Zimbabwean Woman Causes Stir as Chinese TV News Anchor
A 28-year-old Zimbabwean International Relations & Diplomacy graduate has made waves in China after becoming the first African news presenter on Chinese Mainland, and perhaps the whole of Asia last year.
Vimbayi Kajese, 28, first visited China in 2004 and then moved there permanently in 2006, making Beijing her new home.
^ Vimbayi at work on CCTV-9 (Picture: CCTV).
Vimbayi now works as the early morning news presenter at CCTV-9, the English Channel of China Central Television. Her bright smile, eloquent diction and elegant demeanour have impressed millions of TV viewers and internet users around the world.
Feedback from online comments show just how much of a spectacle Vimbayi’s appointment is. One reader wrote: “Hello. Am Kenyan. Truly am impressed by your work. I get bored watching BBC news sometimes and to listen to a second opinion I turn to CCTV. Today I wasn’t sure if I was on the right channel. A woman of my colour doing some very good work. Anyway wanted to tell you keep it up…”
Another fan writes; "I love you hairstyle very much. Thank you for beautiful voice that make me happy everyday." And another; "Hi sister Kajese, always feel great to see you on air. I'm so proud of you...."
While doing her first degree in the United States, Vimbayi applied for and received a scholarship for an all-expenses-paid trip to China. It was on this trip, in 2004, that she first fell in love with the country. She was fascinated by the culture, the food and of course the people, who reminded her of Africa more than the Americans had.
^ Vimbayi Kajese- news anchor and fashionista (Pictures: CCTV and Vimbayi FB profile).
After completing her undergraduate degree, she chose to leave the United States and pursue a Master’s degree in International Relations and Diplomacy at the China Foreign Affairs University (CFAU) in Beijing. After graduating from CFAU, Vimbayi decided to stay in China and got a job working for Reuters TV. It was months later that she applied to work for CCTV-9 and much later that she got accepted.
While China is her new home, Vimbayi is keen to remind people that there is more to Africa than the jungle, heat and adventure.
She told CCTV during an interview; “You know, people normally associate Africa with wild life and the safaris. But the true essence of Africa that I’d like to stress first and foremost is the people. Unfortunately, through the one-dimensional lens of the media, we the people have been relegated to the background of the wild life spectacle.
“The real adventure and beauty of Africa is through engagement with us the people; understanding our vastness in terms of cultural, religious and racial diversity; it's too grand to be summed up in a few words, let alone be represented by one person and or one nation alone.”
The multi-talented Vimbayi has also done a number of fashion shoots including for Rolling Stone China and the other publications. She is the editor of Charitarian Magazine Africa-China and the public relations officer and media counsellor for Young African Professionals and Students (YAPS), an organisation whose aim is to create a platform to position young Africans in China as active participants in the development of Africa-China relations