A lot more are breaking new grounds in the region, and making a name for themselves while flying the Zimbabwean flag high.
Topping the list of Zimbabweans who are grabbing international headlines is Hollywood actress Danai Gurira, who was recently named United Nations Women Goodwill ambassador.
She has been the star of the moment in Hollywood, together with her co-stars, for her role in the Marvel movie Black Planter which has been nominated for three Golden Globe nominations.
Danai started acting at 13 years after joining arts institution Children’ Performing Art Workshop (Chipawo) which specialises in grooming young Zimbabweans who have a flair of the arts.
In 2004, she starred in a drama series, Law and Order: Criminal Intent while her big break was in the American television series, The Walking Dead in which she stars as Michonne — a character always engaging in long and running battles with zombies.
She was nominated for the 2007 Joseph Jefferson Award for Actress in a Principal Role in the play for In the Continuum, at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, Illinois.
Danai was nominated for the 2016 Antoinette Perry (Tony) Award for Best Play for Eclipse which she wrote on Broadway in New York City.
She was awarded the 2016 Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress on Television in The Walking Dead (2010), and the 2018 Saturn Award for Best Supporting Actress in Black Panther (2018).
In 2011, she co-founded Almasi Arts Inc., an organisation dedicated to supporting arts education in Zimbabwe.
She currently serves as the executive artistic director of Love Out Girls, a non-profit organisation which aims to highlight the issues and challenges that specifically affect women all through the world which she founded in 2016.
Another Zimbabwean whose star is shining is young musician Donel Mangena who is based in the United Kingdom.
The 17-year-old grabbed the spotlight after his appearance in the singing competition, The Voice UK, where he finished as the runner up.
On Saturday last week (December 8) he performed at the Miss World finals in Sanya, China.
He also performed at the Queen’s 92nd birthday celebrations in April and the young man put up a “brilliant” performance.
Donel was introduced by the Prince Harry who called his him a “star”.
He recently bagged his first International Award after winning the International Achievement Recognitions Awards (IARA) gong for being the Best Young Male Artiste.
Then there is renowned actor Anorld Chirisa who started off in Zimbabwe before going on to make a name for himself in South Africa, starring in a number of film productions there.
From there he then moved to the United States where he has been scooping roles in productions that include the Jim Gaffigan Show (2015), Sleepy Hollow (2013), American Horror Story (2012), NCIS Los Angeles (2011), Barack Obama’s Cousin (2010) among others.
Enter Vault Cosmetics founder Jackie Mgido who has also been doing her part to uplift Zimbabwe on the international showbiz scene with her make-up artistry and entrepreneurial skills.
She has worked with Hollywood A-listers such as John Legend, Morris Chestnut, Denzel Washington, P Diddy, Jamie Foxx and Sylvester Stallone.
Mgido moved to the United States more than 20 years ago and launched her own line in 2012.
Vault Cosmetics is now available in Zimbabwe, United States, United Kingdom, South Africa as well as South Africa.
During one of the Emmy Awards ceremonies, Mgido made up awards host and Glee star Jane Lynch. She was also contracted by Food Network to do on-set make-up for celebrity chefs including Alex Guarnaschelli, Duff Goldman, Tyler Florence and Cat Cora.
She has also been awarded Female Entrepreneur of the Year for her start-up business at the African Women Awards.
These Zimbabweans add to the list of other stars with links to the southern African nation such as actress Thandie Newton and UK based boxer Dereck Chisora.
Zimbabwe-born Chisora is a British professional boxer and a WBA International champion. He also held WBA International, WBO International, European, British, and Commonwealth heavyweight titles between 2010 and 2014, and in 2012 challenged for the WBC heavyweight.
He is currently ranked as the world’s seventh best active heavyweight by the Transnational Boxing Rankings Board and eleventh by Boxrec.
Chisora recently changed his nickname to ‘WAR’ ditching the previous “Del Boy” nickname in an attempted rebrand of his no-care attitude displayed in recent years as reported by British media.
Newton is linked to Zimbabwe through her mother Nyasha who got married to an English laboratory technician.
She is a well-known English television and film actress and has played several roles, representing the downtrodden black community in Europe and America.
Her movies include ‘Flirting’ (1991), ‘Interview with the Vampire’ (1994), ‘Jefferson in Paris’ (1995), ‘Besieged’ (1998), ‘Beloved’ (1998), ‘Mission: Impossible 2’ (2000), ‘It Was an Accident’ (2000), ‘The Truth About Charlie’ (2002), ‘Crash’ (2004), ‘The Pursuit of Happyness’ (2006), ‘For Colored Girls’ (2010) and ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ (2013).
She has appeared in television series, such as ‘Pirate Prince’ (1991), ‘In Your Dreams’ (1997), ‘ER’ (2003 – 2009), ‘American Dad!’ (2006), ‘Rogue’ (2013 – 2015), ‘The Slap’ (2015), ‘Westworld’ (2016) and ‘Line of Duty’ (2017).
She also has several awards and achievements including the BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Black Reel Award for Best Ensemble, Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Cast, Empire Award for Best Actress, Hollywood Film Festival Award for Ensemble of the Year, London Film Critics Circle Award for British Supporting Actress of the Year and Satellite Award for Best Cast –Motion Picture Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.
In 2016, she was awarded the Critics’ Choice Television Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series and the IGN Award for Best TV Actress for her role in the series ‘Westworld’. Daily News.