This week I spent some time with our very own vivacious radio magazine show presenter Iyati whose real name is Fiona Itayi Takaendesa.
It’s exciting and encouraging to know that there are many people in different spaces in and out of this country who are contributing to the rebuilding of our nation in different ways.
When I listen to the radio programme “The breeze” on Star FM, I am left with no doubt that Iyati and her co host Tariro are helping to shape positive opinion and to transform people’s lives and mindsets during this difficult time.
I wanted to find out a little bit more about what drives Iyati and what is behind the passion she has to influence positive change in Zimbabwe. Iyati ‘s work on radio won her last year’s DJ of the year competition on Star FM. Here is how our conversation went:
Patricia: I listen to your radio programme quite a lot and you seem to be on a drive to make a positive impact in people’s lives. What drives you Iyati?
Iyati: The zest for life. I desire to live my life to the full because I believe that life is there to be lived to the fullest potential. I believe that to live a full life one has to occupy the spaces that are available around them and exploit every opportunity that is given to them to the best of their ability.
Patricia: How is radio helping you to do this?
Iyati: I believe that through radio I am living my purpose. My purpose is to speak to people and to use this opportunity to make a positive impact. It’s from speaking that I get satisfaction. When I am on radio, I get the feeling that I am where I am supposed to be, doing what I am supposed to be doing. I describe myself as a natural
Patricia: What are some of the things that concern you?
Iyati: I am shocked at the level of abuse that is rampant in our society today and I want to know what has happened to our society? I conducted an interview with 2 rape victims and that interview broke my heart.
Each one of the victims fell pregnant from the encounter and they were both going to have the children and give them up for adoption so they could continue with school. It was emotionally challenging for me.
Why are there so many of these cases nowadays? So, at a personal level I am trying to understand what’s going on and I use radio to get conversations around such issues. I like to provoke dialogue and get people thinking and talking so that we can find a way forward for our society.
Patricia: What is it that you desire to see?
Iyati: I desire to see people live normal lives but I think we have to define what is normal.
Someone going through depression for example is sometimes expected to just get on with their life as if everything was normal. Is it really? I don’t believe it is. We need to unpack such issues and get to the bottom of it.
So from our counseling programme for example, we discuss such psychological issues and each week, we have at least someone coming out of depression because they are made to understand that it is not normal.
We also have a financial programme and through this programme so many lives have been changed including my own.
I am a big believer in people’s self development and such positive transformation is what I desire to see. Through our radio programme, I am seeing our nation slowly transforming positively.
Patricia: What message do you have for readers of this column?
Iyati: As much as life is full of suffering it is also full of triumphs. Do not live in half measures but live to your fullest potential.
I know that things are tough at the moment but in the midst of all this adversity remember that there is still a life to be lived. We need to step out of these difficulties and exploit whatever opportunities are there and live! So my message to you is life is “doable”, very “doable!”