Meet Stephanie Chungu.

I was 14 when I told my parents I didn’t want to do the family route and study science.  I finally admitted them I wanted to write and it freaked them a bit, because they didn’t know how to get me where I wanted to be, whereas in pharmacy/nursing they know people.

You can consider me the black sheep in the family if you will. Myself and my cousin both take media courses – herself journalism and me studying Broadcast Media Production.

I won’t lie, I was scared breaking out in the media industry.  Taking an easy route into a job wasn’t what I wanted to do and I wanted a challenge.  Since joining Spark Sunderland in 2013, I’ve clocked up a whole calendar of hours (I’ve stopped counting since 150) of radio, and working behind the scenes.  I love doing it.  I love choosing the songs for playlist for my Urban Show on a Monday, choosing what content I should put in my daytime show, being in control of all the specialist programming, I just love it.

steph chungu


But the one thing that bothers me?  I’m one of the seven ethnic minority in the station. Media is not solely focused on BAME [Black and Ethnic Minority], and many just assume to put us in the Urban setting.

12874276_594724077360426_1486337790_o.jpgSo, when given the chance to go down to London to attend a masterclass held by BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra, I jumped at the chance.  It was a masterclass hosted by creative access, a programme committed to providing the best advice, experience and internship for BAME industry beginners.

The first day in London, I panicked.  Well, of course I did, I was in King’s Cross and was about to burst into tears because I didn’t have enough money to catch the tube home.  Oh how stupid I was, thinking that I could be so comfortable down in London on my own.

Eventually, I got to my aunt’s house.  And my cousin was so excited for this masterclass that she wasn’t even going to.  “You’re going to make it, Steph, believe me.” I tried. I really did.

Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 18.37.26.pngOn the day, I wanted to look really good.  I mean, I’m going to my future workplace, I wanted to stand out.  Before making down in London I went to Newcastle and bought a whole new outfit, that screamed “I KNOW WHAT I WANT AND I’M GOING TO GET IT.”

I mastered the tube with swagger, walked triumphantly down Oxford Street, and once I made it to Broadcasting House…

I took a couple steps back to McDonald’s to eat two meals.  Stressfully.

What am I doing?  Is it worth it?  I kept walking past the building.  I can’t do it, I can’t do it, I can’t do it.

I can do it.

I give myself a pep talk, and immediately went through the doors.

Screen Shot 2016-04-11 at 18.36.24.pngInstantly I was directed to a line for the masterclass, and noticed everyone was wearing trainers and jeans.  I was wearing low Mary Janes and a skirt.  I panicked again.

Being waited momentarily in the café (with the BBC shop just casually there) it hit me. I was miles away from home in a place I don’t know, wearing a skirt I was slowly starting to despise and heels that were biting into my ankles.  I couldn’t fit in.

Someone brushed past me and asked “is this for the masterclass?” And dumbly, I nodded.

To be continued…

One thought on “Meet Stephanie Chungu.

  1. i love this piece of work,explaining your journey to get to where you want to be, and using the power of the universe to glide over these hurdles really does show,nothing is impossible.
    its a pleasure to hear and know this,Thank you so much for sharing your journey,

    Liked by 1 person

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