The month-long event, initially planned for April 2020, to coincide with Zimbabwe’s 40th independence celebrations, was postponed in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
On the apolitical platform’s weekly show Thrive Time, co-founder Mike Tashaya said they are not changing what had already been put in place last year but that the team had been given an opportunity to rebuild, regroup and grow the brand further.
“There are opportunities for Zimbabweans all over the world to be part of rebuilding the country without having to depend on government, or politics.
“We want, more than anything, to celebrate being Zimbabwean and we want to encourage engagement among those willing to participate in putting Zimbabwe back on the map and its future,” Mike said.
ZimThrive is a platform that was established to bring Zimbabweans together from all around the world, including local Zimbabweans, to participate in the (future) rebuilding of the Southern African country.
“Our objective is even bigger,” said founder Mildred Mujanganja. “We want to infuse hope into our nation and to drive investment opportunities into Zimbabwe.
“There are no barriers, especially with technological advancements and how people can now participate, either through creating educational, recreational, or social activities to help contribute to the growth and development of our country.”
Mildred said that ZimThrive has built a really strong resource team, adding that the community platform is not based on a single idea but a multitude of ideas.
“Our activities span across a range of sectors – from entertainment to business and everything in between.”
ZimThrive is currently working with a number of local and international stakeholders and partners who are planning to host events in Harare, Bulawayo, Victoria Falls, Nyanga, Masvingo, Gokwe and Kariba, among other destinations, from 1-31 December. Last year over 120 events were registered.
Mike said that the organisation has recently appointed an events coordinator, Chenesai Mukora-Mangoma, who will be responsible for populating the calendar, communicating with event stakeholders and anyone looking to participate in the homecoming occasion.
“We’re asking people to contact us if they want to get involved. It will afford people the opportunity to get their events and businesses promoted around the world on the ZimThrive platform.”
Mike added that there will be a wide-range of events lined up and the team are communicating with as many event stakeholders, including those who expressed their interest in 2020.
“December is a holiday month for a lot of people and we are currently strategizing how each event will be executed and when many of them will take place. Hopefully we can put in place more events than we had registered last year.
“We also want to work closely with a wide range of businesses to put together a timeline and schedule events before some close for the holiday season.”
Encouraging schools and alumni to get involved
While driving investment opportunities into the country is high on the agenda, ZimThrive is also working with a number of public figures and influencers to grow the ground-breaking venture and are looking to work with alumni from various high schools, FE, and HE institutions to promote education in the country.
“There are a number of schools looking to host fundraising events and are targeting their alumni to help them develop their schools further.
“The campaign is an inclusive project to encourage both local and international alumni to work closely with their former schools and to help boost engagement in the education sector in Zimbabwe,” said Mike.
ZimThrive in the fight against Covid-19
Since the outbreak of Covid-19, ZimThrive has been working in partnership with healthcare professionals, charity organisations and businesses to support communities in Zimbabwe and the diaspora as they navigate their way through the global crisis.
Mildred said that the team were fully conscious of the effects the pandemic has had on the various communities that they have been working with since 2019 and have witnessed first-hand how the world’s poorest and disadvantaged are being affected.
Talking about the ongoing initiative, Mildred said: “Dr Brighton Chireka, our healthcare lead & health ambassador, has been a massive influence with our Covid-19 initiative and the Facebook page he set up has amassed 95,000 members.
“What we did at the start of the pandemic was to ensure that we were not only giving people all over the world information about Covid-19, we also launched a campaign, where we were able to raise a considerable amount of money that we donated to Parirenyatwa Hospital for PPE and other resources.
“We wanted to make sure that we were doing our part to help the fight against the virus.”
Mike added that the programme also goes beyond Covid and that topics about health are a big part of what ZimThrive is all about, adding that the team are hoping to incorporate a series of events around health improvement, health infrastructure and how people can get involved in helping improve the health sector in the country.
“The health sector in Zim has faced some challenges over the years and Covid could not have come at a worse time. So I think it is important to have people who are willing to help with answering questions, or giving their experiences of what health workers in the country are going through, and those around the world who are supporting or playing their part.”
Events leading up to December
The ZimThrive team is planning to host a virtual online dating event on Valentine’s Day.
The dating scene took a bit of a turn as a result of Covid-19 restrictions last year and impacted dating behaviours across the globe, ‘plaguing’ the romantic lives of single people.
“We are planning to host a virtual speed dating session in February and are calling all ‘singletons’ who want to participate to get involved in our sessions.”
Mike said the concept had been a work in progress since January last year and was set to feature at ZimThrive in 2020. However, said there is now scope to trial it before December.
“A number of dating sites have trialled this and we are also hoping to do the same. We will launch the first one on February 14 and will try to have one every three months leading up to December, where we hope to have four or five events across Zimbabwe during ZimThrive month.”
The team are also in the process of organising another virtual Independence Day celebration that will mirror the event they hosted on their social platforms last April.
“I think last year’s celebration was filled with hope and renewed our sense of community spirit in spite of what was going on in the world. The fact that we could not travel but were able to host that virtual event was priceless.
“We acknowledge what is happening in the world and how it is impacting our families and friends. We acknowledge that it is bringing a lot of hardship and tears, but we’re not staying down and we want to continue to bring hope, joy, passion and optimism in whatever way we can, said Mildred.
The virtual 5k run
ZimThrive are also hosting a virtual 5k run in the coming weeks to encourage mental and physical wellbeing. The team is currently generating a programme that will be available on their site soon.
Accommodation packages and sponsorship
Travel and tour packages are also being renegotiated and hospitality and tourism companies are being encouraged to partner with ZimThrive as the sector, like others, begin to recover from the economic impact of Covid-19.
“We are already putting together accommodation packages for different companies. We are hoping to have some live by the end of January,” said Mike.
“We are still in the process of partnering with businesses in the tourism and hospitality sector and we have a team who are working on updating deals that were put together last year. There will also be an accommodation page on the website that will help you map out your itinerary.”
Sponsorship opportunities are available and details of the packages can be found on the ZimThrive website.
Members of the public who are interested in participating and would like to host an event, or keep up to date with the organisation’s activity, can register their interest at www.zimthrive.com or email [email protected].
ZimThrive has become a popular community project that has attracted various partners and stakeholders, including the Rainbow Tourism Group. Other partners include Loma Media, Nehanda Radio, Capitalk, Star FM, 3mob, Power FM, Senditoo, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority, ZymPay, and Hazel Herrington.Post published in: Featured