ZIMBABWE: The core responsibilities of radio presenters are to entertain, inform and educate through discussions, interviews, and music. However, some presenters go beyond with follow-ups to find out whether people are benefitting from their programs or not.
Through one of her programs named “Ruoko Runopa” (which means a giving hand), Rutendo Makuti, a Radio Zimbabwe Presenter and Producer has helped several needy people to raise complicated health and education bills and supported them in many ways.
Radio Zimbabwe is one of the big stations in Zimbabwe.
Dedication to raising funds
Listening to “Ruoko Runopa” program, one can be driven to donate without hesitation as Makuti can run a marathon shift which she can be on air until she achieves her goal of raising for those in need at that particular time.
In 2017, she went on air for 24 hours non-stop raising US $16,000 for a 2-year old baby who was supposed to go for an operation in India.
In 2019, she raises more than US $70,000 after she broadcasted for almost 18 hours.
On Sunday 31January, she also had a 12-hour marathon shift which broadcasted from 8 am to 8 pm soliciting RTGS 1.2 million towards 26-year old Thandeka Victoria Pilime, who is supposed to go for heart surgery in India and before the day end she raised RTGS 1.3 million.
A call to help the needy
In an interview, Makuti told Transcontinental Times that being a radio Presenter is not a job but a way to fulfill her passion for helping those in need.
“I feel so sympathetic when l see other people suffering, although l can’t afford to help them financially, l use my talent to seek assistance for them. I am not a presenter for the sake of gaining much prominence but to ensure that the needy receive aid through my programs”, she said.
Changing the program from pre-recording to live on air
Before she became a full-time presenter in November 2015, Ruoko Runopa used to be just a 15 minute pre-recorded program with no follow-ups but she made it a live program and when she overtook it.
She said the program is very demanding as many people are facing different challenges that need to be addressed mainly in education and health issues. This has led her to be more dedicated to saving lives.
“I feel pain inside me when l encounter such situations because for me to reach this level l went through the hands of different people who were not even my relatives”, she said.
She also said children are close to her heart which is the reason why most of her programs focus on them.
Other programs she presents
Besides Ruoko Runopa, she presents different programs on the station which include Tipeiwo Mukana (can you give us a chance), Usandikanganwe (remember me), Misodzi yaHanna(tears of Hannah) among others.
Misodzi ya Hannah was derived from the book of Samuel in the Bible where Hannah was barren but after she cried to God her prayer was answered.
In line with the bible, Makuti provides a platform for childless people to link with doctors who might be of help to their problems. Through the Misodzi ya Hannah program, Makuti won 2 Merck Foundation Media Recognition Awards for 2019 and 2020.
Merck Foundation focuses on childless people and it runs under the theme “Merck more than a mother” in partnership with the first ladies of Zimbabwe, Namibia, and Malawi.