Peter Soko

Visa delays hit Carl Joshua Ncube as X-Factor star is announced for Zim Achievers Awards

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Delays in the processing of his visa have forced comedian Carl Joshua Ncube to pull out of his role as host of this year’s Zimbabwe Achievers Awards that are scheduled to take place on Saturday 9th May in Kensington, London.

The news of Ncube’s withdrawal come as the ZAA organisers have also announced the participation of three new artistes at tomorrow’s event. Teeside singer Bre Musiq who made it up to the Judges Houses stage of the 2014 X-Factor competition will wow guests with his funky and soulful R&B and will be joined in tomorrow’s line up of performers by Essex rappers Yung Jo and Leroy and Mbira-playing crooner John Falsetto.

Bre X Factor

Bre performing at X-Factor 2014

Comedian Ncube, who was looking forward to his maiden performance in the UK and entering the country legally, is all but left with stowing away on a cargo plane or somehow chartering a military jet and then parachuting himself down in London’s Hyde Park in order for him to make it for tomorrow’s show. But being an abiding observer of the law, Carl has accepted, regretfully, that he will not make it to the UK in time for his maiden UK performance.

Announcing the news of Carl’s visa delays which have led to his withdrawal, ZAA Executive Director Brian Nyabunze said: “We would like to apologise unreservedly to all our guests who were looking forward to Carl Joshua Ncube joining us for the fifth edition of the ZAA’s this coming weekend.

“Owing to the length of time to process visas it is unfortunate that Carl will not be able to meet the date for our awards event despite all attempts made to ensure his attendance.”

Carl, who is scheduled to tour Europe in early July, has said that he will still continue with the visa process and has agreed to do a show on a date to be disclosed which will be free for all holders of ZAA tickets.

“To all those who have purchased tickets for the awards on the 9th, your tickets will remain valid for an evening with Carl on a date to be announced soon,” said Nyabunze.

A statement released by Ncube’s management expressed sincere apologies on behalf of Carl and the team.

“Due to the unforseen circumstances beyond our control, Carl Joshua Ncube will not be able to attend the awards as previously anticipated. Carl who is due to tour Europe soon has offered to set a day aside to come to the UK and entertain ZAA guests who have purchased tickets for the awards.

“On behalf of Carl and the team, we apologise for the disappointment and inconvenience this has caused and hope you will continue to support the awards. We also look forward to seeing you very soon once all documents have been processed,” the statement read.

Meanwhile, all preparations for tomorrow’s show are now complete and organisers expect to deliver a successful night of celebration, glamour and entertainment. The newly announced performers bring a fusion of traditional and urban styles that will see guests compelled to part with the comfort of their seats and take to the dance floor.

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John Falsetto


Falsetto, real name John Pfumojena, has a voice that resonates with the nuances akin to a musical legend, albeit one in the making. With powerful and dynamic vocals he has not only toured countries ranging from Algeria to Ireland, he has also performed alongside African musical juggernauts such as Oliver Mtukudzi, Salif Keita and Ismaelo. Combining Mbira, with traditional sungura strings and a voice that evokes sounds of otherworldly beauty and nostalgia of a past land, John Pfumojena is definitely a star in the making.

Bre Musiq has supported acts including Professor Green, DJ Ironik and Tinie Tempah. Last year saw him audition for the X Factor where he created buzz with his rendition of Blackstreet’s “No Diggity”.
“I’ve heard some good things about the Zim Achievers Awards in the past, and to be given the opportunity to take part is an honour. I am really chuffed if I have to put it in one word.”

“I will also have to compete with Carl Joshua Ncube for the ladies attention, he may dazzle them with his humour but I plan to serenade them with music.Seriously though, I can’t wait to be part of such a prestigious event”

Bre, who was born in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, joined his school choir at the age of 12 and quickly found his passion to sing and perform.

“I was lucky enough to have been surrounded by gospel choirs when I was a kid, 
picking up a wealth of experience in performing to crowds and developing my confidence as a person and as an artist as well.” Bre said.


Yung Jo & Leroy

He moved to the UK in his early teens and through his love for music formed a group called Young Rydaz. For three years the group were at the peak of their career ,performing and collaborating with other well known artists and featuring on TV and getting airplay on local radio stations in the UK.

The Southend-on-Sea rappers, 22 year old Yung Jo and 20 year old Leroy have been honing their craft as wordsmiths and poets-on-beats got hooked on rhymes from their early teens and have built up up a respectable underground following for their craft. Guests can expect to two-step to some hard spitting on sick beats as the duo strut their stuff as they serve a flavour of UK Zimbo youth culture.

Peter SokoVisa delays hit Carl Joshua Ncube as X-Factor star is announced for Zim Achievers Awards
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Louis Charema

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Louis Charema (Chief of Staff) is a pragmatic Business Leader who has established himself in the Corporate Business world over the last 15 years both in the UK and recently in Zimbabwe. After acquiring his CIMA qualification at Emile Woolf in 2004, he has held numerous senior positions managing multi-site operations leading change process for various portfolio clients, initially with Chubb (since 2000). In 2010 Louis Charema started a thriving Facilities Management Company, One Simple Solution Ltd, which to date has acquired an impressive client base including a number of London Boroughs and Councils.
On completing his MBA at London’s LSE he also joined CMG International Media Group as a co-director, focussing on an expansion strategy encompassing operational, financial and corporate integration processes to further expand the group. Through CMG, Louis facilitated the recent Steward Bank Launch in the UK and previously, Eco-Cash and World-Remit. Louis is also heavily involved and works with the Zimbabwe Investment Authority on various investment projects.
Peter SokoLouis Charema
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Blessing Rufaro

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Velvet Lovejones (Born Blessing Rufaro) is the CEO and Founder of Lovetown Inc.,Bizzie Doin Nuthin, Zimvibes with (DJ Losa) and ZimEntertainment. He has extensive experience in the music and film industry and holds a Bsc Degree in Creative Technology and Enterprise, as well as a Diploma in Music Technology. his career as a radio personality saw him interviewing the likes of Reverend Jackson, Kirsty Coventry, former Zimbabwean Vice President Joyce Mujuru, Popcaan, P Square, Tony Rebel, the late Chiwoniso Maraire, Ice Prince and Buju Banton. Together with Tich Mataz, he presented the ZBC radio show Coca Cola Jam Zone. At the University of Portsmouth, Velvet Lovejones was one of the pioneer radio presenter at Express Fm, a radio station based in Portsmouth UK.


As a television producer Velvet Lovejones  created the popular ZBC Rockers’ Vibes, the first ever Television Reggae Show in Zimbabwe, where he also had the role of presenter. Lovejones was also the Producer and presenter of the ZBC music show, Coca Cola on the Beat. His career as music producer  spans over 15 years at Lovetown Studios where he has had the opportunity to work with local and international  artistes, including the late  Chiwoniso Maraire, Jah seed(Bongomuffin, Cynthia Mare, BK and Kazz, Rassie Ai, Tanga WekwaSando, Pied pipers, Junior Brown, MC Chita, Mizchief, Wargames, Mic Innity, Abra Tribe, Jusa Demementor,Blue James from Basement Jacks. Love Town Studios also spearheaded the Zimdancehall movement. As a contribution to the local community, Love Town Studios offers free studio time to up and coming artistes.


Lovejones landed a role in the Zimbabwe sitcom Waiters and he also featured in the movie The Last Picture, directed by Farai Sevenzo. His involvement in film  includes being an Creative Director at Mighty Movies. Lovejones contributed to the filming and creation of the DVD to help market Zimbabwean and  Zambian tourism, working together with Honourable Minister of Tourism, Walter Muzembe. In the last Zimbabwe Elections, Lovejones had an active part in the Election Media Committee and while in Portsmouth UK he contributed to Portsmouth University, Portsmouth Museum,  Portsmouth City Council and the Mayor’s office. Velvet Lovejones continues to work as a Master of Ceremony for reggae festivals and corporate events.

Peter SokoBlessing Rufaro
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Tawanda Chiwira

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Tawanda Chiwira is a multiple award winning Olympic athlete and World Championship finalist and no stranger to high level, high quality hospitality delivery. Tawanda competed for 10 years for Zimbabwe from 1994 to 2004. Mr Chiwira also served as a committee member for the Zimbabwe Diaspora Olympic Support Network for the 2012 Zimbabwe Summer Olympic Teams.  He was also a panelist for ZAA 2013 and an Event Coordinator for ZAA 2014.
Tawanda currently works as the Human Resources Manager for FRANTEC based in Ipswich. He is also an Associate at El Cee Chic Fashion and Personal Styling as well as a member of Zim Sports Legends and Athletepreneur. In his spare time he is a sports mentor and DJ on Deeplomatikk Radio and Musiq Ave.
Tawanda Chiwira
3 time NCAA All American
U of I and Big Sky Conference Record Holder 400m
1996 & 2000 Summer Olympian
1997 World Championship Finalist 4x400m
Tawanda Chiwira
3 time NCAA All American
U of I and Big Sky Conference Record Holder 400m
1996 & 2000 Summer Olympian
1997 World Championship Finalist 4x400m
Peter SokoTawanda Chiwira
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Mike Tashaya

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Mike Tashaya is responsible for coordinating all day to day marketing activities, with a special emphasis on raising the profile of the awards both locally and internationally digitally. He is an astute and well experienced digital marketer with great influence and authority on social media.

Mike has helped launch and been involved in managing multiple projects which portray a positive image of Zimbabweans and Africans globally, notably Zimfest, Face Of Zimbabwe and the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair.

His personal achievements include running a successful digital marketing agency Quartz Marketing which has presence in both the UK and Zimbabwe with some notable clients which have included Moneygram, First Mutual Holdings, Invictus Capital, Amalgamated Ltd, to name a few.

Peter SokoMike Tashaya
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Zim Achievers Awards nominations now open

Arts Correspondent

The Zimbabwe Achievers Awards (ZAA) have returned for their fifth edition with organisers calling on the public to nominate prospective recipients for this year’s honours.

This year’s awards will be held on Saturday 9 May 2015 at the same prestigious venue as last year’s event – the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington, London.

Award nominations opened in the first week of January across all categories and the public will have until 15 February to put forward those individuals and organisations they feel have distinguished themselves in various ventures over the past year.

ZAA Executive Director, Brian Nyabunze, said this year’s awards will benefit from the ever rising achievements of the Zimbabwean community, which keeps pushing into mainstream British society and making its presence felt.

“From our professionals working in various fields to our artistes, entrepreneurs, philanthropists and charities, Zimbabwean talent is shining through every barrier and making its presence felt in our host society. These are the kind of achievers we will have the honour to recognise this year,” Nyabunze said.

Nominations can be made on until 15 February 2015, with the finalists being announced in early March.

Organisers have chosen to stick to the same 5 star venue as last year, the luxurious five-star Royal Garden Hotel in London’s affluent Kensington district. With spectacular views of Kensington Palace, which was the late Princess Diana’s official residence, and the magnificent Kensington Gardens, the hotel provides a fitting aura of splendour to what is set to be a night of memorable celebration.

“The reviews we received for ZAA 2014 were hugely positive and our guests told of how they luxuriated in the beautiful ambience of the Royal Garden Hotel. And so when it came to picking a venue for our fifth anniversary, it was a no brainer,” Nyabunze added.

Tickets are also now available at a discount of £69.95 until 15th February 2015. Organisers are continuing with the tried and tested world class ticketing system that was introduced last year and allows prospective guests to choose their seats upon purchasing their tickets. All tickets are being sold exclusively on

The high profile occasion has become the highpoint of celebration for professional and artistic achievements by Zimbabweans in the UK.

Last November, ZAA successfully launched its counterpart in Jo’burg, South Africa. The Organisers, who have efficaciously established this brand of awards in the UK, felt it was time to extend their branch to include South Africa on their calendar because of the huge presence of Zimbabweans in the country.

The ZAA organisers are this year set to take the ZAA’s to Zimbabwe, and a date is still to be announced for this inaugural edition.

The ZAA has over the five years established itself as the premium platform for recognising the achievements of Zimbabweans ad people of Zimbabwean heritage living in the UK.

For more information or to nominate visit



Peter SokoZim Achievers Awards nominations now open
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Nominations now open for ZAA 2015

May 9th, 2015 has now been set for the 5th edition of the Zimbabwe Achievers Awards (ZAA), in London.


Nominations for this prestigious event are now open and there are over 16 awards, including 10 special recognition awards honouring individuals who distinguished themselves in various ventures over the past year.


The annual ZAA’s celebrate the successes and or achievements of Zimbabweans in the UK and elsewhere across a range of categories that include business, the creative arts and sports.


Members of the public are encouraged to nominate and select the potential award winners across various categories on the Zim Achievers website.


The awards set to take place on 9th May 2015 will be held at the Royal Garden Hotel in London.


The deadline for this year’s nominations is 15th February 2015, with the finalists being announced in early March.


Tickets are also now on sale at a special discount of £69.95 until February 15th.


The ZAA’s have fast become the leading awards show for Zimbabweans in the UK.

Peter SokoNominations now open for ZAA 2015
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ZAA Launched in South Africa in 2014

The inaugural MoneyGram Zimbabwe Achievers award winners were announced at a glittering gala event on Saturday November 8th, 2014, with a star-studded line-up of artists that included the legendary Oliver Mtukudzi, HHP and Berita Khumalo performing at the black tie event held at Gallagher Convention Centrej Johannesburg, South Africa. Actor Leroy Gopal and Radio 2000 talk show host Bertha Charuma ably presented the show as masters of ceremony.

The MoneyGram Zimbabwe Achievers Awards were truly a celebration of extraordinary Zimbabweans’ positive impact on the South African economy, entertainment industry, business, media and sport. MoneyGram Regional Director, South and East Africa Anton Luttig reinforced that MoneyGram is proud to be the headline sponsor of the inaugural MoneyGram Zimbabwe Achievers Awards SA event.

It was an extraordinary night attended by the who is who with proudly Zimbabwean roots gracing the event and ZAA-UK was represented by Executive Director Brian Nyabunze and the Chief Executive Office, Peter Soko.

Warrior’s stars Willard Katsande and Kingston Nkatha were part of the celebratory night with those that donned the national colours before them such as former Highlanders captain Alexander Maseko and long serving Kaizer Chiefs star Tinashe Nengomashe. Comedian Barry Hilton took many by surprise with his revelation that he is Zimbabwean. Top Billing presenter, Simba Mhere born to Zimbabwean missionaries, also showed his allegiance to his roots by joining his fellow countrymen.

Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Walter Mzembi and the ambassador to South Africa represented the government and gave the keynote speech.

“Zimbabweans continue to make a positive impact around the world and South Africa in particular, but it is also important for you in the diaspora to think of how you can also make a contribution at home,” said Mzembi to a thunderous response from the guests.

The uplifting message from the minister was well received but it was no doubt who the stars of the night were. The 79 year old Afro Jazz singer Dorothy Masuka, popularly known as “Auntie Dotty” was recognised for her long service in flying the Zimbabwe flag in South Africa and the world.

Mtukudzi, who fondly calls her his mother, handed the sultry singer the Lifetime Contribution award.

Another special award was conferred posthumously on the late Alice Chavunduka when she received the chairman’s award.

The biggest winners in the night of recognition for Zimbabweans doing well in South Africa, was the Mail & Guardian newspaper owned by Trevor Ncube. The newspaper has become the leading voice of South African media since Ncube took over the weekly paper. On the sport front, Springkbok prop Tendai “Beast” Mtawarira edged out Katsande to bag the Sports Personality of the Year.

The full list of winners were:

Business of the year.

Mail and Guardian

Female Entrepreneur of the year.

Dr Samukeliso Dube-Molokele

Male Entrepreneur of the year.

David Tayler

Professional of the year.

Geoffrey Masuta

Community Organization of the year.

P-Stem Foundation

Community Champion of the year.

Sister Rudo Garedondo

Music Artist of the year.

Mkhululi Bhebhe

Sports Personality of the year.

Tendai “Beast” Mtawarira (received by family friend Thembi Ngoma as Beast is on tour)

Media Personality of the year.

Simba Mhere

Personality of the year.

Barry Hilton

Lifetime Outstanding Contribution Award.

Dorothy Masuku


Academic Excellence of the year Award.

Professor Sabelo Gatsheni Ndlovu

People’s Choice Award.

Tonderai Mupamhanga

Friends of Zimbabwe Award.

The Department of Home Affairs

Chairman’s Award.

Alice Chavunduka


Peter SokoZAA Launched in South Africa in 2014
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