Home > General > Famous Zimbos in the arts and sports

Famous Zimbos in the arts and sports

Zimbabwe is a country of many contradicitions, gripped by great poverty and political instability, yet the country continues to churn out stars in so many arenas, business, academia, sports, music, and the arts. The list could go on, because Zimbo’s seem to have found an interest in the performing arts, appearing in reality shows such as big brother, X Factor and such shows. They do say that whatever a Zimbabwean puts their mind to, they often excel at it.

Kevin Mambo
Kevin Mambo is currently appearing as Barret Rude Jr. in the musical The Fortress of Solitude at the Dallas Theater Center. The musical is based on Jonathan Lethem’s, The Fortress of Solitude (novel). Mambo has also appeared in The Book of Mormon (musical) as Mafala during the first National Tour (2012-2013) and as Chancellor in Danai Gurira’s The Convert (directed by Emily Mann) in 2011-2012. He played Fela Anikulapo-Kuti in the Broadway production of the musical Fela! at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre., and appeared off-Broadway in Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Ruined at Manhattan Theatre Club and at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, Hoodoo Love at Cherry Lane Theatre, Once Around the Sun at Zipper Factory Theater, and Fela is a Weapon at the Shrine Theater. Film and television credits include Cadillac Records; Nina;[7] Mistresses (U.S. TV series); Guiding Light (two-time Daytime Emmy Award for Younger Lead Actor in a Drama Series); One Life to Live; Soul Food (TV series); Any Day Now; Law & Order; Law & Order: Criminal Intent; Deadline; Law & Order: Trial by Jury; Law & Order: Special Victims Unit; Spin City; Family Matters; Freshman Dorm; The Firing Squad and One of Us Tripped. Kevin Mambo was born in Harare, Zimbabwe, and raised in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. An avid musician, he was in the church choir as a child and started playing piano at age 8, saxophone at age 10, and the guitar at age 19.

Oliver “Tuku” Mtukudzi
Mtukudzi began performing in 1977 when he joined the Wagon Wheels, a band that also featured Thomas Mapfumo. Their single Dzandimomotera went gold and Tuku’s first album followed, which was also a major success. Mtukudzi is also a contributor to Mahube, Southern Africa’s “supergroup”.
With his husky voice, he has become the most recognized voice to emerge from Zimbabwe and onto the international scene and he has earned a devoted following across Africa and beyond. Mtukudzi has had a number of tours around the world. He has been on several tours in the UK, US and Canada to perform for large audiences.
Unlike Mapfumo, Mtukudzi has refrained from directly criticizing the government of President Robert Mugabe.

Thomas Tafirenyika Mapfumo
Born 1945 is a Zimbabwean musician known as “The Lion of Zimbabwe” and “Mukanya” (the praise name of his clan in the Shona language) for his immense popularity and for the political influence he wields through his music, including his sharp criticism of the government of President Robert Mugabe. He both created and made popular Chimurenga music and his slow-moving style and distinctive voice is instantly recognizable to Zimbabweans.Stella Chiweshe (also Stella Rambisai Chiweshe, Stella Rambisai Chiweshe Nekati, or Stella Nekati Chiweshe, b. Mujumi Village, Mhondoro, Zimbabwe, 8 July 1946) is a Zimbabwean musician. She is internationally known for her singing and playing of the mbira dzavadzimu, a traditional instrument of the Shona people of Zimbabwe. She is one of the few female players of the instrument, which she learned to play from 1966 to 1969 when even fewer females played the instrument.
Chiweshe has performed numerous times in Germany and has also participated in the WOMAD festival (1994 in the United States, 1995 in Australia, and 2006 in Spain). In 2004 she toured England with her daughter.

The lovely singer of “Superstar ” fame is half Zimbabwean(father) and half Jamaican (mother).Show her love on her official website

Bruce David Grobbelaar
Born 6 October 1957, he is a retired football goalkeeper who represented Zimbabwe at international level and a number of clubs, most prominently the English team Liverpool, during a professional career spanning more than 20 years. He is remembered for his gymnastic-like athletic ability, unflappable confidence and eccentric and flamboyant style of play.

Lewin John Nyatanga
(born 18 August 1988) is a Welsh international footballer who plays as a defender for Barnsley in the Football League Championship. Although born in Burton upon Trent, Staffordshire, Nyatanga qualifies for Wales through parentage, having been born to a Zimbabwean father and Welsh mother. Nyatanga holds the records for being the youngest captain and youngest player ever to play for the Welsh Under-21s. On 1 March 2006, aged 17 years and 195 days, he made his full international debut for Wales in a friendly match against Paraguay in Cardiff, breaking Ryan Green’s record as the youngest ever Welsh international.

Thandiwe Melanie “Thandie” Newton

(born 6 November 1972) is an English actress.[3][4] She has appeared in a number of British and American films, including The Pursuit of Happyness, Mission: Impossible II, Crash, Run Fatboy Run, W., 2012, Norbit, For Colored Girls and Good Deeds. Newton was born in London, England, the daughter of Nyasha, a Zimbabwean health-care worker, and Nick Newton, an English laboratory technician and artist.

Dereck Chisora
(born 29 December 1983) is a British professional boxer based in London competing in the heavyweight division.
Boxing Titles to his name
• British Heavyweight Title
• Commonwealth Heavyweight Title
• WBO International Heavyweight Title
• WBA International Heavyweight Title
• EBU European Heavyweight Title

Tendai “Baba” Maraire
Is one half of the experimental hip hop duo, Shabazz Palaces and heir to a musical family—his father is the late Dumisani Maraire, renowned Zimbabwean composer, producer and ethnomusicologist. On his latest release “Pungwe” Maraire “strips back the facade of modern hip-hop to show the African roots that were always there.” In celebration of 33 years of independence, Maraire dropped the song “Unity is Power (April 18).”
Listen here:

NoViolet Bulawayo
In 2011, NoViolet Bulawayo won the 2011 Caine Prize for African Writing for her short story “Hitting Budapest.” her debut novel “We Need New Names” comes out on May 21, 2013. She is already earning comparisons to Zadie Smith and J.M. Coetzee.

Kudzanai Chiurai
If one single person epitomized the Zim 30 as we otherwise refer to this list, Kudzanai Chiurai would be the one. Born in 1981 Zimbabwe, he was the first black student to graduate with a BA (fine art) from the university of Pretoria in South Africa where he lives in exile after his early works dared challenge and poke fun at president Robert Mugabe’s politics.
This will be the reason he will often be typecast as a political artist.
He has shown his work in cities like Dakar, Melbourne, London, Cape Town and Johannesburg. That main image up top is his work.

David Pocock
In 2010, Pocock became the first choice openside flanker for the Wallabies. He won the John Eales Medal in 2010 – the highest honour in Australian Rugby. Pocock was recognized at an international level after being nominated alongside five other players for 2010 IRB Player of the Year which is an award given to the best player in world rugby. In addition he was recognised with the Australia’s Choice Wallaby of the Year and awarded the Rugby Union Players Association (RUPA) Medal of Excellence.
In both 2010 and 2011, Pocock was a finalist for the IRB International Player of the Year.
Pocock took over the Wallabies captaincy during the 2012 midseason test series when regular captain James Horwill was injured.

Danai Gurira
Born in Iowa, raised in Zimbabwe and graduated from New York University, Danai Gurira is a force for African women everywhere. Not only as an actress (The Visitor, Law and Order) but also as a playwright. In The Continuum, a 2006 Pulitzer finalist play which portrays the parallel lives of two women living with AIDS – one in LA, the other in Zimbabwe. And that’s been the mould for her more recent play Eclipsed (2009) in which the characters, former Liberian sex slaves go about life after their respective horror-filled pasts.

Eska Mtungwadzi
Vocalist, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist, Eska is one of the great unsung heroes of British music. In a fair and just world she would be bigger than Amy and Alicia, but for now fans have to be content with her scene-stealing guest appearances with the likes of Tony Allen, Ty and Nitin Sawhney. Or even her own recordings which we wish would culminate into an album already. Check out her Shona-spiced rendition of The Police’s Walking on The Moon here. It will do things to ya!

Jonathan Khumbulani Nkala
Playwright/actor/musician/comedian Jonathan Nkala’s play The Crossing does two things: It brings home the plight of immigrants in South Africa and reminds one just how resilient the human spirit can be. Nkala plays himself in the one-man play, which retraces his trek from his home in Zimbabwe across the Limpopo river and into South Africa in search of a better life. Enroute he loses everything (including the best friend he begun the journey with) except his dream. The Crossing ran at the Grahamstown arts festival in South Africa, and is at the Cape Town theatre until 1 May. Jonathan also appears in Disgraceand String Caesar

Byron Black
In 1995 Black was a US Open quarter-finalist and in 2000 he reached the same round at Wimbledon. His career-high singles ranking was World No. 22, which he achieved in June 1996.

An accomplished doubles player, Black became World No. 1 in doubles in February 1994. He won the 1994 French Open partnering Jonathan Stark. Black was a doubles finalist in three other majors, the 1994 and 2001 Australian Opens and 1996 Wimbledon.

Black is one of the few professional players to have played with a double-handed forehand. Black formed the core of the Zimbabwean Davis Cup team with his brother Wayne.

Prudence Mabhena
Music By Prudence, the equally devastating and inspiring story about Liyana, a band of 8 Zimbabwean students with varying disabilities who come second in an All Africa music competition, had us in tears even before its recent and rightful Oscar win.
It’s centred around the band leader Prudence Mabhena who suffers horrific neglect and abandonment in her childhood due to arthrogryphosis (a rare disorder that severely deforms the joints of the body) but then comes into herself, finds her singing voice, even composing in five languages, and choreographing dance from her wheelchair.

Ellah Allfrey
A former senior editor at Jonathan Cape, Allfrey became one of the most powerful women in publishing when she was made deputy editor of literary magazine Granta last year. A tireless champion of new African writing, she has edited the likes of Brian Chikwava and Dinaw Mengestu, and will be on the judging panel of this year’s Caine Prize.

Marsha Gosho Oakes
In a world where too many hopped the blogging bandwagon with no other motivation than cyber celebrity, sites like http://www.soulculture.co.uk restore our faith in good old-fashioned content-driven reporting. Every blogger knows the challenge it is to bring something fresh to the interwebs quickly and consistently. Marsha Gosho Oakes, the Zimbabwean/Irish editor-in-chief, rises to it every time with her work ethic and finger on seemingly every pulse.

Vimbai Mutinhiri
A bit of an it girl at the moment, Vimbai is based in South Africa where she is steadily racking up the magazine covers based on her affiliation with Bio Oil, and Estee Lauder. She’s made a name for herself as a TV host and presenter.

Heath Streak
In 2000/2001, he won 2-man of the series awards, first in Zimbabwe’s tour of England and then in Bangladesh’s tour of Zimbabwe.
He is the only Zimbabwean bowler to have taken over 100 Test wickets and one of only 2 Zimbabwean bowlers to have taken over 100 ODI wickets (the other being Grant Flower). There is little doubt that he is the best bowler to have played for Zimbabwe, with the ability to extract seam movement at a lively pace on even the deadest of wickets.

Kirsty Coventry
Zimbabwe’s golden girl is a world record-holding, gold medal-owning swimmer who bagged three medals (a gold, a silver, and a bronze) at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games and four medals (a gold and three silver) in Beijing. Alongside former Manchester City striker Benjani Mwaruwari and cricketer Andy Flower she is one of a handful of Zimbabwean sports stars who are helping to put Zim on the map for all the right reasons.

Petina Gappah
So far, Geneva-based legal aid counsellor for developing countries Petina Gappah has held our attention with her short fiction and essays as well as her awesome blog. Here for instance, in a hilarious letter to the pope, she confesses that she voluntarily became a Catholic just to taste the holy communion wafer, and notifies him of the various sexual plunders of his clergy. Her 2009 collection of short stories Elegy for Easterly won the Guardian First Book Award and recently made the longlist for the Orwell prize.

Cara Black
Cara has won five Grand Slam women’s doubles titles in her career: Wimbledon 2004, 2005, and 2007; Australian Open 2007; and US Open 2008. She reached the 2000 US Open doubles final with Elena Likhovtseva. She has also won three Grand Slam mixed doubles titles, two of them partnering with her brother Wayne: the 2002 French Open and the 2004 Wimbledon Championships (they reached the final of the 2004 French Open and the semifinals of the 2003 French Open and 2003 US Open); and most recently the 2008 U.S. Open with Leander Paes.

Lucian Msamati
Hands down, Msamati is one of Africa’s finest thesps. Whether he’s playing a lovesick mechanic in the No 1 Ladies Dectective Agency or a Mugabe-inspired tyrant in stage version of The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui. Msamati brings intellect and humanity to every role. Okay, so his parents are Tanzanian and he was born in the UK. But he was raised in Zim and founded one of the country’s finest theatre companies (Over the Edge) before returning to the UK in 2002 so as far as we’re concerned he qualifies.

Duncan Fletcher (born 27 September 1948)

Is a Zimbabwean ex-cricketer and the current coach of the Indian cricket team. He was the coach of the England cricket team from 1999-2007, and is credited with the resurgence of the England team in test cricket in the early years of the 2000s. In recognition of this winning the Ashes after 18 years, Fletcher was conferred with the OBE. On 13 September 2005 Fletcher was awarded British citizenship after a five-year wait.

Jah Seed
What was so great about beloved South African Kwaito group Bongo Maffin was the way the individual members’ very varied appeals came together. Zimbabwean dancehall MC Adrien Anesu Mphemi aka Jah Seed brought Shona inflections to their overall sound.
He and party partner Admiral have between them held down the small but loyal following of South African revellers for whom their weekly dancehall night is a pilgrimage.

Priscilla Chigariro

International catwalk and photographic model-turned-fashion entrepreneur Priscilla Chigariro Priscilla Chigariro did the sensible thing when she found there was no platform in Zimbabwe for her to showcase the accessories, belts and shoes she created as part of her brand Chrome. She decided to create one herself. Also the founder of Bitter Candy, an interior design company, she is the creator and executive producer of Zimbabwe Fashion Week launched in South Africa in December 2009. Zimbabwe’s first ever fashion week is set to happen late in April.

Taponeswa Mavunga
You might have caught this yummy mummy-of-one in Trace Magazine’s 2007 Black Girls Rule issue, or the year after in the same magazine featured in their Women in Music campaign in association with Puma. That will be due to ten years spent in the music business either making stars out of singers like Estelle and Laura Izibor or ensuring the shine stays bright for Diddy, Jay Z Brandy, Sean Paul, T.I in her role as award-winning (2009 Record Of The Day Award for PR Campaign for JAY-Z)
Her passion for Zimbabwe drives her support work for Ndoro Children’s Charity, most recently, the NdoroCC Zimbabwe Pearl Ball.

Electro-soul newcomer Tinashe has had the asymmetrical haircut posse in a lather for minute with his plinky synth-laden art pop. If the caustic tale of love gone bad that is the title track to his Mayday EP is any sign of things to come, we can’t wait for the long-player.

Terrie Gunz
Tererai Avalon Mahati aka Terrie Gunz’ love for Hip-hop and design must be the inspiration behind his street-ready clothing label Harare Hustlers. The son of a former lingerie designer (according to http://www.greedysouth.blogspot.com), he was part of the first wave of young Zimbabweans to create Hip-hop locally.
His nickname Harare Hustler was coined because of his DIY entrepreneurial attitude. Wearing a t-shirt with the words he emblazoned on a t-shirt himself kickstarted demand for the tees which are all over his London base currently.

Michael Bhim
Since this young British-Zimbabwean playwright burst made a strong debut with Pure Gold at the Soho Theatre in 2007, Bhim has been building a name for himself with work for the Royal Court,Tricycle, Paines Plough and Nitro. With TV pilot for Channel 4 on the way and a BBC radio play (Look Closer) in the bag, we will be hearing more of Bhim in the future.

Farai Gundan
Girl-about-town Farai Gundan covers the the fabulous lives of black celebrities on Black Tree TV, and is also the editor of her own fun website where she does more of the same as well as give to the minute updates on what’s going on with African celebrities on the continent.

Nicholas Raymond Leige Price
Born 28 January 1957, is a Zimbabwean professional golfer who has won three major championships in his career: the PGA Championship twice (in 1992 and 1994) and The Open Championship in 1994. In the mid-1990s, Price reached number one in the Official World Golf Ranking. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2003.

Brian chikwava
London-based Zimbabwean writer Brian Chikwava’s 2004 Caine prize-winning short story 7th Street Alchemy was the first we heard of him. Only to be further bedazzled by Harare North (published in 2009), in which the sometimes-musician believably relays an immigrant’s experience of London through a story that is disturbing and extremely gratifying. The novel is one of the only two fiction books that made the Orwell Prize long list. (Petina Gappah’s is the other one)

Accomplished artist that he is, Zimbabwean/Zambian Zubz’ repertoire as an MC speaks for itself. Currently he helms a much-needed monthly live Hip-hop music session called The Golden Mic nights – think Jools Holland but with rap. Classics songs like Handiende have helped write him into the ranks of the region’s finest. But that’s not all that’s about special him. His mentoring programme for young people with British Council called Power In The Voice, formalized what he sees as his real calling. Sharing his art with young people in Southern Africa and in the UK brand him, as he puts, an authentic urban culture mouthpiece for young and aspirant Africa. We wish more rappers would do this kind of thing.

Chipo Chung
Tanzanian-born, Zimbabwean actress Chipo Chung’s acting ability has an impressive range that spans film (Proof, Sunshine), theatre (Royal Court Theatre, Royal National Theatre), radio (The Way We Live Right Now) and television (Doctor Who) roles.
She’s also the director of S.A.F.E (Sponsored Arts for Education) a charity which employs the use of theatre and community activities to reach the least accessible areas in Kenya to spread awareness about AIDS.

Gedion Nyanhongo
Sculptor Gedion Nyanhongo (son of Shona art pioneer Claud) uses stone (nyanga, opal etc) as his canvass, to create elegant expressions of the political and personal. He’s been exhibited all over the world and if catching him online isn’t enough (www.gedionnyanhongo.com) you can see his work on display at the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

They call her the African Tracey Chapman but it’s hard to imagine Ms Fast Cars singing a neck-snapping diss song titled Weaves and Magazines. But that’s why we love Netsayi. Ever since she debuted with her critically-acclaimed 2006 LP Chimurenga Soul she has been doing her thing, her way, and we love it so.

Farai chideya
Journalist and author Farai Chideya’s novel Kiss The Sky – the story of a black, female rock musician in her 30s attempting a career comeback – Essence Magazine’s thumbs up (May 2009 book of the month) and ours too.
We love how Farai, born to an American mother and Zimbabwean father, continues to keep the culture and race dialogue fresh. See her nonfiction books Trust: Reaching the 100 Million Missing Voters, The Colour of Our Future, and Don’t Believe The Hype: Fighting Cultural Misinformation About African Americans.
Also check out this video project she calls Halfrican on her site where she explores her family’s history.

Benjani Mwaruwari
Since the glory days of Bruce Grobbelaar and Peter Ndlovu, the Premiership hasn’t exactly been awash with Zimbabwean footballing talent. But there’s one player still flying the flag for world class footy from Zimmy and that’s Benjani Mwaruwari, former Manchester City striker (currently on loan to Sunderland) and current Zimbabwe team captain.

Audius Mtawarira
Most records that this Harare-born, Australia-based pop singer/songwriter/producer touches generally go gold and upwards. He produced and co-wrote the highest selling single in Australia in 2009 under the auspices of his own Sound Academy Studios and Blindfaith Entertainment. On top of that he owns clothing label Shona Clothing.

Carl Joshua Ncube

A pioneering animator, Carl Ncube wrote and directed Nyami-Nyami, the first animated film to be shown in the history of the Zimbabwe International Film Festival. He also spreads his visual artistic talent to awards shows – he is the executive producer of this year’s Zimbabwe International Music Festival.

Shingai Shoniwa
Shingai Elizabeth Maria Shoniwa[2]
Is an English singer, best known as the vocalist and bassist for the UK indie rock band Noisettes. Her first name, Shingai, means “be strong” in the Shona language. Critical response to Shoniwa’s performance has largely been positive. Rolling Stone magazine said that “Shoniwa is a living, breathing manifestation of the rock & roll spirit, with a voice that is equal parts Iggy Pop and Billie Holiday.”[10] In her stage persona, Shoniwa looks like what the New Yorker called “an African supermodel”,[5] and she frequently performs in bare feet while wearing face paint or fur hats on stage.

Tendai “Beast” Mtawarira
Born 1 August 1985 in Harare, Zimbabwe, is a Zimbabwean-born South African rugby union player for the Sharks in the Super Rugby competition. Mtawarira, a prop, is fondly known by friends and fans as “The Beast”. Roars of “Beast” are shouted by spectators and fans of the Natal Sharks team whenever Mtawarira attains possession of the ball or makes a big tackle. Mtawarira was selected as part of the South African National Rugby Union team and made his debut playing against Wales in a test match on 14 June 2008. The following week, on 21 June 2008, Mtawarira scored a try against Italy as well as winning the ‘Man of the Match’ award.

Andrew “Andy” Flower OBE
(born 28 April 1968) is a former international cricketer for Zimbabwe and a former England cricket coach.
On 15 April 2009, following England’s Caribbean tour, he was appointed full-time team director. Flower won The Ashes, beating Australia by two Test matches to one. the 2010 ICC World Twenty20 tournament in the West Indies and in 2010/2011 England won the Ashes in Australia by three Test matches to one.
Flower was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2011 Birthday Honours for services to sport.
On 13 August 2011 Flower led the England cricket team to become the number one ranked team in terms of test playing countries. On 22 December 2011, he was awarded the 2011 Coach of the Year in the BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards.
He also successfully led England to Ashes victory in July–August 2013 winning the test series 3-0.

Categories: General
  1. No comments yet.
  1. February 21, 2016 at 6:54 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: