F ollowing the independence of Zimbabwe in 1980, primary and secondary education flourished. However, there were limited opportunities for young people to continue into further and higher education. ZET sought to address this problem by helping disadvantaged students travel to the UK and gain places at colleges and universities in the UK. Our goal was to help the new generation of Zimbabweans to gain the knowledge and skills needed to drive forward the nation’s development.
Over a 17 year period, over 1,000 young Zimbabweans were helped to access further and higher education. ZET negotiated with education providers to obtain fee waivers or reducations, and helped to find accommodation for these students when the arrived in the UK. However, in 2006 – as diplomatic relations between Zimbabwe and the UK were becoming increasingly strained – 15 of our prospective students were all refused visas to enter the UK.
It became clear that the political climate of the day rendered our work impossible. For that reason – coupled with evidence that the educational advances of the 1980s and 1990s in Zimbabwe were being reversed – ZET shifted its focus to support charitable educational initiatives within Zimbabwe.
The Zimbabwe Educational Trust was founded in 1987 by Vulindlela Mkandla. Born in Bulawayo, Mr. Mkandla worked for Zimbabwe’s Ministry of Education as a teacher, head teacher, and finally as manager of district schools.
He left Zimbabwe in 1970, travelling to the UK to complete an Educational Administration course in Leeds, where he has remained to this day.
In 2012, Mr Mkandla’s work was recognised by the Zimbabwe Achievers Awards, who presented him with the ‘Lifetime Contribution Award’.
MR MKANDLA IS A PERFECT EXAMPLE OF A COMMUNITY CHAMPION. FOR YEARS HE HAS BEEN PUSHING OTHER PEOPLE’S AGENDAS, AND EVEN AFTER RETIREMENT HE CONTINUES TO GIVE BACK TO THE COMMUNITY. PEOPLE LIKE MR MKANDLA ARE THE INSPIRATION BEHIND ZIMBABWE ACHIEVERS AWARDS, AND HE IS A DESERVING RECIPIENT OF THE LIFETIME CONTRIBUTION AWARD.CONRAD MWANZA - CEO, ZIMBABWE ACHIEVERS AWARDS
Colourgrad N Mpoko left Zimbabwe for the UK in 1972 in order to pursue his studies in Leeds. After completing “A” levels he moved to Manchester where he successfully completed a B.SC and PhD in clinical Biochemistry in 1985 As well as being a Trustee of the Zimbabwe Educational Trust, Colourgrad is a trustee of the Thekwane Alumni Association:
TAA - is an Alumni Association established by ex-Thekwane school students in Plumtree Zimbabwe to promote interchange among Thekwane graduates and current students. The Society also disseminates important Thekwane news and events through Association newsletters and publications. Founded in 2006, TAA-2006 now boasts a sizable membership of graduates all over the world who receive bi-annual updates through our TAA NEWS newsletter.
Dr Mpoko is also involved with “Touched By An Angel” http://www.mpilorevival.com a charitable organisation based in the UK dedicated to raising funds to buy essential, life saving medical equipment and medicines for Bulawayo hospitals in crisis
Derrick’s formal training is in Materials Technology and Business Administration. He has extensive experience working in industry, having occupied positons in Project Management, Marketing, IT and Production Management.
Stuart was the manager of ZET for two years before taking up a position as a Trustee. He has a degree in Global Development, a master’s degree in Global Political Economy, and many years of professional experience in the international development sector with organisations such as WaterAid and the Overseas Development Institute.
Professor Ray Lloyd is Deputy Vice Chancellor at Leeds Trinity University. His first degree is in mathematics and he began his working career teaching the subject, originally in London and subsequently in Botswana. During his eight years in Botswana he held several positions with Botswana Athletics, including that of Director of Coaching. He returned to the UK in 1996 to undertake a Master’s degree in Sports Science and later gained a PhD in the same discipline.
His research interests are mainly in relation to the physiology and biomechanics of human load carriage, particularly head-loading in African women, and Strength and Conditioning. He has worked widely as a consultant in the latter area including roles in the English Premier League, First Class Cricket, Tennis and Squash. He has worked in Higher Education in the UK since 1999 and has previously been a Head of Department (Sports and Exercise Sciences) and then a Dean (Social and Health Sciences) at Abertay University in Dundee before assuming his current DVC role in 2013.
His current portfolio spans the academic life of the University including strategic responsibility for Research, Knowledge Exchange, Learning &Teaching, and Internationalisation.
Octavia is an award winning social entrepreneur, writer and the founder of the Twenty Ten Agency.
In 2012, Octavia was honored by The Queen with her appointment as Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE), in recognition of her work to support black female entrepreneurs.
The Twenty Ten Agency is an award-winning social enterprise committed to empowering black female entrepreneurs and the enterprising women of the future. With the Twenty Ten Club, the organization hosts events and workshops designed to showcase the achievements of Black female entrepreneurs. The Twenty Ten Club blog has profiled over 100 Black female business role models .
Octavia has served as a board member and champion of Diaspora ChangeMakers, a program designed to identify up-and-coming leaders of African origin led by the Royal Society of Arts in partnership with the Department for International Development, Comic Relief and Unbound Philanthropy.
As a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Octavia contributes to the international organization of thought leaders committed to championing civic change. She was named one of the Young Social Entrepreneurs of the Year at Britain’s Future 100 awards in 2010.