By Helen Venganai
#20th woman I am celebrating in this women’s month is Bridget Gee (Bridget Gavanga).
She is one of the queens of the airwaves. I knew about Bridget when I was still an ordinary radio listener. One thing I have respected about Bubbling B is how she speaks. She has this amazing voice. But more importantly I admire her pronunciation.
I often get irritated with presenters who “nose” Shona words as if they are speaking in English. When Bridget is speaking in English, she is flawless.
Again when she has to pronounce Shona names or words, she speaks it fluently. She is just authentic. She gained my respect because of this.
Bridget started her broadcasting journey from the time she passed her auditions in 1996. She joined then then Radio 3 (which would later be rebranded to Power FM) as guest DJ. She hosted the popular morning shows where she interacted with listeners. Am sure you remember the popular show she co-presented with Mudhara Zobha.
In 2004 she won the Zimbabwe Union of Journalists DJ of the year.
I worked with Bridget from 2007 when she got a job as an artiste and repertoire (A&R) manager at the Zimbabwe Music Corporation/Gramma Records.
She was the first (or should I say the only) female A&R Manager to work for this company. I had also joined the same company as the Communications Manager who later doubled up as the A&R Executive as I supervised A&R Managers and music Producers. This is the time that I really appreciated the kind of person she is. As A&R Manager she was responsible for managing Urban Grooves artists.
Mind you before she joined, no urban groove artist had joined the company. But she worked very hard and signed up 15 artists in no time including the likes of Nesto and Madiz whose albums did very well on the market.
Bridget was passionate about her job and would spend nights in recording studios to give moral support to her artists when they were recording their projects. She was actively involved in the production of adverts to market her artists.
While she worked this hard, she would also perform at clubs.
I remember she used to play at Zindoga and would go there to listen to her great playlist.
I was concerned about her overworking and this is when she revealed that her mum was not feeling well so she needed medication which was very expensive.
So she had to hustle for her mum to get treatment. She did all she could to make sure her mum was well taken of.
Bridget proved she was a sister’s keeper when she stood for me against the company’s patriarchs who did not understand why I was sitting in senior management meetings and why I had been allocated an office in the top floor yet other managers were downstairs.
I was the only woman there and some felt maybe I was dating the owner of the company. They said this behind my back but Bridget put them in line by educating them about my role in the company.
When Bridget left Gramma/ZMC she rejoined Power FM where she would become the Station Manager between 2011 and 2013. Have heard of testimonies from some Power FM presenters who benefitted from her mentoring capabilities. She is supportive, generous and sincere.
Most importantly she gets the job done.
Her love for radio did not end when she left PowerFM.
At some point she was in West Indies where she worked for Zjb radio Montserrat. She then moved to the UK where then pursued an Honors degree in Broadcasting; TV production and Radio at the University of Bedfordshire.
She then worked for Radio Lab 97.1 FM and was the Community Radio Student Manager UK. Currently she works for Pamtengo radio station an online radio based in the UK.
But she also has a side hustle, because she sells top notch crockery items and has a Facebook page named Vintage73 where you can catch a glimpse of the products.
The idea to start this line of business was inspired by her mum whom Bridget says loved to serve her food on fine crockery.
As a mother to a boy child, Bridget has also hinted that she is starting an organisation focusing on empowering the boy child and teaching boys to become better men in society.
Go for it girl! I celebrate all your work and the impact you have made in the media space. You inspired some of us to become radio presenters too.
Keep the good heart and the love you have for people.