The 2015 Zimbabwe Achievers Awards
By Ada Uzoije and Simba Smp
Five incredible years of the Zimbabwe Achievers Awards (ZAA) and it is still standing as the most recognised and influential awards ceremony celebrating and recognising the achievements of individuals and organisations that have made remarkable contributions to Zimbabwe’s community. This year’s Zimbabwe Achievers Awards were held at the 5 star Royal Garden Hotel in London on the 9th of April. Present were an assortment of glamourously dressed Zim diasporans and also a good number of non-Zimbabweans.
Well dressed crowd on arrival..
In the neatly decorated hall of the classy Royal Garden hotel in Kensington, the crowd were treated to an assortment of treats that included a three course meal, red carpet and champaign plus after party celebrations. The entertainment included contemporary and traditionally inspired Zimbabwean music. Unlike the previous years of bringing well established musicians, this time the ZAA organisers decided to change tact and unleash relatively unknown but hugely talented young artists. The guests were sweetly entertained with lovely performances from diaspora based Zimbabwean artists; these included Afro-pop sensation female singer, Chashe Musarurwa-McTaggart and John Falsetto, an Afro instrumentalist musician. Highly regarded attendees included Kalaa Mpinga (from Congo), the CEO of the huge mining entity Mwana Africa and Carolina Rogelis Terán, representing the global money transfer company World Remit.
One of the most interesting observations was the spirit of togetherness and maturity exhibited by both the award winners and those who failed to win. They all congratulated and uplifted each other and all seemed to understand that at the end of the day there has to be a winner and a loser. On a soothing note, the losers could have easily got some comfort from the words of Community Champion winner, Dr. Brighton Chireka who emphasised that, “Everyone who has been nominated today deserves a round of applause because they are bringing change, bringing something positive to our own community..” There were also Special Recognition Awards which were awarded to six organizations and four individuals for their strong presence and positive community engagement. The organisations and individuals that received the special awards are: ZAOGA, Zimbabwe Catholics, Zimbabwe Men Fellowship, Zimbabwe Association, Zimbabwe Methodist Church in the UK, Apostolic Faith Mission, Xolani Xala, Tor Clausen, Lucky Moyo and to the Zimbabwe Tourism.
The Zimbabwe Achievers Award were first held in 2011 at the Mermaid Theatre in Blackfriars, London. According to Conrad Mwanza the founder, the ZimAchievers help to celebrate outstanding achievements as well as unite Zimbabweans in the diaspora. The ZAA is indeed an outstanding platform for Zimbabweans, irrelevant of race, culture and political affiliation to come together and celebrate their success and to motivate their community to aim for excellence. Since its inception, the ZAA has grown stronger and popular to not only the Zimbabwe community but to other nationals across the globe. In an interview at the event night, Conrad Mwanza revealed that the ZAA have expanded and now have another version in South Africa which is based on the same principles. The charming CEO Mwanza also highlighted plans on the agenda to take the ZAA initiative to his native Zimbabwe.
The ZimAchievers is generally becoming a date to look forward to among out going and patriotic Zimbabweans abroad. Here Zimlink tries to give a picture of what to expect for those who have not yet tasted the Zim experience. The benefit of such events is the ability to educate and give a sense of pride and patriotism to those who long left their countries of origin, as well as their off-spring who can easily lose their true identity. Most importantly this kind of initiative brings encouragement and positivity to the previously uncelebrated but highly achieving individuals, so it should rightly be given an applause that it really deserves. Well done ZimAchievers!!
Below are the award recipients on the night. *Winners are not listed in any particular order:
Innovation: Moses Murandu
Tourism: The Zimbabwe Parks and Wild life Management
Company of the year: Local care force
Author of the year: Tendai Huchu
International Gospel Music Artist: Takesure Zamar Ncube
Radio Presenter/ Club Dj: Young Chidzy
Event of the Year: All white boat party (Portsmouth)
Community Organisation: The 4cs (Climate Change Community Champions)
Community Champion: Dr Brighton Chireka
Media Organisation: Zimbo Live TV
Young Achievers: Charles Chavi
Fashion Designer: Pam Samasuwi Nyawiri (Vanhu Vamwe)
Sports Personality: Stanley Madiri
People’s Choice: Ivy Mango Chatora
Personality: Heather Shekede
Female Entrepreneur: Lisa Chuma
Male Entrepreneur: Godfrey Mushandu
International Music Artist: Brian Soko