By Augustine Mukoka

Journalistically, there is nothing wrong with The Mutale Mwanza interview

  • EMMANUEL Mayuka
  • Clifford Mulenga
  • Miles Sampa
  • Mbototo (Newton Mainza)
  • Pilato (Chama Fumba)
  • B’flow (Brian Bwembya)

Are among the guests to have featured on Studio Ken, a Youtube channel by Kennedy Gondwe. They have not hard it easy.

For instance, the assumption in our society is that anyone spotting dreadlocks is a dagga (chamba) smoker.

Mbototo was put through this otherwise uncomfortable question. He answered without much ado.

Mayuka was subjected to as tough a series of questions as Clifford on events in the Chipolopolo camp some eight years ago.
And Pilato answered albeit philosophically some good questions he’s not traditionally asked on a day-to-day basis.

Come to B’flow. Everything that was in public domain was put to him including suspicion he pocketed from State House so that he could auction the youth movement.

And the Lusaka Mayor – Miles Sampa. Having known Miles Sampa for over 15 years now, I have never read or seen an interview revealing some intimate details about his life.

He has been accused of a lot of stuff in the wake of Ruth Mbandu’s (MHSRIP) death including allegations he was the mastermind of the misfortune.

It was on Studio Ken we heard his first response on the issue. The takeaway is he now has learned to stay away from criminal investigations as they are best left in the hands of the police. And he never committed the crime he is accused of.

For the first time, we heard Miles reveal he has five children with five different women he refers to as ‘baby mamas’. Many have had their own interpretation. He also was asked if he was ‘mad’, a narrative we are accustomed as it is repeatedly advanced by critics.

Then came the Mutale Mwanza interview a subject of so much reaction some of which is directed at Kennedy personally.

First, there’s no question about Kennedy’s credentials as a journalist. Top notch if I am to state the obvious. We all are entitled to our own interpretation of how the interview panned out.

I must declare bias. Kennedy is a big brother I always say I never had. He is a very good friend. We have had very candid conversation, like on many other issues, post the Mutale Mwanza interview.

It is an opportunity from which we can learn. Ultimately, there’s nothing journalistically wrong with the package.

Both the interviewer and interviewee accounted for their part pretty well. The biggest talk point has been asking Mutale whether she is a “prostitute” or not.

It’s not the first time Mutale Mwanza was hearing this question.
There’s an audio in which she attempts to address these allegations with a Mr. Nonde. She was so graphic that she asked Mr. Nonde a question out of this world.

There is also a time when she addressed female genitalia on radio. Mutale was as graphic as a reproductive health class can be.

I have listened to her interviews. She is blunt. Asks her sources
tough questions and takes them on where need arise. We all applaud her for her bravery.

Listen to how she has taken on Dandy Krazy, Bowman Lusambo and others. So, if she can take on others in her interviews, why should she be treated with kid gloves when on the other side of the microphone?

Mutale had an opportunity to address some of the issues about what society perceives successful women. Crying victim or shooting the messenger does not help dispel the norms society subjects women to. It in fact makes worse their case.

Our society, unfortunate as it maybe, takes issue with a philandering woman much more than it would with a man.

The more reason we hear, ‘ubucende bwa maume, tabu onaula inganda’ to justify this archaic line of argument. The narrative a man has five children with five women weighs different in the court of public opinion if a similar case applies to a woman.

And so, asking a man if he is a prostitute in a candid interview will have little consequence to gender activists than doing so if it was a woman.

As a journalist, you mirror society. And sometimes the happenings in society can be very uncomfortable. They still have to be addressed whatever the cost.

In the interview, Mutale had an opportunity to dispel the rumors which are rife in our society. She should have justified her uniqueness and what she brings to the media industry.

As opposed to playing into the journalists’ questions, she should have explained her side in clear and concise terms. This was a very good opportunity to dispel the rumors and share her vision, path and journey with the public and fans. Nothing more, nothing less.

She struck me as an intelligent young lady, genuinely hard working with two jobs. Her oratory is equally smooth and there’s no doubt she will get want she wants with a bit of polishing of herself along the way.

To hear Antonio Mwanza rubbish the interview and question it as silly is the highest form of pretense a public figure can display.
But again, we have to understand that Antonio is trying to jump on the virality of the interview to make some political capital. That’s what politician do, anyway.

But that should not be done at the expense of the journalism profession. If Antonio gets away with feeble questions and thinks he can make the best of any journalist, he should count himself lucky.

There’s no record Antonio has gone to a journalism school; neither a record that he is an expert or a lecturer of journalism to attempt to lecturer journalists what a “silly” and a so called good question should be. If masters of the journalism trade such as Edem Djokotoe, Prof. Sam Phiri and comrade Kenneth Makungo take issue, journalists must listen.

If political ‘prostitutes’ take issue or find an opportunity to play to the gallery, journalists must protect the tenets that govern their profession.

By Augustine Mukoka


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here