2011: Zimbabwean artists who shone on international stage


The year 2011 saw various Zimbabwean artists making a mark in various genres internationally. NewsDay takes a look at some of the artists and their achievements.

Oliver Mtukudzi
Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi was appointed Unicef’s Regional Goodwill Ambassador for Eastern and Southern Africa in June to work closely with Unicef towards young people’s development and HIV prevention. Mtukudzi joined another music legend, Yvonne Chaka Chaka of South Africa, who is supporting Unicef mainly in its efforts to combat malaria.

He also received the coveted Cavaliere of the Order of Merit from the Italian President and becomes the first African musician to receive the award. United States’ Forbes Magazine named Mtukudzi as the 12th most powerful celebrity in Africa.

Wendall Parson
Wendall, a 23-year-old commercial pilot from Zimbabwe did the nation proud this year after being the first Zimbabwean to win the Big Brother Amplified reality show on July 31.

He walked away with $200 000 and an additional $50 000 from President Robert Mugabe for his victory.

Malaika Mushandu
Reigning Miss Zimbabwe Malaika Mushandu did the nation proud after landing position nine at the Miss World 2011 finale which was held on November 6 in London.

Mushandu was shortlisted for three major fast-track events including Top Model, Beach Beauty and Beauty with a Purpose. She also qualified for the Top 10 in the Beauty with a Purpose contest.

Joe Njagu
Njagu, who directed The Gentleman movie, made history by being awarded the best director accolade for the movie at the American Film Festival.

The movie which stars Big Brother Africa finalist, Munyaradzi Chidzonga and South African actor Presley Chweneyagae of Tsotsi fame was highly acclaimed when it premiered in Zimbabwe.

NoViolet Bulawayo
The talented author, whose real name is Elizabeth Tshele, flew the country’s flag high on the international literary scene when she won the 2011 Caine Prize for Africa Writing.

She went for the awards ceremony in Oxford and came home £10 000 richer. She was awarded for a short story titled Hitting Budapest.

Hope Masike
The mbira songstress spent six months in Europe staging shows and tutoring at music colleges.

She made impressive appearances at various venues due to her mbira playing prowess and managed to do a number of collaborations with international artists.

Dudu Manhenga
Her tour of Italy opened a great chapter in her musical career. She staged shows in more than 10 towns during her month-long tour.

The Italian Embassy in Zimbabwe hailed Manhenga for her outstanding performances. She also collaborated with some Italian groups in a number of projects.

Lisa Morgan
Reigning Miss Universe Zimbabwe Lisa Morgan was crowned Miss Expressive at the Miss International beauty pageant which was held in Chengdu, China, on November 6.

She was also endowed with an Ambassador of Beauty award.

Vanessa Sibanda
Former Miss Tourism Zimbabwe Vanessa Sibanda proved she was certainly not a once-off beauty strike after being crowned second runner-up in the Top Model of the World pageant held in Germany on March 16.