See list of Zimbos who did exceptionally well in their areas of expertise in 2021: Sirizani Butau…


The year 2021 goes down in history as one of the most arduous years which produced the best out of Zimbabweans from all walks of life, who rose against adversities presented by Covid-19.

Despite the destabilising effects of the pandemic, some Zimbabweans epitomised resilience and performed exceptionally in various sectors of the economy, business, philanthropy, sports, entertainment and agriculture.

In the medical field, doctors and other health professionals who tirelessly worked on the frontlines deserve salute as they risked their lives to save the lives of those who contracted Covid-19 over and above their usual duties.

Ordinary everyday heroes, too, emerged in 2021, performing acts of courage and kindness that left the country in awe.

Below are The Herald’s picks of Zimbabweans who did exceptionally well in their areas of expertise. This is in no special order.

Dr Bothwell Mbuwayesango

A specialist surgeon, Dr Mbuwayesango and his team, successfully led a team of health professionals to separate conjoined twins in 2014 and in 2021 at Sally Mugabe Central Hospital, formerly Harare Central Hospital.

Though the success of the surgery cannot be attributed to an individual, Dr Mbuwayesango deserves mention for leading the team of experts.

Pastor Lynn Ndlovu

Hydrocephalus Foundation founder, Pastor Lynn Ndlovu, has done a lot of work to raise awareness of hydrocephalus, a condition that causes an abnormal build-up of fluid in the ventricles deep within the brain, making the head grow big.

This year, she partnered Mpilo Central Hospital to open a ward that provides specialist care for children with hydrocephalus.

The new ward has ensured that patients from Bulawayo, Masvingo, Matabeleland North, Matabelaland South and Midlands provinces no longer have to travel to Harare for specialist care.

Dr Tinashe Ziki (Farmer)

The year 2021, also saw renowned Makonde farmer Dr Tinashe Ziki being conferred with an honorary Doctor of Philosophy in Agriculture and Technology from Chinhoyi University of Technology by President Mnangagwa.

Dr Ziki grows at least 1 000 hectares of maize, wheat and soyabean yearly with most of the land leased from other farmers as he owns a modest 300 hectare farm in Mhangura.

The 51-year-old farmer was offered 1000 hectares to do sugarcane in Chiredzi by the President and he accepted the challenge.

Scott MacMillan, Chief Executive Officer of Invictus Energy Ltd

Last year, Mr MacMillan made headlines as he spearheaded the completion of crucial seismic survey which is part of exploration at Invictus Energy’s Cahora Bassa oil and gas project in Muzarabani.

Conducted by Polaris natural resources the move marks a significant milestone for the company in its exploration programme.

Mr Macmillan also led the company to reach several milestones in the year chief among them signing of the Petroleum Exploration Development and Production Agreement with Government in March this year.

The agreement provides the license holder the right to enter into a 25-year production license following the exploration periods.

Further, in December, the miner struck a two-well oil and gas drilling or farm-in agreement with Cluff Energy Africa. The farm-in agreement is when a contractor agrees to pay all or part of a drilling exercise or an exploration programme.

Again, this year, Invictus elected Exallo Drilling, a unit of European LNG giant PGNiG, to start drilling exploration wells at the Muzarabani prospect.

The project represents significant potential for Zimbabwe especially towards the achievement of the US$12 billion mining industry by 2023.

This, has the potential to turnaround and transform the country’s economy in the event of a commercial discovery with benefits including significant growth in export earnings, US dollar inflows to fiscus, job creation, and development of petroleum value chains

Dr Matifadza Hlatshwayo-Davis

Zimbabwean-born and raised Dr Matifadza Hlatshwayo-Davis (39), was on October 20 sworn in as the first black woman Health Director for the city of St Louis, Missouri in the United States of America.

A specialist physician in the study of infectious diseases, she has been able to step up to the challenge.

In her role as St Louis Health Director, Dr Hlatshwayo-Davis will put Covid-19 as her primary focus; however, she is also committed to aiding the stop of gun violence in the city and providing support and education to constituents about STIs.

Zimbabwe Stock Exchange CEO, Justin Bgoni

2021 was quite eventful for Zimbabwe’s capital markets with the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange implementing several initiatives.

Some of them, such as the Victoria Falls Stock Exchange (VFEX) were of national importance and was launched by President Mnangagwa last month.

Led by Mr Bgoni, the VFEX also signed a memorandum of understanding with Dubai Gold and Commodities Exchange, the largest derivatives exchange in the Middle East.

Initiatives undertaken by the ZSE have helped increase capital markets products, boost efficiency as well as enhance retail participation in the capital markets, traditionally viewed as elitist.

The bourse was also seized with efforts to increase the participation of retail investors on the ZSE while also enhancing financial inclusion in capital markets.

One of the initiatives includes the launch of ZSEdirect in September which makes it easier for retail investors to participate in the equities market.

Allan Majuru, ZimTrade chief executive

In 2021 Mr Allan Majuru masterminded exporter outward missions to Dubai, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The outward missions created export opportunities for the country.

In the year ZimTrade led by Mr Majuru managed to generate US$10 million for the country after successfully undertaking outward missions to the United Arab Emirates and Lubumbashi in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

ZimTrade also walked away with two awards at the Intra African Trade Fair (IATF2021) held in Durban, South Africa, in November this year.

The two awards were for the best stand design as well as the best stand for doing business. IATF 2021 attracted exhibitors from 59 countries, of which 46 were African countries.

Mr Majuru is also the current Agricultural Marketing Authority Board chairman, having been appointed in October 2019.

Shackmore Timburwa

Shackmore Timburwa is the founder of Energy Plus, an energy company and Parvaim Gold Holdings a mining company.

In 2021, Timburwa was listed among the Forbes Africa 30 under 30 class of 2021.

According to Forbes Africa, those who made the list are change makers for a new COVID-19 induced agenda for social change. He was also nominated to take part at the Pan African Youth Leadership Forum, World Energy Council’s Future Energy Leaders Program. Timburwa was recently appointed to represent Zimbabwe at the Global Chamber of Business Leaders, Young Business Leaders’ Programme.

Sirizani Butau

A truck driver Mr Sirizani Butau was hailed by President Mnangagwa for heroically saving lives at an accident scene in Mutare.

Mr Butau was not involved in the accident, but hastily rushed to assist more than half a dozen people out of the bus that caught fire after colliding with a fuel tanker.

He even had tried to rescue his colleague, the tanker driver. He survived the inferno that pursued with serious burns.

Tyra Chikocho

Zimbabwean comedian and socialite Madam Boss, real name Tyra Chikocho, won the African Social Star of 2020 at the 2021 E! People’s Choice Awards.

In the race to be crowned the African Social Star of 2021 from South Africa was YouTube sensation Lasizwe Dambuza; actor, musician and entrepreneur Boity Thulo; make-up artist and beauty influencer Mihlali Ndamase and TikTok sensation Witney Ramabulana.

Scott Vincent

In sports Scott Vincent became the first golfer to represent Zimbabwe at the Olympic Games in Japan where he stood his ground in a strong field of 60 participants drawn from across the globe.

The 29-year-old former Virginia Tech standout Scott Vincent carded three straight rounds in the 60s to tie for 16th at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games. His total of 11-under 273 was seven shots off the pace set by gold medalist Xander Schauffele of the United States.

Entering the event, there were only 10 golfers in the field ranked lower than Vincent in the Official World Golf Rankings. That did not deter Vincent from putting on a show in Tokyo, especially over his final three rounds.

Vincent also had an auspicious season Vincent, in Asia where he bagged two titles in the Japan Golf Tour. He registered his maiden win in the Japan Golf Tour at the Sansan KBC Augusta in Fukuoka Prefecture in mid-August.

He then captured his second title two weeks later with the victory at the ANA Open at Sapporo Golf Club Wattsu Course in Hakkaido, Japan. The strong run in Japan helped him storm the top 10 rankings in Africa, usually dominated by South African golfers.

Wilfred Mashaya

Martial artist Mashaya, who won Zimbabwe’s Sportsperson of the year at the national 2018 ANSA Awards, stole the limelight again in 2021.

Winning international medals has almost become a habit for the Mufakose-born martial artist, who scooped the world championship belt in weapons from Poland after winning three gold medals in the Weapons Virtual Competitions earlier in the year.

The karateka won the Virtual First Samurai World Championships, The Virtual Budo Bushi World Championships in Weapons, and the Virtual Open World Martial Arts Championships.

The virtual tournaments were created in 2020 to cater to athletes who could not travel due to the Covid-19 restrictions.

Mashaya was able to compete in about eight virtual competitions together with karatekas from his Zim Ninja Academy and they scooped in excess of 70 medals.

The Zimbabwe kobudo master scored another first after becoming the first karateka from Southern Africa to be inducted into the International Martial Arts Hall of Fame in India.

He was honoured for his contribution in Kyokushin Karate and was the only African among the 25 inductees.

Earlier in the year, Mashaya was appointed the Mediterranean Karate Alliance (MKA) ambassador to Zimbabwe for the promotion of martial arts in the country.

He has competed in several events held by MKA and has also had students from his academy take part in some of the competitions.

Mashaya competes in different forms of martial arts that include karate, Kobudo and Ninjitsu.

He continued to raise the country’s flag high after he was awarded the Best Master of the Year in Montenegro at the Fifth World Humanitarian Festival of Martial Arts in Europe in Budva, Montenegro, last September.

Mashaya received a certificate and a heart-shaped trophy that symbolises love, peace, and harmony which the Festival seeks to pursue each year with the theme “Stop Suicide”.

– Herald

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