The Zimbabwe Achievers Awards, held on the 10th of May at the Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington, lived up to the billing and hype that was created in the run up to the night. Being the first time covering the event on behalf of Zimlink, we have to admit that it was an impressive evening, conducted in an impressive way.
Themed around youth, this year’s awards also recognised the great work and potential that young Zimbabweans have, with awards going to such initiatives as the Zimbabwe Youth Global Network. In interviews with committee members of ZAA, it was emphasised that the annual event aims for sustainability and growth, hence the focus on youth, as they will form the leaders, innovators and constituents of future efforts regarding the hard work that will put Zimbabwe on the global platform.
The elegantly attired audience was also treated to the cool crooning of Prudence Katomeni Mbofana, all the way from Zimbabwe. It brought back memories of a younger Prudence (not that she does not look any younger even now, timless!) in More Time, a reminder of days gone by, and a pointer to the constant efforts that are made at keeping that musical connection between Zimbabwe and its diasporans. There were hilarious moments when Prudence did her song “baba bhoyi ndabhowekana” as one audience member play –acted in response to the lyrics of the song chiding a husband who just sits at home and waits for the wife, who comes back home from work tired, to do everything for him. Before Prudence came to round up the live performances of the night, the audience was treated to a throwback in Kelvin and Muzi’s resurgent “Tombofara”, Manatsa and the New Green Arrows Band, and Farai and the Forest Dawn, amongst other performances.
Led by Glorianne Francis, the night was also graced by H.E Ambassador Gabriel Machinga, who belted out his signature song “Beautiful Zimbabwe”, talked about his project with Chirovakamwe primary School in Mutare, and reiterated the need, as well as opportunities available, for the Zimbabwean community in the diaspora to make immense contributions to social and economic changes back home.
One other major recognition for the night went to boxer Dereck Chisora, whose upcoming fight with Tyson Fury many await. Chisora evidently ruffled some feathers and caused a few laughs with his off the top comments, and to some, his intimidating presence seemed to confirm where most are used to seeing him, in the boxing ring. Even for the awards night, he was not pulling any punches!
We also had the pleasure of meeting Nyaradzai Gumbonzvanda, who received the Chairmans Award. Her international stellar work is a source of motivation and pride for Zimbabweans, especially in setting high aspirations for young Zimbabwean women. She is certainly a role model.
Popular chant “zviri kumbofamba sei” also found its way into the awards when Zimpraise won its award. The rising and rising boys of Mokoomba were also recognised, and had Kudaushe Matimba, former Bhundu Boys member and leader of Harare band collecting the award on their behalf. Mokoomba has been blazing a hot trail, and we look forward to seeing more of them and their music on the international circuit.
The DJ had people breaking it down on the dance floor until the wee hours of the morning to an eclectic mix of music, and he would never go wrong having people doing the “kongonya” to Kapfupi’s “Chikwama” in the Royal Garden Hotel. What better way to bring Zimbabwe to Kensington through music! We cannot wait for the net Zim Achievers, for it can only get better. And we will be there to get you awesome images and videos again!
Below is a list of the Winners in their different Categories
Community organisation of the Year
Dr Dominic Pasura
Dj of the Year
International Gospel artist
Event of the year
History Tour – Oliver Mtukudzi and Thomas Mapfumo
Company of the Year
Vavaki Architects Ltd
African Bush Camps
Sports and Culture
thanks to ZYMPAY the main sponsor