Community screening of aspiring young female journalists in Zambia

by Luyando Kabunda

Photo: © GIZ/Mary Herrmann

“I must say I am now convinced that I am the voice I wanted to be for my community:” As part of the project SpeakUpGirls – Giving women and girls a voice through digital media, 40 Zambian girls are acting as citizen journalists and report about relevant topics in their communities. They are supported by mentors from local radio stations and from TEDxLusaka alumni speakers. Equipped with a smartphone, a power bank and monthly mobile data bundles the young Zambians uncover interesting stories in their neighborhood and develop their digital skills. Although the stories will be aired on radio it was about time to show local duty bearers the outcome of the girl’s investigations in their communities and engage them in a discussion about accountability with the local youth. Following this, BytaFM in Choma organized a community screening for the girls on the 18th of December 2020, which was completely run and moderated by the young ladies.

The District Commissioner Protential Mulenga, Deputy Mayor Navy Moonga, Ward Councilors Danbar Muchimba and Kelvin Mwaanga, as well as the traditional leader Mr. Lwiindi, Chief from Monze attended the event and responded to the young women’s critical observations and reports. The main issues discussed were police discrimination against citizens, discrimination against female marketers and the social impact of unfinished construction projects. Showing the local duty bearers, the concerns of their communities supported transparency and accountability of those who should be held accountable.

Photo: © GIZ/Mary HerrmannPhoto: © GIZ/Mary Herrmann

All the attending duty bearers in Choma encouraged the young journalists to continue with their reporting in order to keep on providing in-depth insights into the daily life of the communities. All incumbents welcomed further exchange formats.

“It was a great experience having the duty bearers see my work and express gladness with our work as citizen journalists. It was great, holding them accountable through conducting interviews as well as making stories and having the duty bearers watch some of my work. I must say I am now convinced that I am the voice I wanted to be for my community,” says Ester Maini, one of the citizen journalists in Choma.

“I felt good and proud of myself because it gave me confidence to continue holding duty bearers accountable over a lot of issues that affect citizens, adds Sheba Phiri. It was motivating and encouraging when duty bearers listened to our stories and then explained how they manage the public funds and why some projects are failing,” concludes Memory Mudenda.

Photo: © GIZ/Mary Herrmann

Inspired by the results of their work, the young women will proceed with their journalistic activities in Choma and Copperbelt. The next chance to showcase their journalistic skills will occur during a tour across Zambia with Sunshine Cinema and in context of the TEDxLusaka conference in March 2021.


For more information about the project SpeakUpGirls – Giving women and girls a voice through digital media, click here

For more information about Germany’s overall involvement in the G20 #eSkills4Girls initiative, click here