By Nigel Siziba
Strong enough to make holes in the rock are tiny drops of water that persist to fall. Persistence is the attitude that breaks down mountains, one rock at a time.
These words echo the South Africa-based Zimbabwean award winning reporter Ancillar Mangena.
Sunday Life managed to catch up with her where she unpacked her long winding and inspirational journey as a journalist.
She said she discovered that she wanted to be a journalist when she was in Grade 6.
“I vividly remember the day I discovered I was born to be a story teller. I was in Grade Six and it was September 11, when the terrorists flew the plane into the twin towers and it was my birthday. I remember having this hunger to know what happened and I imitated journalists using a Coca-cola bottle as a microphone reporting live from New York, since that day I knew I wanted to be a journalist,” she said.
Mangena’s first job was being a community writer where she established herself, thus leading to her being head hunted by Forbes Magazine editor.
“My first job as a journalist was for a community newspaper, many people do not value community newspapers as they are delivered for free to your doorstep, even though I wrote stories that were not valued by the bigger community I wrote my heart out each time and my dedication paid off as Chris Bishop, the founding editor stumbled upon the community paper and he loved my stories and I landed a job at Forbes Magazine,” said Mangena.
Asked about her experience at Forbes Africa magazine she said:
“It is phenomenal, the team is amazing, I have learnt a lot and within these three years I have interviewed world leaders, economists and entrepreneurs. What I enjoy the most is working on editing Forbes Africa under 30 lists,” said Mangena.
She availed her secret that has made her become the person she is today.
“I try my best to follow a simple policy ‘Do your best wherever God or the universe takes you’, don’t compare yourself to others because you are where you are for a reason,” she said.
The unapologetic and passion driven reporter is also into entrepreneurship.
“Despite being a journalist I am an entrepreneur myself, I run a media company which is currently focused on publicity and the aim is to build a one-stop shop for all media things media in Africa in media training, public relations, new platforms etc,” she said.
Last year she won a ZIMEO award in technology reporting and Sanlam Excellency in financial reporting, Africa growth story award, CNN Multichoice Journalist of the Year and the finalist Foreign Press Association Young Journalist of the Year. She also disclosed that she is a United Nations (UN) Refugee Agency ambassador.
“The work I do as a UN refugee agency representative is the most important role I will ever play in my life, so as an ambassador it is my duty to tell people about the realities of being a refugee,” she said.
The Mzilikazi High School product said she dreams about opening a branch of Media Company in Zimbabwe. Sunday News.