This year marks the second year of the Zimbabwe Achievers Awards South Africa. We spoke to them about the organization and what we can expect at the ceremony, here’s what they had to say.
Q: Can you tell us how ZAA SA came about?
A: ZAA SA came about through a relationship that started in the United Kingdom between MoneyGram International and Zim Achievers UK chapter. MoneyGram was the headline sponsor for ZAA for 3 consecutive years, and when they decided to launch ZAA in SA, they approached their below the line agency, Moving Ads SA to set up ZAA SA.
After intensive research and the realization of the value in the initiative, ZAA SA was born in October 2013.
Q: What is the aim of the organization?
A: ZAA ultimately seeks to celebrate all things Zimbabwean. The mandate is to unearth, recognize and celebrate the achievements of Zimbabweans, in this case, living in South Africa.
Q: How difficult was it to put the awards ceremony together, do you call for volunteers or you have sponsors?
A: The inaugural ZAA SA was sponsored by MoneyGram International and despite many challenges and teething pains, the event was a great success. We do not call for volunteers, however we do elect individuals to be a part of our committee and panel of judges on a voluntary basis.
Q: What are the challenges you faced with your inaugural event?
A: The challenges faced were numerous, considering this was our first time running with an event of this magnitude. Bear in mind that Zimbabweans in SA are a large number and spread across geographically; whereas we are based in Johannesburg. Reaching the masses was no easy task.
Q: How has this impacted the careers or lives of the awards’ recipients?
A: I cannot speak for the award recipients, however we have been in communications with a number of the winners who are still excited about their trophies and accolade. Most award recipients have gone ahead and included their nomination in their personal biographies. This confirms to us that the ZAA is a worthwhile initiative and we will continue bigger and better.
Q: Are the awards open to any Zimbabwean living in South Africa?
A: All Zimbabweans living in SA are eligible for nomination in the various categories. The panel of judges sits with the names submitted by the public and issues the shortlist that the community will proceed to vote on.
Q: How did you end up with Oliver Mtukudzi as the ambassador of ZAA SA?
A: Oliver Mtukudzi is Zimbabwean and one of the greatest exports to emerge out of the country. He is a world renowned artist whose music penetrates across borders, making him a global citizen who happens to reside in Zimbabwe. He is a Zimbabwean achiever who also happens to strongly believe in the ZAA initiative so his ambassadorship was almost natural.
Q: What’s the nomination process?
A: The nomination process is a simple one. We have the ZAA website as the main nomination platform; but have also included Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and Instagram as other options for nominations to have a more inclusive pool. We have 15 categories listed, each requiring the public to submit nominees. Our nomination form is standard; we require the name of the nominee, the category you are nominating them for, and the reason why you feel they deserve to be nominated. We also require your name for auditing purposes; to further affirm that the nominations process is open, free and fair.
Q: What can we expect from the second edition of the ZAA SA?
A: We are looking to have the gala dinner at The Hyatt in Rosebank, being another world class event with great innovation for all who will attend on the night.
Q: Do you have the date set up for this year’s event?
A: The Zimbabwe Achievers Awards 2015 will be held on the 7th of November at The Hyatt in Rosebank.
Q: What’s your advice to the Zimbabwean youth especially those living in South Africa?
A: Our advice to the Zimbabwean youth across the world is, believe in yourself, and work hard to make your dreams come true even if you find yourself working multiple jobs; working late hours; knocking on different doors. Be persistent and chase after your dream
Q: Where can people reach you?
People have various platforms to reach us on:
the website is www.zimachievers.co.za
Twitter handle is @zimachievers_sa
Facebook page is Zimbabwe Achievers Awards South Africa
WhatsApp on +27 72374 0574