Five minutes with Makhosazana Zwane-Siguqa

By Drum Digital
08 August 2014

How do you see the state of South African media in relation to women and women’s issues?

If you could give it a mark out of 10 what would it be and why?

Sadly, I think we’re at 5. We still have a long way to go when it comes to profiling women’s everyday issues. Given that women are the engines of society, we’re all guilty of neglecting the everyday woman until August, or we wait until campaigns such as the 16 Days of Activism kick in before we talk about women abuse, etc.

What is the most challenging thing about being a young, black woman heading up such a historic and powerful brand as DRUM?

It’s true, I became the youngest editor to head up DRUM but that was four years ago! We need to move on from that.

DRUM needed a ‘young’ person like myself to manage the challenges facing old press media today such as the migration into the digital space, for example.

There’s a whole lot more to it than just the changing reader patterns issue. The newsroom mindset had to change.  Also, there’s a lot of dynamism required to be editor today than say, ten years ago.  Its no longer just about saying yes or no to stories and covers. I see myself as a brand custodian.

What does Women’s Month mean to you?

It’s a month set aside to honour and celebrate the work of those who came before us. Because there’s so much talk about women and our rights, it’s also time for us to reflect on how we, as women, relate to each other. I do, however, wish we did this throughout the year.

How do you balance being a boss, wife, mother and just being a woman?

There’s a lot prioritisation and sacrifices made - by everyone.  I think we put too much pressure on ourselves as women to be perfect. We’re not.

My family knows that I love my job. It makes me happy.  I’m blessed to have a husband who completely gets that and is also a workaholic. It is what it is.

My boys also get that I have to work hard, and I hope they learn from us. But I have strict rules when it comes to family time. When it’s time for us, it’s time for us.

I’ve  also learnt the hard way to take my health seriously. So these days, I make sure that I get some “me time”. And from time to time, I kick it with the girls and just be crazy.

Do you have a philosophy you live by?

I have a few actually:

  • Always be the real you. Authenticity is everything.
  • Stay hungry. Stay foolish.
  • Love is free, so is laughter.
  • Be kind.

Find Love!