The much anticipated Inaugural African Women Awards were held in Harare, Zimbabwe at the Meikles Hotel on the 7th of November 2015. The awards which were hosted by African Women Association, founded by Carol Nyazika and Lisa Chiriseri, aims to show appreciation to the women, who are successful in Africa, women who are promoting peace in conflict-inflicted areas and contributing to the increased resources and productivity in their nations.
In its first year, the African Women Awards honoured outstanding African Women such as South Africa’s Queen of all media, Bonang Matheba, Former Big Brother Africas Dillish Matthews and Africa’s second richest woman – Mrs Folorunsho Alakija from Nigeria. The awards which I must say, where very well organised, sailed through smoothly hosted by the gorgeous Radio Host – Ruvheneko Parirenyatwa & Mutsa Samuel. African women were being honoured in the following categories, Entertainment and Arts, Community and Politics & Business and Enterprise.
The Founders – Carol Nyazika & Lisa Chiriseri with the Events Hostess – Ruvheneko
Meet the Nominees & Winners in each category:
Business and Enterprise Award
Young Entrepreneurial Spirit Award
- Affiong Williams – Nigeria – Founder of Reel fruit which is an emerging fruit processing company.
- RAKOTOVAOARISON Haingo Nadia –Madagascar – FOUNDING DIRECTOR OF A PRIVATE SCHOOL “FRISQUETTE”. She is also the President Director General of the TOP PRIME RADIO (FM 102.8) | WINNER
- Rapelang Rabana – South Africa – CEO and founder of Cape Town-based Yeigo Communications, which develops software for telecoms-related services including Voice over IP, Instant messaging, SMS messaging and push email services.
Business Achievement Award
- Monica Musonda – Zambia – Founder & CEO – Java Foods Limited
- Bethlehem Tilahun Alemu – Ethiopia – CEO & Founder – Sole Rebels | WINNER
- Joy Ndunguste and Janet Nkubana – Rwanda – Founders of Gahaya Links
Industry Excellence Award
- Captain Irene Koki Mutungi – Kenya – First female pilot at Kenya Airways
- Ola Orekunrin – Nigeria – Founder and Managing Director of Flying Doctors
- Natalie Jabangwe-Morris – Zimbabwe – Econet Head Business and Marketing Development | WINNER
Dynamic Start-up Business Award
- Yasmin Belo-Osagie and Afua Osei – Nigeria – Founders of She Leads Africa
- Jackie Mgido – Zimbabwe – Founder Vault Cosmetics | WINNER
- Ngozi Opara – Nigeria/USA – Founder of Heat Free Hair
Living Legacy Award
- Mrs Folorunsho Alakija – Nigeria – Second richest women in Africa | WINNER
- Isabel Dos Santos – Angola – Richest woman in Africa. Investor
- Karen Mutasa – Zimbabwe – PARTNER AND DIRECTOR / CADCO (PVT) LTD
Zimbabwean Media Personalities: Itai Mutinhira, Mbo Mahocs, Mai Chisamba, ZiFMs’ Candice & MiRed
Entertainment and Arts
Creative Visionary Award
- Farai Simoyo – Zimbabwe/USA – Farai has showcased at The New York Fashion week and seen herself escalate and recently becoming Senior designer for Singer/Rapper Nicki Minaj’s New clothing line.
- Danielle Allen – Nigeria/UK/Zimbabwe – Fashion Designer, ran franchise for The Body Shop, opened TIR Fashion House | WINNER
- Shirley Frimpong Manso – Ghana – Filmmaker and CEO of Sparrow Productions Ltd
Media Excellence Award
- ANDRIANTSOA Hantaniaina – Madagascar – Director of Communication in AlaotraMangoro region. Manages TV and local radios, leads 35 journalists.
- Farai – Zimbabwe – Co-Founder Farai Media, 2015 Young Global Leader – WEF, speaker, host, Forbes Contributor | WINNER
- NoViolet Bulawayo – Zimbabwe – NoViolet Bulawayo is the first Black African female and the first Zimbabwean to be shortlisted for the prestigious Man Booker prize for her debut novel “We Need New Names.”
Star Power Award
- Tinashe – Zimbabwe/USA – Musician
- Bonang Matheba – South Africa – Talk show host, brand ambassador, designer, radio host | WINNER
- Vimbai Mutinhiri – Zimbabwe/Nigeria/South Africa – TV host, exec producer, content creator, model
Promising Personality Award
- Dillish Matthews – Namibia – BBA season 8 winner, entertainer, brand ambassador, entrepreneur | WINNER
- Mary Kasoko – Zambia – TV producer and presenter of a life changing talk show (let’s talk with Mary) positively affecting Zambian women
- Hilda Mauya – Kenya/USA – Up and coming designer.Founder of Dahil Republic of Couture brand and Vision for Africa Foundation in Kenya
Living Legend Award
- Mo Abudu – Nigeria – Founder – Ebony Life TV. Talk show host, TV producer, media personality, human resources management consultant, entrepreneur and philanthropist.
- Biola Alabi – Nigeria – African media expert | WINNER
- Rebecca Chisamba – Zimbabwe – Founder of Chisamba Productions and Media Consultancy.Most celebrated and pioneer of Talk shows in Zimbabwe, radio host
Guests Posing for a picture at the African Women Awards 2015
Community and Politics
Grassroots Impact Award
- Chiedza Mpofu – Zimbabwe – Philanthropist (NGO owner)
- Esther Kalenzi – Uganda – Founder of a nonprofit organization called 40 days over 40 smiles Foundation | WINNER
- Aisha Ojone Abu – Nigeria – She conducts free medical services for rural communities in Nigeria and for Internally displaced persons, moving with her medical experts from one community to the other.
Young Activist Award
- Sarah Toumi – Tunisia – In December 2013, “Acacias for All” was chosen by the French government as one of the 100 innovations that would shape the future of sustainable development in Africa | WINNER
- Adepeju Mabadeje Jaiyeoba – Nigeria – Founder – 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 | WINNER
- Ruth Makandiwa – Zimbabwe – Philanthropist
- Bosibori Nyambane Wairimu – Nigeria – Worked as a Volunteer with AIESEC Nigeria where she travelled despite Boko Haram and trained 1000 Nigerian youth on leadership.
Young Change Maker Award
- RATOVOSON Tahina Juliana – Madagascar – Director of Partnership and Development at the Ministry of Youth and Sport in Madagascar | WINNER
- Tabetha Kanengoni-Malinga – Zimbabwe – Deputy Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture. Youngest minister in government.
- Naisula Lesuuda – Kenya – Lesuuda, a journalist, Peace Ambassador and Girl Child champion, is the 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 | WINNER
- 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
Congratulations to all winners from this years’ African Women Awards. Looking forward to seeing you next year. Lets continue the conversation on Twitter @GilmoreTee HashTag #OTNGtee | All Pictures are from #AfricanWomenAwards – Twitter