Zim-Abroad Newsletter

Zim-Abroad Newsletter

Chanetsa embarks on New Quest for Africa’s Finest

Munya is no stranger in the corridors of the music business all over the continent. An influential figure within the entertainment space with goals of making African music a global staple, his reputation precedes him. Munya Chanetsa has had over a decade’s experience in the music industry and is well known for his work. He was recently appointed the new A&R Manager (Africa) at Sony/ATV Music Publishing South Africa and brings a wealth of experience and prospects for African music and art. His journey in the music industry started over a decade ago as Marketing and Promotion Manager for New York based record label Putumayo World Music based in Cape Tow n . Subsequent appointments as Head of Operations and Head of Licensing at CAPASSO and Content Connect Africa, respectively, further defined a promising career for Munya. His work over time has seen him bridge the gap between the power brokers in the industry with the various creatives who make it such a well-oiled machine globally. The man of the moment retraced his steps into the industry in a recent enlightening interview.

“I went to join my sisters in Cape Town after university in Australia and started job hunting. Unfortunately, I could not find a job using the traditional way so I just followed the music and decided to pass my time by deejaying,” he said. That foray as a DJ led to Munya meeting up with a fellow Zimbabwean DJ friend Adam Metcalfe, aka Headroom, and a chance meeting with Adam’s sister who referred him to a job opening. “Adam’s sister asked me what I was doing and I shared that I was looking for a job in marketing and advertising. She mentioned that her husband’s company was looking for someone and the next day I had an interview for a job at Putumayo World Music and that’s how it started. I feel it was God that led me to be in the right place at the right time and thus I began my journey in the industry,” said Munya. Thereafter he proceeded to grow in the music industry culminating with his current appointment at Sony ATV.

Munya says he is forever grateful to Antos Stella, CEO of CCA, who brought him on board and exposed him to new channels of digital distribution of music and other content, something he did not do at Putumayo where they only sold music in the form of CDs. Not only that he was appointed Managing Director for Content Connect International (CCI), responsible for Nigeria, and Content Connect Ghana (CCG), responsible Ghana, exposing him to the vastness of opportunity on the African continent. At CAPASSO he was now ready for something entirely different but with an opportunity to also consolidate his organic growth in the industry. “At CCA I started in marketing then moved into Head of Operations Africa, responsible for South Africa, Uganda, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, and Angola. In the course of time I was appointed Managing Director for CCI and CCG. By now I had put my footprint on the music industry on the continent. During this time, I made connections which expanded my network immensely. By the time I joined CAPASSO I was open to something entirely different but relevant to the music industry,” he explained. After a year and a half at CAPASSO in February of 2020 he began negotiations with Sony ATV with a view to join them. This led to his announcement by Sony ATV as A&R Manager for Africa. Building on his vast experience gained working across the continent Munya wants to focus on and expose the hundreds of songwriters and producers who are the unknown the and forgotten but who possess tremendous talent. As an A&R Manager Munya’s will be recruiting the best songwriters and producers on the continent and plugging them into viable projects. These include securing collaborations, jingles for advertising agencies or scoring music for TV and film and even games. He also added that he has been building a network with various brands and has hit the ground running already to make things happen. For example he was recently involved in putting together the Stand Together project for Mandela Day which featured Yemi Alade, 2Baba, Teni, Prodiglo, Betty G, Gigi La Mayne and Ahmed Soultan among others. Munya said that his immediate goal is to connect with the international offices because Sony ATV is global, taking advantage of the conditions under Covid-19 that has brought the world closer. He is looking to collaborate with the other Sony ATV offices which is a huge global network and from there get familiar with the catalogues and share knowledge and best practices with the Sony ATV global teams.

Deaftronics creates world’s first solar-powered hearing aid

Tendekayi Katsiga has written his name in the history books by inventing the world’s first solar powered hearing aid. The electronics enthusiast and social entrepreneur sits at the helm of Deaftronics which has made serious inroads in providing solutions for the hearing impaired through cutting edge innovations. Katsiga co-founded the Deaftronics’ Solar-Ear project with his Motswana friend, Sarah Phiri who has a hearing impairment. The idea was borne after realisation that the majority of battery powered hearing aids that were donated in Africa barely lasted over a month. “We strive to empower hearing impaired people through creation of employment in our work space. Our team designed the solar powered hearing aids as a solution that applies in the local context and also carrying global relevance. Most of the batteries to replace other hearing aids were not readily available and very expensive causing users to dump the devices. This prompted us to come up with a solution,” said Katsiga. “We designed the solar powered hearing aid which recharges the batteries using the sun. Most of our beneficiaries are children born with hearing impairments. Our products enable a child to acquire hearing skills and develop speech therefore presenting them with an opportunity to attend school. We believe that only through education we can break the cycle of poverty.” Katsiga’s innovation in raising hearing loss awareness and solutions runs deeper than business. He received his training in North America, Africa and Europe and has travelled the world preaching the gospel on hearing loss awareness. The social plight of the people affected, especially children and the massive economic implications on mainly strained communities motivated him to find a sustainable solution. “Around 466 million people worldwide have disabling hearing loss and 34 million of these are children. It is estimated that by 2050 over 900 million people will have disabling hearing loss and it is important to note that 60% of childhood hearing loss is due to preventable causes,” said Katsiga. “At least 1.1 billion young people aged between 12–35 years are at risk of hearing loss due to exposure to noise in recreational settings. Unaddressed hearing loss poses an annual global cost of US$ 750 billion and current estimates suggest an 83% gap in hearing aid need and use, that is to say, only 17% of those who could benefit from use of a hearing aid actually use one. Considering the statistics, my innovation and concerted efforts can only make a profound impact to ensure that positive change is achieved in the world.” Hearing loss may result from genetic causes, complications at birth, certain infectious diseases, chronic ear infections, the use of particular drugs, exposure to excessive noise, and ageing. Tendekayi Katsiga notes that people with hearing loss benefit from early identification; use of hearing aids, cochlear implants and other assistive devices; captioning and sign language; and other forms of educational and social support. Those were some of the other driving factors behind the breakthrough of Deaftronics. “After designing the solar powered hearing aid, we could not push volumes in our target market since majority of Africans could not afford to pay for the hearing aids and batteries. Our success came when a funding partner in the form of UNICEF through Mercy Corps purchased our products to distribute around Africa. The single engagement boosted my company

financially fuelling us to push the endeavour around the globe,” he added. Katsiga has upped the innovations with a mobile application called Mdreet which allows micro entrepreneurs to conduct full hearing test through an android device and sound proof calibrated headphones. Once hearing loss is diagnosed, the application suggests the best suitable hearing aid suitable for the “We have managed to send 10 000 children to school using solar powered hearing aids. We have also created employment for more than 45 hearing impaired people in our work space in Botswana, South Africa, Brazil and Jordan and still going strong.” Tendekayi’s work has amassed more than 20 national and international awards among them Builders of Africa’s Future Award in Silicon Valley USA 2020, Johnson & Johnson Africa Innovation Challenge Award 2019, South African Designers Awards (DISA) and has been featured in global news outlets. He is a highly motivated entrepreneur and at one time undertook a ship voyage for 108 days sailing to 13 countries in 5 continents under the Unreasonable at Sea experiment in global entrepreneurship, designthinking, and education, designed to scale-up effective technological solutions to the greatest challenges of our time.

UK based Zimbabwean student doctor releases clinical handbook

I t is often said that necessity is the mother of all invention and that is exactly the mantra that inspired a 20-year-old Zimbabwean medical student to come up with a solution to a persistent problem in the medical field. UK based young doctor, Malone Mukwende made a big splash in the healthcare and medical sector when he wrote a clinical handbook titled Mind the Gap in just his second year in medical school. Malone Mukwende, who has spent the majority of his life in the UK has led the way in a critical conversation by coming up with a clinic handbook that enlightens professionals on identifying symptoms in black and brown skin. The young doctor embarked on his initiative after constantly noting challenges regarding the minimal information on darker skin tones during the course of his studies and work and thus a vision was borne. “Mind the Gap is a clinical handbook of signs and symptoms in black and brown skin. I noticed that there was a lack of teaching in darker skins whilst at medical schools and knew that something must be done to address the situation and that is how I started conducting my project and gathering data to that effect,” said Mukwende.

As Mukwende’s work started gathering renown and proving to be a valuable input in the professional field, it did not take long for his initiative to make waves but that was not before he faced some challenges. “Sourcing images for the book is incredibly hard! It’s almost as if the content doesn’t exist and it is so hard to find images as a whole from a trustworthy source. This problem is deeper than my project and still needs to be sorted,” he acknowledged. “However Mind the Gap is a step in the right direction to bigger discoveries and impactful work. One of my aims is to make the resource as accessible as possible in order to help everyone.” In typical resilient fashion Mukwende carried on and kept finding ways to navigate and address challenges that arose along the way. Mind the Gap has since been picked on by a number of professionals and attracted praise and coverage from reputable media outlets. Taking advantage of the digital era and information superhighway, he posted some of the work and his progress on his social media and has amassed views into millions. “Mind the Gap has been received well! There has been over 3million views on my social media posts as well as features in credible news outlets such as ITV news, sky news and BBC. The world is really your oyster and I have no reason as to why I shouldn’t be aiming to see this resource as a staple tool worldwide! I hope to see it in all healthcare establishments from GP Practices, hospitals to medical libraries,” he said. The innovative young doctor’s story has catapulted him in the realm of brilliant young leaders with sustainable solutions for the present and future. He attributes his motivation to internal affirmations and the firm belief that his gifts are there to help others in all his work.

My Motivation comes from deep within. Knowing that I’m in a position that I can influence a change. Knowing that i have been given these gifts so it is my responsibility to use them to help others.

Whilst the world has been in the midst of a pandemic and finding ways to tackle it, Mukwende urges resilience and persistent efforts towards bettering the world. “All of us are powerful enough to make a change. It is your individuality that makes you powerful. Don’t ever feel like you’re too small to make a change there is an opportunity everywhere that awaits you,” he said. The youthful doctor has raised his profile and in the process flown the Zimbabwean flag yet again in prestigious fashion and promised to keep the brilliant work flowing as the world can never have enough of solutions.

Zimbabwean Stephanie Travers makes Formula 1 history

On 12 July Stephanie Travers made history as she became the first black woman to stand on the Formula 1 podium in its 7 decades of existence. The phenomenal rise into the fast lane for the Petronas Track-side Fluid Engineer reached new heights at the Styrian Grand Prix in the Austrian mountains. The 25-year old Zimbabwean is part of Formula 1 World champion Lewis Hamilton’s team and her unfolding story heralded an iconic shift for the sport.

Travers made her piece of history when she went out to represent the Mercedes-AMG Petronas team and collect the constructors’ trophy at the podium. She accompanied Hamilton after the British racing ace notched up his 85th career win at the Styrian Grand Prix. Travers’ receipt of the trophy marked a significant moment in the male dominated sport and sends a strong message at a time when calls for inclusivity in the sport grow louder. There were no spectators due to Covid-19 regulations at the iconic Red Bull Ring in Spielberg but the world was glued onto the screens as Hamilton stormed to a near flawless victory. In the celebrations that followed was Stephanie Travers having her moment as she received the constructors’ trophy on behalf of her team.

Lewis Hamilton and Stephanie Travers

The Harare born chemical engineer joined the team in 2019 after edging out 7000 other applicants to land the post where she assists the team as Trackside Fluid Engineer. The world hailed the moment which will be etched in racing history and Travers received support from Hamilton and various other sectors. “I wanted to post this because it’s such an important moment. This is Stephanie who is one of my teammates. She is one of the trackside fluid engineers. On Sunday, she became the first black woman to stand on the podium in Formula 1 history. This is an amazing achievement and I just wanted to acknowledge her for her hard work, positivity and passion for her job,” wrote Hamilton on his Instagram page. “Like most of the jobs in our sport they are in high demand, and Stephanie was selected out of over 7000 applicants for her role.

Steph said she wants to inspire young black children and children of colour to believe that they can do it too and I couldn’t agree more. Put your mind to it and you can be anything you want to be. So whilst I really appreciate the congratulations, I wanted to take the opportunity to lift her up, and share them with her,” he added on the post which has since gone viral. Stephanie made a history making entry into her post into the Petronas team for her country and has now added a global first. Her star is on the rise and she shows no signs of slowing down in the fast paced racing world and beyond.

Marshall Malikula and the passion for fashion

A journey that started with entering a fashion designing competition and holiday jobs in retail stores whilst in high school has led to Marshall Malikula being one of the most sought after fashion stylists and consultants in the region. A game changer and award-winning stylist, Malikula has 44 editions of the Edgars Club Magazine under the belt as a stylist and creative director. Malikula is also part of the team that is laying foundations for the Zimbabwe Fashion Council in collaboration with the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Art and Recreation.

The venture is expected to set the tone for the Zimbabwean fashion scene for the foreseeable future. Marshall attributes the flair for style and fashion to childhood influences and an innate eye for art, colour and style. After noticing an inclination towards art and style Malikula entered a design competition in high school and fared well despite being relatively inexperienced at the time and those early steps paved the way for what is now a remarkable career. “Fashion found me, I was raised by my gran and have always been independent. I would put together what I wore from pre-school, I was always a hit at civvies day in junior school.

My mom would send me clothes from overseas and I would coordinate like an expert. Naturally I have the eye for art, colour and style,” said Malikula. “I live and breathe Fashion, Arts and all things creative. You will also find me casting and coaching models. I love creating magic behind and in front of the camera, and I am also a Stylist for popular TV show Coca-Cola on the Beat. Even from childhood, there was no doubt as far as what I wanted to do as a career…. my late dad would have had it otherwise seeing he insisted I studied Economics at A level which was futile. Anyways long story short…God had other plans!” The passion for fashion would get piqued for Malikula after securing a holiday job in a retail store and offering creative styling ideas to the team. More experience over the years would come through working with retail brands such as Edgars, Jet, Woolworths, Truworths, Daniel Hector and Billabong. Success does not come overnight and Malikula put in the work to build an impressive portfolio that includes choreographing the Edgars Fashion Show with the renowned David Tlale in 2017.

Marshall also styles and coaches various personalities and corporate shows. As a consultant to the stars and the go-to person for the style icons, Malikula emphasises the importance of not only grooming and etiquette but image and branding e s p e c i a l l y i n s u c h a d y n a m i c i n d u s t r y w h e r e appearances matter. “First impressions last forever – Research shows that people will have opinions formed within the first 7 seconds of meeting, so one cannot afford to put a foot wrong. Celebrities, individuals and companies must not downplay the power of a Stylist for grooming and etiquette. Hiring a good Stylist will set you apart from everybody else, the right image will speak for you before you open your mouth…all of us need a Stylist or Image consultant in our lives depending on where we want to go.” The fashion and entertainment scenes have often been described as cut-throat due to the competitiveness and abundance of innovation and creativity and as such, the major players in it have to constantly appraise and upgrade themselves. Despite having a distinct style, Malikula does not impose personal style on clients, preferring to customize as per needs of the project. “It all depends on the client brief. I never dictate my personal preferences on the client unless it’s justifiably unachievable. I am obviously not agreeable to everything BUT if the idea doesn’t work I will give reasons why. My personal style is usually clean and I am finicky about attention to detail. Sometimes I will do maximalist combos without looking busy – it is a fine balance,” said Malikula. The 2018 Stylist of the Year Award at the Zimbabwe Models Awards is always looking at ways to stay ahead of the curve. “The learning never stops, so the key word is RESEARCH.

Thank God for the internet! I read and jot spur of the moment ideas down so I do not forget, I then refine them continuously until ready for execution. When I look at magazines I study them in depth, lighting, make up, outfits and the story the Creatives were trying to tell. Basically I am trying to get better than the last shoot or project and I always benchmark my success against the world standard.” Despite being usually swamped with work, Malikula revels in the pressures, highs and lows of the job and is looking forward to executing personal projects that are in the pipeline anytime soon. “I totally appreciate all the doors my talent has opened for me. I never take it for granted – “your gift will make room for you in front of Kings”. My job keeps me creatively on my toes – nothing is ever the same, new challenges every day. Downside is I get carried away with achieving goals and results and forget to take care of mind and body sometimes. Burn out is a huge challenge because I am so passionate I will go far and wide to achieve the set goal.

Great thing I found yoga and long distance running which are quite therapeutic for me.” The world is ever moving even at a time when things seem static and Malikula is hoping to explore other passions more and unlock new levels on a professional and social front. “I am looking to expand my wings urge others to add value to their craft, exposure is not going to pay the bill. Hopefully this will bear fruit soon and with a small or big screen role – acting or presenting…That’s my big hairy goal! God willing, I would like to style News Presenters as well – all things being equal.”

ZAMPA Thursdays JuneJuly Frontline Features



Nana-Jane is a Biomedical Scientist with expertise in Histopathology and a current third year PhD student. She says she has always been fascinated by the human body from a young age and studied Biomedical Sciences at Durham University. She has worked in Histopathology labs across the UK to gain extensive skills and further her experience and has expanded her skillset within research with a Masters of Research at St Georges University, London. Her PDH research focuses on mitochondrial dysfunction in bladder cancer and her work aims to establish a non-invasive urine biomarker to identify bladder cancer recurrence early, promoting a quick, accurate, and effective process.

Joylyn Katsvairo

Joylyn Katsvairo is a first-year Academic Rep and Physician Associate student at the University of Birmingham. With a strong academic background, Joylyn studied Biomedical Sciences at Plymouth University where she undertook many neurodevelopment research projects led by Dr Torsten Bossing. Her research focused on classical genetics, molecular biology and micromanipulation to further her understanding of the embryonic development of the central nervous system (CNS) and the repair mechanisms within the CNS. During her undergraduate studies, she obtained many awards including


Plymouth Award (2017) and Zimbabwe Youth Achievers Award (ZYAA) for Science and Research (2016). Outside of science and medicine, Joylyn has an adept hand in contemporary arts. Her works exhibit the early influence of Southern Africa, as she reminisces and explores themes of precolonial Shona ethnology. For her, healing is found in both the practice of art and medicine. “ZAMPA is a great initiative to unite Zimbabwean healthcare professionals. It connects and empowers our community. I feel confident in my ability to impact my community from the multitude of mentors I have gained from this platform.” “At the deepest level, the creative process and the healing process arise from a single source. When you are an artist, you are a healer; a wordless trust of the same mystery is the foundation of your work and its integrity.” – Dr Remen.


Michelle is an NHS Biomedical Scientist. “Biomedical Science is a branch of medicine focused on identifying, researching, monitoring and treating disease. It consists of specialities including Infection Science (Microbiology – parasitology & Virology, Immunology), Blood Sciences (Biochemistry, Haematology and Transfusion), Cellular Sciences (Histology, Cytology) and Genetics.”

“Biomedical Scientists carry out highly practical and analytical investigations such as those for COVID-19, Cancer, HIV to mention a few. They are involved in over 70% of diagnoses in the NHS and handle hundreds of millions of patient specimens every year. Many hospital departments such as Operating Theatres and A&E would not function without Biomedical Scientists.” “At the heart of Healthcare and behind many Healthcare Practitioners is a Scientist,” she says.

Healthcare Practitioners is a Scientist,” she says.


Paida Katsande gives us an insight into her life and chosen path. Paida is a Clinical Microbiologist and a first-year PhD student at Royal Holloway University of London.


Student Physician Associate and registered nurse Melanie Denia Tsie shares her frontline story. “I have a real desire to make a difference to people’s lives. Part of my purpose in life is helping others to become the best that they possibly can be. I can certainly say Covid-19 has affected our community as a whole causing distress and uncertainties. As a clinician, I have unfortunately had to witness many tragedies and hardships first hand,” she says. “It’s terrifying having to work during this difficult time. However, as essential workers, we keep going as we genuinely care about our patients and the sheer fact that we love

Sha Sha bags historic BET Viewer’s Choice win

She has been called the Queen of Amapiano for a while and has been proving to be a worthy recipient of the moniker over time. She was born Charmaine Shamiso Mapindiro but her popular moniker means champion in the Shona language and the songstress showed everyone the reason why. Shasha’s star has never shone so brighter than at present moment, with the SA-based music star winning the 2020 Viewer’s Choice: BET Best New International Act award. History was made and her legacy well cemented with the win in which she edged out competition from Nigeria’s Rema, UK’s Celeste, Young T & Bugsey as well as the duo from France; Hatik and Stacy

The pioneering feat by the Mutare-born songstress makes her the first Zimbabwean to win the prestigious award and join an illustrious list of global performers. The songstress paid homage to her team and hailed the massive support she got from everyone who voted for her. She also thanked her followers in Zimbabwe, South Africa and beyond and promised to drop a new album soon. ShaSha’s professional music journey reportedly kicked off in 2017 under the tutelage of veteran artist and producer Audius Mtawarira and the duo worked on a plan to take her precocious talent international. Her chain of hit songs is solidly backed by some explosive collaborations with stars such as Mlindo, DJ Maphorisa,

The singer is proud of her roots and famously penned the song Mutare as tribute to her beloved home city.

Kabza de Small and Samthing Soweto. Her claim to fame reads like an incredible script as she got discovered after a friend took her music to one of the local radio stations which later on led to her linking up with Mtawarira and Brian Soko. ShaSha’s entry into the South African market came through hard work and the big break finally arrived in somewhat fortuitous circumstances after her cab driver got her music to DJ Maphorisa. What followed after is history as the Blossom hit maker went on to be one of the leading stars in the country. “My career started taking off in 2017. Audius and I were looking to break outside of Zimbabwe, so we partnered with Brian Soko who helped us connect with South African producers. We then travelled to SA where I worked with a few producers and rappers, such as Priddy Ugly and Rouge, who featured me on their albums,” she said in an interview with BONA. “During this time, I also met DJ Maphorisa through my cab driver. I played him one of my ballads, and he liked it. So, we started working together. Through him, I was able to collaborate with Mlindo the Vocalist on Nge Thanda Wena and jazz legend Don Laka. From this point, my career started to pick up.” Over the years Sha Sha has performed at various festivals and concerts and at one time shared the stage with late veteran Oliver Mtukudzi at the Harare International Festival of the Arts (HIFA). She further solidified her rising reputation and has never looked back since and the future seems to hold more remarkable milestones for the singer.

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