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SHE has grilled everyone from Thabo Mbeki to Jacob Zuma, tackled topics ranging from unions to feminism and even managed to get expelled ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema behind the microphone.
But if there’s anyone Sakina Kamwendo would like to put in the hot seat, it’s Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe.
“Any man who snubs the world’s most powerful nations with such gusto is sure to let it all out in an interview,” says Kamwendo.
Kamwendo has been the voice behind the Metro FM Monday and Tuesday evening prime time show Melting Pot and has made a name for herself covering the talking points.
Radio was not always what Kamwendo wanted to do. She had dreams of becoming a lawyer, but somewhere along the way, she fell in love with broadcasting.
Kamwendo cut her teeth at a community radio station. And she describes her journey as one that was filled with “sheer courage and perseverance”.
She admits that there are still challenges in radio. “Sometimes guests don’t answer their phones after confirming their participation. Very often you cannot rope in another guest at short notice, so you have to carry the interview and make it work. Other times the phone lines go crazy and you lose your guests anyway,” she explains.
There is also the problem of the open line when you never know what listeners are going to raise, so you have to be well informed, says Kamwendo.
“But one of the most challenging aspects of the job is striving to be objective when you have strong opinions on certain matters,” she adds.
She is still madly in love with the airwaves though.
“We have created a platform where everyone has the right to speak their mind and the responsibility to add value, respect and learn from others.”
What books do you like reading, and what are you reading at the moment?
I prefer reading factual material, but also enjoy a good love story. I’m currently reading The Black Swan by Nassim Nicholas Taleb (it was recommended by Aubrey Matshiqi).
What’s your favourite gadget?
My iPod Touch.
BBM, Twitter or Facebook – which do you prefer?
All of the above. Each offers a platform for interacting with people who express themselves differently.
What do you see when you look in the mirror?
A beautiful, confident woman.
How do you relax?
Chilling with family and friends.
What music is playing in your car?
Regina Belle, Aretha Franklin, Judith Sephuma, Johnny Gill, Randy Crawford and Gladys Knight.
What is the most outrageous thing you have ever done?
Made a R50 000 bet with Benni McCarthy on national radio (that Kaizer Chiefs would win the league this season).
What is your favourite quote?
I cheated on my fears, broke up with my doubts, got engaged to my faith and now… I’m marrying my dreams – by Fearless Women.
Who makes you laugh?
My kids and most of our South African comedians… and politicians.
Outside radio, who is Sakina?
I’m the same person, only with the added responsibility that comes with the other roles I portray.
Have you ever done anything you’ve been told is “for your own good”?
All the time.
When was the last time you cried?
A few weeks ago. I felt hurt.
Which day of the week do you like best?
Sundays – family, Sunday lunch, soccer and Sunday papers.
Do you think everything and anything can be forgiven?
Absolutely. If you don’t, you haven’t found unconditional love – yet.
Where do you like to holiday?
I love visiting new places as opposed to repeat visits.
What is your favourite word?
What was your favourite subject at school?
English. The teacher was passionate about the subject and that was contagious.
Have you ever looked anybody in the eye and lied?
Of course… haven’t you?
Your parents are…
Have you ever stolen something? What did you steal?
Duh! You don’t have enough space.
What is your favourite movie?
Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married?
What are you secretly good at?
Who is your favourite superhero?
What or who inspires you?
Positive people and messages.
Have you ever choked on anything?
What is the one thing you’d like to do before you die?
Attend every major sporting event.