The midwife who delivered Lena Nozizwe was not sure she was going to make it. Nozizwe’s umbilical cord was tied, not once, but twice around her neck. What was once her lifeline almost became her noose. So that midwife, located in a small room in a village hospital in Malawi, Africa, managed to pull Nozizwe to life, in spite of the fact that the most sophisticated “equipment” in the room was a chair with a hole in the middle of it.
Once the umbilical cord was cut, Nozizwe’s mother, Alice Princess Msumba Siwundhla, Ph.D., was subject to more drama because her infant was silent. She did not say a peep until the midwife splashed hot water on baby Nozizwe. Oh she cried alright and she’s been making noise ever since, most recently as a binary storyteller.
Her family came to the United States via Ralph Edwards’ pioneering reality television show, “This Is Your Life.” The principal subject of the program was Nozizwe’s mother.
She grew up to become an Emmy award-winning broadcaster, filmmaker, author, and speaker. She has earned a reputation as the storyteller who can and will go anywhere–from Palm Beach to South Central, Stockholm to San Diego, Dublin to Brooklyn and from Alaska to Zimbabwe.
In April of 2014 she came in second in the ALFA Short Film Competition on Ageism with her directorial debut, “A Father to Dye For,” starring Hulme Thamsanqa Siwudhla, Ph.D. She won the New York Film Festival Silver Award for a documentary she hosted and produced that followed the lives of LA runaways over a two year period.She won a Golden Mike for her coverage of a firestorm in San Diego.
A feature she produced for Associated Press Radio about an interracial rock group was also a New York Film Festival winner.
Nozizwe won a local Emmy for a feature about former NBA player Marvin “Bad News” Barnes. She found him living in a San Diego homeless shelter. She was nominated for a national Emmy, competing head-to-head against the likes of Ted Koppel and Andy Rooney, for a story about a sexual assault victim who fought back.
The binary journalist-tm has been featured in numerous publications, including the Washington Post, USA Today, Sister 2 Sister, Ireland’s Sunday Independent, Fitness, Glamour, the Adventist Review, Emmy Magazine, First for Women, Cosmopolitan and on SKY TV, CBS, and FOX.
Her writing has appeared in Seventeen, Complete Woman and Vibe. She is the author of the motivational book “Starring in Your Own Life” published by Simon & Schuster.
Nozizwe’s multimedia and radio reports have been featured on AJ+, FSRN, Associated Press Radio, Making Contact and Deutsche Welle.
When she is not writing, painting or creating beats or otherwise creating digital content, Nozizwe indulges in cooking and baking exotic comfort food, knitting, crocheting and designing clothing, especially from recycled materials.
Her designs have been sold in fashionable boutiques on Melrose Ave and Montana Blvd in Los Angeles. Nozizwe’s photographs have been featured online, in numerous publications and in a one-woman show.
Whether it is knitting a sweater or weaving together a story Nozizwe’s motto is that it’s all about the inner bling.