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Inside/Out with Rejoice Ngwenya, political and social activist and commentator
March 02, 2010

Listen Full interview with Rejoice Ngwenya - Read and listen

Describe yourself in five words?
Spiritual, assertive, arrogant, participatory, creative.

What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?
When my sisters told me to get married.

What's the most ridiculous thing you've ever done?
Dropping out of teacher training. I've always felt that had I continued with my teacher training course, I would have a better understanding of issues like psychology and sociology and how to deal with children. I love dealing with children.

What is your most treasured possession?
My guitar. I don't consider myself a musician. I started playing piano when I was sixteen, and I can make noise that people can listen to.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
I think it's when, especially as a man, you have no source of income. I didn't say money, I said source of income. I think it destroys you. You can't configure your life, you can't start over, and you don't know where to start.

Do you have any strange hobbies?
No. My hobbies are universal - music and writing.

What do you dislike most about your appearance?
I've learnt to accept who I am. But I feel my white beard has come a bit too early.

What is your greatest extravagance?
I'm not a big spender by nature. I always feel that whenever I spend on something it is necessary. But when I start investing in sound or visual equipment it doesn't add value to my family. I consider it an ego trip.

What have you got in your fridge?
Chicken, fresh vegetables, milk, a tin of yoghurt and a bottle of honey.

What is your greatest fear?
My greatest fear is the loss of freedom. I'm not sure how I'd react under incarceration.

What have you got in your pockets right now?
I have my cell phone, my mobile Internet browser, and of course my purse. I always carry my driver's licence, ID and my late father's picture.

What is your favourite journey?
Driving to Nyanga. I'm amazed by the scenery in the mountains.

Who are your heroes in real life?
Lupi Mushayakarara, she's one of my inspirations. She introduced me into the world of writing, and protest activism. She taught me how to be fearless, how to write as I think and how not censor myself.

When and where were you happiest?
I was in exile in east Africa and at that time I was a student with a scholarship. I only had to worry about my education, and I had a very pleasant life. I had a lot of great times. I look at those days as my greatest days of freedom as a young person.

What's your biggest vice?
I fantasize a lot about women, even when I'm in church; my mind wonders a lot about the beauty of women. I think women are the greatest things that God has ever given us. That's why we need to protect and nurture them. I consider myself a gender activist.

What were you like at school?
I was always number 1 or 2 in class and I was either a prefect or captain of sorts. I learnt to be a leader. My instinct and sense of leadership has always been a part of my grooming.

What are you doing next?
I want to own a breakfast radio station, where people can talk about politics, economics and the state of their lives. I'm dreaming about that. I hope that my dream will come true soon.

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