By Tidi Kwidini
The Zimbabwe Achievers Awards (ZAA) rolled out another spectacular event on Saturday when they hosted the sixth annual awards gala in London. Hundreds turned out to celebrate the achievements of this year’s nominees and winners.
Held at the five-star Royal Garden Hotel in Kensington, the awards,which ran under the theme Celebrating Women in Media and the Arts honoured five women excelling in the media,music and the arts industry.
Head of Publicity for Columbia Records, Sony Music Entertainment, Taponeswa Mavunga, Forbes’ Magazine contributor Farai Gundan, award winning writer Petina Gappah and actress Chipo Chung were among the women who received the Chairman’s special recognition award for making remarkable, consistent and outstanding contributions to the Zimbabwean community in the UK and abroad.
In her speech, ZAA Chair of the Panelists, Dr Martha Chinouya hailed the work that the ladies were doing and the barriers they have broken in the industries that they are in.
“It is not easy to be a woman,let alone a woman who holds a very high position in fields such as media,music and film, and we celebrate these women who are breaking the so-called glass ceiling and emerging as powerful and influential women in their various industries,” said Dr Chinouya.
The Chairman’ Honorary Award for contributions to charitable causes and children’s welfare went philanthropist and social entrepreneur Tsitsi Masiyiwa.
ZAA Chairman Conrad Mwanza saluted Masiyiwa’s humanitarian work and how she continues to positvely impact the wider community.
“Mrs Masiyiwa’s work is admirable and truly inspiring. We can all certainly learn something from her, and we can all make a difference and contribute to building a community that we are proud of, and a nation that we have all envisoned,” Mwanza said.
Jeff Madzingo, founder of Diaspora Funeral Cash plan and CEO of NewZimbabwe was honoured for his pivotal role in business and services to the community, while Football legend, Japhet Mparutsa, received the Legend’s Award for services rendered to sport.
Deloitte’s Debbie Thomas received the Friend of Zimbabwe award for her continued support and contribution to initiatives in the Zimbabwean and wider African Community. DJ Edu also received special recognition for his work in pushing and promoting African music.
The entertainment lineup did not disappoint. Gemma Griffiths who headlined the blacktie affair, dazzled the audience with her rendition of Winky D’s Musarova Bigman. Xavier had the audience in stitches with his comedic sketch of Na2lani and Kazz took the audience back in time with his classic hits Amina Kadeya and 7 Wonders.
The guests were also treated to a surprise special from Gospel star Tembalami who flew in all the way from Zimbabwe to give them a memorable experience.
This years awards were proudly sponsored by Econet groups umbrella of companies, Eco-cash Diaspora ,Chitoro and Steward bank. Reputable Care Agency Local Care Force were also a proud sponsor of the awards.
ZAA CEO, Peter Soko extended his thanks to all the sponsors for their continued support.
“An event of this magnitude is not easy to put together.”
“Alot of work goes on in the background to produce a night like this; but none of it would be possible without the support and partnership of all our sponsors who have believed in this brand and the vision it has to building a stronger and viable community,” Soko said.
Now a permanent fixture on the Zimbabwean community calendar,the awards have grown over the years and in a few weeks the brand will open its doors in the US as plans are in motion to launch there.
Here is the full list of all the winners on the night:
Company of the year:
Business Innovation Award:
International Music Artist:
International Gospel Artist:
Author/ Academic Award:
Professor Ben Chigara
Imbabala Zambezi Safari
Rahima Mohamed (RAAAH)
Radio Presenter/Club DJ:
Event of the Year:
Personality of the Year: