A number of Zimbabwean artistes have been nominated for the inaugural African Women Awards on a list that also features politicians, religious leaders, philanthropists and business people. The awards ceremony will take place this Saturday at Meikles Hotel, Harare.
The names include Tinashe Kachingwe, Karen Mutasa, Danielle Allen, Farai Gundan, Jackie Mgido, Farai Simoyi, Rebecca Chisamba and NoViolet Bulawayo among others.
The prestigious awards will honour women who have made a giant strides in projecting a positive picture as well telling the true story of the African continent at large through their works.
The awards are brainchild of Lisa Chiriseri and Carol Nyazika who highlighted that there is need to appreciate and promote the African women on a global platform.
In an interview with this reporter, awards public relations manager Sophia Chitemere said preparations are at advanced stage.
She said the awards are dedicated to create a fresh brand of female African role models within Africa.
“Everything is now in place with some of the nominees starting to jet in tomorrow (today). Women in Africa have always looked abroad for inspiration or role models. We have many successful women within the continent, including those who are breaking barriers and setting the new standard of what an African women can achieve despite the limitations placed on the continent as a whole,” she said.
She said popular poet Rutendo Denise is billed to perform while ZiFM presenter Ruvheneko Parirenyatwa and Star FM’s DJ Mox will be hosts of the night.
“Our guest of honour is Josey Mahachi and awards patron is Kiki Divaris. We are proud to say that the awards are being sponsored by Cyrex Business, Blackarmoor Clothing, Lyfstyl, ZUVA Printers, Stage-con and Network of African Business (NABW) — a GracaMachel Trust (GMT), while partners include Meikles Hotel, His Presence Ministries International Church, Fund A Child’s Education Zimbabwe (FACEZ) Education Fund, Optimass Art Photography and Videography and Arundel Village,” she said.
Chitemere said the AWA team is bending over backwards to make the award ceremony a world class, memorable event that will set a new tone in the recognition and celebration of Africans all over the world.
“AWA’s goal is to educate the world that Africa has a different story from the usual negative and bad image associated with the African people. The nominee short list was released last month. There is massive excitement over the first ever awards bringing together African women from all over the world for the common cause of enriching, inspiring and developing the next generation of Africans,” she said.
Chitemere explained that the selection was a thorough process that involved the public who submitted nominations via several platforms provided including online website and social media platforms. Universities, youth councils, embassies influential women’s organisations also partnered AWA in the process.
Below is the list for the African Women Awards 2015:
Business and Enterprise Category
Young Entrepreneurial Spirit Award
Affiong Williams — Nigeria — Founder of Reel Fruit
Nadia Haingo Rakotovaoarison – Madagascar — Founding director of a private school “Frisquette”
Rapelang Rabana — South Africa — CEO and founder of Cape Town-based Yeigo Communications and founded Rekindle Learning
Business Achievement Award
Monica Musonda — Zambia – Founder & CEO — Java Foods Limited
Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu — Ethiopia — CEO & Founder – Sole Rebels
Joy Ndunguste and Janet Nkubana — Rwanda — Founders of Gahaya Links
Industry Excellence Award
Captain Irene Koki Mutungi — Kenya — First female pilot at Kenya Airways
Dr Ola Orekunrin — Nigeria — Founder and Managing Director of Flying Doctors
Natalie Jabangwe-Morris — Zimbabwe — Econet Head Business and Marketing Development
Dynamic Start-up Business Award
Yasmin Belo-Osagie and AfuaOsei — Nigeria — Founders of She Leads Africa
Jackie Mgido — Zimbabwe — Founder Vault Cosmetics
Ngozi Opara — Nigeria/USA — Founder of Heat Free Hair
Living Legacy Award
Mrs Folorunsho Alakija — Nigeria — Second richest women in Africa. A business tycoon involved in the fashion,oil and printing industries
Isabel Dos Santos — Angola — Richest woman in Africa. Investor
Karen Mutasa — Zimbabwe — Partner and Director/Cadco (Pvt) Ltd
Entertainment and Arts
Creative Visionary Award
Farai Simoyi — Zimbabwe/USA — Fashion Designer
Danielle Allen — Zimbabwe | Nigeria | UK — Fashion Designer
Shirley Frimpong Manso — Ghana — Filmmaker and CEO of Sparrow Productions Ltd
Media Excellence Award
Hantaniaina Andriantsoa — Madagascar — Director of Communication in AlaotraMangoro region
Farai Gundani — Zimbabwe/USA — Co-Founder FaraiMedia, 2015 Young Global Leader — WEF, speaker, host, Forbes Contributor
NoViolet Bulawayo — Zimbabwe — Author
Star Power Award
Tinashe —Zimbabwe/USA — Musician, writer
Bonang Matheba — South Africa — Talk show host, brand ambassador, designer, radio host
Vimbai Mutinhiri — Zimbabwe/South Africa/Nigeria— TV host, exec producer, content creator, model
Promising Personality Award
Dillish Matthews — Namibia — BBA season 8 winner, entertainer, brand ambassador, entrepreneur
Mary Kasoko — Zambia — TV producer and presenter of Let’s talk with Mary
Hilda Mauya — Kenya/USA — Fashion Designer
Living Legend Award
Mo Abudu — Nigeria — Founder: Ebony Life TV, Talk Show Hostess, TV Producer, Venture Capitalist, Media entrepreneur, Human resource management consultant
BiolaAlabi — Nigeria — Media expert
Rebecca Chisamba — Zimbabwe — Founder of Chisamba Productions and Media Consultancy
Community and Politics
Grass Roots Impact Award
Chiedza Mpofu — Zimbabwe — Philanthropist (NGO owner)
Esther Kalenzi — Uganda — Founder of a non-profit organisation called 40 days over 40 smiles Foundation
Aisha Ojone Abu — Nigeria — Philanthropist
Young Activist Award
Sarah Toumi — Tunisia — Activist
Adepeju Mabadeje Jaiyeoba — Nigeria — Founder of Brown Button Foundation
Juliana Kanyomozi — Uganda — School Owner— Terpu School aimed at Promoting Girl child Education
Social Humanitarian Award
Zeinab Blandia — Sudan — Peacemaker and community leader from the Nuba Mountains in Sudan
Ruth Makandiwa — Zimbabwe — Philanthropist
Bosibori Nyambane Wairimu — Nigeria — Humanitarian
Young Change Maker Award
Juliana Tahina Ratovoson — Madagascar — Youngest advisor to the Prime Minister Head of the Government
Tabetha Kanengoni -Malinga- Zimbabwe — Deputy Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture- Youngest Minister in Zimbabwe
Naisula Lesuuda — Kenya — Senator — Youngest female member of the Senate, the upper house of the Parliament of Kenya
Living Leader Award
Dr Jennifer Riria — Kenya — Group CEO of Kenya Women Holding
Dr Victoria Kisyombe — Tanzania — Founder of SELFINA
President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf — Liberia — The world’s first elected black female President and Africa’s first elected female head of state