children – if I am ever blessed with any – to wanting to take care of the people immediately in my life who need me, to just trying to get by in life. That being said, I refuse to be part of the negative voices we hear every day so I am always looking at how say something positive.
Q: Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
A: Radio will still be a huge part of my life in 5 years but I will also have my own projects firmly established by then. I won’t go into detail about that just yet.
Q: What would you change about the media industry in Zimbabwe if you could?
A: What would I change? I think mostly the conditions and environment we as journalists are forced to work in. Sometimes we are treated as though we are insignificant when in actual fact we should be held in high regard. So things like what we earn, the equipment we have to work with and even just the basic educational facilities and opportunities to sharpen our trade skills are all things that need to be re-looked at.
Q: Would you encourage a young person who is passionate about media to pursue it in Zimbabwe?
A: Absolutely! Any ground is great for learning, so whether you start out in Zimbabwe or elsewhere is not really as important as the fact that you are going after what you want. And besides, what better way to influence the change you want to see than to become part of the influential voices?
Q: What’s your advice to the Zimbabwean youth?
A: We have had plenty of time to sing songs of woe about the state of things, how about we change the tune and start to work together to effect the changes we can? Nothing good ever came easy, so let’s go out of our way to work for that great tomorrow we want. Also, understand that you are not entitled to anything that you have not worked for, zva baba/mai vako hazvisi zvako! Your parents worked for what they have and equipped you with the skills you need in life to get your own things.
Q: What does Candice enjoy doing in her spare time?
A: I am rediscovering my love for reading and writing, but mostly I sleep and watch a lot of TV.
Q: Is Candice single and what do you look for in a life partner?
A: Errmm… lol!! Strange question. The answer to the first one is yes I am single…..I have no idea how to answer the next one honestly! lol!! I suppose, stability, the ability to kill me with laughter, HONESTY – yes, no matter how bad the truth is I want to hear it. Hazvina formula zvinhu izvi, but before we get to any of those you can’t be short or skinny (Don’t Judge me!)
Q: Where can your fans reach you?
A: I’m all over social media..twitter and instagram @NdiCandice for regular doses of my brand of madness. I’m still debating on having a Facebook page so I am restricting friend requests for now.