“Knowing who or what you want to be in your life matters. You have to see the picture first of what you want to become before it can manifest in reality’’
Yvonne Katsande is an international media proprietor, producer, talk show host and political correspondent. She is best known for her multi-award winning show ‘’WorldView’’ a current affairs programme on LoveworldSat. She is founder of the Phenomenal Women’s project where she teaches young girls how to speak articulately and to choose the right career paths and mentors young women on how to handle challenges they face in life. Yvonne is also involved in charity work, feeding and clothing children in underprivileged communities.
Yours is a story of triumph, from a sheltered early upbringing through some challenging times and now doing pretty well as a media personality and budding entrepreneur, actress, philanthropist etc. What would you say has been key to overcoming the hard times you faced?
I say perseverance. Knowing who or what you want to be in your life matters. You have to see the picture first of what you want to become because once you have it in your spirit, it manifests in the physical. Not an easy task, but surely a worthy one.
You have many roles including one as host of your own political and current affairs show on LoveworldSat where you tackle quite a breath of themes. How do you decide week after week what will resonate with your audience?
I always follow all news leads. I’m constantly watching news and surfing the internet to see what’s trending. I also interact with people quite well and they always give me feedback on what they think and what they want to watch on the show. My love and interest in political news around the world always keeps me spot on!
You have also won several awards. How are you able to deliver excellence year after year?
Being a producer of a Current Affairs show is a daunting task. I believe God’s grace and wisdom is mightily upon me. Many times I want to give up because the pressure is intense. Amazingly though, I carry on and I get the urge to do more and better. I also get courage from watching the work of my fellow journalists around the world; then it becomes competition as to who cracked the story better, who asked the most relevant questions, basically who put up a good show.
You are also an investigative journalist; one would say very much a man’s world. How do you navigate that professional space and bring your best?
I’m happy you asked that question. Gender oppression in professional work places is of great concern. It’s rather worrisome that even in the 21st century people still look down on women in certain professions if not all. I sincerely believe in women empowerment and that with the adequate training and knowledge, anyone can be what they want despite their gender. I have faced enormous challenges. In cases where men think they can manipulate me, but I keep it professional or they just won’t take you serious at all. However, I must say, if you stay strong and continue to conduct yourself in a professional manner…..men become believers.
You see yourself as a ‘’phenomenal woman’’ and recently launched the Phenomenal Woman Project (PWP). Who are you targeting with this and what will be different say in 5 years’ time because of PWP?
I don’t see, I am a Phenomenal Woman. I have overcome many hurdles in life hence the title. This project is so dear to my heart. I am targeting established women of all races and professions through the conferences and inspirational talks that I host with the aim of raising funds to school the younger women who are still finding their professional journey; in particular students who want to make it in media. I could go on about this project, but the best will be to visit my website to get more info: www.phenomenal-woman.co.za. In the next five years, I wish to build a media school where all these young ladies can realize their full potential to go out and conquer and fulfill their media dreams. I also want to have my own Television Channel.
Everyone has some fears and I am sure you have battled a few yourself on your way to where you are now. How have you handled any fears, challenges, setbacks you’ve faced?
I can never say ‘fears’. The training I have does not allow any fear in my life. If anything I have a sound mind. However, I can say trying times never last. It’s just but a phase and it always makes you stronger.
What advice would you give to your older self say 10 years from now and what principles/lessons are you learning now that you believe will serve you well even then?
To invest more in myself and in other people’s lives both financially, morally and otherwise, to explore and gain all the wisdom and not let even the sky limit me.
You get to interview many very influential and successful people. If you could ask one question to a leader you really admire, what would that be and why would that question be important for you?
I would say ‘Can you share the knowledge and wisdom that made you who you are?’. Perhaps I can learn something. The Bible says Wisdom is the principle thing and with all thy getting, get understanding.
What’s the next big thing for Yvonne and what do you think you’ll need to do to achieve it?
Great big things, but I prefer not to talk about them for now.
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