Zimbabwe Cyber-Security Expert To Be Honoured In Australia

The author of the successful book, the Five Anchors of Cyber Resilience, Phillimon Zongo will be honoured at the Australian edition of the Zimbabwe Achievers Awards (ZAA).
Zim Achievers International announced earlier this week that Zongo would receive recognition for his outstanding contribution to the cyber security sector and for his published work.

The award-winning book tackles issues related to cyber security, the threats it faces in the industry and corporate responses to them, within a framework of “five anchors.”
He is the CEO and founder of CISO Advisory and has been published in a number of journals. He has also received numerous awards from several professional bodies, including from the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA).

For over decade, he has consulted widely with major corporations to assist with their cybersecurity strategies.

ZAA Organising Director Method Mukundu, said: “Phil has been making strides in the cyber security industry for over 15 years. The thought leadership he continues to contribute to the technology risk and cyber security profession is both ground-breaking and inspirational.”

“He has been published in over 180 countries to date, particularly in areas such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence and robotics. He is a credit to his industry, a role model in the community and a force to be reckoned with,” Mukundu added.

Charity organisation, Ladies of Zimbabwe in Australia (LOZA) will also be honoured with the Philanthropic Leadership Award, which recognises the organisations work in the community. The team were instrumental in fundraising for the recent Cholera crisis in Zimbabwe, working in partnership with Pastor Evan Mawarire.

Stephen and Shillar Sibanda will be honoured as joint recipients of this year’s prestigious Chairman’s award. The husband and wife are being recognised for their selfless and outstanding work in the Zimbabwean community in Melbourne and Victoria.

They have been very instrumental in advocating and fostering African integration and influence in Australia through their organisation, the African Australian Communities Leadership Forum (AACLF). Their efforts caught the attention of the Victorian Government, which has since become more engaged with African communities and has provided  over $8 million in funding for numerous projects.

President of the Mental Health Foundation of Ghana, Dr Francis Acquah will receive the Friend of Zimbabwe Award. Francis has played a critical role in the healthcare sector, predominantly in the area of mental health. His clinical practice includes psycho-cultural counselling and advocacy for refugees and immigrants, specifically within the African community in Australia. He has also provided counsel to a number of Zimbabweans and businesses and has helped many set up business practices in the healthcare industry.

ZAA Australia Executive Member – Trevor Manyame

ZAA executive committee member, Trevor Manyame said: “Dr Francis Acquah has played a massive role in issues around mental health and raising awareness of it globally, mainly in African communities, where it  is regarded a taboo subject.”

“His work in the Zimbabwean community has had a massive impact on the outlook of the  healthcare sector in Australia.

Many individuals have set up businesses with his support and consultation, and we want to recognise and appreciate him for being a global leader in our community.” Manyame added.

Meanwhile, voting for this year’s group of nominees closed on 21 November.

The event will take place on Saturday 24 November 2018 at the Marriott hotel in Melbourne.

Tickets are still on sale for $90 and can be purchased exclusively from

The Australian edition, now in its second year, has become a permanent fixture and this year took the step to move it across state lines from Adelaide.

The brand is now present in four countries and has been highlighting the successes and achievements of Zimbabweans, as well as bringing together business leaders and innovators from all sectors to celebrate, empower and network. There are plans to introduce Canada in the coming year.


ZimAchievers Australia Announces 2018 Contenders

By Tidi Kwidini

As Zimbabwe Achievers International’s global awards campaign draws to an end for 2018, the Australian edition has entered the final phase, announcing over 75 nominees for this year’s awards ceremony.

ZAA Australia Committee – Rav Mukushi

Sponsored by WorldRemit, the London based Fintech Company, has been part of all four chapters this year.

ZAA International Chairman, Conrad Mwanza applauded all the organisers in each country for a successful year, adding that Zim Achievers could only get bigger, better and stronger.

“It has been another wonderful year of recognising and celebrating the work that Zimbabweans are doing across the world and we are grateful to our global partner WorldRemit for being part of it this year.”

“Zim Achievers is a global community initiative that has progressed since 2010, where it started in the UK and it is now present in South Africa, the US and Australia, and we are putting plans in place to introduce Canada shortly.

There is still so much more to achieve and I am both humbled and proud of the various teams across the world, as well as all our partners and those who, year in and year out, support the brand. ZAA continues to thrive because of the people around it who give it life,” he added.

Meanwhile, voting for this year’s group of nominees is now open and will close on 21 November, The event will take place on Saturday 24 November 2018 at the Marriott hotel in Melbourne.

Tickets are on sale for $90 and can be purchased exclusively from

Organisers announced earlier in the campaign that Mandisa Mlisa will host this year’s gala.

Australia’s Organising Director, Method Mukundu said: “This year’s awards campaign has revealed another cohort of exceptional Zimbabweans doing well in a number of sectors in Australia.”

“What is unique about Zim Achievers, is that every year we uncover hidden talent. We find out more about the individuals who are making a huge difference.

“Individuals who we would not ordinarily recognise, if it were not for the general public who help us discover them and we thank everyone who played a part this year,” he added.

The awards, which started almost a decade ago, have become a permanent fixture in four countries and have been highlighting the successes and achievements of Zimbabweans, as well as bringing together business leaders and innovators from all sectors to celebrate, empower and network.

2018 Australia Nominees

Academic Excellence

  • Professor Bruce Mutsvairo
  • Dr Sithembinkosi Dube
  • Dr Jerry Parwada
  • Finex Ndlovu
  • Dr Stella Gwini

Business of the Year

  • Global Union Shipping Company
  • Mukushi Legal
  • Right at Home Padstow St George
  • AZBC
  • Mopane Community Health

Community Organization of the Year

  • Ebenezer Foundation
  • The Single Mother Foundation
  • Nokutenda Disability Foundation Inc.
  • United Methodist Church VIC
  • Loza

Community Champion of the Year – Female

  • Tendai Togara
  • Noma Mbereko
  • Renny Chivunga
  • Zanele Thebe
  • Lucky Ngoshi

Community Champion of the Year – Male

  • Tafadzwa Chitambo
  • Mr Athanas Zivave
  • Shingirayi Mari
  • Tawanda Karasa
  • Dr Alfred Chidembo

Cultural Ambassador

  • Nehanda Yemaya Imana
  • Simba Mushete and The Echoes of African music
  • Ivy Ziyambe
  • Taku Mbudzi

Event of the Year

  • A.D Flavors
  • OzLinkup Festival
  • Farai’s High Tea
  • Special Moments
  • Millennium Promotions

Female Entrepreneur

  • Jane Munzabwa
  • Olivia Kanosvamhira
  • Raviro Nzenza
  • Tracey Nyatsanza Mupedzi
  • Tanya Hodza

Male Entrepreneur

  • Prosper Taruvinga
  • Muduwa Collen
  • Godwin Hungwe
  • Evans Mukozho
  • Enock Buranda

Music Artist

  • Thando Sikwila
  • Simba Mak
  • Ruvarashe Ngwenya
  • Fungai Katiyo

People’s Choice

  • DJ Dante
  • Michelle Kudakwashe Majuru
  • Mukoma Masimba
  • Judith Mari
  • Obey Chingorivo

 Professional of the Year 

  • Chido Manoah
  • Tariro Ruwiza
  • Gordon Chakaodza
  • Gracious Chidhakwa
  • Dr David Tapfumanei Pfidz 

Sports Personality of the Year

  • David Pocock
  • T Zihori
  • Tafadzwa Chitambo
  • Farai Murwira
  • Tando Velaphi

Media Personality of the Year

  • Dj Ras George
  • Ivy Zee
  • Sista Zai Zanda
  • Joseph Chitambo
  • Ronald Nhokwara

Trend, Fashion and Design

  • Emily Jokwiro
  • Farai Chiwedza
  • 21UP
  • Molinda Danda
  • Shayne Tinotenda Maramba

Young Achievers Award

  • Yummy treats unlimited by Lilian
  • Michelle Sibanda
  • Great Joy Maposa
  • Albertina Thabisani Ncube

Mandisa Confirmed ZimAchievers Awards Australia Host

THE nomination deadline for the Australian edition of the Zimbabwe Achievers Awards is fast approaching and the public have until October 26 to put forward candidates they feel have excelled in the last year.

ZAA Chairman Conrad Mwanza said that Australia has grown since its inaugural event and the calibre of candidates continues to astound him.

“Australia has a long list of Zimbabweans excelling in business, sport, the arts and music and, every year brings well deserving candidates whom we are thrilled to recognise and celebrate, and l am optimistic that this year will be no different,” he said.

Organisers of the event have also confirmed sought-after event host, Mandisa Mlisa as the compere of this year’s event.

The gala, scheduled for 24 November 2018, will be held at the luxurious Marriott Hotel in Melbourne.

“This gala dinner is the highlight of a big weekend in Melbourne for the Zimbabwean Diaspora in Australia and I am honoured to be the host of this glitzy and glamourous event.

“I expect to see a lot of beautiful and well-dressed people and we will have a great time,” said Mandisa.

Born and raised in Bulawayo, Mandisa is an astute entrepreneur with a passion for empowering others through communication and positive engagement.

Meanwhile, the shortlisted nominees will be announced on Sunday 28 October via livestream on the Zimbabwe Achievers Awards Facebook page at 6pm Melbourne time. Voting will commence and run until Wednesday 21 November.

Tickets are now on sale and can be purchased exclusively from for $90.

Meanwhile, London-based fintech Company, WorldRemit will continue as the global partner for ZAA International. They will this year headline the event which honours the achievements of Zimbabweans in Australia. The company also headlined the South African, UK and USA and editions.

The awards have become one of the most prestigious and significant events in four countries, bringing together business leaders and innovators from all sectors to celebrate the outstanding achievements of people of Zimbabwean heritage who reside in the UK, USA, South Africa and Australia.

ZAA International have also confirmed that there are plans to introduce Canada to the fold in the coming months.

To nominate for this year’s awards visit


Inaugural ZAA Australia Nominees Are Announced

NOMINEES for the Inaugural Zimbabwe Achievers Australia Edition have been announced and the gala dinner where the winners will be honoured scheduled for Saturday 28th October 2017. Like the other editions in UK, South Africa and USA, the Australian edition has produced and unearthed extraordinary Zimbabweans excelling in Australia. Organisers of the high profile event announced over 80 nominees across a 20-category list at a press conference held on Facebook live.
ZAA Australia Secretary Jaison Midzi said “we have been inundated with some outstanding nominations for the inaugural event, and it highlighted the exceptional work that Zimbabweans are doing, not only in Australia but aboard.” He praised the team for doing a remarkable job whittling down the shortlist. The team comprised of individuals with experience and knowledge in various sectors from business to community engagement and entertainment, including Method Mukundu and Trevor Manyame led by David Shepherd Mutusva and the local committee
ZAA Founder Conrad Mwanza said ‘’the community spirit that has been built and the calibre of individuals and organisations that we have recognised over the years in different countries really shows how talented, determined and studious Zimbabweans are in building something we can all be proud of.’’ Dr Lance Mambondiani, Steward Bank CEO, one of the sponsors of ZAA Australia added ‘’any nation that does not honour its heroes will not endure.“ Our association with the Zimbabwe Achievers is our token of support to the rewards of core values of hard work, resilience, dedication and triumph over adversity; values without which no nation can endure.” He said ZAA was a noble cause and applauded the organisers for the initiative edged the community to rally behind the cause.
Voting will commence on Tuesday 12th September and will run until the 10th of October 2017. Thereafter, votes will be verified by ZAAs Panel of professionals who will arduously assess shortlisted candidates and match up their achievements with the set criteria before emerging with this year’s list of winners.

The ZAA Australia awards ceremony will be held on Saturday 28th October 2017 at the prestigious Hilton hotel, Adelaide, overlooking Victoria Square. Hilton Adelaide is set in the heart of the city’s entertainment, shopping and dining precincts, the Central Market, Chinatown and Gouger Street. Early bird tickets start from AUD110 until 30th September then go up to AUD150 from the 1st of October.
The ZAA annual gala dinner has become the red carpet event and the most popular date on the Zimbabwean community’s calendar. It remains the pinnacle of celebration for the accomplishments of Zimbabweans who are settled in the diaspora. meanwhile Nominations are open for the South Africa and US Editions, please visit to nominate

The 2017 ZAA Australia Finalists are………

Business of the year

1.   Zishopu Worldwide

2.   Best Clinical Practice Australia

3.   Omasters Accountants

4.   Greenstar Commercial and Property

5.   Urimbo Group

Female entrepreneur of the year

1.   Taku Mbudzi

2.   Gracious Chidhakwa Makumbe

3.   Ruby Lynn

4.   Christine Mudavanhu Makumbe

5.   Raviro Nzenza

Male  Entrepreneur of the Year

1. Nkosana Mafico

2. Prosper Taruvinga

3. Guardian Mushangwe

4. Noel Padzinza and Nigel Buraundi

5. Tsungai Mukushi

Professional of the Year

1.   Simba Marekera

2.   Dr Gerald Chitsunge & Dr Pethidia Mango

3.   Grace Chakabva

4.   Phillimon Zongo

5.   Shingirai Nhatarikwa

Community Organization of the Year

1.   CYALA

2.   Tinoda Trust

3.   Face of Africa Australia


5.   Zim Community In Australia Victoria

Academic Excellence

1.   Dr Edison Ziso

2.   Dr Shepherd Masocha

3.   Dr Stella Gwini

4.   Cephas Chiduku

5.   Prof. Finex Ndlovu

Community Champion of the year Female

1.  Thembie Ndlovu

2.  Ruth Pasi Magodo

3.  Thembelihle Moyo Ncube

4.  Thembe Moyo

5.  Shelter Makonese

Community Champion of the year Male

1.  John Tapfuma

2.  Bankie Murongah

3.  Bernard Muchemwa

4.  Terry MacDermot

5.  Japhet Ncube

Cultural Ambassador

1. Munyaradzi Maidza

2. Tobias Mahohoma

3. Felix Machiridza

4. Simba Mushete

5. Chris Gudu

Event of  the Year

1.   Cancer Girls’ Night In

2.   Freeka Runway

3.   Australia Diaspora Business Engagement Forum

4.   Spirit of Africa Townsville

5.   Africa’s Got Talent

Musician /Artist of the Year

1.   Tkay Maidza

2.   Nyarai Takaidza

3.   Larry Slicker

4.   Desire Sibanda (Dizzy Dee)

5.   Ruvarashe Ngwenya

Personality of the Year

1.   Judith Mari

2.   Frazer Mutumwa

3.   Obey Chingorivo (Terry Obza)

4.   Sister Zai Zanda (Poet)

5.   Olivia Kanosvamira

People’s Choice

1.   Michelle Kudakwashe Majuru

2.   Lucky Ngoshi

3.   Mukoma Masimba

4.   Kuda Chamisa

5.   DJ Dante (Clemency Mdaya)

Sports person of the Year

1.   David Pocock (Former Captain Australian Rugby U20s

2.   Janine Murray (Commonwealth Games Gold Medalist)

3.   Tando Velaphi (Soccer) professional league.

4.   Hilton William Raymond Cartwright (Cricket)

5.   Amanda Chigeza

Music Video of the Year

1.   Tinonakirwa – Bodyguard

2.   Larry Slicker- Special Kid

3. Francois – Growing pains

4.   Tkay Maidza – Do it right

5. Kudzai – Ehheh


1.   Richard James Cosnet -Actor: The Vampires Diary, The Flash; Quantico

2.   Ronald Nhokwara (Dj Ron Ron) (Vic263TV & Vic263 Radio)

3.   Enock Buranda ( Vic 263TV & Vic263 Radio)

4.   Collen Muduwa (Big Time Media)

5.   Papa Joze


1.   Emily Jokwiro – (Klassic Designs By Emily) Melbourne

2.   Charity Rumbidzai Chola – (Glam & Elegant Couture) Perth

3.   Molinda Danda – Danda Couture

4.   Itai Nyakudya

5.   Liz Bokani Pasipanodya

Young Achievers Award

1.   Kevin Kapeke

2.   Gracious Tapfuma

3.   Takudzwa Nyamvura

4.   Thubalethu Ndibali

5.   Tinaye Zenenga

Friend of Zimbabwe Award

1.  Mark Bartler – Member for Port Adelaide

2.   Senator Lucy Guchui

3.   Dorcas Utkovic (Oz African TV)

4.   Angela Evans – Mayor of City of Charles Sturt

5.   Alison Wall

Lifetime Outstanding Contribution 

1.   Rob Adams (Architect)

2.   Dr Sekai Nzenza – Shand

3.   Henry Olonga

4.   Audius M’tawarira

5.   Alfonso Zvenyika Lambarda (Boxer)


ZAA Australia Date And Venue Announced

The Zimbabwe Achievers Awards International has announced the 28 October as the date of the debut Australian version of the globally-spreading award series.  The Awards will be held at the beautiful Hilton Hotel Adelaide. Tickets are available and can be purchased directly from 

Nominations have since opened and people have until 31 July to put forward names of Zimbabwean persons and businesses they believe are excelling and have potential to win various categories.

“We urge people to send in time their nominations of Zimbabweans living in Australia and to also purchase tickets as this a great opportunity to network and bring progressive Zimbabweans together, the inaugural event will be a unique opportunity for the many Zimbabweans in Australia to celebrate their own successes, said Shepherd Mutusva, ZAA Australia Country Director

The Zimbabwean community Down Under, as Australia is commonly known, has grown over the years; with many venturing and excelling in different economic fields like in other countries such as the UK, USA and South Africa where Zimbabwean communities have traditionally settled. Interestingly Australia has seen a growing number of Zimbabweans moving to settle there for various reasons, with some individuals having been in that country for decades and doing very well.

“As such, the Australian version is expected to be just as exciting as the editions we have held in UK, US and South Africa,” said Mutusva.

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Meanwhile ZAA International has announced that the USA edition will be held on 11 November at the Marriot Hotel, Dallas while the South African edition is scheduled for 2 December this year with venue yet to be confirmed. People are being encouraged to send in their nominations for all the ZAAs through the website and selecting the country of choice.The Zimbabwe Achievers Awards is held in countries where there is a sizable community of nationals from the southern African country. The global event has become the epitome of excellence among Zimbabweans who have chosen to live outside their home country, like many other diaspora communities from across the globe.

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The high profile awards, founded by Conrad Mwanza in 2010 have become the highlight of celebration for professional and artistic achievements by Zimbabweans in the UK and has spread to South Africa, USA and now Australia.


Steward Bank Announced As Sponsors Of ZAA UK, USA And Australia

Dr Lance Mambondianii, Steward Bank CEO

Steward Bank is once again the official sponsor for the upcoming edition of the Zimbabwe Achievers Awards taking place in United Kingdom, United States and Australia, in May, July and November respectively. The bank was the title sponsor of the awards in 2016.

The awards organisation, which was established in 2010, and is the brainchild of ZAA Chairman Conrad Mwanza, recognises and honours Zimbabweans excelling in various countries.

Mwanza said that the International Executive committee were delighted to welcome Steward Bank on board as an official partner and were looking forward to working with them.

“Steward Bank’s involvement with ZAA-UK, ZAA-Australia and ZAA-US only proves our ongoing commitment to building, engaging and supporting Zimbabwean communities around the world,” said Mwanza.

Mwanza added that the commercial banks support with the respective franchises would only strengthen an already growing relationship with the Zimbabwean community on an international spectrum.

Steward Bank launched its Diaspora Banking unit in 2014, and the product range has been growing since then, mainly to accommodate all Zimbabweans living and working in the diaspora. With the slogan “Your bank away from home” the Bank has managed to bring financial solutions to all Zimbabweans in the diaspora.

Steward Bank’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Lance Mambondiani, is very thrilled with the partnership between the Bank and the ZAA group. The Bank`s strong innovative core identifies with the ZAA group. The Bank continues to support commendable initiatives by Zimbabweans, as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility,

The Zimbabwe Achievers Awards have been a major highlight in the UK, USA, as well as in South Africa, and soon to be in Australia, and it is wonderful to see what the organisation has done over the years in recognising Zimbabweans who are excelling in their various disciplines.

The United Kingdom edition will be held on the 6th of May at the Prestigious Cumberland Hotel in the heart of London. Nominees for this year’s event were announced on the 16th of March 2017 in Canary Wharf and public voting will be open until the 20th of April 2017. The public is invited to vote at

The annual event brings together Business Leaders from all sectors, Government officials, Diplomats, Civil Society representatives from NGO’s, Heads of Finance & Trade and the International Press. The awards ceremony has become one of the most significant and prestigious events within the Zimbabwean and broader Diaspora community calendar.

Tsitsi Masiyiwa 2016 Chairman’s Honorary Award Recipient

AFRICAN philanthropist and social entrepreneur Tsitsi Masiyiwa will this year receive the Chairman’s honorary award at the Zimbabwe Achievers Awards (ZAA), for her contribution to charitable causes and children’s welfare.

Masiyiwa, co-founder and chair of the Highlife Foundation has devoted much of her life to empowering disadvantaged children through education and harnessing technology to create employment opportunities for young people.

Married to telecoms magnate Strive Masiyiwa, Tsitsi has for nearly two decades dedicated her life’s work to orphaned and vulnerable children, overseeing five trusts operating in several countries include Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Burundi and South Africa.

Through her foundation, Tsitsi has supported the youth with basic education and created opportunities that have enabled many of them to go on to college and vocational training.

Masiyiwa has also been involved in identifying and nurturing young talent by selecting hundreds of gifted African students, and offering them scholarships that cover a broad scope, from high school right through to university, including top Ivy League colleges such as Harvard and Yale.

“Tsitsi Masiyiwa is the personification of a woman using the resources she has at her disposal to help those in need, and we salute her for her incredible philanthropic work and her personal commitment to promoting and fostering change,” said ZAA Chairman Conrad Mwanza.

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“She is a credit to the community and a great ambassador. Her unyielding efforts in empowering children through education and giving them a hope for the future is admirable, and this year we are celebrating the wonderful work she has done and that she is still doing,” Mwanza added.

In the last 17 years the Higherlife Foundation has invested time, money and resources in sending tens of thousands of children to school in Central and Southern Africa.

Through the Capernaum Trust that she set up with husband Strive, the trust pays fees for over 40,000 students across Primary, High school and Tertiary levels.

They have also established the Andrew Young Scholarship, a $6.4 million-dollar fund that sends African students to attend, among others, Morehouse College in the US.

Three other individuals have also made it on to the honour’s list. The recipients include Diaspora Funeral Cash Plan founder, Jeff Madzingo, former Dynamos and Warriors goal keeper, Japhet Mparutsa and Deloitte’s Debbie Thomas.

“We have so many outstanding men and women who are, on a daily basis, working to strengthen and build our ever-growing community in the UK.”

“The work these individuals are doing, their vision, determination and persistence to bring about positive change in the society we live in is truly an inspiration to us all,” said Mwanza.

Jeff Madzingo is to be honoured for his pivotal role in business and services to the community.

Having previously helped thousands of Zimbabweans acquire properties in the UK over the years Madzingo five years ago founded the bespoke diaspora funeral cash plan which pays US$ cash immediately on an individual’s death. In the face of an old age solcial ill where diaspora communities have had to resort to bereaving and begging, the Diaspora Funeral Cash Plan has helped transform the realities of so many Zimbabweans and other African nationalities worldwide. He is also the CEO of New Zimbabwe, one of the leading online newspapers.
Football legend, Japhet Mparutsa, well known as the Shortcat, is to receive the Legend’s Award for services rendered to sport. Mparutsa, who played for Dynamos, Black Rhino’s, South Africa’s Bloemfontein Celtics and Darryn T, overcame a series of challenges during his career that spanned 17 years to emerge as one of the greatest goalkeepers of all time. Mparutsa also broke several records during his illustrious career.

At 19, Mparutsa made history when he became the first goal keeper to win the Soccer Star of the Year award while playing for Dynamos. He also helped the Black Rhino’s win the League and Cup double in the same year. In 1985 he won the Vaseline Blue Seal Goalkeeper of the year accolade.

Mparutsa has since released an autobiography that centers on his journey into football and his persistence and determination in the face of adversity to become one of the most sought-after goalkeepers.

Debbie Thomas of Deloitte is to be honoured with the Friend of Zimbabwe award for her continued support and contribution to initiatives in the Zimbabwean and African communities in the UK.

Debbie, who is a Partner in Advisory and heads the Africa Services Group at Deloitte, has over 20 years’ experience assisting African companies to enter the UK and UK companies to enter Africa.

She has lead the UK firm’s relationships with 51 African firms to deliver cross-border services across industries for several years. She also sits on the African Taskforces UKTI and TheCityUK, the South African Chamber of Commerce board and chairs the UK chapter of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants.

The Zimbabwe Achievers Awards are being held this Saturday, 7th May, 2016 at the prestigious five-star Royal Garden Hotel in London. The hotel has become home to the annual gala since 2014.

Now in its sixth year, the ZAA’s recognise excellence in areas that include business, the arts, literary and academic, as well as community initiatives.

Running under the theme Celebrating Women in Media and the Arts, the awards will this year give recognition to women excelling in various sectors of the media and arts industry.

First held in the UK in 2011, the brand is now established in other parts of the world including South Africa, and will soon be launched in the United States.

There are also on-going talks of expanding the brand to Australia, Canada and Zimbabwe, and according to organisers, this plan could be executed in the next 24-36months.

This year’s event is sold out for the sixth year running. However, organisers have announced that there are a limited number of after party tickets being sold exclusively at for £30.


ZimAchievers To Honour Women In Media And The Arts

THE Zimbabwe Achievers Awards (ZAA) will this year give special recognition to women in the media and arts industry.

Running under the theme, Celebrating Women in Media and Arts, the awards ceremony will celebrate five outstanding women who have excelled in the areas that include broadcasting, film and literary arts.

According to organisers, Head of Publicity for Columbia Records,Sony Music Entertainment,Taponeswa Mavunga, Forbe’s Farai Gundan, The Walking Dead actress Danai Guriria, Author Petina Gappah and former Dr Who star, Chipo Chung will be honoured at the ceremony on the 7th of May at the Royal Garden hotel in London.

“Over the years we have recognized various individuals and a number of institutions, but this year we wanted to show our support for the extraordinary work that women do that aim to uplift the community in various ways,” said ZAA Chairman, Conrad Mwanza.

“Many women are still undervalued in a number of industries, including business, and we applaud successful businesswomen like Taponeswa, Farai, Danai, Chipo and Petina who are climbing the ranks in their various industries with their passion and energy,” added Mwanza.

The prestigious awards ceremony, which celebrates its sixth year, will provide a reflective context to examine the achievements of women in the field of media, the arts and emerging technologies.

“Women have always been an integral part of crafting culture, and now, with help from the internet, they’re at the forefront of the current “maker” movement around the world.

“From television to holding top positions in a tough industry like music which has over the years been dominated by males, these women have broken barriers and are inspiring the next generation of female Zimbabweans to pursue careers in journalism, literary arts and business,” Mwanza said.

“From the suffragettes of the 20th century, the Bra burning campaigners of the 1970s, to the third wave of feminists trying to crack the so-called corporate glass ceiling, women have been fighting for equal rights for centuries.  While there may still be wider issues, women are continuing to break the mould and are emerging as power-houses not only in the corporate world but in the media industry, as we are now seeing an increase of female directors and producers in the film sector who are influencing major projects and shaping things for the generations of women still to come.”

Mwanza said ZAA salutes and appreciates the efforts all women of Zimbabwean heritage, especially the journalists, media professionals, writers, actresses and producers who are continuing to make immense contributions to the growth and development of the media and arts world in Africa and abroad.

“Incredible women like the five being recognised at ZAA this year are all around us, leading, innovating and mentoring the next generation.

“Every once in a while it is important to shine the spotlight on women and celebrate the inspirational journeys and achievements of some of the brightest talent in the media landscape,” he added.

Over the years, the Zim Achievers has continued to evolve. With the UK awards well established, and with South Africa up and running for the past 3 years, the organisation continues to spread its wings.

With plans for expansion, ZAA will be launching in the United States in the next few weeks and nominations will open shortly after.

Voting for the UK version of this year’s awards has ended and the ZAA’s panel of experts are currently deliberating to come up with the list of winners for the awards ceremony.

Special Recognition Awards Recipients


Forbes Farai Gundan

Farai Gundan

Farai is a 2015 Young Global Leader, World Economic Forum and a Dangote Fellow. Farai has been listed as the number one among top 10 writers for She also writes for ESSENCE, a leading US publication that focuses on women of colour. She is the recipient of the 2015 Media Excellence Award by African Women Awards and 2014 Emerging African Leader Award by Temple University. Ladybrille Magazine named Farai as one of “20 Influential African Women Entrepreneurs in America to watch in 2015”. In 2013, Forbes named Farai as one of its Top 30 Best Entrepreneurs from Africa. Farai runs FaraiMedia, a media consultancy that focuses on Africa.



Head of Publicity at Sony -Taponeswa Mavunga

Taponeswa Mavunga

Taponeswa Mavunga is the Head of Publicity for Columbia Records,Sony Music Entertainment. She was recruited from Viacom Africa after spending a year as Head of Talent and Music across MTV, MTV Base and the recently launched [in Africa] BET channels.

Prior to this, she was Senior Publicity Manager at Atlantic Records UK where she oversaw numerous campaigns over the years, including JAY Z, Estelle, Ed Sheeran and Rudimental, for which she won a Music Week Award for Best PR Campaign in 2014.


Third novel out in November … Petina Gappah

Petina Gappah

Petina Gappah is a lawyer and an author. She has law degrees from Cambridge University, Graz University in Austria and the University of Zimbabwe. She completed her PhD at the age of 26. She works as Counsel at the ACWL, an international organisation in Geneva that advises more than 70 developing country governments on the laws governing the World Trade Organisation.

In 2014, Petina was nominated by the government of Zimbabwe to be a Member of the Appellate Body, the tribunal that arbitrates word trade disputes. She was the only third African woman to be nominated since 1995, the first being her mentor, Ambassador Amina Mohammed, currently Kenya’s Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister. Although she was closely beaten to the post by Ambassador Shree Servansing of Mauritius, Petina considers this her most successful professional achievement.

As a writer, Petina uses both English and Shona. Her first book, An Elegy for Easterly, was awarded the Guardian First Book Prize in 2009, an honour she shares with Dambudzo Marechera who received the Guardian Fiction award in 1979. The book was also shortlisted for Zimbabwe’s NAMA Award for Outstanding First Book, Ireland’s Frank O’Connor Prize, the Los Angeles First Book Award and the Orwell Prize. Her second book, The Book of Memory, was shortlisted for the NAMA Award for Outstanding Fiction, long-listed for the 2015 Financial Times Oppenheimer award and the 2016 Baileys Prize, making her the first Zimbabwean writer in twenty years to be recognised for this honour. Her third book, Rotten Row, will be published in November 2016. One of the stories from that book has been shortlisted for the Sunday Times EFG Award, the world’s richest award for a single short story.



The Walking Dead Actress – Danai Gurira

Danai Gurira

Danai is an actress and playwright. She has started in numerous films and TV shows, including popular series The Walking Dead.

In 2007, Gurira starred in film The Visitor for which she won Method Fest Independent Film Festival Award for Best Supporting Actress. She has appeared in films Ghost Town 3 and Restless City. From 2010 to 2011, she appeared in HBO drama series Treme. In 2013, Gurira played a lead role in director Andrew Dsunmu’s independent drama film Mother of George, which appeared at the Sundance Film Festival. She received critical acclaim for her performance as a Nigerian woman struggling to live in the United States.

Gurira has also written and starred in a number of Broadway plays. Her 2009 play, Eclipsed, which starred Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o made it to Broadway from Off-Broadway. The play is set in war torn Liberia and focuses on three women who are living as sex slaves to a rebel commander, and is about how they deal with this difficult situation. The play was inspired by a photograph of female fighters and their tale of survival.

In January 2016, it was announced Gurira had been cast as Tupac Shakur’s mother Afeni Shakur in All Eyez on Me, a biopic about the rap star.


Doctor Who Star … Chipo Chung

Chipo Chung

Chipo trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London and graduated in 2003. She is known in science fiction circles for her work in Doctor Who where she has appeared in several episodes. Other TV appearances include, The Last Enemy and as a reporter in an episode of Sherlock.

In 2011, she had a recurring role as Vivian, an indentured servant at King Uther’s court in the medieval romance drama series Camelot. She appeared in the 2015 British TV series Fortitude as Trish Stoddart. In the same year, she won the acclaimed role of Mary Magdalene in the TV series, A.D The Bible Continues. The show was hailed for its international and multi-racial casting and opened to 11 million viewers in April 2015.

Chipo co-founded alongside founder Nick Reading, the charity SAFE- Kenya which develops theatre for social change in Kenya, focusing on HIV education and abolishing clitoridectomy. She currently sits on its Board of Trustees. She works closely with the charity Peace Direct in support of Envision Zimbabwe, a women’s trust that works towards consensus-building and peace in Zimbabwe.



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The Zimbabwe Achievers Awards (Z.A.A.) is the pinnacle of celebration of talent, art, business, expression and achievement in the Zimbabwean community throughout a very broad spectrum of genres.

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