Flamboyant businessman Wicknell Chivayo has been voted the number one most influential Ngoda Under-40 Achiever of the year, as the traditional finalists — in the form of clergymen — have not made it to the top 10.
Although the criteria and timing of these awards remain a point of intense debate, property investor and financier Frank Buyanga was also ranked second, while South African-based energy trader Genius Kadungure was named number three.
“Ngoda Business wishes to congratulate… Chivayo for being voted the… Under-40 Achiever for the class of 2016. His work in the alternative energy industry has (had) a massive bearing (on) transforming Zimbabwe into a green economy that puts our people, and (the) planet before profit,” the citation for Chivayo’s honour said, adding “from this, we hope our… (future) generations will be inspired to start and run their own enterprises.”
“The adjudicating team were guided by… (this) tough, yet objective criterion of validity test, national relevance, social impact, motivation or leadership, entrepreneurial acumen, influence and consistency (in) brand value,” the organisers said in the statement.
While the Intratrek Zimbabwe (Private) Limited boss was probably recognised for his successive and multi-million power deals with the government, the likes of Chamu Chiwanza on fourth, business broker and advisor Joselyn Mahachi, Bopela Group founder Agrippa Masiyakurima and Cynthia Zinyamba were also recognised for their “trailblazing exploits in economic empowerment programmes”.
Under Chiwanza’s leadership, for instance, the Affirmative Action Group has developed “teeth” to take on big capital, especially in the Zimre Holdings Limited acquisition and unfolding CFI Holdings Limited sagas.
Mahachi, on the other hand, shot to fame after bringing Nigerian mogul and Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote to scout for a number of investment deals.
The top 10 list, which includes Munyaradzi Gwatidzo, Cynthia Bizure and Gokwe-Nembudziya legislator Justice Wadyajena, does not include perennial contenders such as Prophetic Healing and Deliverance leader Walter Magaya, who was the 2015 game changer.
For a while now, the surveys have been dominated by men of the cloth, among them, Emmanuel Makandiwa and Good News church founder Uebert Angel.
But for now, the pendulum seems to have swung back to entrepreneurs. And for his part, Chivayo might have also been recognised for his football sponsorships and where he has pledged $1 million for national teams.
“I am humbled to receive such recognition from an international organisation. I refuse to be anything else than successful and… enjoy being a real boss… My message to all youths and upcoming businesspeople is do your future self a favour, and work hard now,” he said.
“Not having when you are old is the worst thing you can ever imagine. The only person you need to convince that you are going to be successful is yourself.
“Always train your mind to see good in every situation, the more you learn and the more you earn,” Chivayo said.