This week we had the opportunity to catch up with Sibusisiwe Ndlovu, one of our Multimedia Journalism (Broadcasting) MA students, a brilliant communications professional and a recipient of the prestigious Chevening Scholarship. Sibusisiwe talks about her academic and social experiences at Westminster, what is has been like to study in London and her inspiring future career aspirations to work on community radio projects in Zimbabwe.
Tell us a little bit more about yourself!
I have always worked in communications, starting my career off at Zimbabwe’s national radio broadcaster, then into private radio before ending up in development communications. My last role working with women in impoverished situations and struggling to get their stories told and their voices heard is why I ended up looking for a Masters programme that would equip me to better tell more development focused stories that would help women in Zimbabwe to rise from their socio-economic, political and cultural disadvantages.
Why did you choose to study in the UK and at Westminster?
Firstly I wanted a course I could do in one year and be able to return to my family as soon as possible, and UK Masters programmes are very ideal for this. I was also privileged to be awarded a Chevening Scholarship for 2015, which also made the UK the country of choice for any MA programme I wanted to pursue. The UK’s media model has always fascinated me. Not only because Zimbabwe’s radio systems were modelled around the UK’s BBC structures but also the advanced technological and skills base in recent years. Also I had always had a desire to experience British life and culture. Westminster became the university of choice because of this unique practical MA course. I was actively looking for a programme that was less theoretical and more hands on as this would allow me to go back home and be more hands on by applying my skills immediately and more meaningfully, and MA in Multimedia Journalism turned out to be perfect.
What do you like the best about studying at Westminster?
I like its diversity. I was afraid I would stand out as different and feel out of place. However, my class and the university campus is just a cosmopolitan society. It is hard to stand out. I have made so many friends and professional contacts that I have benefitted more than just academically but professionally and socially too.
What are planning for your career after your Masters studies?
I have been working with female journalists back home to tell more stories about women and their development situations. We are in the conceptual stages of a community radio project for women, which will offer a platform for these stories to be told more regularly. While community radio is not yet available in Zimbabwe, it is my hope that by laying the ground work now and starting off with small projects like podcasts, short radio features and documentaries, we will have a firm footing to stand on once the county’s policies allow for full establishment of such media.
Tell us a little more about the social side of your studies and student life in London
The beauty of London is that it has something for everyone. So being very much an indoors person I managed to enjoy more laid back and confined leisure activities like the dozens of arts exhibitions taking place in the city monthly. I have also enjoyed sampling the multi-national restaurants as well as meeting up with other Zimbabweans who have made home of the UK to reminisce and enjoy some of home’s nostalgic traditions.
What advice would you give to other students coming to study in the UK?
Come with an open but independent mind. So much will be different, but not so much as to change who you are, but maybe to improve who you are. Expect the weather to change anytime and to roll with it. Life goes on here despite the weather. Know how to read a map and be ready for a roller coaster ride of nonstop, hard but very rewarding work!