12 December 2016 – THERE was a pomp and fanfare as Zimbabweans in SA celebrated their top achievers for 2016 at a swanky Sandton hotel, last Saturday where top government from both SA and Zimbabwe were the guest of honour.
The main guest of honour was Tourism minister Walter Mzembi, who was accompanied by his wife Barbra.
Mzembi gave the main speech, and like most of the speakers, lauded the achievements made by Zimbabweans in the Diaspora.
“I know the circumstances and the reasons why you are widely scattered, it is because of adverse circumstances, but being here is a chance to turn adversity into opportunity. You deserve to be buried at the Heroes Acre for the contributions you have made in even sustaining Zimbabwe’s economy during its trying times ,” says Mzembi to the applause of the hundreds of people who gathered for the event.
Mzembi also particularly recognised the achievements and importance of Zimbabweans in SA, because of their proximity, population, adding that that SA is Zimbabwe’s biggest trading partner.
He also hinted that the Zimbabwean presidency has agreed to Randification, while his ministry is expected to engage Diasporians on a international level on how to rebrand Zimbabwe
Controversial SA businessman Frank Buyanga also gave an emotional speech bemoaning the situation in Zimbabwe, turned the focus away from the nominees and also recognized Zimbabwe Achievers Awards Chairman Conrad Mwana, for promoting and recognizing Zimbabwean achievers not only in SA but the UK and now the US.
Mukuru.com Mdumiseni Sibanda, whose company also sponsored the event gave a brief outline on the services that his company was offering Zimbabweans in SA adding that from his company’s humble beginning it is spreading its wings across the continent.
Steward Bank CEO Lance Mambodiani, whose company was one of the sponsors of the colorful event, also hailed the contribution made by Zimbabweans in the Diaspora, going on to suggest that they are Heroes, who deserve to be buried at the Heroes Acre.
Like Mzembi, he also urged those in SA and the general Diaspora not to turn their back on their motherland but still be involved in the development of their country.
“But what are you doing here while for example the Chinese are the ones building roads in Zimbabwe,” says Mambodiani.
Besides the number of Zimbabweans who were honoured in the various categories, prominent SA politician, and chairperson of the National Council of Province Thandi Modise, who was given the Friends of Zimbabwe Award.
Among some of the winners were ZimsInSA.com columnist, who won the Community organisation award for its work helping Zimbabweans in Sa, Nqqabutho Mabhena, while Nyasha Mudzingwa won both the male entrepreneur award and his company, Zim Con Transport won the Business of the year award. Vimbai Musvaburi a former ZAA employee bagged the Personality of the Year award.
Also recognised were Zimbabweans who have been flying the Zimbabwean flag high in SA.
These were actors Ernest Moyo and Luthuli Dlamini, singer and dancehall DJ Jah Seed. Soccer stars Esrom Nyandoro, and Peter Ndlovu who unfortunately were not at the awards. But Ndlovu made a televised appearance at the glitzy gala dinner as his wife and daughter Natalie received the award on his behalf.
Zimbabwean based comedian Carl Joshua Ncube, had the audience entertained and in stitches with jokes.
– Patience Rusere
WINNERS OF ZIMBABWE ACHIEVERS AWARDS SA 2016
Business of the year
Business Leaders of the Year
Female Entrepreneur of the year
Professional of the year
Sihle Thabani Ndlovu
Community Champion of the year
Community Organisation of the year
Zim Community SA
Academic Excellence of the year
Prof Caroline Ncube
Media Personality of the Year
Personality of the Year
Sports Personality of the Year
Young Achiever of the Year
DR Musawenkosi Donia Saurombe-