Ask Takudzwa 13 – Pump Up the Volume: Dealing with the Media

By Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Takudzwa Mazwienduna is the informal leader of Zimbabwean Secular Alliance and a member of the Humanist Society of Zimbabwe. This educational series will explore secularism in Zimbabwe from an organizational perspectiveand some more.

Here we talk about freethinkers engaging with the media.

Scott Douglas Jacobsen: When you’re writing to these newspapers, what is their attitude or orientation?

Takudzwa Mazwienduna: The newspapers are usually indifferent to our plight. They are obliged to include us as national newspapers in the name of diversity because they get religious contributions too.

Jacobsen: What are the acceptance rate of articles and press releases submitted for distribution to these newspaper and media services for secular and freethought – humanist – content in Zimbabwe?

Mazwienduna: The Sunday Mail is Zimbabwe’s biggest Sunday newspaper, and Shingai Rukwata Ndoro has had a column for Humanist and secularist issues entitled Chiseling The Debris since 2014. It has gained a committed audience over the years.

Jacobsen: What have been the main messages other than “we’re here, we’re near, get used to it”?

Mazwienduna: We have helped in sensitizing the public to get up on speed with secular policies, raised our concerns over violations of secularism by government officials and the response was generally positive.

Jacobsen: Why do they portray the community of humanists as Satanists?

Mazwienduna: The nature of Christianity in Zimbabwe is totalitarian amongst the public. You are either for God or for Satan, a rigid belief that was established during colonial times by the London Missionary Society. I always ask people who accuse me of Satanism if they believe in Horus, and if they worship Seth because they don’t.

Jacobsen: When the community grows, or as the community develops, would an internal survey of demographics and attitudes help guide 5-year plans?

Mazwienduna: The nature of Christianity in Zimbabwe is totalitarian amongst the public. You are either for God or for Satan, a rigid belief that was established during colonial times by the London Missionary Society. I always ask people who accuse me of Satanism if they believe in Horus, and if they worship Seth because they don’t.

Jacobsen: How can technology be a means by which to self-publish content? Young Humanists International has a platform called Humanist Voices if they would like to contact me: Scott.D.Jacobsen@Gmail.Com. I am more than happy to publish and polish their content.

Mazwienduna: Internet is not as widespread as it is in South Africa or other well off countries in Zimbabwe. People seldom read online publications and the majority of the population lives in rural areas where they don’t even have electricity. National newspapers and radio have been the main platforms for us.

Jacobsen: Thank you for the opportunity and your time, Takudzwa.

Scott Douglas Jacobsen is the Founder of In-Sight: Independent Interview-Based Journal and In-Sight Publishing. He authored/co-authored some e-booksfree or low-cost. If you want to contact Scott: Scott.D.Jacobsen@Gmail.com.

Canadian Atheist Associates: Godless Mom, Nice Mangoes, Sandwalk, Brainstorm Podcast, Left at the Valley, Life, the Universe & Everything Else, The Reality Check, Bad Science Watch, British Columbia Humanist Association, Dying With Dignity Canada, Canadian Secular AllianceCentre for Inquiry CanadaKelowna Atheists, Skeptics, and Humanists Association.

Other National/Local Resources: Association humaniste du QuébecAtheist FreethinkersCentral Ontario Humanist AssociationComox Valley HumanistsGrey Bruce HumanistsHalton-Peel Humanist CommunityHamilton HumanistsHumanist Association of LondonHumanist Association of OttawaHumanist Association of TorontoHumanists, Atheists and Agnostics of ManitobaOntario Humanist SocietySecular Connextions SeculaireSecular Humanists in CalgarySociety of Free Thinkers (Kitchener-Waterloo/Cambridge/Guelph)Thunder Bay HumanistsToronto OasisVictoria Secular Humanist Association.

Other International/Outside Canada Resources: Allianz vun Humanisten, Atheisten an AgnostikerAmerican Atheists,American Humanist AssociationAssociação Brasileira de Ateus e AgnósticoséééBrazilian Association of Atheists and AgnosticsAtheist Alliance InternationalAtheist Alliance of AmericaAtheist CentreAtheist Foundation of AustraliaThe Brights MovementCenter for Inquiry (including Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science), Atheist IrelandCamp Quest, Inc.Council for Secular HumanismDe Vrije GedachteEuropean Humanist FederationFederation of Indian Rationalist AssociationsFoundation Beyond BeliefFreedom From Religion FoundationHumanist Association of IrelandHumanist InternationalHumanist Association of GermanyHumanist Association of IrelandHumanist Society of ScotlandHumanists UKHumanisterna/Humanists SwedenInternet InfidelsInternational League of Non-Religious and AtheistsJames Randi Educational FoundationLeague of Militant AtheistsMilitary Association of Atheists and FreethinkersNational Secular SocietyRationalist InternationalRecovering From ReligionReligion News ServiceSecular Coalition for AmericaSecular Student AllianceThe Clergy ProjectThe Rational Response SquadThe Satanic TempleThe Sunday AssemblyUnited Coalition of ReasonUnion of Rationalist Atheists and Agnostics.

Photo by Elijah O’Donnell on Unsplash

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