Relentless, victory is ours
Have you ever attended an interview, passed and then faced resistance to be employed? That was my experience in 2007, just after I graduated from college. Some panelists, felt despite doing well in the interview, I would not perform to expectation. After all I was a woman who wanted to join a male dominated industry; Journalism.
There was a delay in engaging me for duties. Some of my bosses, all of them men, were determined to prove that I can not perform. I was also determined to prove them wrong. I thought if this inside community couldn’t see my capabilities, the world will acknowledge them.
Most my story ideas were shot down and investigative projects were assigned to those considered powerful reporters.
I decided to use my little resources and embark on investigations to prove that I can. That same year, I won an investigative journalism award, beating some male journalists at the institution. In the same year I also won a Human Rights award. Since then I have yearly won awards, the biggest being a CNN award in 2010. Am not bragging here, but just trying to prove a point. I did overcome my barrier by working hard and letting the world be the judge.
Now the same bosses respect me and the ideas I give. You see, sometimes you have to appeal to the larger community to bring about change in the smaller community.
This is why I believe PulseWire and other web 2.0 tools would greatly benefit women in my country. If our country is failing to appreciate the potential in them, why not use the online community to prove that potential and drive a point home.
Through web 2.0, we can learn and find solutions to our local problems. Slowly, men in Malawi will see the potential that women have in changing society.
When I was encountering challenges, I found strength from my colleagues even from afar. My friends who are in the same profession in Canada, Nigeria, Uganda, Kenya and Zambia just to mention a few would write to me through facebook and encourage and offer solutions. I remember one writing ‘Teresa, you are an international material.” That same year I won an international award. I drew strength from people who were not even close to me. That is the power of web 2.0.
I was last year promoted to the post of an editor. Very few women in Malawi Media hold these influential positions. Although I am still subjected to insubordination, I know full change will come. If I was able to effect change as a reporter, you can imagine the change that I can bring about now.
Even more so now that I am connected to the PulseWire community, I know I can tap more knowledge, share Malawi problems and source solutions to those problems. Yes, through online communities, we can find global solutions to our local problems.