| 22 May 2024
'The Conversation' is about the highs and lows in women's life, says Kim Chakanetsa

BBC World Service's radio show 'The Conversation' commenced on 27 October and will soon be completing a month. The show is about the success story of two women belonging to similar profession, from different countries. The weekly programme is hosted by presenter Kim Chakanetsa and Munazza Khan is the producer.

In a conversation with Radioandmusic's Jescilia Karayamparambil, Chakanetsa spoke about the female line-up programme.


Why did you decide to have a show that highlights women?

As a broadcaster, we are trying to reflect a mix of our audiences in best possible way.  We have been hearing more and more from women that they would like their stories to be heard. It is an excellent way to create a space for women to tell stories about their journey in their own words. There is too much going around in the world in terms of the stories and we have to find them.  

How do you decide on the stories aired on the show?

There are great stories about women who run the government and business. There are also depressing stories about women facing violence and we had to get a mix of these women in our show. The show is about the highs and the lows in women's life and we try to bring that to light through the show.

The guests that are on our show are short-listed from a very very long list of people; we would like to have on the show. Munazza Khan and I together decide who should feature on the show.

Tell us if any particular episode that has interested you?

I find the part of putting the whole show in place very interesting. As a journalist, I am always interested in knowing about people's journey as it helps you to go from one story to another. As journalist who listens to radio, I enjoy listening to compelling stories. It does not matter whether they are scientist, explorers or artiste as long as the stories are compelling, that interests me.

What are the kinds of challenges you face as a journalist?

It is a huge challenge to get as many stories as possible on-air. When I am working with BBC Africa, I have to be very careful on how I depict the story so that the people there can relate to it.

With the show 'The Conversation', it is about listening to compelling stories of women. According to me, it is a big challenge.

What makes you love radio so much?

I really love radio as it is an intimate medium and it feels like someone is talking to you.  It is very very personal. I like interacting with people from various backgrounds thus radio has become part of me. Unlike television, it helps you to build up your own video. I believe the challenge of writing pictures for radio is really tough. It is much more influential compared to other medium.

How time did you spent developing the concept, before the show went on-air?

We test ran the show few months. After which we played around with the format before we finally went to air. We tried different types of conversation before the show was launched.

What elements of Africa attract you to the continent?

The need to find more untold stories attracts me to the continent. For a long time, there was a frustration from the Africans about the same stories being aired and media covering same stories. As a journalist, my role is to talk about big stories and things that are happening in the continent.

Will you be travelling to Africa now for any new stories?

At the moment, unfortunately, I am not travelling to the continent as much as I would like to. I hope to travel next year for new projects.

Any new projects that you are currently working on?

It will be one thing at a time. Currently, the programme 'The Conversation' is my focus.