2016 Winners

//2016 Winners

Dananai Chipunza

Chef, Entreprenuer (Zimbabwe)

Dananai Chipunza is a Zimbabwean Chef and Culinary Entrepreneur; having obtained her qualification at the world renowned Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute in Paris, France.

Dr. Dambisa Moyo

Global economist and author (Zambia/USA)

Dr. Dambisa Moyo is a global economist and author who analyzes the macroeconomy and international affairs. She advises companies, corporate boards, CEOs and management on investment decisions, capital allocation and risk management. Her work has taken her to more than 70 countries over the last decade, during which time she has developed a unique knowledge on the inherent conflicts facing developed economies, as well as the interaction between politics, international finance and global markets.

Cheurombo Pswarayi

MedTours Africa Executive Director (Zimbabwe)

Founder and director MedTours Africa and CJV medics. MedTours Africa will offer tailor-made packages which will cover four areas of travel which include visas and air ticket facilitation covering flights, transfers and local transport systems, accommodation for the patient and travel partner before, during and post-procedure care.

Farah C. Fortune

African Star Comms Director, Motivational/Entrepreneurial Speaker (South Africa)

Rev. Pearl Kupe (Zimbabwe/South Africa)

Pearl Kupe was General Manager, Communications at Transnet Capital Projects. She is a qualified attorney who holds an LLB (Univ of Botswana), LLM (Advanced Labour Law) (UCT) and Post Graduate Diploma in Dispute Resolution (UCT). She has had a varied career and over the years has worked as a Public Prosecutor in the Botswana Attorney General Chambers. In 1997, she was appointed as the first Registrar of the Botswana Labour Court and was in 2001 recruited as a Social Dialogue Specialist by the International Labour Organization, a specialist agency of the United Nations. During her tenure with the ILO, she worked with the tripartite social partners in Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, South Africa and Zimbabwe in social dialogue and overall labour law reform.

She is currently employed with Transnet Ltd., South Africa’s largest transport & freight logistics company. Pearl has been employed with Transnet since January 2006 and was initially recruited to the Transnet Vulindlela Re-engineering department as a Transnet Business Coach primarily responsible for safety and regulation matters. After being appointed as General Manager: HR & Organizational Development in 2007, she facilitated and led the Transnet Capital Projects re-organization and restructuring program. She is currently responsible for the newly established Communications portfolio in the Transnet Capital Projects Division and drives the BBBEE project as part of her portfolio.

Pearl is also an emboldened and passionate motivational speaker who speaks at many local, regional and international conferences. She believes in empowering both men and women by challenging them to seek their purpose and encouraging them to fulfill it.

Pearl is also Director of Africa Women leadership Program, AFRICA BOARD and AFRICA LEAD programs that promotes the development of African women and provides a platform for the appointments to executive positions. She is currently employed as an International consultant & Speaker and consults with national governments and international organizations. Her areas of expertise include:

International consultant in the following areas:

Legal matters

Labour law and conflict management/dispute resolution

Social dialogue

Transformative education

Transformational leadership

Communication & Media issues

Gender & Human Rights issues


Business Coach & Re-engineering businesses

Pamela Samasuwo – Nyawiri

Founder of unique handbag and accessory design company – Vanhu Vamwe (Zimbabwe/Canada)

Handbag designer Pam Samasuwo- Nyawiri graduated from the Nottingham Trent University in July 2014. Since then she has been granted 6 International fashion awards amongst other highly prestigious nominations, the most recent being with the International Handbag Awards New York for the Fashion 4 Development- Most socially responsible handbag. The award is governed by highly acclaimed women like Nigeria’s best Folorunsho Alakua, Victoria Beckham, Naomi Campbell and Vogue Italia’s Franca Sozzani.

Pam has honed her abilities and craftsmanship to create a strong and personal aesthetic for her brand Vanhu Vamwe which she Co-Founded with her husband Simba Nyawiri. She has uniquely articulated her love for humanity and creativity by creating a unique path of an ethical framework of ”products that give back” and are committed to working with artisans globally.  Vanhu Vamwe has become a philanthropic enterprise, which stands for a social mission to bring economic empowerment to women globally living in marginalised communities. Her recent collection made in Ecuador- ‘A Non-Existent Tribe’ sold out within a week of launching and ended up on Oxford Street in the United Kingdom at the acclaimed high street retailer Topshop. The same collection was also named 3 times in 2016 as one of the top 5 sustainable handbag collections of 2016 and went on to be endorsed by Berlin Fashion Week 2016, celebrated British fashion journalist and Former Director of the Daily Telegraph Hilary Alexander OBE, Dandana Tewar Director of Vogue India and Candice Iraqis of the acclaimed Farfetch.com.

Most recently with the launch of her sold out limited edition book ‘A Woman with No Country’, her focus remains on creating “meaningful luxury” products. Witnessing how her work can bring light to pressing issues and empower repressed communities, Pam armed with a business development expertise (her husband) and her strong desire for more meaningful work has pushed the title of her self-published book to a movement that encompasses women of the world.  A Woman with No Country does not only have a humanitarian hymn sheet, but helps women to identify business opportunities across borders and away from their usual networks. The movement is about reverence of servanthood and managing and living more in a global world and tours different cities globally inspiring and empowering women. While Pam is not your typical entrepreneur having started off her career life as a journalist, she has demonstrated the power of risk taking thus being named African fashion social entrepreneur to watch out for by South African platform- African Lionesses. She also continues to manage an equally successful collaboration brand called Trilogy Union co-founded with her close friend’s British handbag designer Dorota Stumpf and South African fashion artist Steve Mandy. The brand focuses on leather accessories made in England and Africa. Pam is also the CEO of 54Faces a fashion PR Company, in which she has implemented her journalistic experience. 54faces works with emerging African Fashion designers to build a revolution of designers who are driven by sustainable imperatives and are building brands that are symbols of social change.

Susan Makore

CEO AB Communications (Pvt) Limited (Zimbabwe)

Terry Pheto

South African Actress (South Africa)

Nomzamo Mbatha

South African actress, Face of Neutrogena, PUMA Ambassador, Audi Ambassador (South Africa)

Connie Ferguson

Entrepreneur, Actress, Producer (South Africa)

Ini Usanga

International human right and community activist (Nigeria/Ireland)

Ini Usanga is an Irish citizen with Nigerian roots who has dedicated her life to service humanity. She is an International human right advocate passionate about issues of social justice, reproductive rights, equality and fairness. Ini has been called a human rights champion by Amnesty International in Ireland and she has made extraordinary contributions in helping develop the lives of children, youths and women affected by poverty, violence and social exclusion by being a voice for them.

Ini is a transformational and inspirational speaker, a self-development coach, an entrepreneur and philanthropist. Ini has been honored consistently for her humanitarian and philanthropic endeavors. She has been called a human rights champion by Amnesty International in Ireland.

Ini is a survivor of family violence, child sexual abuse and suicide. She powerfully draws her own life experiences which gives hope to and empowers others (especially children, youths and women) like her in the past to transform the quality of their lives. Her continuous selfless contributions and compassionate effort in making sure victims of abuse are protected and free from every form of violence is an example of what true community service to humankind is.

Ini has been actively involved in working with individuals, International organizations and Government Agencies including the Department of Justice in Ireland, Amnesty International, Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID)-Mexico, Red Elephant Foundation-India, Samrakshak Samuha Nepal (SASANE), Amani Children’s Home-Kenya, Mercy Orphanage Nigeria, National Integrated Development Association (NIDA-Pakistan) and the African Embassies in Ireland.

Ini is founder of Love & Care for People (LCP) an organization committed to raising community awareness on different forms of abuse including but not limited to Family Abuse, Forced Marriage, Child Abuse, Honour based Violence, Destructive Relationships, Disownment and Poverty.

The organization also works with other grass root organizations to offer children and youth empowerment programs, a breakfast and afterschool club, business and vocational skills training, mentorship as well as the necessary tools and resources for women and young people to become economically self-sustaining.

Today, LCP has grown and now has branches and partners in the developed and developing world. LCP has supported over 4000 children, women and youths in Ireland, Nigeria, DRC Congo and Kenya.

Ini has raised funds to support over 200 projects in education, health care and rehabilitation for abused and underserved children, youths and women. She has instituted several projects for the economic empowerment of women in Ireland and Africa.

On a mission to give back to the community of people in Ireland who supported her without judgment in her times of despair and reciprocating the care and support she received; Ini is determined to support other women who like her in the past feel ashamed of their ordeal and have given up hope and the joy of life.

Ini is well known for her supportive role to organizations and individuals that care for tortured, abused and abandoned children in Nigeria, DRC Congo, Kenya and Nepal. She believes every child has a right to live and grow with tender loving care and it is everyone’s responsibility to see no child lives in poverty, fear or oppression. Ini is currently working on a project to support children accused of witchcraft by their families and are tortured, made physically disabled and abandoned by their families in Akwa-Ibom State, Nigeria.

Ini is indeed an exemplary role model who uses her personal experience to inspire and give hope to others with similar experiences in Nigeria, Ireland and abroad. Her story has been aired on several International TV stations, magazines and online platforms by organisations including AWID, Red Elephant Foundation and Girl’s can’t What in the USA to help bring hope young people and women who experience abuse. Ini has a passion for enterprise.

She established her first business at the age of 13. She believes economic empowerment is one of the many keys to being independent. Ini is the brain child of the prestigious Eiretraordinary African Women Achievers (EAWA) Awards in Ireland, and Global Royal Beauty Pageant; a beauty pageant dedicated to raise awareness about a series of Family Violence including Forced Marriage, Child Marriage, Sexual Abuse, Honour Based Violence and Reproductive abuse.

Ini’s voluntary service and active citizenship have been profoundly appreciated in a variety of settings and this has given her access to working actively with members of different cultures and nationalities in Ireland and abroad. Due to her active role in making significant and positive impact through participation and engagement in her community in Ireland, she became the very first African to be elected on the Cork County Council-Social Inclusion and Community Policy unit in Cork.

In 2014, Ini organized the 1st seminar on Forced Marriage, Child Sexual Abuse, Honour Based Violence and Reproductive Abuse in Ireland. Through her work, the European Union in Brussels engaged her in a study about Forced Marriage in Ireland and recently, the Government of Ireland has proposed to introduce a law making forced marriage a crime in Ireland. This is very welcoming news and all thanks to Ini, her team and partners.

Ini is currently lobbing to ban child and forced marriage for under aged children in Nigeria and see Nigeria is a child safe zone.

Nyasha E. Mugwagwa

Founder – Impala Breeze Youth Project (Zimbabwe)

Nyasha is a young upcoming social enterprise based in Chinhoyi, Zimbabwe and has been working with marginalized youths in her community since 2013. She works with school dropout girls – those who drop out of school because of poverty. Her good work made way for her to India where she also worked hand in hand with other women led organization to help marginalized communities there.

Her vision is to see every girl and woman equipped to be self-reliant, this curbing prostitution, early child marriages and drug & substance abuse.

Stella Dongo

Host Grant Coordinator, Trustee and Secretary of the Grant Committee for the Community Empowerment in Zimbabwe Project, Chairman of World Vision Zimbabwe Board. A Board member of Women’s University in Africa. (Zimbabwe)

Stella was recognised for her role in the project by Rotary International and awarded the Rotary Global Woman of Action 2015, one of six recipients and only one from Africa, presented at the United Nations in November 2015.Community Empowerment in Zimbabwe, is based   in the High-Density areas of Harare, namely, Mufakose, Kambuzuma, Rugare, Budiriro, Kuwadzana and Crowbrough North.

The Rotary Foundation funded the project more than $400 000 paving way to training of 6 000 women and youths in basic business and computer skills. The training which is provided through creation of Economic Groups has empowered and benefited more than 250 000 urban poor communities. Stella having been the Host Grant Coordinator, Trustee and Secretary of the Grant Committee for the Community Empowerment in Zimbabwe Project, has been at the forefront of this project.

She is Chairman of World Vision Zimbabwe Board where she has served for the past 7 years. A Board member of Women’s University in Africa (HFCC) and chairs the Finance, Audit and Risk Committee. A member of the Institute of Directors (IoDZ).

Ruth Nabembezi

Founder – Ask Without Shame (Uganda)

Ruth Nabembezi grew up in an orphanage in Uganda because her parents died of HIV. Her sister was taken to a witch doctor because the neighbors in the village thought she was attacked by demons. She also died. If she had been diagnosed and treated by medical experts, she would still be alive. At the age of 19 Ruth started fighting the root causes of her personal tragedy. She founded the startup Ask Without Shame, which provides emergency sex education via mobile to East African youth. Ruth turned her personal history of suffering into the fight against a lack of awareness towards HIV and to break the taboo of speaking about sexuality in Africa, while empowering especially girls and young women to stand up for themselves.

Ask Without Shame has provided emergency sex education and support to over 10.000 users and responded to more than 20.000 questions. Some youth have questions regarding for example HIV, menstruation, contraception or pregnancy. Others however face severe emergency situations which require immediate help. Ask Without Shame has prevented cases of unwanted pregnancies and transmissions of HIV and given emergency psychological support to rape victims. Users often share sensitive information with the doctors from Ask Without Shame, which they do not share with anybody else. This is information is crucial for health policies and NGO programs tackling the challenges through adequate trainings.

President Madame Ameenah Gurib

President of Mauritius. First popularly elected female head of state in this country. (Mauritius)


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