Category Archives: Awards, Recognition and Honours

Muzvare Betty Makoni Life Achievement Award from Women4Africa-News you might have missed!

Credit:Article taken from Women4Africa Blog 

For the first time in our  Six year history Women4Africa  will be presenting a ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’.

Since its inception, Women4Africa has awarded a number of women in various categories and also awarded recognition awards but at its 6th annual awards which will be taking place on Saturday 20th May 2017, Women4Africa will be present a Lifetime Achievement award to its 2012 UK Humanitarian of the year and then 2014 Recognition awardee, ‘Muzvare Betty Makoni’.

“To begin to highlight the numerous accomplishments and achievements of this outstanding woman, one would need at least a month. From we first came to hear of CNN Hero Muzvare Betty Makoni in 2012, we have followed her work passionately as it resonates so well with our causes.

It is an absolute honour for the entire Women4Africa team to be presenting the very first Lifetime Achievement to the woman who is seen as a role model, an inspiration and a true hero to many. We welcome as many of you as can make it to come and witness a part of history that will be made on that day” says Women4Africa founder Tola Onigbanjo.To read about Muzvare Betty Makoni and her great work click this link
For more details of the 6th Annual Awards, visit

Why Lifetime Achievement Awards for Muzvare Betty Makoni?

Many are asking why and want to know why? Read below for many answers.

On 20 May 2017, Women4Africa awarded Muzvare Betty Makoni a Lifetime Achievement Award at their 6th Anniversary of the most prestigious award for African women world over. Lift Effects is also awarding Muzvare Betty Makoni with a Lifetime Achievement Award on 17 May 2017.  Many are asking why Muzvare Betty Makoni? Ooh well, you are at the right place; on her personal website. The answer is detailed below. Be inspired on how she achieved for others especially girls who are women walking in the fullness of their potential.

Muzvare Betty Makoni aged 45 (BA General, BA Honours (University of Zimbabwe), MSc in Social Work (Royal Holloway University, UK) and a Zimbabwean native and founder of Girl Child Network Worldwide has achieved so much in her lifetime and she is worth talking. Her achievements were transmitted to her family, community, continent and the whole world and she has a unique way of uplifting everyone she meets and ensures they transform from victim into a victor. Her track record of achievement shows that she has achieved for others more than for herself. She has worked to uplift, empower, inspire and educate thousands of girls in Africa and around the world. Muzvare Betty Makoni`s career spans over 20 years as a gender activist and girl child rights champion, mentor, trainer, and consultant for gender.

Newsweek (2011) Muzvare Betty Makoni as one of the 100 women who shake the world along Secretary Hillary Clinton. She is Ambassador for many global movements fighting for children’s rights. To her honour are over 70 Global Awards including CNN Heroes, Global Children`s Rights Award alongside the Late President Nelson Mandela. Recently, she was honoured with the first ever Life Achievement Award by Women4Africa and Lift Effects. Muzvare Betty Makoni Life Achievements show how tenacity, resilience and upholding values and principles of honesty, hard work and passion can build a better world.

From age 9, she grew up with a desire to turn girls into empowered confident women walking in the fullness of their potential and she just achieved that. Her work spread across the world and it has been replicated, studied, used to teach in schools and inspired millions across to do similar work. Girls from her girls’ movement continue to achieve as leaders in various parts of the world. Muzvare Betty Makoni is a clear example of a leader who unselfishly shared her success. She worked and continues to work tirelessly to support poor rural and high-density suburbs of girls of Zimbabwe and across Africa through a global movement of grassroots networks she mentors, trains and nurtures to do empowerment and education work for marginalised girls.  Daily she transforms girls from victims to empowered women walking in the fullness of their potential.

Despite the challenges, persecutions, trials, and tribulations, Muzvare Betty Makoni has not stopped her humanitarian work to rescue and protect the most vulnerable girls wherever she sees them suffering. She has become the spokesperson and advocate of the voiceless in many communities around the world. Girls around the world see Muzvare Betty Makoni as a role model and continue to write her story to empower and inspire millions of girls.

Muzvare Betty Makoni was officially conferred the Title Muzvare- Her Royal Highness the Princess to Muzvare Betty Makoni for saving girls lives by Makoni Tribal Chiefs and people of Rusape, Manicaland, Zimbabwe.

Recently she was officially installed as a Yeye Ashiwaju Omoba translated means Mother of and Leader of African Princesses by Princess Deun Adedoyin Solarin originally from Nigeria. Today she is a woman honoured and awarded globally. She is admired and adored by millions of women and girls whose lives she transforms.

            Overcame childhood tragedies

Betty Makoni aged 8 with her brother when she started vending

At age 6, Muzvare Betty Makoni suffered sexual abuse. She spent her childhood as a vendor in the high-density suburb of Chitungwiza in Zimbabwe. At age 9 she lost her mother in domestic violence.

At age 11 she lost her brother who drowned and died. Through all ages, she saw her siblings suffer abuse, neglect, and marginalisation. She got determined to support them even though she was a child as well. Most of her time was spent at the market place selling vegetables, tomatoes to bring income home to support her siblings. Her worst life experience was to watch her stepmother physically abuse her siblings and there was no support in place to help them. Two of her siblings sustained life-threatening injuries that have affected them to date.

Muzvare Betty Makoni’s greatest achievement was to fight for all her siblings and encouraging them to attain education. Today through her support and their determination her four brothers and a sister achieved to degree level and are professionals around the world.  Today the family is proud to serve vulnerable people in the health, education and science sectors.

Betty Makoni in form 3 at St Dominic`s


Muzvare Betty Makoni became a school labourer at age 13 and worked for her school fees until completion of A’ Level. Her first achievement was to offer love and support to her siblings until they completed their studies too. Her siblings are all second-degree holders and holding leadership positions around the world. Muzvare Betty Makoni fought for her siblings as much as she fights for girls today.

Today, she shares a story of a child headed family that worked hard and achieved. Muzvare Betty Makonis experiences shaped her to be the advocate and champion for girls’ rights she is today. She grew up as one of the poorest and marginalised African girls in the early 1970s. It is this experience that shaped her to be the humanitarian she is today.
<p style="text-align: center;"><strong>Teacher turned passionate activist</strong></p>
Muzvare Betty Makoni
s career started at age 20 when she became a temporary primary school teacher. Upon her graduation from the University of Zimbabwe in 1994 she became a full time English Teacher at Zengeza 1 High School. She noticed girls were missing from school due to forced marriages, poverty and parents preferring sons to daughters. She mobilised girls into a club and grew the network from 10 to over 350 000 over a decade. The network empowered and educated girls about their rights. Between 1999 to 2009 Girl Child Girl Child Network in Zimbabwe was one of the first girls’ movements in Africa to empower thousands of women to be confident women leaders they are today. Most of the girls who graduated from the network are top leaders around the world. In the UK, Muzvare Betty Makoni has continued to speak to girls about empowerment and achieving their educational goals.

Innovator: Girls Empowerment model and first recipient of UN award

In 1998 she founded the Girl Child Network in her home country and gave her time fundraising to build Girls Empowerment Villages that rehabilitated over 70 000 girls sexually abused. Realising what she had done to empower herself as a poor girl, she went back into the poorest areas of Zimbabwe with a leadership and mentorship program that inspired, motivated and empowered over 350 000 girls in school-based clubs.

Muzvare Betty Makoni is a strategic thinker who designed the Girl Child Empowerment now singled out as Best Practice and included in the University of Essex Journal for Human Rights (2010). In 1998 she formed girls’ clubs and imparted skills to over 350 000 girls over a decade in Zimbabwe and across Africa. Her model puts girls at the center of development and transforms them from victims into leaders. Girls clubs have become a model replicated around the world. In 2006 United Nations gave a first prize award to Girl Child Network for the innovative strategy for gender equality. Since then girls from most marginalised areas of Africa are challenging harmful cultural practices and ensuring parents, community and leaders treat girls fairly and equally.

Girl Child Network is a model replicated in six African countries with her volunteer time to train, nurture and support many leaders. She has also started a Girl Child Empowerment pilot project in some UK and USA girls` schools.

Sierra Leone, Swaziland, South Africa and Uganda have thriving networks from girls replicated from this model. Elsewhere in the world, many have set up girls’ empowerment clubs that operate independently with the model inspired by Muzvare Betty Makoni.

The girls who graduated from Girl Child Network graduated from various universities and have taken the leadership role of supporting empowerment and education of other girls in their local communities. The organisation is now a global movement being passed on from generation to generation.

 Girls Empowerment Villages and protecting girls from sexual violenceMuzvare Betty Makoni reclaimed and revived a place used by women and girls from the Royal Family of Makoni for 400 years ago. She built a Girls Empowerment Village at the Princesses shrine to offer shelter to sexually abused girls. Four other girls’ empowerment villages were set up in Chihota, Hwange, and Chitungwiza in Zimbabwe. These are spaces for girls to heal from trauma and get counseling and support with reinstatement back into school. Over 35 000 girls who suffered rape, forced marriages and other forms of sexual violence by family members and strangers have sought support from the Girls Empowerment Village since 1999.

Fundraised millions to save lives of vulnerable girls

Muzvare Betty Makoni set up the first girls office in Chitungwiza with a typewriter and no office space in 1999. Through her relentless efforts to bring funding to girls, she fundraised over US$3 million over the decade which supported over 5000 girls to complete their education, build four Girls Empowerment Villages and pay 68 members of staff. She worked in partnership with Global Fund for Women, Stephen Lewis Foundation, Firelight Foundation, Bernard Van Leer, International Development Exchange and many others. Her fundraising saved lives of girls in Zimbabwe and across Africa. A partnership project with New Seasons in the USA had six girls funded through full scholarships and they have ventured into top careers as auditors, accountants, and research scientists.

Leadership development support for grassroots leaders

The story of Evangelist Elizabeth Kalonga is but good one of the most inspiring life achievements of Muzvare Betty Makoni’s leadership development targeting grassroots women who have no access to financial and human resources but have the passion and commitment to using their life stories and experiences to change their communities through projects with practical solutions.

Muzvare Betty Makoni got to know Evangelist Kalonga at a time when she was in despair and needed someone to talk to. Muzvare Betty Makoni had a therapy session with Evangelist Kalonga at her house. It is during this session that Evangelist Kalonga disclosed the pain and trauma she carried all her life as a victim of childhood sexual abuse by close relatives. Muzvare Betty Makoni listened to her story and devised a support plan that would see her continuing her work on raising HIV and AIDS in churches and dealing with stigma. She was also supported to write her book called “Virtuous Victory” which she recently launched in Luton, UK.

Many grassroots leaders in Africa, UK and worldwide see Muzvare Betty Makoni as a mentor. She has supported many women to write their stories and inspires others to change their lives. To date, about five women she supported to build their organisations have thrived because of her encouragement, mentorship, and free advice.

Muzvare Betty Makoni has assisted over 20 women leaders in Zimbabwe, UK and worldwide to set up charities and helped with free training and mentorship at early stages of formation of organisations as many women cannot afford the costs for organisational development costs from seasoned consultants.  Many of the grassroots women leaders she has supported have gone to launch life-saving projects in the UK and across Africa.

Even though many associate Muzvare Betty Makoni with the formation of Girl Child Network only, she has many organisations she formed like Ray of Hope in Zimbabwe which supports survivors of domestic violence at the grassroots level. She also dedicated her time to supporting the work of Restored UK as a Founding Trustee to ensure there is a strong global alliance to stop violence against women in churches.

Inspired millions through speaking

Muzvare Betty Makoni is a prolific speaker who has spoken at global, national and local be it at United Nations, churches, campaigns, workshops, conferences, book launches, rural schools in Africa or wherever people feel inspired by her speeches. Many around the world have come to attend some of her speaking events. To date, she has spoken at over one thousand platforms.

Featured in award-winning documentaries and books

Muzvare Betty Makoni has been featured as the main subject by the US Hollywood Director Michealene Risley award winning documentary called Tapestries of Hope shown on USA`s major channels like HBO.

Muzvare Betty Makoni has been featured by Toronto`s Law students in the documentary The Girl Child. Tantra Zawadi, a US-based filmmaker, and renowned poet also featured Muzvare Betty Makoni in her documentary, HIV, and AIDS.

Muzvare Betty Makonis work has been featured in renowned photojournalist Paula Gianturcos book called, “Women who light the dark.” Many magazines like World Children`s Prize and many others also featured her works of passion. Muzvare Betty Makoni is featured in best-selling books including On the Up by Nikki and Rob Wilson, as well as the main subject in the award-winning documentary, Tapestries of Hope, by U.S. Hollywood Director Michealene Risley.

The most recent documentary film on BBC in UK on Female Genital Mutilation Type 4 got the whole world talking about harmful cultural practices perpetrated against girls.

Strategic thinker and planner for global causes

Muzvare Betty Makoni`s life was spent advocating to shape policies and strategies of other big organisations like Oxfam Novib, UNAIDS and just recently she was dedicated to supporting the work of Restored UK as a Trustee to ensure there is a strong global alliance to stop violence against women in churches. She was recently appointed as Advisor to Board of International Peace Group based in South Korea.

Muzvare Betty Makoni has a lifetime of volunteerism and service to many causes and has served on Oxfam Novib and UNAIDS Round Tables. She sits on many boards of high profile organisations like the RESTORED UK and serves as Ambassador and Patron of Africa Achievers Award and Zimbabwe Achievers Awards. Muzvare Betty Makoni is the first woman to serve as Global Ambassador for UN 19 days of Activism for Prevention of Child Abuse by Women World Summit an organisation with UN consultative status.

Muzvare Betty Makoni passionate about working with children and families and I give my volunteer time to such causes. To support causes related to child protection and learn from them in UK and Worldwide she is a am a member and in leadership roles for the following respectable organisations; Member of The British Association of Social Workers, Registered Human Rights Defender with Frontline Advisor, International Women Peace Group Women World Summit, Voluntary Ambassador for Preventing Child Abuse, Ashoka Fellow-Social Investment in people. 

UK gender expert and Campaigned against rape as a weapon of war

Based on her good work on rape as a weapon of war, in 2012, Muzvare Betty Makoni was one of the first to be selected to the team of experts for Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative (PSVI) was officially launched on 30 January 2013 by the UK Foreign Office. As a Gender Based Violence expert, she had the honour of campaigning and advocating leaders of G8 and diplomatic missions based in London on the need to support initiatives to prevent rape as a weapon of war. She is apparently developing her career as a gender-based violence expert.

Muzvare Betty Makoni was the first activist in Zimbabwe to document stories of women affected by rape as a weapon of war in 2008 whilst in self-imposed exile in Botswana. The dossier of evidence she compiled with support from Stephen Lewis Foundation and International Human Rights Lawyers remains the first ever document to put the case for women’s rights for Zimbabwe.  It is hoped that some Zimbabwean women, especially from poor rural areas of Zimbabwe who got raped during political violence of 2008, will be able to get justice based on this dossier of evidence.

Honoured with over 70 global awards

To her name are 70 global awards from the most Prestigious organisations in the world making her the most awarded African women worldwide and  with the Decade Global Child Rights hero she became one of the honorary winners alongside the late President Nelson Mandela. CNN, Dalai Lama, World Childrens Prize and My Heros Project awarded Muzvare Betty Makoni as a hero.

Zimbabwe Institute of Management awarded their first national contribution to Muzvare Betty Makoni. United Nations Red Ribbon award honoured Muzvare Betty Makoni and Girl Child Network as having the most innovative strategy for gender equality. National Black Prosecutors Association in the UK also honoured her with the prestigious Profile In Courage Award for outstanding work on work to stop Female Genital Mutilation and other harmful cultural practices.

Muzvare Betty Makoni is an Ashoka Fellow and singled out as one of the investors in poor and marginalised women and girls deserving of this life honour as a fellow. News Week named her as one of the 150 women who shake the world, alongside US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. In the UK, Power Women named her Motivational speaker of the year. Muzvare Betty Makoni was selected an Ashoka Fellow and belongs to Global Network of social innovators who have changed lives in their communities and beyond.

In her many high-profile titles, millions across the world passionately call her CNN Hero as she was the top in 2009 category for Protecting the Powerless and was honoured by UNIFEM Goodwill Ambassador Nicole Kidman. Recently in the UK, she was presented with the Prestigious Profile in Courage award for her role to stop FGM and harmful cultural practices in UK and Africa. In her many other community leadership roles, she is an Ashoka Fellow, CNN hero, UK Diaspora Changemaker and an officially approved and awarded Motivational Speaker of the year-2014 in the UK.

For all her hard and passionate work, she has been featured on major television and radio stations and global newspapers like Metro UK just recently as Woman of Courage, CNN, BBC, Huffington Post, Channel Five UK, New York Times, Marie Claire, Voice of America, The South African to name but a few. The world has responded by documenting the success of her work and the many beneficiaries whose lives were saved or transformed.

Muzvare Betty Makoni`s inspirational books and making global news

Muzvare Betty Makoni is a published author of a poetry book, “A woman, once a Girl: Breaking Silence,” which was recently launched in London.

Muzvare Betty Makoni’s official  Autobiography Never Again, not on any woman or girl is inspiring women around the globe.  She has gone to inspire and speak to many women around the globe on the need to strengthen their work and build sustainable income at the grassroots level to support whatever innovative strategies that alleviate poverty and violence.

Her latest poetry book entitled, The Inspiring and Empowering World of Muzvare Betty Makoni celebrates many women who inspire her and creates a 21st-century rhythm for the women`s movement.

Girls Empowerment and Education Fund in the UK

After migrating to the UK, Muzvare Betty Makoni founded the Girl Child Network Worldwide in 2009 which is registered as an international development organisation in the UK and supporting girls in Africa. Girl Child Network Worldwide is at the center of a global commitment to gathering, codifying, training and promoting the experiences and expertise of girl advocates.

GCNW supports and promotes girls’ rights, empowerment, and education by reaching out to and advancing the circumstances of girls wherever they are economically deprived, at risk of abuse, subject to harmful cultural practices, or living in areas of instability and offer small grants for education and empowerment programmes for girls in Africa so that they reach their potential.

Muzvare Betty Makoni continues to serve lives of the most vulnerable and powerless women and girls and those invisible and therefore her activism to speak and advocate for women from her base in the UK has continued.

Muzvare Betty Makoni continues to serve lives of the most vulnerable and powerless women and girls and those invisible and therefore her activism to speak and advocate for women from her base in the UK has continued.

She has successfully built global support for Girls Empowerment and Education Fund with Princess Adedoyin-Solarin and Princess Toyin Audrey Onagoruwa and together they are building support to keep girls in school.

Muzvare Betty Makoni’s efforts are now focused on creating the Girls Empowerment and Education Fund to be managed by Girl Child Network Worldwide ( ensuring marginalised girls in Africa get support for their projects without bureaucracy and delays. The fund has disbursed small grants totaling £250 000 since 2009.

Professional development and work for children in the UK and worldwide

Muzvare Betty Makoni recently completed her Master of Science in Social Work Degree. In the UK, she is a registered professional working with children. She works and  dedicates her time to ensuring children she works with are supported in  the school, home, and community. On 7 October 2017, Muzvare launches Girls Empowerment Initiative to respond to complex challenges girls face with Female Genital Mutilation, Child Sexual Exploitation and other forms of gender-based violence.

Muzvare Betty Makoni continues to serve children in Africa through fundraising, training and volunteer time to build more networks. Muzvare Betty Makoni graduates from Royal Holloway University in July 2017. One of her greatest achievements so far is her Research Project on Female Genital Mutilation Type 4 which provides new knowledge on the least known harmful cultural practices affecting African girls in the UK. The Research got a distinction.

Mother, wife, aunt, private fostering and thriving family

Muzvare Betty Makoni fell in love with her soulmate Engineer Irvine Nyamapfene on 14 February 1993. Since then the couple has established a peaceful home and helped many orphaned children who found themselves with parents or home especially in Zimbabwe. Many people in their family circles take the couple to be a good example of what family, love and support are all about.

Muzvare Betty Makoni is a mother of three boys, Tinopiwanashe, Mukudzeishe, and Spencer. She is also a foster parent to her niece Betty Makoni Junior.


Women4Africa Prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award for Muzvare Betty Makoni

On 1 February 2017, the organising committee of ‘Women4Africa™’Women4Africa announced that Muzvare Betty Makoni was selected to win their first ever ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’ for her outstanding contributions/achievements for over 15 years. Below is Princess Moradeun Adedoyin Solarin who officially presented the award to Muzvare Betty Makoni. 

The Awards ceremony for the 6th Annual ‘Women4Africa Awards UK 20167 was held on Saturday 20th May 2017 in Kensington, London.

Muzvare Betty Makoni in her military style British dress announced before the awards ceremony that she chose to put it on to symbolise that like a woman soldier she fought all battles and won. In her blue dress, she boldly stood for justice, gender equality and for the rights of the girl child as the future woman leader.

Women4Africa Official host Ayo Sonoiki interviews Recognition recipients, winners and guests at the 6th Annual Women4Africa Awards 2017 at The Great Hall, Kensington, London. Women4Africa2017 Red Carpet interviews with official host Ayo ThinkingAloud and filmed by Abiola Adesanya

Muzvare Betty Makoni met and interacted with women from different parts of Africa and one of them was a nominee from Tanzania working with girls. Her name is Consoler Aliya Wilbert who said she is an admirer of Muzvare’s work and has been following her for years.

Some friends and supporters of Muzvare Betty Makoni autographed for her and one of them called Wambui Njau who is a previous awardee of Women4Africa Woman Role Model described Muzvare Betty Makoni as inspirational in her congratulatory message.

Glam Africa extensively covered the news of the event and below are some stories of women high achievers who won the prestigious Women4Africa award  in various categories.


 Women4Africa 2017 Recognition awardees and Winners.

Lifetime Achievement- Muzvare Betty Makoni– Zimbabwe

Recognition- Mrs Nolwandle N Mboweni–  South Africa

Recognition-Chief Mrs Rachel Umahi-Nigeria

Recognition-Heather Melville-Jamaica

Recognition-Debbie Ariyo OBE-Nigeria

Recognition-Elsie Owusu OBE-Ghana

Recognition-Ruth Oshikanlu-Nigeria

Recognition-Mrs Rashida Bello-Nigeria

Winners on the Night

Business woman- Ann Wilson-South Africa

Career Woman– Morenike Ajayi-Nigeria

Outstanding Mother – Esther Owuta Onolememen-Nigeria

Woman in Technology-Rashada Harry-Guyana

Hairdresser-Anaya Kamara-Sierra Lone

Fashion designer-Joint winners Anita Quansah, Ghana & Tapiwa Dingwiza– Zimbabwe

Events Organiser-Jessica Laditan– Nigeria

Author of the year-Placida Acheru-Nigeria

UK Humanitarian-Neneh Umusu-Nigeria

Inspirational woman-Zina Arinze-Nigeria

Role Model-Phinnah Ikeji-Nigeria

Young Achiever-Gertrude Asumadu-Ghana

Young leader –Elizabeth Adeniran-Nigeria

Go-Getter-Amara Kanu-Nigeria

International Business-Zodwa Mkandla-Zimbabwe

International Humanitarian-Abigail Simon-Hart– Nigeria

International African woman-Yabome G Jackson– Sierra