Two outstanding Zimbabweans honoured

TWO Zimbabwean women have won some of the world’s most prestigious awards in honour of their generous service to their communities.


Olive Osborne won Member of the Civil Division of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) award for her community work in the country while World Young Women’s Christian Association secretary-general, Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda has been named the 2012 recipient of the International Minerva Award.

Osborne (84), who is the branch and national secretary of The Legion — a local community-based organisation — has been working for the organisation for the past 35 years.

“I am greatly honoured to have been considered for this award, but being a retiring sort of person, I feel that it could have gone to someone more deserving of it,” said Osborne.

“Be that as it may, it must be remembered that in an organisation such as ours, it cannot be run by one person, it takes a good chairman and a dedicated committee to function successfully.”

She said at one time the organisation had a membership of about 700 people and used to hold annual balls, dinners, sales stalls and other fundraising activities to help needy veterans of the first and second World Wars.

Gumbonzvanda receives the award under the category “Women in the World”, in recognition of her more than 20 years of work and commitment for political, civil and human rights of women.

The Minerva Award is sponsored by II Club delle Donne (Women’s Club) of Italy.

Minerva was an ancient Roman goddess of wisdom and reason, warfare for a good cause, protector of handicrafts, arts, schools and sciences.

Established in 1983 by Anna Maria Mammoliti, President of Il Club delle Donne, the award is given annually to remarkable women working in the fields of entrepreneurship and management, scientific research, arts, literature and social commitment.

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