Zimbabwe Achievers Awards (ZAA) last night honored the year’s high achievers at a glittering ceremony held at The Venue Melrose Arch graced by the Zimbabwean Ambassador to South Africa HE David Hamadziripi in Johannesburg.
The ZororoPhumulani ZAA SA edition was the 6th annual edition recognizing and awarding the leading lights in the Zimbabwean communities whose contributions have changed societies both home and abroad.
Entrepreneur Tatenda Mungofa, musician Sharmaine Mapimbiro aka ShaSha and comedian Long John were the biggest winners on the night, walking away with two gongs each at an event described as heartwarming by ZAA International Founder and Chairman Conrad Mwanza.
“It is very heartwarming and beautiful to gather here today as one people and celebrating all that we have done in such a difficult year. Our annual dinner gala was postponed from April due to Covid-19 induced lockdowns but that did not dampen the will to succeed of our people and today we gather to celebrate each other,” said Mwanza at the event.
“Today, what we are seeing is an example of Zimbabwean resilience and excellence in difficult times. Congratulations to all our nominees and winners, Zimbabwe needs more people and organizations like these as we work towards the common goal, a big thank you to our sponsors and partners for this amazing event.”
Ambassador Hamadziripi also commended Zimbabweans who are dotted around the world, whose works have positively impacted communities’ home and abroad and urged people to stay innovative and dedicated to celebrating each other.
ZororoPhumulani CEO Edwin Anderson expressed his congratulations to the achievers and affirmed his company’s dedication to supporting noble causes and providing the best and affordable services to communities.
South African filmmaker and legendary actor Thapelo Mokoena received the Chairman’s Honorary Friend of Zimbabwe Award and paid glowing tribute to the natural beauty and friendly nature of Zimbabwe.
“I’ve always said to my brother Conrad (Mwanza) Zimbabwe is like the love I never experienced. I call it the land of the living. When I first moved to Joburg I stayed at an apartment with a friend who grew up at a farm near Lake Kariba called Terrence Springer who always told me stories about Zimbabwe and how beautiful it was. It was always my desire to visit and I recently experienced the beauty first hand in a recent trip. Through those stories I’ve always wanted to make a film about Zimbabwe. In my early days in the industry my world was surrounded by the beautiful people from Zimbabwe and I realized I didn’t know much about my continent and had never visited Zimbabwe until recently,” said the actor, who was in Zimbabwe last month.
The awards were headline sponsored by life assurance firm ZororoPhumulani and recognized recipients in categories such as business, entrepreneurship, media, sport, entertainment and community, among other categories.
Notable recipients included Plan My Wedding SA founder Chelsea Evans, musician Nox Guni with an Honorary Award for Services to Music, Mukuru.com, Sony ATV A&R Manager Munya Chanetsa as well as EFC champion Themba Gorimbo.
“The journey to becoming a champion seems easy when you have attained the goal but there are so many obstacles that we have to overcome especially in foreign lands to make a living. I have personally gone through serious challenges and I am grateful to be honored by my fellow Zimbabweans,” said Gorimbo.
Soccer legend George Shaya was also honored with a Chairman’s Special Recognition for Services to Sport, along with Universal Music Group SA & Sub Sahara MD Sipho Dhlamini for services to Music Excellence.
The awards were hosted by actress and socialite Mbo Mahocs, with entertainment provided by Bekezela and rising star Lolo Skai. Zimbabwe Achievers Awards commemorated their 10th anniversary this year since their inception with the flagship ZAA UK edition in 2010.
The inaugural ZAA Botswana edition is next up on the prestigious awards calendar set for the 11th of December at the Zimbabwean Embassy in Gaborone.
Here is a full list of the winners
- People’s Choice – Chaka Photography
- Female Professional Award – Sophia Chitemere
- Male Professional Award – Neville Mandimika
- Female Entrepreneur Award – Chelsea Bartosz
- Male Entrepreneur – Tatenda Mungofa
- Young Achiever Award – Nicolatta Matuku
- Community Organization – ANTHU Foundation
- Business of the Year – Mukuru.com
- Outstanding Author/ Writer – Yaya Rudo
- Community Champion – Sinanziwe Ndlovu
- Sports Personality Award – Themba Gorimbo
- Simba Mhere Media Award – Zimcelebs
- Outstanding Achievement in Entertainment – ShaSha
- Outstanding Achievement in Music – ShaSha
- Female Personality Award – Roseanna Hall
- Male Personality Award – Long John
- Business Innovation Award – Tatenda Mungofa
- Peter Ndlovu SA-Based Footballer Award – Willard Katsande
- Academic Excellence of the Year – Dr. Bhekumthetho Ncube
- Media Production/Practitioner – Munya Chanetsa
- Chairman’s Honorary Awards:
- Special Recognition for Goodwill and Community Champion – Gogo Plaxedes Dilon Magombo
- Outstanding Service in Entrepreneurship and Business Leadership – Joseph Dhafana
- Outstanding Contribution to Music Excellence – Sipho Dhlamini
- Outstanding Service to Business – Benovick Gwaze
- Outstanding Business Leadership – Rev Maxwell Pirikisi
- Outstanding Service to Music – Nox Guni
- Outstanding Service to Sport (Football) – George Shaya
- Friend of Zimbabwe – Thapelo Mokoena
- Friend of Zimbabwe – Ilonka Esterhuyse