By Grant Moyo
Amanda Marufu, content creator and feminist, believes that since media in its various forms are integral to changing gender perspectives and evolving gender biases, there is a need to have a broader representation of women. both in front of and behind the visual perceptual experience.
Continuing to create content for different mediums focused on women, Marufu is well versed in problem solving and devolution. She sees feminism not as an identity to be achieved but as a political movement.
This notion is justified through its optical, graphic and sound content such as #No filter an all-female panelist television show, It’s a feminist thing an attention-grabbing podcast, Understanding gender-based violence online a documentary produced in partnership with Hedone, an organization based in South Africa, as well as his written material published as a contributor, author and blogger.
Marufu, who was born in Kwekwe, has spent most of her life in Harare and partly in Gweru and Bulawayo.
She did her primary education at Avonlea Primary School before moving on to Lomagundi College, Elite College and Speciss College where she completed her advanced level.
She holds a Certificate in Gender Representation in Media from the University of Strathclyde, a public research university in Glasgow, Scotland.
Her professional background varies, in addition to her beginnings as a volunteer at Let Them Trust, Marufu has worked in the media space as a screenwriter at Dreambox (animation company), as well as a consultant and photographer at Creative Natives Africa ( advertising company) .
She has also worked as a Digital Marketing Specialist and Content Creator for Big Sky (Hardware Store), Digital Marketing Assistant at NK Digital (Digital Marketing Agency), Producer at Visual Sensation, and most recently as Marketing Manager digital at 3KTV (broadcast channel). She has been part of teams working for brands such as First Mutual, Lit Fest, to name a few. Among her notable recognitions is being a global ambassador for the Better Tomorrow movement (2019) and the African Innovation Week (2020).
“I had imaginary friends as a child and found peace and comfort in them. I knew their parents, siblings, dreams, wishes and motivations, ”Marufu said.
“As I got older, I became closer and closer to their fears because most of the time their fears mirrored mine.
“At one point, these imaginary friends became stories that I carried with me. Written on hardcover pages, I once wanted to be an author and my friends were my beta readers.
“Becoming a point of obsession with art, I started writing homework for my friends, often offering them to write their essays.
“I would be careful how many points I got for each story and how I could make each story different despite the fact that the prompt is often the same. I was stuck between the pages of a book and when I wanted to speak, I wrote.
Marufu added, “It was at the age of 14, when my sister died, that I found all my old diaries and realized how much I relied on these words to express my pain. .
“It was the first time I realized how depressed I was as a kid. The first time I had to face this, I had created these friends, cultivated these characters, because I couldn’t dare to face the reality of my own life.
“At the time, I was volunteering on this account called ‘no_suicide’ created by another teenager from the United States.
“I began to struggle not only against my own depression, but also against the main lines of abuse and shame that plague all young people in Zimbabwe, in Africa and around the world.
“I became passionate about raising awareness and using the media to do it, and that’s how ‘The Safe Zone’ was born. “
The security zone, which aired from 2016 to 2017, was an online magazine launched by Marufu. who needed someone to confide in and who wanted advice.
Before creating her own website, Marufu became a passionate contributor on Wattpad and blogger on Tumblr.
Burning with the desire to tackle the plight of women, the feminist launched another blogging platform called It’s a feminist thing where she and a number of bloggers broached topics around feminism, and the issues they found didn’t quite fit into mainstream media.
Having also produced and developed content for Food and Enthusiasm Mag, Marufu published his first book titled At what age does my body belong to me?, at the height of the global Covid-19 crisis.
“I wrote this book as a new attempt to express aloud all the pain and shame I have had in me for so long,” said Marufu.
“I was angry because once again I realized that I was not the only one who had been raped or abused.
“I wasn’t the only one who had ever been humiliated for my sexuality or locked up and declared unfit to love and care for a body of mine.
“I have long wondered where our stories were. Who wrote or published them? Who shouted for us that “enough is enough”, because I was tired of hearing about the #metoo campaign, but we always expected him to shut up about my pain and act like these are all battle scars that haven’t bit me even now as an adult.
Since then, the content creator and feminist has done her life’s work not only to write about women and share their stories, but not to apologize for telling her truth.
By collaborating on an anthology, In Her Words: African Women’s Perspectives on Gender Equality featuring 15 women from seven different African countries, showed her just how diverse African women are.
This gave her the perspective that across tribes, cities and countries, there is not just one way to be a woman or a unified experience of womanhood.
Women are different and beauty lies in their differences. Yet this too is not sufficiently amplified in the literature and the media.
“Too often, the lived experiences of African women are referred to with authority by people other than themselves. said Mudzingwa.
“From the men of today to those who made history, and even well-meaning non-governmental organizations, African women have often been relegated to the role of spectators in their own life stories.
“In the anthology, my essay is about everyday feminism.
“How important it is not only to wear the label of feminism, but to embody the principles of feminism in everything people do and in the actions they take, big and small, because often these actions have the more impact. “
Marufu added: “According to the Gender Mapping Project in Zimbabwe, only 21%, 12% and 11% of female reporters are respectively present in print, radio and television, and only 16% of female subjects are reported. on all platforms.
“Studies like those published by Developmental Science show that children between the ages of three and five exhibit both racial and gender bias. “
Marufu’s #NoFilter TV talk show fills the void women around the world experience when they need advice or a non-judgmental ear in a ‘barless’ way.
A truly synthetic creation of television as a medium that unveils cultural ideas and ideals with hosts becoming substitutes for the masses.
The documentary on gender-based violence in partnership with Hedone, an organization that works primarily on sexual activism and pleasure, featured different women from across Africa.
The women spoke about their experiences online, the gender gap in opportunities, and the dangers of harassment and abuse online.
The excruciating consequences lead to physical abuse, death, mental health issues, suicide, and loss of jobs and opportunities.
Regarding the idea that all women want and should be mothers, Marufu said that is just not true, but something that is expected of them.
Even when a woman says she doesn’t want to have children, most people will claim that one day she will change her mind as if she doesn’t know herself well enough.
Marufu pointed out that it takes a lot to be a mother before people can even talk about finances and child safety. It can take physical strain, ranging from vaginal tears to mental toil, with loads of mothers suffering from varying degrees of depression.
The feminist challenges the authorities to educate society on this issue and also provide women with the choice and knowledge to be able to decide for themselves whether motherhood is something they want, respecting their decision whatever it is. .
To be renowned as American television producer, screenwriter and author Shonda Rhimes is Marufu’s main ambition.
Having created all forms of content, she strives to continue to grow better and bolder in the genre and media space.
Follow Grant Moyo on Twitter: @TotemGrant