Zimbabwe can be labelled with many negative things but not when it comes to intellect and expertise. Zimbabwe has always been acclaimed for its high literacy rate. The wealth of human capital in Zimbabwe is staggering. Sadly, most of it has and continues to seep out in search of greener pastures. That is why there are countless Zimbabwean experts scattered all across the world. No wonder why many Zimbabweans are holding influential positions in large international companies. Today we look at 6 of some of these prolific Zimbabweans raising the flag high globally.
Full name Ralph Tendai Mupita, he is a Zimbabwean engineer. He is also a business person and corporate executive mostly known for his appointment as President and CEO of the MTN Group. He was appointed in 2020 and still holds that position today. Last year, his awarded remuneration for that role was a staggering R84.2 million. He joined the MTN Group as the Chief Financial Officer. Ralph Mupita was born in Zimbabwe in 1972.
He attained a degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Cape Town. He also attained an MBA from the same university. He then studied at the Harvard Business School under the Graduate Management Programme. Interestingly, as a young kid, he aspired to become an astronaut. His wife is a Chartered Accountant and Corporate Finance Professional.
Full name Tavaziva Chadamoyo Madzinga, born in 1978; he is a Zimbabwean actuary and corporate executive. He worked for a while Old Mutual, eventually becoming the CEO for South and East Africa. He then became the CEO of Swiss Re (UK and Ireland). Under the same company, he was once the Managing Director for the Middle East and Africa (MEA). Later on, he was appointed the Managing Director of Britam Holdings Limited – a financial services group of companies whose HQ is in Kenya. The group has several subsidiaries in other African countries namely, Uganda, South Sudan, Rwanda, Tanzania, Malawi, and Mozambique.
Afterwards, in December 2021, he was appointed CEO of Santam Group, which is one of South Africa’s leading insurance groups. Santam Group operates in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Uganda, Malawi, and Tanzania as well. He is a fellow at the Actuarial Society of South Africa and a member of the UK Institute of Actuaries. He is also a board member of the Association of British Insurers. He holds a Bachelor of Business Science in Actuarial Science.
Born in 1980 in Zimbabwe, and affectionately known as Sitho, his areas of expertise are finance, consultancy, and management with over 2 decades of experience. For over 10 years he has been actively involved in the telecoms industry. Effective July 1st 2022, becomes the Managing Director of Vodacom South Africa. There was a backlash from the Black Business Council due to Mdlalose’s Zimbabwean nationality. The Vodacom Group justified his appointment citing that they are a Pan-African business which appoints the best talent. Prior he had been the Managing Director of Vodacom Tanzania, since August 2021. Before, he was once an Assistant Manager at EY, Director at Family Impact Zimbabwe, and Audit Senior at Deloitte Zimbabwe. He holds an Accounting and Auditing degree from UNISA. He is a Chartered Accountant and a graduate of Harvard Business School.
Fayaz King was born on August 7th 1965 in Mutare, Zimbabwe. He has over 3 decades of experience in the areas of business development, innovation, organizational, and digital transformation. On 25 July 2019, the UN Secretary-General announced the appointment of Fayaz King as the Assistant Secretary-General. He serves as the Deputy Executive Director, Field Results and Innovations for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). He was once the Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Econet Wireless Zimbabwe. He used to also be on the Boards of Econet Burundi, Econet Lesotho, and Liquid Telecom Zimbabwe.
Other past roles include Managing Director at Bharti Airtel and Celtel International. He also used to be the CEO and Group Marketing Director at Innscor Africa Limited. He attained a Bachelor of Business Studies from the University of Zimbabwe. He also attained a Diploma in Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing. He holds an MBA from the University of Zimbabwe. He studied Strategy and Innovation at the Harvard Business School.
Born in 1965, James Manyika is a Zimbabwean American Rhodes Scholar, Business Executive, Consultant, and Academic. He attained his First Class Electrical Engineering degree from the University of Zimbabwe. James Manyika later on studied AI and Robotics, Mathematics, and Computer Science, attaining his DPhil, MS, and MA respectively from Oxford University. He became the first-ever Vice President of Technology and Society at Google. He holds top leadership positions in over 20 organizations or institutions.
Effective from January 2022, James Manyika became a Senior Partner Emeritus at McKinsey & Company and Chairman and Director Emeritus of McKinsey Global Institute. He once sat on the Shareholders Council, McKinsey’s Board. He is the author of a book called No Ordinary Disruption which covers the subject of artificial intelligence (AI) and Robotics. He is also an author many economic essays.
Barack Obama once appointed James Manyika as one of his advisors to the post of Vice Chairperson of the Global Development Council at the White House. During that time he was also appointed to the Digital Economy Board and the National Innovation Board.
He sits on the Boards of several noteworthy academic institutions e.g. Harvard, MIT, and Stanford. He also sits on the Boards of foundations such as Markle, MacArthur, and Hewlett. He is a Fellow at Stanford, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Brookings Institution in Economic Studies, MIT, Oxford, All Souls, DeepMind, Balliol College, and Royal Society of Arts. He is also a visiting academic at Oxford and NASA
He is the Executive VP, of Finance, Administration, and Banking Services at African Export-Import Bank, commonly known as Afreximbank. From 2006 to 2010 he was a Managing Director at Nedbank. From 1997 to 2006 he was a Finance and Managing Director at First Merchant Bank. From 1996 to 1997 he was the Relationship Manager at First Merchant Bank. He was the Company Secretary at TA Holdings from 1994 to 1996. He was the Finance Manager at Flexible Packaging Zimbabwe from 1991 to 1993. He holds an Accounting degree and an MBA from the University of Zimbabwe. He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe. He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators.
These have just been some examples; otherwise, the list is quite long. Some of the examples are Zimbabweans heading global projects or holding high-up positions in governance and the like. There is no doubt as to how intellectually-endowed most Zimbabweans are. This is enhanced more by their impeccable work ethic too. When it comes to work ethic it is something that Zimbabweans, across all walks of life, are praised for. It is great to see Zimbabweans making it big out there and surely the list will continue to grow.