Clodine Manyozo Arts Reporter
Organisers of the Zimbabwe Achievers Awards (ZAA) have announced that their 10th anniversary awards would be in Zimbabwe next month in line with the 40th independence commemorations.
The ZAA are held in the diaspora and meant to celebrate achievements by Zimbabweans who live outside the country.
So far they have hosted five editions annually in the United Kingdom, United States, Australia, Canada and South Africa, with this year being the inaugural local event.
The awards gala dinner, which will run under the theme “Our heart had always been home”, will be held on April 10 at Elephant Hills Resort in Victoria Falls.
In an interview, ZAA international chairman Conrad Mwanza said it was time the awards ceremony came home and preparations were at an advanced stage.
“We are happy to bring the awards ceremony home and we are going to celebrate the 10th anniversary in style,” he said.
“The gala dinner will also welcome various members of the diaspora based communities whose contributions in their respective fields and endeavours have made a global impact and shone a positive light on the country by virtue of their great ambassadorial role to the rest of the world.
“Preparations are at an advanced stage, with some of the sponsors confirming their participation.”
Asked what criteria they were going to use to select winners considering there was no nomination process, Mwanza said the local version of ZAA is different because they are only going to award exceptional personalities who were identified by a committee.
“We will be paying homage to the motherland where the journey started for many of the country`s success stories,” he said.
The awards will be held in a unique way as there will be no voting or nominations for the special celebratory edition.
In the past, nominations would be uploaded on a website, followed by voting.
This year the recipients will be determined by the ZAA Advisory Board and a panel made up of members from different territories.
“The recipients will be awarded the honorary ZAA Global Impact Award,” said Mwanza.
Some of the people in line for the awards include academic Dr Tererai Trent, entrepreneur Dr Divine Ndhlukula, diplomat Arikana Chihombori-Quao, community champion Gogo Esther Zinyoro, touring band Mokoomba, music executive Taponeswa Mavunga, sommelier Joseph Dhafana and actress Chipo Tariro Chung. Motocross biker Tanya Muzinda, rugby star Tendai Mtawarira and inventor William Sachiti will also be vying for the same awards.
The ZAA is also there to create strong networks and synergies within various spheres of influence to propel the national aspirations forward and is also actively involved in partnering goodwill parties through the awards’ Foundation.