Ruth Kulaisi, a Zodiak TV personality who is engaged to celebrated holy hip-hop artist Noel Chikoleka, popularly known as Phyzix. During this chat about her rising television career, the broadcaster also talks about her personal life and shares how her man makes sure she is always safe. She says Phyzo is her superman!
Follow the chat.
How has been your journey from being a regular girl to being the girl on the big screen?
This is so funny and this is how I look at it. I feel like I am going to work but instead of working in the privacy of an office I get to have people watch me do my job. So if I miss work or mess up, everyone knows I wasn’t at work and I have more than my boss judging me and telling me off. [Laughs]. It’s crazy but I really enjoy it. There’s no kujomba [staying away from work] or not doing my work ‘cause it shows on the shows I work on.
What was your reason/motivation for getting a job in TV?
It actually just happened by chance. A friend of mine told me about the auditions Zodiak was holding and they thought I would do a good job at reading the news. So I told my family about it and they really pushed me to do it ‘cause I didn’t want to. I was too scared to go in and try. I gave it a shot anyway and please believe me I was up against some seriously schooled people, but I got it! I was so excited! After working with Zodiak a few months though, I remembered there was a time when someone, after praying with me in 2010, said they really felt I will work in media and on television to be specific, and on my flight back home after being away in school (I did Mass Com, Nursing and Bible College – Bible College the main thing I studied), a random person told me the same thing. So I guess I might have been surprised that I am in television but it was always God’s plan.
What do you think makes you stand out from other TV personalities, male or female? Why should people want to tune in and watch your shows?
Well, I think I am a pretty cool person to spend time with. I sometimes laugh at my own jokes and I really enjoy spending time with me, I think you will too. Plus sometimes I can be real deep – everyone needs a little deep in their lives sometimes. So let’s change the world together, one chat at a time.
A lot has been said about the injustices that come from working in media and being a woman. Have you experienced any of these? (If yes, how did you overcome them?)
When the cameras start rolling and the lights are on. It gets crazy. High emotion, fast pace, fast talk and you gatta think fast and work together as a team. And as creative people, we are really in touch with how we feel so it can be a really touchy bunch of people working together. But if the team understands, ‘it’s game time and let’s get this done. No hard feelings’. It all works out well. How I deal with things – I am very big on saying things as they are and speaking up for myself and others. So If I think something is off or I am being played or mistreated, I address it in and out of the studio. Sometimes people need to be shown where the line is drawn so you can get the job done and live well together, with the understanding that work is work, no hard feelings. This is not easy but it’s doable. In all cases, respect is paramount.
We live in a world where male chauvinism is very prevalent. How do you stay on top of your game without losing your femininity?
I take the same approach, address the issue at hand and move it right along. Of course with respect and a smile. (A touch of femininity there with the smile. [Laughs]).
Working in media usually means living under a spectacle, and your fiancée happens to be a Hip Hop artist. Have you and Phyzix faced any challenges that were caused by your line of work? How did/do you overcome them?
To be honest, Noel is really supportive. So we haven’t really faced any real problems. His main concern is my safety in the places that I do my job. Sometimes I meet some crazy people and I work crazy late hours. So when I am lucky he is around the corner at these things with me. I feel super safe. He is like my superman.
With time comes wisdom, knowledge and experience. What advice would you give your younger self if you were to meet her?
Listen to that inner voice, it will keep you safe and guide you. The Lord speaks and he knows the future, and the steps you need to take. So yeah don’t doubt, just listen and be courageous to take the steps.
A lot of women struggle with self-esteem, validation, and perhaps finding their inner voice and strength. What do you have to say to the women who consider you a role model and look to you for inspiration?
You are enough. It’s so easy to feel lacking with all the things we are put up against, but everything you are right now is enough. And you’re crazy for looking up to me, I thank you.
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
Married to my baybay with babies [and] making you quality, international level television.
Who are your inspirations/role models?
My family really inspires me. I have grown up with parents and siblings (Vicky and Pule) that are passionate, compassionate, loving, supportive and they work hard. I want to be like them. They inspire me.
That one song that motivates you?
Well, this one is a hard. I am a very musical person. I’ve been doing music and singing since I was a little one so I find it hard to stick to a song. They change with how I feel and whatever I am going through at the moment. Right now the second verse of a song called “Love Ran Red” by Chris Tomlin keeps making an appearance in my brain. [Sings]“There’s a place where sin and shame are powerless. Where my heart has peace with God and forgiveness”.
Share with us your favorite quote?
“It doesn’t matter how weak or slow your journey starts, but how you finish the race. You can finish strong.” – Pastor Gerard Keehan.
What’s your biggest fear?
I don’t even like talking about it…[Laughs]. It’s easier to pray about it.
Finally, why is working in TV fun?
Well, I know where you work plays a huge part in your work experience and Zodiak has totally been an awesome place to work. The team is super flexible to try things out and very honest, sometimes brutally honest but also very supportive. Otherwise I am not a fan of an office and cubical, so television works well for me. I like having a good chat and I get to do that with all kinds of people over the television every day. Telling crazy stories and just being me. I also like that I interview people from around the world and across Malawi. It’s good fun.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :