United States of America

2018 ZAA USA Nominees Announced

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ZAA USA Director – Faith Banda

The Zimbabwe Achievers Awards (ZAA) nominee shortlist for the USA edition  is out and several high profile personalities including fashion designer, Farai Simoyi have made the shortlist.

Organisers of the high profile event announced over 85 nominees across a reshuffled 14 category list. Nominations opened on 21 May and the public had until the end of July  to put forward individuals and organisations they felt had achieved remarkable things in the past year.

ZAA Organising Director, Faith Banda applauded the team of panellists for doing a remarkable job of coming up with this year’s shortlist.

“Zim Achievers has been around for eight years,starting out in the UK. The USA edition has made steady progress in the last three years and each year keeps getting bigger and better,” Faith said.

“The community spirit that has been established and the calibre of individuals and organisations that we have recognised since its inception shows how talented, determined and hardworking Zimbabweans are in building something we can all be proud of,” she added.

Voting will commence on Monday 20 August and will run until 20 September, with winners being revealed at the Zim Achievers gala on September 29.

The awards were established in 2010 and continue to celebrate the accomplishments of individuals and organisations in fields that include business, sport, entertainment, arts and culture.

Profiles of this year’s nominees will be featured on www.zimachievers.com/usa  and will detail the noteworthy successes of the shortlisted candidates.

This year’s awards will take place at the Gaithersburg Marriott hotel.The spectacular lakeside hotel has scenic views and is within walking distance of the popular  RIO Washingtonian Center.

The organising team have a new ticketing system in place, with a two-tier ticket campaign ongoing throughout August and September. Tickets are currently on sale for $75 until 10 September and will go up to $85 thereafter.

WorldRemit – Global sponsor

Meanwhile, London Fintech Company, WorldRemit was announced as the global sponsor for all four editions earlier in the year.

Founded in 2010, WorldRemit offers a money-transfer remittance service designed to help people send money to families back home. The company has continued to expand its services and have recently entered into a commercial partnership with top-tier English football side Arsenal, becoming the first official online money transfer partner of the Premier League club.

The ZAA annual gala dinner has become the society red carpet event and the most popular date on the Zimbabwean community calendar in four countries. It remains the pinnacle of celebration for the accomplishments of Zimbabweans who are settled USA.

2018 USA nominee shortlist:

BUSINESS OF THE YEAR:

  1. Flame Lily Group distribution – Thabi Francis

2.County Gutters-Maria Mariposa

3.Canada Mobile X-ray inc – Steve Mutizwa

  1. Zim tuckshop –Getrude Chimhungwe
  2. Yangu Product
  3. 2 Bros in the Kitchen

 FEMALE ENTREPRENEUR OF THE YEAR

  1. Thabisile K Francis
  2. Farai Simoyi
  3. Shay Leonora Chinhengo
  4. Tanya Spandhla
  5. Matipa Mutsemi & Mercy Nyamangwanda
  6. Sipho Gumbo

 MALE ENTREPRENUER OF THE YEAR

  1. Steve Mutizwa
  2. Bongani Mlambo: cinematographer
  3. Ashley Shumba
  4. Tendai Musikavanhu
  5. Philip Bamu

 PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR

  1. Mark Mupfumira
  2. Rachel Makume – Senior Manager at Shell
  3. Noel Samu VP Morgan Chase
  4. Madeline Chadeumbe
  5. Alan Makambo
  6. Cyril Ruwende

 COMMUNITY ORGANIZATION OF THE YEAR

  1. Women of Dominion
  2. ZimDFW Alliance
  3. Build a class Zimbabwe
  4. Love Sisters Group
  5. The Salvation Army Harlem

 COMMUNITY CHAMPION of THE YEAR

  1. Cassandra Sibanda- Washington DC
  2. Lorine Magdalene Chigwedere – New Jersey
  3. Chido Johnson – Detroit
  4. Beatrice Savadye
  5. Patricia Katanha -PA

 EVENT OF THE YEAR

  1. Women of Dominion
  2. CFI
  3. Dallas FIF Women’s High tea
  4. Zim Expo
  5. Zimfest
  6. Mokoomba Music band World tour

 ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE AWARD

  1. Dr Chipo Dendere
  2. Dr Fallon Chipidza
  3. Dr Praxidia Taruwinga Masenda
  4. Dr Wallace Chipidza
  5. MK Asante
  6. Chalenge Masekera

 OUTSTANDING  ACHIEVEMENT- ENTERTAINMENT

  • Alfred Kainga
  • Tongai Chirisa
  • Shingi Mavima – Author/Port
  • Nick Zemura
  • Sibongile Mlambo
  • Ndeipi Mudiaspora

 MEDIA PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR

  1. Marvellous Nyahuye Mhlanga -VOA
  2. MK Asante
  3. Rutendo Loveness Samas
  4. Mandhla Gumbo
  5. Tongai Chirisa
  6. Tendai Sibongile
  7. Alexandra Govera

 MUSIC ARTIST OF THE YEAR

  1. Tanyardzwa Tawengwa
  2. Taps Mugadza
  3. Tinashe
  4. Tino Chambati
  5. Chaka Ngwenya

SPORTS PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR

  1. Dr. Rev Mwase

2.. Stephanie Mavunga

  1. Jona Masiya

4.Ru Chibanda

  1. Tsitsi Merritt
  2. Ruvarashe Mzinde

 PERSONALITY OF THE YEAR

  1. Simba Usore
  2. DJ Tau
  3. Thokozani Mabena
  4. Sai Phifer
  5. MK Asante

 PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD

  1. Portia Kandemiri
  2. Tsitsi Ndoro – Afrofitcavegirl
  3. Mandhla Gumbo
  4. Rutendo Loveness Samas
  5. Tendai Sibongile
  6. Elizabeth Kanyasa Buard
leslyicdigital2018 ZAA USA Nominees Announced
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USA delivers another success ZimAchievers Event

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ZAA Founder Conrad Mwanza expressed delight after yet another successful Zimachievers event, this time in Dallas, Texas on Saturday 11th November 2017 at the Prestigious Intercontinental Hotel.
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“Putting such events together is not easy, it takes a lot of dedication, 2017 has been a rewarding experience and, seeing all the hard work delivered by the team over the last few months has been amazing” Mwanza said .
“Every campaign has its up’s, downs and challenges, but what makes it worth it, is the commitment and perseverance of the team and network around you, and the amount of support received throughout. ZAA could not be possible without the dedicated local partners”
“I would also like to extend gratitude to all the sponsors who stood with us, and helped us fulfil the vision” Mwanza addedVez Nkomo ZAA USA Organising Chair thank the team ”This week proved the heart of champions that is in this group, you pulled it off, all the hard work delivered by the team over the last few months was a pleasure to see on Saturday,” Nkomo said. I would also like to thank our sponsors both internationally and locally, WorldRemit, Steward Bank, EcoCash, Leander Villas, Property101, Zim Tuckshop, Exodus Capital LLC, Batteries and Bulbs, ClearFlow, ProMarket Insurance Services, BitiMari, Double Portin Transportion LLC and Socks Law Associates


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Richard Maseko Worldremit Country Director added ”WorldRemit is proud to be associated with the positive and inspiring work the Zimbabwe Achiever Awards is doing in connecting Zimbabweans across the globe. When Dr Ismail Ahmed set up the company he understood the challenges we often face in trying to study, work and support family and friends at home and the frustration of having to take time off work to make the journey to queue at an agent knowing your family and friends would have to do the same thingBy bringing international remittances online WorldRemit is making the process quicker, easier and more secure –helping people to focus on making the most of their opportunities, wherever they are”Meanwhile ZAA International has announced that it will launch ZAA South Africa on the 14th of December in Sandton Johannesburg with details to follow

 

The 2017 ZAA USA Winners are

Female Entrepreneur of the Year
Jackie Mgido

Male Entrepreneur of the Year
Dr Kudzai Chikwava

Business of the Year
Data Agility Group (DAG)

Community Champion of the Year
Pastor Emmanuel Sundire

Community Organization of the Year
Orphans Guardians Angel

Personality of the Year
Mutsa Majero

People’s Choice Award
Savannah Madamombe


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Outstanding Achievement in Music
Sandra VitoOutstanding Achievement in Entertainment
Makho Ndlovu

Professional of the Year
Lumbie Mlambo

Academic Excellence of the Year
Dr Gillian Kupakuwana-Suk

Outstanding Achievement in Sport
Farayi Mutatu

Young Achiever
Washe Shumba

Lifetime Achievement Award
Dr Precious Guramatunhu-Mudiwa

Chairman’s Award
Professor Charles Enos (Chiedza) Maponga

Special Recognition Award
Zimbabwean Naturals (Hair Maintenance)


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Friend of Zimbabwe Award
Apostle George W. JobeFriend of Zimbabwe Award
Joel Laviolette

carloskhumaloUSA delivers another success ZimAchievers Event
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WorldRemit partners with Zimbabwe Achievers Awards US and Australia for 2017 editions

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Alex O’Shaughnessy, CMO – Worldremit

Global money transfer service WorldRemit has partnered with the Australian and US chapters of the Zimbabwe Achievers Awards (ZAA) for the 2017 award ceremonies to be held in October and November, respectively.

Now in its seventh year, the ZAA has grown to become the biggest platform celebrating the achievements of people of Zimbabwean heritage from across various fields of endeavour. Starting off in London, the awards have spread to other major cities across the globe with significant populations of Zimbabweans, starting with Johannesburg in 2014.

Australia has become the fourth country to host the ZAA after the UK, South Africa and the US. Preparations are at an advanced stage for its inaugural awards gala dinner at the Hilton Hotel in Adelaide on Saturday 28 October. ‘’The stage is set, the red carpet is ready, and tickets are selling out fast, I urge those who intend to attend to secure their tickets as places are limited; said Method Mukundu,, ZAA Australia Committee member.

The US awards, now in their second year, will be held on 11 November at the Marriot Quorum Hotel in Dallas. “We are looking forward to hosting another fantastic ZAA and as usual, we expect the event to sell out. I would urge people to secure their places early to avoid disappoint’’ added Vez Nkomo, ZAA US organising Chair.

Unlike traditional money transfer companies, WorldRemit is a purely digital service that allows individuals to send money to friends and family living abroad, using a computer, smartphone or tablet. The money can be received as a bank deposit, cash pick-up, Mobile Money, or mobile airtime top-up. Seeing the opportunity presented by the new mobile money technology emerging on the Continent, Founder and CEO, Ismail Ahmed, was able to help the diaspora to put money directly into the hands of recipients wherever they are and whenever they need it.

ZAA Chairman Conrad Mwanza welcomed the new partnership with WorldRemit, saying it signalled the company’s commitment to empowering the communities it worked with.

“We are delighted to be working with WorldRemit in fostering greater engagement with the Zimbabwean community around the world. Both ZAA and WorldRemit started in the diaspora and share a commitment to connect national and diaspora communities in beneficial and innovative ways. As we celebrate the achievements of our countrymen and women, we are raising awareness of our collective strength and demonstrating the huge possibilities that are within our reach as Zimbabweans,” Mwanza said.

WorldRemit CMO, Alex O’Shaughnessy said: “We’re proud to be associated with the positive and inspiring work the ZAA is doing in connecting Zimbabweans across the globe. By bringing international remittances online, WorldRemit is making the process quicker, easier and more secure –helping people to focus on making the most of their opportunities, wherever they are.

 

Like us, the ZAA believe that the mix of experiences and perspectives the diaspora possess offers them unique opportunities to build a better future for themselves and for people around the world. We’re therefore very proud to lend our support to ZAA’s vision.”

Tickets for the Australian and US editions are now on sale on www.zimachievers.com.

leslyicdigitalWorldRemit partners with Zimbabwe Achievers Awards US and Australia for 2017 editions
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Meet 2015 Female Entrepreneur nominee Nicola Holden

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Nicola Holden

Name: Nicola Holden
Category: Female Entrepreneur of the Year

Tell us a bit about yourself?

I was born and brought up in Harare and moved to the UK when I was 20. Initially I studied and then worked as an Engineer, but I slowly became aware that this career did not bring me happiness. I realised that I needed to do something more creative and so 8 years ago I switched careers, becoming an entrepreneur and starting my own London-based Interior Design business.

My Zimbabwean roots and love of international travel provide inspiration for my designs. Nicola Holden Designs creates beautiful homes for private clients, allowing their personal lives to reflect their success in business. Many of these projects have been featured in national magazines and my designs have even clad the walls of Zimbabwe House. Embassies!

Alongside this, I am a volunteer trustee for the charity Makomborero which supports gifted Zimbabwean students, giving them the chance to complete their A-level education which they otherwise would not have had. Makomborero provides the platform for these amazing students to excel, giving them hope for their futures. This is probably the most rewarding aspect of my career.

Drawing from my own life experiences, I am also co-author of The 20 Project, a book aimed at helping young people to make the transition from study to work. The book is a collection of wisdom and advice aimed at encouraging people to think about their place in the world. 100 per cent of the profits made by the project go to Makomborero.

How did you find out you had been nominated?

I got a great surprise when an email dropped into my inbox advising me that I had been nominated!

What was the feeling when you found out you had made the shortlist?

I felt very proudly Zimbabwean when I found out that I had been nominated, and very humbled that someone else had noticed the difference I am striving to make in this world.

What would it mean to win?

Winning this award would be a very proud moment for me. I feel it would put Zimbabwe on the map in the interior design world, and would help me in leveraging even more support for Makomborero.

What keeps you motivated?

The thread that runs through all of what I do is that I have been given a chance to make a difference to other people’s lives. I create homes that enrich my client’s lives; I work with talented artisans, keeping traditional crafts alive; and I support the amazing students of Makomborero who will, no doubt, one day make a significant difference in Zimbabwe. This is what keeps me motivated.

What projects are you currently working on?

I am currently working on projects for several private clients, as well as the design of a coffee shop. Alongside this I am writing an interior design book, as well as working on developing a small range of products that can be manufactured in Zimbabwe, but marketed in the first world. Additionally, Makomborero has just announced an exciting new project – a mobile science laboratory that can be moved between schools in Harare’s high density suburbs. This will make a significant difference to GCSE Science understanding in these schools, giving the students a much better chance in their exams.

Mandla StoneMeet 2015 Female Entrepreneur nominee Nicola Holden
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Meet 2015 Female Entrepreneur nominee Lisa Chuma

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Lisa Chuma

Women’s Expo Switzerland founder, Lisa Chuma

Name: Lisa Chuma

Category: Female Entrepreneur of the Year

Tell us a bit about yourself?

My name is Lisa Chuma. I am the founder of the Women’s Expo Switzerland , the marketing and networking platform for female business owners who are ready to strategically leverage community and collaboration to gain visibility for their businesses.

When Goldman Sachs, newspapers and female business owners need an infusion of courage and inspiration, they call me. I am a results-oriented entrepreneur who is strong-willed. I am also a powerful networker and connector.

How did you find out you had been nominated?

Through the ZAA website.

What was the feeling when you found out you had made the shortlist?

I felt honoured.

What would it mean to win?

For me a WIN means hundreds of female business owners can get more visibility. It would be great to WIN because the WIN is not mine alone.

What keeps you motivated?

Knowing that what I do every day benefits hundreds of female business owners; knowing that what I do daily inspires my children and that one day they will look at me as their role model. Additionally, knowing that every bit of success I achieve is not mine alone but it’s ours together with other female business owners – so I always have other people to celebrate with.

What projects are you currently working on?

I am currently working on the Women’s Expo Switzerland – a platform where female business owners present their businesses face-to-face to a new audience in order to build new relationships with their potential customers, boost visibility for their businesses and meet other female business owners to collaborate with so they expand their business reach. #CONNECTtoCOLLABORATE

I am also working on the TEDxZurich Women speech which takes place in May.

Mandla StoneMeet 2015 Female Entrepreneur nominee Lisa Chuma
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Meet 2015 Female Entrepreneur nominee Marygold Challenor

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Female entrepreneur of the year 2015 nominee, Marygold Challenor

Name: Marygold Challenor 

Category: Female Entrepreneur

Tell us a bit about yourself?

I am an up and coming entrepreneur. Even though I’d been raised in a business family, I had never thought of becoming a businesswoman in my own right. However, after redundancy I decided to train in massage therapy and I started a successful massage service in Rugby.

How did you find out that you had been shortlisted for the Zim Achievers Awards?

Being a business person who utilises social media to market and network I found that I had been shortlisted on a business colleague’s page on Facebook who was complaining that he hadn’t been shortlisted.

How did you feel when you found out you had been shortlisted?

I was pleased and surprised as I did not think that my business had that high a profile and that people thought so much of my business. I was also pleased with opportunities this gives me to further develop my business, both marketing and networking.

What would winning the award mean to you?

I would be extremely happy, as it would be a great honour to be recognised by my peers in the UK Zimbabwean community (and beyond). And for me personally it would recognise my hard work and effort in setting up and making a success of my massage business, especially as this business is not one normally associated with the African community. It would also be an honour to my late mother-in-law who encouraged me to start my own business and I would therefore dedicate the award to her.

What motivates you?

I am passionately committed to the delivery of excellent service with the drive and ambition required to ensure that objectives are achieved. I am a proactive and dynamic professional with an outstanding track record of success in client focused environments. I am very experienced in working with people and have the confidence of leading and motivating others to maximise their potential and deliver the best results. I possess good communication skills and have the ability to make decisions, all of which motivates me, and others, to achieve goals.

Mandla StoneMeet 2015 Female Entrepreneur nominee Marygold Challenor
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Meet 2015 Female Entrepreneur nominee Fungai Ndemera

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Entrepreneur of the Year 2015 nominee Fungai Ndemera

Name: Fungai Ndemera

Category: Female Entrepreneur of the Year

Tell us a bit about yourself?

My name is Fungai Ndemera. I am an award winning Entrepreneur, Author, Business & Branding strategist, motivational coach and owner of several seven figure businesses. 14 years ago, I took a leap of faith and moved from Zimbabwe to the UK to pursue my dreams with just a small suitcase.

After one year I had founded a successful 7-Figure business that I built from scratch and in just 48 months I had hit the 7-figure mark in turnover.I have spent over a decade learning the highs and the lows of business. Soon after such a huge success and noticing that there were more people in need of support to live their dreams, I found my purpose in mentoring and coaching men and women across the globe through online coaching. I am driven by my passion to see others succeed regardless of their background.

Ever since I opened up my online coaching and mentoring service, I have supported countless men and women in more than 36 counties helping them find their voice and reach their dreams through my online coaching academy. I am living proof that you don’t need all the resources in the world to find your success. You just have to take action and get support to reach your dreams.

How did you find out you had been shortlisted?

Some followers tagged me and were saying congratulations on my business page on Facebook.

What was the feeling when you found out you had made the shortlist?

I felt undeserving and humbled .The fact that some people recognise the work I am doing really makes me feel like waking up daily and reaching out more.

What would it mean to win?

I have a burden for The young generation that they need role models .When I started my work of Coaching and mentoring, my desire was to give hope, faith and a future to a simple girl, boy, woman, man that if I made it to living my dream coming from my background, then there is hope for you and everyone. So as I have done this work I have realised that there is a gap in the market.

People of colour are lacking role models and I am blessed to be one. So winning this award will be an honour and even a greater mile stone to inspire and motivate the upcoming business entrepreneurs so they can see possibility rather than failure and fear.

What keeps you motivated?

I love living a healthy balanced life. I am a fitness freak and I love the fact that I am now living in my purpose of supporting other entrepreneurs create their own successful businesses and live their dreams. I am motivated by results so I am always engaged in projects.

What projects are you currently working on?

I currently offer on-going online and off line mentoring and coaching by providing business and branding strategy for success. I offer simple online and off line courses for entrepreneurs who want to setup their businesses for success. I also offer mentoring to upcoming recruitment business owners and I run live events every 3-4 months.

Read Fungai’s story at www.fungaindemera.com

Mandla StoneMeet 2015 Female Entrepreneur nominee Fungai Ndemera
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Catching up with ZAA 2014 Community Champion Maureen Ndawana

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Maureen Ndawana

ZAA 2014 Community Champion, Maureen Ndawana

At the Zimbabwe Achievers Awards, we take great pride in providing a platform for our community to celebrate its achievements and to project these successes as a way of inspiring our collective pursuit for improvement and progress.

The state or condition of a community at any one time is the reflection of the efforts of its individual members and institutions. In that respect, we find it necessary to pick out the organisations and individuals within our community that are investing their efforts towards the collective good and doing a lot to contribute to the wellbeing of others beyond themselves.

This is why ZAA came up with the Community Organisation and Community Champion of the year awards. As we consider yet another brilliant set of selfless individuals that have put in a lot of hard work in the service of our community, we caught up with the winner of ZAA 2014 Community Champion award, Maureen Ndawana (MN) for a quick chat about herself and her work.

ZAA: Tell us about yourself. Who is Maureen Ndawana apart from the everyday woman everyone else sees?

MN: I am a confident and highly empowered woman who has always had a heart of gold for the work I do with the Zimbabwean community in the UK. I’m ever smiling and so welcoming and my positive warm, radiant spirit keeps me going despite the world’s challenges. I take my adversaries as a stepping stone to higher dimensions. I love people and very respectful to humanity. My life is an open book for everyone to read and learn.

ZAA: What is it that you do and how long have you been doing it?

MN: I am Community Engagement Officer with African Health Policy Network. I work with people and I love my work. I coordinate United Enfield (UMOJA), a project to support people living with HIV in Enfield. I have worked with the Zimbabwe Women`s Network UK for five years .I have been doing this work for the past 10 years as a volunteer as well as paid work. I am a natural leader and I have grown a passion for helping the community to get the best out of life. Other people helped me to be where I am today and now it’s my time to do the same.

ZAA: You won the Community Champion of the Year Award at the Zimbabwe Achievers Awards last year. What has winning this accolade done for your drive and motivation over the last year?

MN: It has boosted my confidence. It has made me determined to do more and be more. This is what I get from having a passion of working with the African Communities in the UK. Somewhere, somehow, people notice it from a distance and hence I got this accolade. I thrive to exhale this God given talent and share it with the community. My wish is to help everyone who has the opportunity of meeting me in life and have them go away holding something positive from me and pursue life with so much confidence. I love making a difference in people’s lives.

ZAA: Has the Award helped or boosted you in any way in terms of the work you do in the community?

MN: Yes, this is on my profile and CV and is immediately recognisable to employers and key people for potential projects of what I am capable of achieving. I am grateful to Zim Achievers, the Zimbabwean community, my family and friends. I so much acknowledge the responsibility I have with my own people to make life better. I’m here to make a positive mark that cannot be erased in the Zimbabwean community and I believe I am doing this, and the recognition by Zim Achievers has only made doing what I do more magnified. I am proud to be where I feel celebrated for what I do.

ZAA: What is your unique selling point; in other words, what would you say makes you stand out from the rest?

MN: I stand confidently in what I believe in. I believe in love. The genuine love and respect I have for people is so reflective and it’s a source of my identity and my strength. I cannot hide it at all.

ZAA: With the work that you do on a daily basis, would you say there are people in this decade who are looking for things that they weren’t looking for say 10 years ago?

MN: Yes definitely, some have started looking at life from a different angle and they are making it. I refuse to be intimidated by life, instead I shape it with my words and actions as I have the God given ability to do so. I share a lot about the principle and it has worked for many.

ZAA: As a leader and motivator, how do you stay ahead of the game?

MN: I keep myself informed by engaging with my local networks, reading stuff as well as learning new ideas and skills daily. I continue searching for opportunities that give me a chance to practice my skills and share my experiences.

ZAA: What continues to drive you?

MN: My children and grandchildren as well as my family. I would like to leave a legacy for them. I love family like everyone else.

ZAA: Who are the three most positive influences in your life? Why?

NM: One – God, for he makes me to be who I am and gives me the zeal to do things; two – my husband/my mentor/my boss who is always ever supportive of my work and gives me the freedom to interact with anyone at any time. It’s his trust that keeps me going, and third, my children who are always cheering me on when I feel like giving up. It’s a bit draining sometimes but they encourage and build me up a lot.

ZAA: Are there any projects that you are currently working on, and if so, what are they and what is the vision or plan for them?

NM: I am currently working on a Prostate Cancer Project. This is to raise awareness of prostate cancer in the African Communities. I visit barbers/salons, shops, churches and social gatherings and discuss these issues at length. Our community is way laid back on this issue and our men are reporting with late diagnosis.
I am also part of the 1000 Women Voices project, working in partnership with Naz Project. Naz provides sexual health and HIV prevention and support services to selected Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) communities.

ZAA: Being a community champion at heart, what do you feel in terms of opportunities is missing in our Zimbabwean community and what do you think needs to be done to achieve this?

NM: I do acknowledge our strength and ability as Zimbabweans to work and provide for our families here and back home but I strongly believe we sometimes deprive ourselves the opportunity to show off and show out what we are capable of doing as Zimbabweans. Statistically, we are highly represented in the NHS workforce, in care homes and teaching industry, but we seem to be focused on making it back home yet we forget that life is now and we are not practising life but living life.

It is high time we refocus. So many Zimbabwean women have passed on leaving millions of money and properties that they never enjoyed. Life is about making best choices and setting priorities right. We need to infiltrate the world and engage with the high level bodies in any given areas and lift up the Zimbabwean flag. We can do this!!

Mandla StoneCatching up with ZAA 2014 Community Champion Maureen Ndawana
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Zimbabwean Mawadzi’s company among top care recruitment agencies in the UK

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Dennis and Mrs Mawadzi

Mr and Mrs Mawadzi pose on the red carpet at the ZAA 2014 gala dinner

Care recruitment agency and Zimbabwe Achievers Awards 2012 winner of the company of the year award, Renaissance Personnel, has become one of the top 100 small businesses to work for in the UK.

Founded by Zimbabwean-born Dennis Mawadzi 12 years ago, Renaissance Personnel has been blazing a trail of success and was recently featured on BBC’s Inside Out programme for its outstanding work. Renaissance Personnel has become a ‘premium brand’ and a force to be reckoned with in the healthcare sector.

“There is value in maintaining positive attitudes,” said Mawadzi, who is the company’s managing director.

“Our first value is that everyone, including patients, nurses, cleaners, and clients deserve respect and a service that makes a positive difference to their life. It sounds exhausting, but thankfully it isn’t,” Mawadzi added.

The multiple award winning organisation was in 2013 named among one of the top health sector companies given contracts to supply nurses and social workers to the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS).

Renaissance welcomed its inclusion on the Government Procurement Service (GPS) for two years with an option for another twenty four months at the end of the contract.

Mawadzi said that for Renaissance it has been a long journey worth all the sacrifices. He added that with the experienced and dedicated health and social care staff at Renaissance, the attainment of multiple performance awards has only made them more determined and focused to deliver a service that sells.

“We believe that this is the time to emulate our success story and continue to build on that and attract the best nurses, social workers and healthcare staff this industry has to offer.”

The company was founded twelve years ago after careful analysis of the spiralling demands of health and social care personnel. It specialises in mental health support and regards maintaining the wellbeing of staff as a key priority.

“We are now known as a leader in our industry for the provision of high calibre, reliable and experienced nurses and carers, reflecting the Renaissance Personnel ethos in commitment to professional care,” Mawadzi said.

“Renaissance encourages staff to be innovative and to come up with new ways of working no matter how small they may appear. I also take the time to listen to any improvement ideas they may put across and together, we do our very best to implement these ideas in a way fitting for them and fitting for the clients we have,” he added.

Renaissance also work in partnership with Skills for Care, Business Link, Train to Gain, the local council and local training providers to access free funding for training. These organisations help Renaissance to secure some funded places for NVQ training which can lead to a professional qualification in the Health and Social Care field.

“My gratitude goes to the office team and superb field staff for keeping the dream alive through their hard work and through being good ambassadors wherever they are assigned.”

Mawadzi has said there are plans to expand Renaissance Personnel services to other major cities in the UK.

“The aim is to continue to add value to the GPS’ commitment to ‘Save the Nation’ while at the same time ensuring that quality and best patient outcomes are achieved through the provision of efficient and cost effective staffing solutions.”

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Global hit makers go head to head as ZAA announces 2015 nominees

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Zimbabwe Achievers Awards 2014

ZAA EXecutive Director Brian Nyabunze with Afro-jazz singer and headline performer at the ZAA 2014 edition, Prudence Katomeni-Mbofana

A quintet of global hit makers will do battle for this year’s coveted International Music Artist of the year gong at the fifth anniversary of the Zimbabwe Achievers Awards (ZAA), a shortlist of the nominees released today has revealed.

Organisers of the prestigious red carpet event announced over 85 nominees across 18 categories covering business, community work, media, sport and culture, literature and music. The nominees will be subjected to a public vote starting from the 9th of March till the end of April. Thereafter, an expert panel of ZAA judges will sift through the votes and also apply a rigorous research-based assessment to arrive at the final winners.

ZAA Panel Chairperson Dr Martha Chinouya applauded the public’s enthusiastic participation in the nomination process as more than 500 nominations were received this year.

“We’ve sifted through all the submissions that were put forward for this year’s event and emerged with a strong field of deserving candidates for recognition this year. People can now visit our website to vote for the nominees who have been shortlisted,” Dr Chinouya said.

The music category is a major highlight and cause for much excitement as it brings together five artistes who have distinguished themselves remarkably over the past year. Millions across the world have sung along to Beyoncé and husband Jay-Z’s hit track Drunk in Love, but very few know about the track’s Zimbabwean producer, Brian Soko. He’s just become the first Zimbabwean born Grammy winner after the song notched up two awards at this year’s ceremony.

Joining Soko on the list is another US based artist, newly emergent R&B star Tinashe Kachingwe. With millions of Youtube views for her underground mixtapes, Tinashe came over to London in 2013 to headline ZAA’s 2013 event. The following year, she released her critically acclaimed debut album, Aquarius, which spawned the hit song 2On, featuring rapper Schoolboy Q.

UK-based versatile producer and ‘African dancehall ambassador to the world’, Jusa Dementor, also had a remarkable and highly productive 2014. With Zim Dancehall finally getting mainstream recognition in Zimbabwe, Jusa has not only contributed to that genre’s burgeoning success but has also fired up the spiritual home of the music – Jamaica. One of his major 2014 highlights was his production of the ‘Evidence Riddim’ which features a clutch of Jamaican heavyweights including Demarco, I-Octane and Jah Vinci.

Also weighing in with an illustrious 2014 firmly under his belt is US-based producer Tinashe Sibanda aka T-Collar, who co-produced the hit song Them Girls Be Like for the US girl group Fifth Harmony’s debut album, Reflection. Zimbabwe-based mbira songstress Hope Masike’s hard grinding work ethic saw her traverse the globe dishing out Mbira vibes from Asia to America and back to Africa, all in her stride.

Fuller profiles of this year’s nominees will be made available on the zimachievers.com website to provide the voting public with helpful information about the achievements of all the shortlisted candidates.

This year’s ZAA will be held on the 9th of May at the five-star Royal Garden Hotel in London’s affluent Kensington district. With spectacular views of Kensington Palace, and the magnificent Kensington Gardens, the hotel provides a fitting aura of splendour to what is set to be an unforgettable event.

ZAA Executive Director Brian Nyabunze urged the public to take advantage of the current ticket discount which will be ending soon with prices reverting to the standard £89.95 from the current £69.95.

“Our world class ticketing system allows you to choose your seats alongside your companions on the night. Groups and corporate bodies that would like to buy tables can also pick the best location in the auditorium, although such choices will increasingly become limited over the next couple of weeks. So hurry and book your table now,” Nyabunze said.

The ZAA is the premier platform within the UK Zimbabwean community for recognising and celebrating the achievements of people of Zimbabwean heritage. Last year’s event at the Royal Garden Hotel proved a hit with guests and organisers have promised to up the bar as the awards body celebrates its fifth anniversary at the same venue.

Mandla StoneGlobal hit makers go head to head as ZAA announces 2015 nominees
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ZAA to announce shortlisted nominees on the 5th of March

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ZAA Panel Chair, Dr Martha Chinouya

ZAA Panel Chair, Dr Martha Chinouya

The ZAA Panel is now sifting through hundreds of nominations for this year’s Zimbabwe Achievers Awards, with a shortlist expected to be announced on the 5th of March at the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington, London.

Without letting the cat out of the bag, Panel chairperson Dr Martha Chinouya revealed that her committee was combing through more than 600 names submitted by members of the public from the beginning of the year till the 15th of February when nominations closed.

‘As usual, we are pleasantly surprised by the massive enthusiasm of the public to participate in the awards process. This just goes to show that the ZAA are the people’s awards,” Dr Chinouya said.

“We’re also blessed with candidates of exquisite quality this year – it seems the bar is improving continually as people of Zimbabwean heritage continue to outdo themselves in their various endeavours,” she added.

This year’s awards gala dinner will return to the luxurious Royal Garden Hotel, the venue for last year’s event.

Now celebrating its fifth anniversary, the ZAA has over the years grown into the foremost platform for recognising the achievements of people of Zimbabwean heritage. It has also become the go-to red carpet event of the year within the Zimbabwean community in the UK.

Boasting classy champagne receptions and sumptuous dinners amidst five-star splendour, the ZAA has distinguished itself for its elaborate entertainment. Last year, popular Zimbabwean Afro-jazz princess Prudence Katomeni-Mbofana brought the house down with her seasoned stage act and soulful crooning.

Before her, Zimbabwean-American R&B breakout star Tinashe Kachingwe of the ‘2On’ fame stole the hearts of ZAA 2013 guests with her marvelous voice and shimmering beauty. This year promises yet more thrills as ZAA celebrates its half-decade milestone.

A special discount on this year’s tickets is still running until the 5th of March. A standard ticket is going for £69.95 before reverting to the original price of £89.95.

leslyicdigitalZAA to announce shortlisted nominees on the 5th of March
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