Napoleon Nyanhi joined the media field in 2007 through voluntary work for his church, and instantly fell in love with radio.
He has worked as a scriptwriter, TV presenter, camera operator, camera director, editor and production manager. He was part of the team that opened Zimbabwe’s first commercial radio station, Star FM, in 2010, which now employs 51 people. He is currently the youngest Zimbabwean owning a radio station.
He is the brainchild of the Radio Presenter Masterclass, a programme which he registered under a trust that he founded called Centre for Broadcasting Excellence. Radio Presenter Masterclass is a six-month course where nationwide auditions are held at a central location and young Zimbabweans gather to showcase their talents.
They select the 20 most promising and those become the class for that year. Six hundred and fifty individuals from 10 provinces attended the last audition.
The class of 2019 is composed of 55% women and 45% men, one person with a disability, and 10 of the 15 official languages are represented. The 20 individuals are currently placed at numerous radio stations for their internship programmes. The end result is that the stations can choose who they want from the class after graduation in September.
The Radio Presenter Masterclass has resulted in four successes; one student working on the news desk at a radio station, another being groomed as the drive-time presenter, with the other two students signing TV presenting contracts as scouts.
Napoleon’s vision is to establish an annual gathering of broadcasters for idea exchange and deliberations on the future of the industry.
He is of the view that young people should be at the centre of the discourse. He says that Ubuntu does not mean that the elders are the ones who should be in charge, and that young people should take up their rightful place in African leadership.
Looking ahead, Napoleon would like to see people of the South identifying themselves as one. He would also like to play his part in advocating for the implementation of an integration plan for Southern Africa and ultimately Africa.