Violet Gonda was born in Mutare, Manicaland, Zimbabwe. She holds journalism qualifications from Zimbabwe and a master’s degree in International Journalism from City University in the United Kingdom. In 1996, she began her career in journalism as a television production assistant for Edwina Spicer Productions, a television production house specializing in political documentaries. In 1999, Spicer started the Media Monitoring Project – Zimbabwe (MMPZ) with Gonda to monitor Zimbabwean media. In 2000, Gonda spent 6 months with the BBC’s World Service’s Focus on Africa and Network Africa. She has been with SW Radio Africa in London as a producer and presenter since its inception in 2001. In 2002, Gonda was banned from returning to her home country by the Zimbabwean government because of her journalism work at the radio station. She won an international award for best radio documentary from the International Association of Women in Radio and Television and her radio station received a team Free Media Pioneer Award from the International Press Institute, both in 2005. In 2006, her station was awarded the International Station of the Year from the Association of International Broadcasters. That same year, Gonda was a nominee for the International Press Freedom Award by the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression and was a Stanford University Summer Fellow in their Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law.