UNHCR: Romania’s “Oprah Winfrey” uses TV to shine a spotlight on refugees

Mbela Nzuzi interviews a guest on her chat show / Copyright: UNHCR. A. Anca

Mbela Nzuzi interviews a guest on her chat show / Copyright: UNHCR. A. Anca

BUCHAREST, Romania, February 5 (UNHCR) – In the bustling television studio moments before a live talk show about stress in Romanian society, host Mbela Nzuzi exudes her usual air of professionalism and warmth, and shows not a trace of nerves.

The hour-long programme, “Restart Romania,” is a doddle for the 36-year-old, who faced tougher challenges starting a new life in Romania after fleeing Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) during the dictatorial rule of the late President Mobuto Sese Soko.

Today she is a TV star – dubbed the Oprah Winfrey of Romania – and the only African presenter on local television, whose grasp of the Romanian language has helped to boost her popularity. “I understand people’s jokes here, which is very important,” she says. “People feel that I’m one of them, colour and nationality do not really come into question anymore,” adds Nzuzi, who fled her home country with her husband in 1997 after he came under attack for his political activities.

The couple were offered a safe haven later the same year by Romania, which only began opening its doors to refugees in 1991 after the fall of the communist regime. There are currently more than 1,000 refugees in Romania, which in 2008 also opened Europe’s first emergency transit centre in Timisoara to provide temporary shelter for refugees in urgent need of evacuation from their first asylum countries. See the original article and continue reading her story HERE.

UNHCR: DR Congo. Eastern DRC remains one of the most dangerous places in Africa, particularly for women.

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About Cristina Popa

Cristina is a WordPress blogger who regularly writes or shares updates on media, public affairs and various topics of interest. You may follow her on Communication for Development WP blog or Twitter @CristinaPopa0
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