With more women taking up space in unconventional careers, we see women taking the lead and dominating these new areas.
Judith Msonthi is one of these women.
Popularly known as Judie Emcee, she is a master of ceremonies, event host, media personality, trained journalist and communications professional.
She currently works as a digital marketing coordinator for PSI Malawi.
Judith is the founder of one of Emcee companies; Judie Emcee Agency— a public relations firm that specialises in social media expertise.
Judie Emcee Agency‘s areas of specialty include advertising, image creation, management and monitoring of publicity events, social media, digital campaigns and event hosting.
“Making money inspired me to create the Judie Emcee Agency. Not only do I host events, but I am also a media and communications professional, with a background in mainstream media, media marketing, public/media relations and events management.
“I also wanted to employ others in the industry and market their talent, but I saw that I needed to create the business first and work for myself, especially at a time when I found it hard to get employment,” she said.
Her agency has worked with international and local organisations to create and execute communication strategies, via print, electronic and digital media.
It has also partnered with government institutions, global and local stakeholders; entertainers and individuals to launch products, hold publicity events, engage with partners as well as entertain the local and international community.
She has a dream to one day have a team of all women MCs, DJs and event coordinators.
Judie is the last born of three children and a mother to her four-month-old daughter, Jasmine.
She did her education at Malawi Institute of Journalism, and later attended Pentecostal Life University, where she studied mass communications.
Despite studying journalism, Judie initially studied international criminal justice at the beginning of her university journey.
“I was mid-way studying international criminal justice with hopes of one day working for the United Nations. However, my freelance volunteer work with a child and youth media, Timveni pushed me towards pursuing a journalism degree. I finished my first degree in journalism and went straight into working fulltime as a journalist for television media,” said Judie.
Her formal career began when she was 21 as a TV presenter in 2011 when she freelanced for, Timveni.
During her time at Timveni, she was producer and presenter for her own programme, the Travel Series.
She loved tourism and visiting different places and decided to start a programme about tourism in Malawi.
She also hosted programmes on MBC Television.
However, Judith was best known as a presenter on Check-In (Timveni TV) and Breakfast Live (Times TV).
“My TV background was definitely a huge stepping stone for me. It gave me a place to start and over the years, I have developed myself. I am proud to say that I am an achievement-driven communications and public relations executive,” she said.
Judith said she is motivated by the urge to always make her dreams and wishes come true.
She also wants her daughter and family to be proud of her. She said that drives her to be the best.
In terms of her master of ceremonies journey, Judie hosted a fashion show in 2016, which was her very first time hosting in front of a live audience.
From that experience, she was drawn by the thrill that it gave her and wanted to do more of it.
She discovered it was something she had a passion for and loved doing.
“The adrenaline, the nerves, the crowd and the money drew me in. At first, I really couldn’t believe I was making money from just talking to a crowd and engaging it. It felt natural. I hope to make it on a large platform such asE! News,” said Judith.
Her journey has not been without challenges. As she was not raised in
Malawi, upon her return, Judie faced a language barrier.
“When I came back to the country in 2011, I barely spoke Chichewa and I could only understand the language. So, I often got teased by my colleagues. I also got judged because of my appearance and many people assumed I was not serious with my work.
“The media industry in Malawi is sort of like a boy’s club and as a female, you feel left out. I often had to work two-times as hard to get noticed and be at the forefront of all productions. It is not so much of a problem anymore as we see many women in the media making a name for themselves,” she added.
Judie reflects that career wise, her greatest achievement so far was when she hosted a prestigious live event that housed several authoritative figures.
She beamed: “The guest of honour was Malawi’s head of State and head of the United Nations. But outside my career, my greatest achievement was having my daughter Jasmine, because she is a blessing and means the world to me.”
Her advice to young girls is to never give up on themselves and to love themselves more each day.
“The hardest thing to accept in life is that you will face a lot of troubles, whether big or small. But the good thing about facing troubles and going through battlefields is that you always come out a victor,” Judith said.
Being a new mom, Judie mostly spends her time with her daughter.
However, in her free time, she enjoys watching movies and series, as well as eating at different restaurants.
She also enjoys meeting up and socialising with friends.