Capitalk 100.4 FM is fast invading the capital’s airwaves. With some of the best voices, best programmes and best music, the station is set to change the face of broadcasting in Harare.
Among some of the outstanding presenters on Capitalk 100.4 FM is Donald Mukota.
Donald is a seasoned media practitioner and activists best known for candid talk and debate on Deep Dive. A lecturer by day at the Christian College of Southern Africa and presenter/producer for Deep Dive, Donald chronicles his journey to date.
How did you first get into the media industry?
After High School (Howard High) I enrolled at the Christian College of Southern Africa (CCOSA) in Harare in 1998 for a Diploma in Communication and Journalism.
My dad brought me a flyer from CCOSA, we had a lengthy chat on the many programmers that were on offer and the only one that appealed to me was Communication and Journalism. We ran it by the Queen (my mum) and we all agreed that was what I was going to do.
I enrolled at CCOSA for the two-year programme and in my final year at college we went out on attachment. I was determined to go into Public Relations but my former Radio Production Lecturer and then (ZBC) Radio One station manager, Petros Masakara convinced to go into Radio broadcasting.
I found myself at Radio One working with people whose passion for radio, professionalism, work ethic, dedication to duty and attention to detail got me scared at first!!
The team at then Radio One was welcoming, accommodating and willing to assist and that made me feel so at home, I gained a lot of confidence through their encouragement and I found myself enjoying radio so much.
I think I impressed because by the time we were due to go back to college I already had a contract with Radio one as a Part-Time Producer/Presenter. So by the time I went back to finish my studies, I was already employed!! The story is long but that, in a nutshell, is how I got into the media industry.
What would you say most motivates you to do what you do?
I am a social commentator, advocate for media freedom, freedom of speech and expression, good governance and democracy. These are things that are very close to my heart and therefore what motivates me to do what I cannot be narrowed down to just one thing.
Being able to be the bridge between policy makers, leaders and their various constituencies constantly pushes me to deliver.
Informing and educating citizens on key policy issues has always and continues to motivate and shape the work that I do. It is my driving force and for a long time
What attracted you to work for Capitalk FM?
Capitalk 100.4 stands for the values I believe in, “Leading the conversation!” demands one to engage in candid debates, to ask the important questions? And not to skirt around issues. Capitalk 100.4 FM does not skirt around issues and that is one of the many things that attracted me to and made me want to work for and be a part of the station.
People’s opinions differ and that must be respected. I believe people should enjoy basic and fundamental rights like freedom of speech and expression and Capitalk 100.4 FM is the only station so far that is providing a platform for no-holds-barred discussions especially on key policy issues. Talk radio is not “small talk” radio and I for one believe issues affecting people are no “small talk!”
Do you have any key mentors or people who deeply influenced you?
I do hey, I hope you have time and space because they are a lot. I usually do not like mentioning names lest I leave some out! These people in one way or the other shaped and continue to mould me into the person, the husband, dad, journalist and radio broadcaster that I am and continue striving to be.
The late Shamrock Mukota (My Dad) MHSRIP, Hilda my mum (the disciplinarian, my wonderful wife Koliwe and children. Colleagues in the industry; from then Radio One; Phatu Manala, Obert and Lily Mandimutsira, Ben Nyabadza, Dadirayi Chigoya, Petros Masakara, Lennox Mhlanga, Comfort Mbofana, Jane Essau, Tinashe Chiname, Steve Vickers. S-FM; Joseph Nhara, O’Brien Rwafa, Violet Makoto, Lennon Mutseura, Walter Mupfanochiya, Robson Mhandu, Abigail Mvududu, Munyaradzi Hwengwere, Simba Chiminya. I can go on and on but for now and this instalment let me stop!
What sets you apart from other people in the media industry?
I never take consumers of media products for granted. I make it my business not to abuse listeners by producing half baked programmes. Sitting behind the microphone is a privilege, it is neither a passport to abuse listeners nor does it mean I know it all. I regard myself a conduit, a bearer of news and information.
What things do you not like to do?
I do not like engaging in conversations with patronising people.
If you could speak to yourself as a 10-year-old, what would you tell yourself?
I would tell the 10-year-old boy to always eat his veggies! But more important, to be on the lookout for latter day Judas Iscariots!
What is your proudest achievement to date?
I do not dwell in the past so my proudest moment is NOW!!!…Being where I am and doing what I am doing right NOW!!! I am part of a team that is pioneering “REAL” Talk Radio in Harare and Zimbabwe! What is there not to be proud of?
What do you work toward in your free time?
I don’t like to be idle, so during what is supposed to be my free time you will find me at a local college imparting all that I have been taught and know about this exciting profession called journalism — radio broadcasting in particular to those aspiring to enter this noble profession!
If you are sitting here you are a year from now what will you celebrate?
Being alive and a year older! Very difficult without a crystal ball but “inshalla” there are a lot of good things I will be celebrating and in the top five (5) will be the fact that it will be a year since my joining the Capitalk team that is on a mission to re-define radio and bring “real” talk radio to Harare and Zimbabwe!