Henry Chitsenga, The Philanthropist

There are many, many people who have inspired me in my life. Henry Chitsenga is one of them. I connected with Mukoma Henry, some years ago through Facebook and we have chatted every now and then. I am just amazed by the incredible work this man has done  in Zimbabwe over the years with orphans. His vision and life mission is simple, to leave the world a better place that he found it and I believe so far he has already done that, looking at all the people whose lives he has been touching along the way.

Mukoma Henry is fiercely determined to fulfil his mission. Nothing will stop the man. He used to teach at Morgan High in Harare and many times when I have mentioned fellow students from the school that I engaged them, he tells me he taught them in this year and that year. A few examples are Kennedy Makahamadze , John Mangwengwende and Michael Luberto whose paths I crossed because of chess.  What I find very remarkable is that often he is able to give me the exact years that he taught the students.

Mukoma Henry is currently a Maths Teacher at St Edward’s School in the United Kingdom. About teaching he says it is a noble job which he values most. What drives the man I asked him. He is driven by the abject poverty and suffering of the less privileged members of our community. It is his dream to help just a few orphans so that they can get the best education they deserve.

Taking that first step

Bruce Mubayiwa:

“Sometimes things take time so we can first become the best version of ourselves”.

Originally posted on :

“Sometimes things take time so we can first become the best version of ourselves”. The biggest shock wasn’t hearing those words, but realizing that I wasn’t the best version of myself.


If someone said to me a month ago that I will soon be the first one to pitch at the gym on a Saturday morning at 6 am, I would have laughed my ass off (if only this could really happen, no gym would be needed). But as I pitched up at gym (while it was still pretty damn pitch-dark outside and most people in the area were still asleep), I wasn’t laughing my ass off. Instead, I was rather proud of myself for my determination and willpower to become the best version of myself. So as I found myself to be the only one in the cardio section for the first 15 minutes, I could not help…

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African Union and the Malawi Elections

There is a small problem regarding the Malawi elections. The African Union observer and former President of Namibia Dr Sam Nujoma has already declared the elections Free and Fair on the very first day of voting. However, we need to note a few things. Firstly both the voting and counting had not been completed. The voting was initially extended by a day. Secondly, there have been a number of irregularities during these elections. In fact as I write this update President Banda has requested that that Malawi Electoral Commission audits the entire process. This statement from President Banda was a result of many complaints by political parties around the election. Thirdly the vote counting system collapsed in Malawi this morning. The counting team is resorting to workarounds such as Faxes to sort the vote.

Now back to the African Union. How do they respond? They have already declared the elections Free and Fair for all intents and purposes. They must be praying that all the issues coming out of this election are resolved otherwise they would look a bit silly.

There was so much hope and expectation when the Organisation for African (OAU) Union gave way to the African Union. The OAU had its time and we were expected Africa to go to a whole new level with the AU. How can one account for the actions of the AU. On what basis did they make the statement on Malawi. Was it made on a scientific and statistical basis using the proportion of votes that had been counted and having made future projections? Was it an informed statement or was it perhaps something that cannot in any way be substantiated?

Perhaps questions Africa might need to ask itself is how much value is African Union adding, is it fulfilling the mandate for which it was set up? What will it take for African Union to provide the visionary leadership that Africa desperately craves. Many questions I ask. I trust that African Union will show us the way!#AfricaIsRising

Matenda Madzoke, the simple Mayor from Kwekwe making a difference

Matenda Titos Madzoke, the simple mayor from Kwekwe in Zimbabwe
Matenda Titos Madzoke, the simple mayor from Kwekwe in Zimbabwe

Today I read a story that inspired me. I picked up this story on Things you did not know about Zim Facebook page. 

  • This is City of Kwekwe mayor Matenda Titos Madzoke.
  • The City wanted to buy a $68 000 car for him, but he refused – suggesting that a refuse truck be bought instead.
  • He prefers using his bicycle instead, which he uses to cycle to work, and to be closer to people because he says ‘..there is no way I can hear complaints from people while driving a car around a city full of potholes.’
  • He still stays in his house, bought before he became Mayor: the Mayoral mansion is empty because of that.
  • He only earns $260 in allowances.
  • Kwekwe recently won two awards at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair (ZITF) for the city with the best treated water and another for its initiative to repair roads using locally generated resources.

Ambassadors of Africa – Words to live by


Here some guidelines I follow as an Ambassador of Africa. #Africa.  They are drawn from the Tweets I have sent over the past few years. I follow these guidelines as  roving Ambassador of #Africa. These guidelines also form the basis of the book Ambassadors of Africa – Words to live by. The book is due out by the end of July 2014.

The guidelines served me well over the years and were written in no particular order of importance. Hope you have as much fun reading them as I had writing them. The guidelines are taken from the actual tweets sent out and no changes have been made to them.

  1. Ambassadors of #Africa,Research on the sons & daughters who’ve inspired Africa e.g. Kwame Nkrumah, Nelson Mandela,Martin Luther King
  2. Ambassadors of #Africa, Please don’t criticise your country or continent in public. You lose credibility as an ambassador if you do that.
  3. Ambassadors of #Africa, remember you are also a roving spokesperson for Africa. Spokespersons always choose their words with great care.
  4. Ambassadors of #Africa, if u are in the Diaspora touch base often with those back home.If u are back home,connect with those in Diaspora.
  5. Ambassadors of #Africa, you must constantly ask: If not Africa then who, if not in Africa then where, If not now in Africa then when?
  6. Ambassadors of #Africa, the only language you need to share is your love for Africa. That is enough.
  7. Ambassadors of #Africa, You will know fellow ambassadors by their words, their works and their deeds. You will connect!
  8. Ambassadors of #Africa, You’ve got to be a lover not a fighter. A lover of Africa. A person inspired and excited by Africa.
  9. Ambassadors of #Africa, You don’t have to live in Africa but without any doubt Africa must live in you!
  10. Ambassadors of #Africa, Every day ask not what Africa can do for you, Ask what you can do for Africa! Then do it!!
  11. Ambassadors of #Africa, The main requirements for your role are love for Africa. The willingness first, resources will come!
  12. Ambassadors of #Africa,The is the job without retiring. Until your last breath,, you are an ambassador of Africa.
  13. Ambassadors of #Africa, Remember the protocol always. Country and Continent first. It is not about you. This is bigger than you.
  14. Ambassadors of #Africa, You are always on duty, 24 7 365. Every word, everything you do is part of your job. This is a labour of love!
  15. Ambassadors of #Africa,it’s your duty to inspire the world & educate the world about Africa.There is much to learn & discover about Africa
  16. Ambassadors of #Africa, Keep your ears on the ground for any good,positive,inspiring news about ur country & continent.Share this with zeal
  17. Ambassadors of #Africa, you are not working for yourselves but your country and continent, your children and future generations.
  18. Ambassadors of #Africa,Don’t get caught up in cat fights about politics,leaders & the like. It’s very easy to get distracted.Stay focussed
  19. Ambassadors of #Africa,it’s easy to stray from your mission & purpose. Reflect every day on your great obligation to country & continent.
  20. Ambassadors of #Africa, respect for your brother and sister is of utmost importance.This is none negotiable no matter what the differences
  21. Ambassadors of #Africa,Everything you say or do reflects on Africa & your country.Choose your words with care.They will influence a lot.
  22. Ambassadors of #Africa, keep in touch with fellow ambassadors of Africa. Share news, connect and inspire one another every day.
  23. Ambassadors of #Africa, your leaders or parties are not your country or continent. These things should never be confused.
  24. Ambassadors of #Africa, it is your duty to defend your country and continent. Speak good always about your country and continent.
  25. Ambassadors of #Africa, Put your country and continent first at all times. Put it above political parties and leaders all the time.
  26. Ambassadors of #Africa, Praise your country or continent in public. When you have criticism, do it behind closed doors.

Hope you all enjoyed these tips. All the best!

Tsitsi Masiyiwa and Kennedy Odede feature in plenary session at 2014 Global Philanthropy Forum

Gpf 2014

Tsitsi Masiyiwa from Zimbabwe and Kennedy Odede from Kenya took part in a plenary session at the Global Philanthropy Forum, 2014 Conference. The goal of this plenary session was Conferring Dignity while Leveraging Demographic Change. The session was very insightful with the panellists sharing their personal experiences about their background and the work they were involved in on the continent which was making a huge difference for many people.  

To download the full download the full transcript of the plenary session please click here.

The moderator for the session was David Bloom who is the Clarence James Gamble Professor of Economics and Demography, Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard School of Public Health.

Kennedy Odede is the Founder and the CEO of Shining Hope for Communities.  Shining Hope currently serves over 50,000 people living in the Kibera slum of Nairobi which is where Kennedy grew up. Shining Hope deliver services and life guidance to these people looking and is notably driven by their, that is the slum dwellers’ innovative ideas and entrepreneurial spirit.

Tsitsi Masiyiwa is the Executive Chairperson of the Higher Life Foundation.  The Higher Life Foundation champions the delivery of a holistic approach to the growth and development of orphaned and vulnerable children in Africa, children who the foundation refers to as history makers.

Toby Porter is the CEO of HelpAge International.  HelpAge is a global network of organizations working to help older men and women claim their rights, challenge discrimination and overcome poverty and insecurity.

Below the Facts (verbatim) as presented before the plenary session:

Fact 1 – World population now stands at 7.2 billion people and it’s projected to surpass 9 billion by the year 2050.  9 billion represents 3 times the 3-billion figure that the world reached in 1960.  So, that’s a 6 billion increase from 3 to 9 in less than a century.  That would be the equivalent – just to jar your imagines a bit – the equivalent of adding three populations the combined size of China and India, the world’s two population superpowers.  I also would note here that the increase is not a uniformly global phenomenon.  It has been and it will continue to be heavily disproportionately concentrated in the socially, the politically, the economically and the ecologically most fragile countries and regions of the world.

Fact 2 – In 1950 the average woman in the world had 5 children over the course of her childbearing years.  Today that figure is sharply lower.  It now stands at 2.5 children are per woman and please keep in mind also that there is a great deal of heterogeneity out there, there is still some populations in which women are having upwards of 6 and 7 children over the course of their childbearing years and those are offset by the countries in which fertility has dropped as low as 1 child per woman which is well under the long-run replacement rate of 2.1.

Fact 3 – Since 1950, global life expectancy increased by two decades and it’s expected to rise perhaps another decade by the time we get to 2050.  To put that in context, please consider that through most human history, people lived to somewhere between 25 and 30 years on average and now in the last six decades alone we have added 20 years to life expectancy.  That’s basically that life expectancy has increased 8 hours per day for the last 60 years on average.  That’s what I would call ‘Longevity Revolution’ and I would say that it ranks among the most remarkable achievements in human history.

 Fact 4 – Fact 4 has to do with population ageing.  Today, there are on the order of 800 million old people in the world where old is defined – and I say this with apologies – it’s defined as age 60 and over.  That represents about 11% of global population.  That figure, that 11% figure has been relatively stable in the past few decades but it’s about to increase very sharply.  So, between now and the year 2050, that 11% is going to turn into 22% and the 800 million I just mentioned is to become 2 billion people aged 60 over and I can tell you also that every single country in the world will be a participant in the process and we are talking here, when we talk about population ageing, we are talking about an unprecedented change for the world.  There are not examples or prior stages of history to which we can look for guidance on the challenges that population ageing will pose.

 Fact 5 – Finally, I have Fact 5 for you.  Fact 5 has to do with urbanization.  So, as of 2008, just a few years ago, for the first time in history more people were living in urban areas than rural areas in the world and that growth of urban areas basically involves the growth of cities, of megacities, of hypercities, of slums, the issues that it raises that have to do with anonymity, congestion, loneliness, communicable disease, pollution, crime, infrastructure, social services.  These all come to mind as related challenges and especially notable here is that of the roughly 3.5 billion people that live in urban areas in the world, over 1 billion are living under extremely squalid conditions that we call slums.

Join or follow the social media discusssion on this conference via #gpf14.

More information the Global Philanthropy Forum Conference agenda can be found here 

Own Your Industry – My very own copy, FINALLY!

Satisfied customer walks away with copy of "Own Your Industry"
Satisfied customer walks away with copy of “Own Your Industry”

I’m delighted to finally have my very own copy of Champion Speaker Douglas Kruger‘s book “Own Your Industry”. Ute Van Wyk from Exclusive Books was most helpful. Having seen Douglas in action I simply cannot wait to start reading this book.

In my previous posts, I shared Douglas’ interview transcript on his book with ANN7 at Vuka Africa. Douglas is a man of his word. He kept his promise regarding the book. 

When I walked into Exclusive Books earlier in the afternoon I enquired about the book. Before the staff could trace it in their system, I had already seen it close to the window! Yep that’s the one I have come to get!

A world renowned speaker, who is a five-time winner of the Southern African Public Speaking Championships, Douglas is one of the most prolific writers and speakers in the game.

I have waited a long time to get my own copy and holding the book in my hand now I feel its been worth every minute of waiting.

Own Your Industry
Own Your Industry

I’m quite anxious to read the tips and insights from Own Your Industry. Douglas describes his book as a guide to what yoiu can do to position yourself as the “go-to-name” in your industry. He adds, because when you are known as the expert, they will come to you.

I better get started. There is not a minute to lose.