The founder of the Girl Child Network Betty Makoni and the owner of Traverze Travel, Zodwa Mkandla, flew the Zimbabwean flag high and proud after they both picked up awards at the Women4Africa event at the Kensington Hall in London on Saturday.
Makoni received a Lifetime Achievement Award for her work with the Girl Child Network, an organisation she founded in 1999 to help young sex abuse victims in Zimbabwe.
The network is estimated to have rescued more than 35,000 girls and saw Makoni take on powerful figures in the country who were accused of committing some of the abuses.
In her speech Makoni said; “The message I’m coming to bring to you tonight. 1977, I was on the streets of a high density suburb, I was on the streets selling tomatoes and onions.
“1981 as princess said my mother was pronounced dead right in my face. 1986 brother gone, but I was so determined that if I follow education, education would also follow me.
“So today I come to tell you, my battle is over. I won.”
Mkandla meanwhile won the award for International Business Woman of the year. She runs one of the most successful travel agencies in Zimbabwe and Southern Africa as a whole.
Mkandla, the wife of flamboyant socialite and businessman Genius “Ginimbi” Kadungure flew in from Harare to the UK for the awards ceremony along with her husband.
“Its a great honour, it’s a great privilege. My Zimbabwean team I love you guys,” she said to great cheers from the Zimbabwean crowd that was in the building.
“We came all the way from Harare, Zimbabwe. A proud African nation. This award goes to the Zimbabweans in the house. Not forgetting my team in Zimbabwe. I have not done it alone. It has not been easy. It’s been a long journey but with us Zimbabwean women everything is possible.”
Women4Africa is a community focused organisation set up to celebrate ordinary African women doing extraordinary things. Its the largest and most successful African Awards ceremony across Europe, and supports a charity of choice that empowers women and mothers annually.
Women4Africa was founded by the husband and wife team of Sam and Tola Onigbanjo. Their core focus is to identify and celebrate female role models of African descent from humble and ordinary beginnings, and to elevate them to a global audience. Nehanda Radio