”My First Job Was Peeling Cassava” -ZNBC Journalist Patricia Ellis Opens Up
ZNBC Journalist Patricia Ellis she may be a household name in Zambia and other parts of the world, there are still many interesting facts about the TV star that is yet to be discovered.
The TV legend has risen to become one of the most successful Zambia News Presenter today. Her hard work and determination has earned her the admiration of many fans who continue to look up to her. OCENT NATION presents to you some interesting facts about the news star which are not so popular.
ms Ellis was born on the 26 of January, in luanshya at Thompson Hospital from a British Dad named Brian Arthur Dwight and her Bemba mother Laine Mulenga. she comes from a family of 13 -7 boys and 6 girls.
As a child Patricia always dreamt of becoming a broadcaster. From as early as 6 years old she would tell her Dad that one day she will sit on the ZNBC news desk and read the news and her father was a strong believer of her dream, he encouraged her to realise that dream no matter the odds.
“When growing up I was inspired by Maureen Nkandu. She was exceptionally good. And I always told my Dad I will read the news one day like Maureen Nkandu”
Patricia was at Mpelembe Primary school from grade one to grade seven ,then she went to Twashuka secondary school where she studied her grade eight and nine and eventually completed her grade 12 at Hellen Kaunda in 2001.
Unfortunately Her Parents divorced when she was very Young so she grew up with her father in luanshya. Her childhood was a very happy one until her Dad died when she was 12 years old in 1988 when she had written her grade 7 exams. She recalls that she was devastated and this eventually caused her to fail her grade 9 exams.
Due to lack of sponsorship Patricia stopped school and was out of school for a total of eight years But because she was determined to be educated and become a broadcaster she started evening classes and re-wrote her grade nine and passed. It was a tough time as she had to work to pay for school and sustain herself.
Her first job was peeling cassava in a factory in Kitwe, she later worked as cashier in a shop and waitress in a restaurant and casino, all these jobs helped pay for her education and she studied for her Grade 12 certificate which she eventually attained in 2001.
The determined lady moved to Lusaka where she continued to do Odd jobs and started studying through correspondence with an institute in the UK (Institute of Commercial Management) for her Diploma in Journalism and Media Studies, again as she could not be in college full time because as she still had to work to pay for her school.
Eventually Patricia completed her Diploma and in her last semester she was recruited as a News casters at 5 FM radio after auditions. And that was the beginning of her broadcasting career.
The hard working beauty worked for 5 FM for three and a half years as a reporter and news caster and on the 20th of November 2006 she made her life long dream that she had toiled for happen she joined ZNBC as a part time Announcer.
She worked as a part time Announcer for three and a half years and was finally employed on a full time basis on the 1st on May 2010 as a Producer to date.
In an exclusive interview with BEATS FM Patricia said her first day working as a Television Broadcaster at ZNBC was a very nerve wrecking experience especially coming from a background of reading news for Radio.
“On Radio you are not mindful of your looks and facial expressions but for TV you become aware of your outlook, your make-up, hair and clothes and facial expressions and all. And especially that you are reading for an audience countrywide you become aware that there are so many eyes on you, it is a totally scary experience. It’s still is, but the more I have done it over the years it has become easy and fun.”
Commenting on what she loved about been a broadcaster she says;
‘been that one person that delivers the most anticipated message to the public, it kinda makes you feel important , when I sit on the news desk and broadcast to the entire nation, it’s the one time I get people’s attention (Chuckles) its an awesome experience. And also getting to meet different people from different walks of life is something I love about my job. Travelling both locally and internationally is something I love so much. I could actually live out of a suit case.’
With a cordial personality the renown ZNBC broadcaster says she was inspired by ZNBC’s Maureen Nkandu and CNN’s Isha Sesay
“It’s every journalist’s dream to work for an international television news channel like CNN or the BBC and Isha has just done that.”
The most challenging moment of her career was trying to get to prove that she was capable of casting the main news on ZNBC TV. As it was not easy to make it on the main news desk.
One day a news caster missed the news and Patricia took the opportunity and was able to present the main news ,has been casting since then.
Before her thriving broadcasting career Patricia always told herself that if she didn’t make it as a broadcaster, she would be an actress.
Patricia acted in Kabanana as the new Amina, in Tears of love and recently had a small part in love Games since she has a busy schedule she rarely does auditions but says she loves acting.
On a daily basis Patricia’s day starts at 4:30 when she goes jogging and later does some resistance training for 30 minutes then takes a shower and takes her children for school ,she reports for work at 08:00hrs.
Her hobbies been swimming, reading romantic novels and memoirs, dancing.
The charming high spirited lady life advise is to never look down on anyone as you can learn something from people regardless of their standing in society and to realise that you can never control People’s opinion but as a public figure you have to block out the negativity and focus on the positive.
As a Christian with such a humble background and having to go through all these hurdles to be where she is is now Patricia says it was only by divine intervention that she has managed to come this far even when the odds we’re against her she fought and never gave up.
Most people will see people on TV and think they have it easy Patricia story is a testimony of hardwork and relentless determination.
The TV personality is a mother of three namely, Natassja and two boys Brian and Michael- Tumelo both aged 12 and her oldest Daughter been 25 years old.
The beautiful mixed race personality says she intends to own her own media organisation and to open her own fitness gym as she will soon start her a TV show about fitness.
Patricia Ellis recently graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Communication science from University of South Africa this year a reward for her hard work.
Her word of advise to anyone aspiring to be a broadcaster is
“go for it if it’s your dream. And never let anyone stand in the way of your dream, it is never too late to live your dream. I am a living example of someone who was out of school for eight years but my dream was too big to ignore. I call my self the late bloomer (Chuckled) but here I am finally living my dream as a broadcaster.
So go for it, It’s a beautiful and rewarding career. “
A fighter,an overcomer and now the woman we love on TV
ZNBC Journalist Patricia Ellis