Betty Makoni…The Saint I Crucified…By Robert Mukondiwa

I have always felt some things do not need wading into. Some fights are not worth waging. Some things need not be spelt out. Still waters run deep and do not have to be noisy to show that within their wombs lie a ferocity that is incomparable with other form of catastrophe. But even then, such full bodied angry rivers have to get to a waterfall and declare their anger, make their sound known.

So should it be with me, i guess.Now the big issue if Betty Makoni and her newly found International recognition in the CNN Heroes top ten list.She has attracted a lot of negative vibes, ironically from her own nationals.‘Publicity monger, self glorifier’ and anything nasty that can be thrown into that pot. All becaue of a simple nomination.Yet it is i that has subjected her to so much hate and malice.if anything, the wonderful woman was thrown into the hat of 9000 other entries while she slept nonchalantly in her sheets. She did not know a thing. But i knew how she had influenced my life as an everyday heroine. Rough around the edges, strong, principled, a survivor. That is how i knew her. someone had to honour her. Here was the perfect platform. so i sat down diligently to nominate her. Little did i now that with every letter i scrolled in the nomination, i would be slowly and gradually hammering the nails in Betty’s flesh on a virtual cross. For all the good i saw in her, someone would want to make sure they tore off shred of her flesh for the recognition she would recieve.

maybe i should not have voted for her. Maybe my nomination should not have succeeded. But any adjudicator who has an eye for chivalry would not have missed her. N ow she is being persecuted for succeeding. Persecuted for rising above the rape and molest that she went through in her years as a little girl. ‘Why did she rise? why did she not remain a miserable rape victim and not the empowered survivor that she has become’ seems to be the reasoning.
Yes, for all the blood and sweat she is going through now, i am the direct instigator of all that. But i fear not, and hope she too plods on. What is life without a Pull Him/Her Down lunatic in the background? The only thing worse than being talked about however negatively, is not being talked about.
So hang on there Betty. Hang from your cross on which i have hung you. You deserve all of the pain…all heroes have to go through further probing and sadistic torture. Only then can you ressurect as a stronger character.
You are the Hero Betty. You are the Survivor. You and only you.
You are the social saint that i crucified. Now we await your ressurection. Yours is a good fight!
Posted by Robert Mukondiwa at 10:12 PM
Please read Betty Makoni`s extract of her long CV showing all her other awards

Through sheer hard work, innovation and commitment I have built networks of feminist organizations across the world. I thrive on positive, proactive and results-driven attitude, practice and belief. I have demonstrable successful background in the achievement of organizational growth through the creation and execution of successful marketing strategies. I am a strategic thinker, mentor, coach and trainer with experience in building an organization from scratch.  I am experienced in working with leading major donors and the corporate world. I possess excellent interpersonal, communication and negotiation skills and the ability to develop and maintain mutually beneficial internal and external relationships. I enjoy being part of, as well as managing, motivating and training any team to thrive in highly pressurized and challenging working environments

I am highly experienced in working in Africa, Europe, UK and USA


Director and Lead    consultant for Muzvare Betty Makoni  Empowerment Initiative LLP, United Kingdom. I lead a team of three in UK and a team of two in Africa.

Many  young  women who got inspired by my work around the globe  approached me  to help  develop their organizations and to share experiences on how to start and run feminist movements like I have done with Girl Child Network.   This made me realize how important it is for me to register a social enterprise company so that I offer consultancy services to emerging young women leaders and those facing challenges with their companies and organizations as well as to empower them to see opportunities in challenges. I have therefore undertaken consultancy work for some organizations on verge of collapse and those at storming stages during formation. Most of the coaching, training, monitoring and evaluation I do with young women  leaders of organizations is based on solutions I developed during my leadership at various levels. I have more life experience than theoretical. I have extensive knowledge and skills on feminism ,gender, rape and sexual violence ,supporting young women to develop into leaders.

I am highly skilled at building something from scratch and developing effective strategies in most difficult situations.

  • 2011 GIRLTALK  -Ghana -Organisational capacity building and building a movement for under 18 girls
  • 2011-Women Empowerment in Southern Africa (WESFA) is an organisation that supports empowerment of female journalists in Cape Town, South. I have been coaching, training and mentoring WEFSA in program design, fundraising, marketing and strategic planning I have imparted skills in developing a gender equality program and how the media organisation can develop from a local to a regional organisation.
  • 2006 to 2011-Train the trainer program for FORWARD UK on replication of   the Girl Child Empowerment Model-.The organisation is replicating the Girl Child Empowerment Model in Africa dealing with complex issue of child marriages and female genital mutilation.
  • 2008-Stephen Lewis Foundation contract as Africa Representative undertaking Monitoring and Evaluation of partner projects. Demonstrable experience in monitoring and evaluation of financial and program management, project outcomes and impact. I dealt with six organisations
  • 2007-Oxfam Intermon project on Sexual Violence Project in war torn Sudan.  Facilitated the setting up of the Women Empowerment Group in Juba.
  • 2006-Subcontracted by Gerude Private Limited, in Zimbabwe to facilitate  a national gender mainstreaming assessment and training for over 40 artists groups in Zimbabwe. This project was funded by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) .This is great success on gender sensitive quality production of music, drama and television programs by Zimbabwe’s Top artists groupsFacilitator at National Plan of Action, Southern African Regional Conference on Violence Against Women Thematic Group. Johannesburg, South Africa, May 2006
  • 2003 to 2004- Facilitator of Musasa Project Domestic Violence community based projects in Zimbabwe

Organisational development capacity building of grassroots organisations experience, knowledge and skills (Voluntary Role)

I am instrumental in the formation and management of the following grassroots organisations in Zimbabwe and South Africa

  • 2006-New Hope Zimbabwe works in slum areas with homeless and poverty stricken children
  • 2006-Ray of Hope  helps transform domestic victims into leaders
  • 2006-Mbuya Kadzunge Kind Hearted  works with orphaned and vulnerable children
  • 2006-SWAGGA replicated the Girl Child Network Model in Swaziland
  • 2007-Africa Gender Monitor based in South Africa monitors how governments implement various international legal instruments such as the AU Protocol on women’s rights, CEDAW and  the SADC Gender Protocol
  • 2008-Rape Survivors Network is a network of rape survivors from politically motivated violence from women who deposited evidence


Experienced in Governance , Policy Advising and Trusteeship in some of the international and best performing organizations in the world

  • 2009 to date -RESTORED UK  Trustee
  • 2008 to date -Women at the Centre, Board of Director
  • 2007 to date -UNAIDS Reference Group member comprising  policy advisory board members and draws international experts
  • Zimbabwe’s Global Call Against Poverty (GCAP) Ambassador for 2006
  • 2007- 2009 Oxfam Novib Round Table Member  advising on Policy and Partnerships
  • 2006-2008 Chairperson of   Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (2005 to 2007) an umbrella grouping of at least 45 NGOs from across Zimbabwe working on various women’s issues. Revived the coalition into a vibrant movement it is today
  • 2001 to 2007-Board Member, International Development Exchange (IDEX) . IDEX  is a non-profit organization based in San Francisco, USA, that partners with grassroots organizations in Africa, Asia and Latin America
  • 2003-Committee Member, NGO Directors’ Forum in Zimbabwe  for Nango (National Association of Non Governmental Organisation

Work and leadership experience

1998 2008 -Founding Executive Director of Girl Child Network  in Zimbabwe

  • Directly responsible for organisational development in fundraising and monitoring and evaluation as well as building stakeholder networks to support the organisation financially and morally.
  • Fundraised  10  million US dollars( two million US dollars per year ) through major donors like EU, Oxfam, Stephen Lewis Foundation, Global Fund for women  and built  the network for major individual
  • Designed and set up Girls Empowerment Villages to shelter victims of rape
  • Experience in designing and implementing fundraising projects as well as building networks of supporters with support programs to keep donor confidence high
  • Expertise in project proposal writing
  • Played a leadership role in creating a dynamic organisation with progressive and innovative  programs
  • Experienced  financial and program systems designing  for effective accounting of funds
  • Providing feedback and guidance on the appropriateness of proposed policies within the organisation’s mission, vision and values.

2009 to date -Chief Executive Officer  Girl Child Network Worldwide

  • Build donor and stakeholders network to support replication of Girl Child Empowerment Model round the globe
  • Strengthen the linkages with all stakeholders who support girls empowerment  programs round the world and identify volunteers to support girls empowerment clubs
  • Set up and fundraise for a first ever Girls Empowerment and Education Fund
  • Policy advisory role  to ensure that the mission and vision of the charity  remains on track and that GCNW continues as a star organisation in championing the rights of girls in the world
  • Offer mentorship and leadership training programs for young women and girl child advocates who want to roll out the Girl Child Empowerment Model
  • Documenting and organizing all the information produced on Girl Child Empowerment Model as best practice and share broadly  with like-minded people in many other countries in Africa  where such initiatives are desired and needed


Gained experience and skills through a number of opportunities from international organizations to develop my leadership skills and these include but not limited to

  • Ashoka All Fellows Induction(27 to 28 March 2011)
  • Gift Aid Fundraising By Institute of Fundraising-UK (20 February 2011)
  • Media and Communication Coaching by Ashoka Network Member-Kinsman Langford Consultancy -London (16 May 2011)
  • Training on Grant Making at New Field Foundation and Global Fund (4 April 2010)
  • Domestic Violence Training –London (6 February 2009)
  • International Guest Program Scholarship at the International Center for Tolerance  Education in New York, USA (January 1-March 30,2007)
  • Accelerating the ratification of AU protocol on Women’s RightsSouth Africa, Johannesburg, 22-24 May 2006
  • Interaction Leadership Training, sponsored by The British Council (January, August 2005)
  • Renowned international advocate of Violence Against Women Bill , nominated from Africa to give  testimony on violence against women in conflict situations by US Vice President ,Joe Biden .
  • International Scholarship, XVI International Aids Conference by the International AIDS Society, Toronto Canada (August 2006).
  • Nominated and Registered Human Rights Defender for The 2nd Dublin Platform for Human Rights Defenders organized by Frontline Defenders of Human Rights Defenders (September 2003).
  • Advanced Training of  Trainers Workshop, Nisaa Institute for Women Development  South Africa, 25-30 July 2003
  • Global Campaign for the Ratification And Use Of The Optional Protocol to the CEDAW Convention, Cape Town, South Africa, 19-21 November 2003
  • Needs Assessment for Capacity Building of National Gender  Machineries for Gender Equality in SADC Member states, Nyanga, 23 September 2003
  • Fundraising Training on Dealing with Major and small donors from by International Development Exchange (IDEX), 23 June 2003
  • Training Workshop On “How To Create Circles of Compassion” organized by Women’s World Summit Foundation in partnership with the Millionth Circle Initiative Centre International Reformed-John Knox Geneva, Switzerland, 17-19 October 2003
  • Gender And HIV/AIDS Mainstreaming, Royal Netherlands Embassy, Imba Matombo Harare, 5 November 2002
  • African Women’s Leadership Institute Training organised by Akina Mama wa Afrika based in UK, 6-14 June 2002
  • Results Based Management And Gender. Canadian International Development Agency workshop, Kadoma Ranch, 4-9 January 2002
  • National Action Plan for Zimbabwe on Commonwealth Model Framework For An Integrated Approach To Combat Violence Against Women, Montclair, Nyanga 2-4 May 2001
  • Financial Management And Its Integration With Organizational And Program Management Workshop Sponsored By Netherlands International Development Cooperation (NOVIB), Bronte Hotel, Harare, 12-16 November, 2001
  • International Visitor Program- Management Of NGOs And Tour of United States Of America Meeting with Various NGOS And Learning Best Practices, 18 May-23 June, 2001
  • Investigating And Managing Child Abuse Within A Multi Sectoral Framework, US Embassy Harare, Detective. Sgt. Walliker, Family Service Division, Police Department, Portland, Oregon, 31 August 2000
  • Southern African Regional Workshop On Sheltering for Abused Women, Conference Centre, Johannesburg, 13-14 November 2000


  • Speaker at Invitation by Honourable  Kevin Brennan MP at The Mardi Launch Reception at House of Commons
  • Facilitator at Immigrants in distress workshop on Violence Against Women-South End on Sea, UK  ,25 May 2011
  • Speaker at International Women`s fair Ghana -The working woman`s contribution to development7 -8 May 2011
  • Speaker at Sierra Canyon Private School –Los Angeles -8 March 2011
  • Key Note Speaker at Firelight Foundation International Women`s Day –Santa Cruz ,California-7 March 2011
  • Guest at invitation by The Archbishop of Canterbury on behalf of Tearfund to attend the launch of Silent No More, a Tearfund report, followed by consultation on church responses to sexual violence at Lambeth Palace-21 March 2011
  • Speaker San Juan Island- 21 January Seattle 2011
  • Featured Guest Speaker- Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day. A Performance Art Event Featuring Women’s Stories of Resilience and Vision A Benefit for Center for Domestic Peace, Home of Marin Abused Women’s Services
  • Foreign and Commonwealth meeting-8 November 2010 –London
  • Speaker-North Nottinghamshire Independent Domestic Abuse services Ltd-27 October 2010 Leister
  • EU Parliamentary Hearing on Zimbabwe-Women and girls-5-7 October 2010 EU Parliament Belgium
  • Presentation at South End On Sea Council Black and Ethnic Minority ,Essex ,5 July 2010.
  • Speaker –Results UK-London 11 March 2011
  • Speaker Victim support-2010
  • Speaker Mayor`s court -Community Living in Harmony-2010
  • Key note Speaker South end  on Sea Mind Conference –Essex,23 June 2010
  • Guest Lecturer at Global Fund Founder ,Anne Firth Murray’s class at Stanford University -4 April 2010
  • Redwood City school in California Speech -2 April 2011
  • Speaking at New Seasons Fundraising events –Two black churches
  • NY NYU Wagner School’s Student Alliance for Africa, NYU Wagner
  • Presentation to Social students at Humber College –Toronto Canada
  • Guest Lecturer SGI, Buddhist Center -8 April 2010
  • Speaker at Authentic Company in Florida  – 22 April 2011
  • Featured Guest Speaker 2011 Celebration of Life and Legacy of Martin Luther King at Duke University Hospital One of Top Ten US Universities
  • Speaker Matabeleland  Development Organisation Launch-London
  • Speaker at 60 Million Girls Fundraiser November -2009
  • Speaker-Results Canada October 2009
  • The Girl Child In The Era of HIV and AIDS – Paper presented at International XVI AIDS Conference, Ontario, Canada, August 2006
  • Southern African Regional Violence Against Women – Paper presented  at Regional Partnership Seminar, Johannesburg, Kapanong Hotel, 8-13 May 2006
  • Impact of HIV  and AIDS  on Education in the SADC Region – regional workshop on guidance Counselling and HIV and AIDS, Manchichi Bay Lodge, Lake Kariba in Zambia, 20-24 March 2006,
  • Gender Based violence preventive strategy –International Conference on Gender Based violence, Royal Swazi Sun Convention Centre Swaziland- hosted by SWAGAA, March 6-8, 2006
  • Culture And HIV with focus on the Girl Child – Oxfam Regional HIV/AIDS Policy, Law and Women’s Rights Partnership Program/Planning Workshop, Kopanong Hotel, Johannesburg, South Africa, 12-13 April 2005
  • Linking Gender Based Violence and HIV/AIDS with focus on the Girl Child-Southern African Regional Mainstreaming Symposium, Sun International Hotel, Mbambane, Swaziland, 5-7 April 2005
  • HIV and AIDS and The Girl Child at The Auxillia Chimsoro Awards –Future Group Ceremony, Royal Harare Golf Club, 2 December 2004
  • The Girl Child and HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe – paper presented during celebrations to mark International World AIDS Day – Chinhenga Community Celebrations, Nyanga, 26 November 2003
  • Target Beneficiary And Humanitarian Assistance for Orphaned Girls-GCN as a case study-Paper presented At Rotary International Club of Avondale, Harare, 4 November 2003
  • The Rural Girl Child In Zimbabwe And GCN As A Model Of Change Paper presented at the Prize For Women’s creativity in rural life by Women’s World Summit Foundation Geneva Switzerland, 15 October  2003
  • Women’s Rights Are Human Rights-Frontline for Human Rights Defenders, Ireland, Dublin, 10-12 September 2003
  • Strategies Addressing Education, Health and Human Development in Zimbabwe – Girl Child Network as an Effective model. Plenary Session,  Global Philanthropy Forum USA, June 2003
  • Overview of Girl Child In Zimbabwe, paper presented to US-based donors to include Global Fund For Women, Firelight Foundation, Global Exchange, International Development Exchange, USA. June 2002
  • Empowering Women at The Grassroots, The Plight of The Girl Child In Zimbabwe, Non-formal Education As a Platform For Social Change, Papers presented at the Grant Makers Without Borders, USA, 2002
  • Raising Awareness on HIV/AIDS, Children’s Rights And Virginity Testing, Mhandara days, Osborne Dam, December 2002.


My work has been covered by 106 newspapers, 67 television stations and linked to some over 100 websites across the world. I have a number of training manuals to be published .I also have my autobiography to be published soon.

  • Realising Children’s Rights: Multidisciplinary, Comparative and Practical Perspectives Papers from the United Kingdom-Best Girl Child Empowerment Model  by Essex Human Rights Review  Journal Volume 7  Number  1,December  2010,UKIERI Special issue
  • Tapestries of Hope on Virgins cure HIV and AIDS
  • 2008 -part of international team to do collection and deposition of evidence for rape survivors during political Violence in Zimbabwe in partnership with AIDS FREE WORLD
  • Featured in award winning film Tapestries of Hope
  • Featured in Women who light the dark by Paola Giurntorco
  • Action Research on Menstruation in Zimbabwe-2005
  • Child  Sexual Abuse Desk Study -2005
  • Main subject in Film Girl Child
  • Theatre for development Research project ,University of Zimbabwe -1994


In recognition of my work and contribution to the charity sector in Zimbabwe and globally, I have received a total of 26 Global and Local awards for innovation, passion and commitment.

  • Newsweek Announced Betty Makoni is among 150 women who shake the world
  • Awarded African Achievers Award-UK   May 2011
  • Honorary Award  from Duke University of Medicine(Top Ten US College)-201
  • Decade Child Rights Hero by the World Children’s Prize alongside Graca Machel and Nelson Mandela  -Sweden -2010
  • Interaction(Network of USA Non Profits) Humanitarian Award 2010
  • The Women In Film and Television Awards-Los Angeles –USA
  • CNN Heroes award for Protecting the Powerless-2009 honoured by Sir Richard Benson and UNIFEM Goodwill Ambassador Nicole Kidman
  • Giraffe Heroes Project Award 2009
  • Unsung Heroes of Compassion Award -2009
  • Amnesty International Ginetta Sagan Award for women and children’s rights, USA May 2008
  • Elected Ashoka fellow- -Global leading Social Entrepreneurs in recognition of creative and entrepreneurial leadership and commitment to make large scale changes in Society
  • Drivers of Change Award –Southern Africa Trust 2007
  • Women Empowerment Award 2007
  • Runner Up-Director of the Year Award for NGO sector in Zimbabwe-2008
  • Finalist One World Person of the Year 2007
  • One of the Ten Outstanding young people in the World by Junior Chamber International a worldwide leadership organization for young leaders and professionals
  • Voted First out of  Ten  Outstanding Young in Zimbabwe 2007 the Junior Chamber Zimbabwe
  • Awarded by the World Children’s Prize for the Rights of the Child the Global Friends Award -2007
  • World Children’s Prize an equivalent to Nobel Prize for Children in 2007 in a Global Vote by 5,2 million children in 85 countries
  • Awarded the Zimbabwe Institute of Management National Contribution Award in 2007 immense contribution to the nation
  • The United Nations Red Ribbon Award -2006 for addressing gender inequalities that fuel the HIV/AIDS epidemic
  • Hafkin Prize Award Finalist, 2003
  • Awarded for Creativity in Rural Life by the Women’s World Summit Foundation, Switzerland 2003.
  • Prize Betty Makoni for Prevention of Child Abuse now renamed Prize for Prevention of Child Abuse is celebrated on 19 November annually
  • Small Technical Grant Award for the most innovative Grassroots Community Based Strategy
  • Certificate of Honor by Global Philanthropy Forum for being the most Remarkable person, USA  2002


Canada (2006,2007,2008,2009,2010), Ethiopia (2004), Holland (1998, 2005, 2006), Ireland (2000), Kenya (2004, 2005), South Africa (1998, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010), Swaziland (2005, 2006), Switzerland (2003), United Kingdom (1994, 2001, 2003, 2004,2006,2009, 2010,2011), United States Of America (1997,1998, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007,2008,2009,2010,2011), Zambia (2006) Uganda(2004 2006 2008) Senegal (2006 2007 2008) Tanzania(2005 2008) Sweden (2007) Ghana(2011) Sierra Leone(2010) Botswana(2008,2009,2010)


  • BA in English, Shona, Linguistics University of Zimbabwe 1992-1994
  • BA Fourth Year Special Honors in Theatre Arts and Development University of Zimbabwe, 1995


  • Full clean driver`s license
  • Clean Criminal Records Bureau Report


I am a hostess of a radio program called Women and Girls empowerment which I give as a community service every Sunday on

Writing Plays, Poems and Short Stories And Also Reading Magazines and Newspapers as well as designing clothing