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Zim Community Trailblazers Awards

Dr Peta: First Zim to obtain Disability Studies PhD

Dr. Peta negotiates the complexities of the multilayered and multidimensional disability and development terrain with remarkable empathy, passion, humility, flexibility, expertise and determination



Photo: Shutterstock

Dr Christine Peta raised the flag of Zimbabwe high by becoming the first Zimbabwean to obtain a PhD in Disability Studies, and the third person on the Continent of Africa to obtain such a qualification.

Dr Peta returned to Zimbabwe from the diaspora in 2018, under a Government of Zimbabwe-UNICEF partnership, to lead the process of making the first National Disability Policy of Zimbabwe, thus contributing greatly towards providing a clear roadmap for disability practice in the country.

A world-renowned disability, policy, research and international development expert, Dr Peta has a heart for disability issues, which dates back to her childhood years.

She has given her life to serving persons with disabilities in both rural and urban areas, including in difficult circumstances such as the 2019 Cyclone Idai period and the COVID-19 period which started when the “virus” arrived in Zimbabwe in March 2020.

During both the Cyclone Idai and COVID-19 periods, Dr. Peta put the needs and concerns of persons with disabilities ahead of hers, in scenarios where she directly interacted and assisted affected persons, including at grassroots level.

She also works to enhance the health and wellbeing of people who acquire disabilities because of landmines, which were planted by colonial forces during the war of liberation.

There is evidence that Dr. Peta negotiates the complexities of the multilayered and multidimensional disability and development terrain with remarkable empathy, passion, humility, flexibility, expertise and determination.

In championing the rights of persons with disabilities, Dr. Peta persistently talks about disability issues – on radio, television, in print media, on social media, on the phone and through one-on-one interaction with others.

She has written a book, book chapters and papers that have been published in scientific journals and that are being used as learning resources, including in universities throughout the world. Dr. Peta is a writer for the Sunday Mail, which publishes her disability articles every week.

Clad with humbleness and adjustability, one can find Dr. Peta sitting under a tree talking to women and children with disabilities or landmine victims with disabilities in a rural community, or making a presentation in a city boardroom with high level executives, or participating in international dialogue on disability rights in the main auditorium of the UN headquarters in New York.

Dr Peta later became the first substantive National Director of Disability Affairs, a position that was created by the Disabled Persons Act (Chapter 17:01) of 1992, but which had been vacant for 28 years, due to lack of the required expertise.

Peta has contributed greatly towards the whole of government and whole of society approach on disability issues, thus fostering closer and orderly tripartite relations between 1) government, 2) organizations of persons with disabilities, and 3) international development partners that include UN Agencies, CBM Global, CBM International and Sight Savers among others. She has been instrumental in creating a place of convergence for all disability actors.

In the SADC region, Dr. Peta works closely with the African Union (AU) Southern Africa Youth Council-Disability Chapter, which is headed by a fellow Zimbabwean with disability, Ambassador Nyasha Nhau, and which focuses on enhancing the wellbeing of SADC youth with disabilities by using a twin-track approach of mainstreaming disability in various thematic areas as well as establishing targeted disability projects.

She is also the:

Chairperson of the State Service Disablement Benefits Board under the State Service (Disability Benefits) Act (Chapter 16:05),

Ex-officio member of the National Disability Board under the Disabled Persons Act (Chapter 17:01).

Chairperson of the National Technical Committee on Disability Inclusion which comprises representatives from all government ministries, organizations of persons with disabilities and development partners that include UN agencies.

Co-chairperson of the “Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Persons with Disabilities Thematic Working Group” under the National Financial Inclusion Strategy II

Co-chairperson of the National Technical Working Group on Disability and Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH), gender-based violence (GBV), HIV/AIDS and harmful practices (HP),Focal person of the United Nations Partnership on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNPRPD).

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Zim Community Trailblazers Awards

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ZCTA Innovative Live Show winner Blessing Deve’s profile

I surrender completely to the Holy Spirit so that He will flow through me at His will to His people




Photo: Shutterstock



Gospel music minister, Worship Leader, Entrepreneur and Women’s Advocate


Blessing Deve is a gospel music minister and a devoted follower of Christ who is passionate to deliver good news to people across the world in song. She is also an entrepreneur, a business development officer for a thriving media broadcaster and she serves in the worship and women’s ministry in her local church. Blessing is a proud mother of three and an advocate for women.


Born and raised in Zimbabwe, Blessing believes her call to the music ministry came at a very tender age.  She spent most of her upbringing in church owing to the strong Christian family within which she was raised, which laid a foundation to her deep love for God. It is in that time that the passion to serve God through music was ignited within her and she began participating in various choirs and music groups. Some of the choirs and music groups include: Voices of Worship, a non-denominational music outfit which she founded and codirected, as well as an acapella singing group called Sweet Fellowship within the AFM church where she once served. Blessing currently serves as a worship leader in the United Family International Church (UFIC) choir under the mentorship of Prophet Emmanuel and Prophetess Ruth Makandiwa.

Musical Inspiration

Blessing maintains that the key to her music ministry is simply acknowledging Jesus Christ, the owner of the gift and giving Him centre stage in all she does. Her deep spirituality comes through in each and every song and ministration as she states, “Each opportunity I have to minister, I surrender completely to the Holy Spirit so that He will flow through me at His will to His people”.  The goal and major highlight for her is to witness the move of God visibly touching lives and deliverance through moments of ministration.

Although she is deeply Christ-centred in her approach to music, Blessing also draws inspiration from other musicians both internationally and locally in her home country Zimbabwe. Internationally she is inspired by acclaimed worshippers such as Sinach, Cece Winans, Darlene Zschech and the gospel outfit Hillsong. As such, the sound in her music also takes an international feel in line with her vision and desire to touch people across the world. Although she sees the world as her pulpit, Blessing remains profoundly connected within her local Zimbabwean music field drawing inspiration from other fellow local musicians some of whom she has shared the stage with. These include people like Minister Michael Mahendere, Janet Manyowa, Hannah Mapepeta and Jane Doka.

Music Discography

Blessing stepped out as a solo gospel music artist with the release of her debut album God is able in 2016. Craftily produced by exceptionally talented award-winning producer Nigel Nyangombe, the seven-track album captures Blessing’s heart and music outlook. It features songs which draw and point people to God as the source of hope. Blessing says that she wrote and composed these songs at a time when she was going through various transitions in her life where she found comfort and guidance in God who is able. Some of the tracks which still touch many people today include the title track God is able – a song close to Blessing’s heart which reminds people that God is a God of impossibilities. The same album features the song Ngatifare (let us rejoice) which is a song of gratitude. The album was succeeded by a singletrack Zita raJesu (the name of Jesus) produced in 2020, a song that exalts the name of Jesus Christ. Zita raJesu was so well received by the general public that it was recognised on the gospel music charts on major music stations in Zimbabwe including ZiFM Radio and StarFM Radio. Zita raJesu was number one for 6 consecutive on ZiFM Radio.

Following the release and success of Zita raJesu, Blessing successfully hosted a live worship experience in December 2020 right in the middle of the pandemic which she entitled ‘The Blessed Encounter’. She performed and ministered her songs live before a virtual audience who were greatly ministered to and gave positive comments and feedback during and after the event. Videos from the Blessed Encounter are available on her YouTube channel. Blessing is currently in the studio working on her third offering which will be another single release coming out soon.

Accolades and acknowledgements

Blessing was given a prize of a solar kit worth US$1500 for the success of Zita raJesu topping the charts on number one on ZiFM Radio for 6 consecutive weeks. The prize was sponsored by the company Voltman Solar, a major retail and wholesale supplier of renewable energy equipment and systems in Zimbabwe. Since then she has been attracting the interest of corporates, which is not an easy thing for most gospel musicians in Zimbabwe. Other corporates like the chemical and cosmetics brand Kusi Chemicals, a leading manufacturer and distributor of cleaning products, services, and equipment in Zimbabwe, have endorsed Blessing’s music and made her their brand ambassador. The endorsements have included extension of financial and logistical support to her ministry. God’s hand and favour on her ministry is seen in these major endorsements as well as numerous divine helpers supporting her music in various ways.

Other activities

Blessing is a growing adroit business entrepreneur in the beauty industry. She owns a beauty spa called B’s Nail and Beauty Bar, which aims to boost women’s confidence and selfesteem in the area of beauty. Blessing says that seeing her clients happy after a total makeover motivates her to continue improving her services in the nail and beauty business. Blessing is also a Business Development Officer for the giant media broadcaster Christ TV which has a global reach of an estimated 10 million worldwide. Outside music, work and church activities, Blessing enjoys talking to and counselling fellow women and girls in line with her goal to be an advocate for women. She aspires to be a talk show host in the near future and is in the process of writing a book.

Media links

Social Media Handles 

YouTube: @Blessing Deve 

Facebook @Blessing Deve Official

Instagram @blessing_deve

Store Links 

Godsent App Buddie beats Apple Music

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Zim Community Trailblazers Awards

Black Umfolosi Profile

Black Umfolosi performing Arts Project is registered as a company. It is also registered with the Zimbabwe Ministry of Sports and Culture, as well as the Zimbabwean Arts Council. It is affiliated to various associations,including the Zimbabwe Music Rights Association.





THE Zim Community Trailblazers Awards 2023 Distinguished Arts Ambassador winner Black Umfolosi Productions (Pvt) Ltd is a wholly-owned indigenous Zimbabwean Company that was formed and registered by citizens from diverse backgrounds of Matabeleland in Zimbabwe for the purpose of participating in the country’s economic growth.

Black Umfolosi Productions aims at growth from a small and medium enterprise to a corporate level.

The idea of Black Umfolosi came about in 1982 when a group of school mates started improvising their own means of entertainment, while at a ZIMFEP Institute.

With a gentleness of spirit, a joy of singing and exuberance in dance, Black Umfolosi has touched audiences of all ages locally and internationally since then, and hence having done sixteen recordings.

Black Umfolosi Productions Ltd is equipped with the capacity to achieve vertical growth, take part in Global economy ownership, and competitively handle international deals.


Black Umfolosi is an award-winning Acappella singing and traditional dance group that was formed in 1982 by students who wanted to develop themselves and contribute to their communities, in a positive way.

The main reason for this initiative was to preserve and revive the Imbube Culture which was at the time invaded by Break Dance and Western Culture, in which it was now facing elimination from African Dance Culture.

Black Umfolosi is among the most-travelled groups in Zimbabwe and southern Africa having toured extensively nationwide and internationally; Europe, USA, Canada, Australia and Asia.

They have represented Zimbabwe at international events such as Universal Expo 1992 in Spain, Universal Expo in Portugal 1998 and the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Victoria, Canada among others.

Black Umfolosi soon found the need in the visited communities for people to see and learn about Zimbabwean traditions.

The group made it their obligation to demonstrate and teach others around the world (including other African countries) about the Zimbabwean and most Southern African traditional dances and music.

To achieve this; Black Umfolosi music group had to become Black Umfolosi Performing Arts Project.

This expansion involved:

o Lifting up high the Zimbabwean flag as cultural ambassadors to the International Arena since 1987 till today

o Mentoring newly formed groups in the performing arts fraternity

o Promoting other local artists who do not have the funds and facilities to promote themselves

o Allowing the use of equipment and facilities by other performing arts groups

o Hosting foreign artists and visitors

o Providing training in singing, dancing, technical management in performance art projects and various discipline capabilities


o To promote, preserve and perform Zimbabwean traditional music and dance, while creating associations with international, contemporary and traditional performing arts groups.

o To achieve this mission; Black Umfolosi has established six goals

(1) To create employment for its members

(2) To use the Arts in addressing various social, economic, cultural and topical issues


(3) To use the Arts as the drive for promoting social harmony and understanding amongst people of different backgrounds

( 4) To assist the community through education and awareness for various issues affecting their lives, such as gender equality

(5) To assist the underprivileged and mentor youths in developing their abilities using Arts

(6) To provide an environment where traditions and religions may compromise basic and necessary women’s rights and freedom of choice in marriages


Black Umfolosi performing Arts Project is registered as a company. It is also registered with the Zimbabwe Ministry of Sports and Culture, as well as the Zimbabwean Arts Council. It is affiliated to various associations,including the Zimbabwe Music Rights Association.


Black Umfolosi (Best World Travelled Group in Southern Africa)

1987- Swaziland International Tradefair (Manzini)

1988- Maitisong Theatre, Gaborone, Botswana

1990- Zimbabwean 10th Anniversary Celebration, Glasgow, Zimfest, London,

Birmingham, Coventry, Nottingham

1991- Australia and Europe (Denmark, Switzerland, Germany and Holland)

1992- Europe Tour (UK, Germany, Switzerland and Holland)

North American Tour (USA and Canada)

1993- European Tour (Germany, Holland)

North American Tour (USA, Canada)

Southern African Tour (Botswana, South Africa)

1994- European Tour (Holland, Switzerland, France, Hungary, Austria, Spain,

Belgium, Slovenia, Germany, Italy and UK)

1995- European Tour (Germany, Switzerland, Italy and Spain)

North American Tour (USA and Canada)

1996- Europe (UK and Germany)

North American Tour (USA and Canada)

Southern African (Botswana and Zimbabwe)

1997- North American Tour (USA and Canada)

Europeans Tour (Sweden, Finland, Germany and UK)

1998- North American Tour (USA and Canada)

European Tour (UK and Portugal)

1999- North American Tour (USA and Canada)

European Tour (Spain, Ireland and UK)

African Tour (Morocco and Zimbabwe)

2000- European Tour (Netherlands and UK)

Asian Tour (India)

2002- The Rainforest International Music Festival (Sarawak, Malaysia)

European Tour (UK)

North American Tour (Canada)

2003- European Tour (Netherlands and UK)

North American Tour (Canada)

2004- Asian Tour (Malaysia)

Europeans Tour (UK)

North American Tour (Canada)

2005- The Rainforest International Music Festival (Sarawak, Malaysia)

European Tour (UK)

2006- African Tour (Botswana, Zimbabwe)

European Tour (UK and Canada)

2007- Malaysia, Italy, Canada and UK

2008- European Tour (UK and Barbados)

2009- European Tour (UK and Italy)

2010- European Tour (UK and Norway)

2011- European Tour (UK)

2012- European Tour (UK, Estonia and France)

2013- European Tour (UK and Ireland)

2014-2018- UK, Canada, USA

2020-2021- COVID 19 restrictions

2022 – UK, USA, Canada (40th Anniversary Tour)


Schools, Colleges, University of Zimbabwe

Natal International Folk Festival (Durban SA)

Expo 92, Seville Spain

Royal Festival Hall, London, UK

Ronnie Scotts, London, UK

JF Kennedy Center, Washington DC, USA

Womad Festival Reading, UK

Marcombe Bay UK

HIFA, Harare

Commonwealth Games, Victoria, Canada

Symphony Space, New York City, USA

Duke University North Caroline, USA

All Africa Games, Zimbabwe

Image of Africa, Copenhagen, Denmark

SADC Music Festival, Harare, Zimbabwe

Bumbershoot Festival, Seattle, USA

Houston International Festival, USA

Festival de Louisiana, USA

Opera House, Paris, France

University of California C.A. USA

The Globe (Royal Shakespeare Theater) London

UK, Schools, Colleges

The Rain Forest Festival, Sarawak, Malaysia

Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, UK

Expo 98 Lisbourne, Portugal

Honolulu University, Hawaii, USA

Vancouver International Folk and Children Festival, Canada

Museum of Civilisation, Ottawa, Canada

Sidmouth International Festival, UK

Albuquerque Festival, New Mexico, USA

Brisbane International Folk Festival, Australia

Oxford Town Hall

Café Graffiti, Edinburgh

The Millennium Dome, London

Lemon Tree, Aberdeen, Scotland (Twin City with Bulawayo)

Voices of God, Marrakech, Morocco


o Unity World Circuit Label, 1990 (WCD020)

o Festival-Umdlalo, World Circuit, Label 1993


o Soze Sifike Vibrant Label 1993 (WCD1601)

o Zilungisele-ZMC Label 1995 (L4BU001)

o Stofotofo-ZMC Label Label 1996 (ZBU02)

o Xoxani-Lixolelane One Voice BU Label 2001

o Shosholoza-BU Label 2003

o Amen Amen-BU Label 2003

o Konyana-BU 2006

o Khulumalami (Talk to me BU Label) 2008

o Summertime (the best of BU) Arc Music Label -2010

o Washabalal’ Umhlaba (Earth Song) 2020

o Reason to Believe -2021

o A Thousand Ways to love the careless moon – 2023


o ZBC Ezomgido and various other programs

o BBC generation game, blue peter, latter with Jools Holland, strictly African dancing world service

o City TV Toronto various appearances

o Canada AM

o CBC commonwealth games closing ceremony

o ITV Bracknell Festival

o Greater London radio various interviews

o NB –various media calls in USA, Botswana, South Africa, Germany, India, Spain

o Hungary, Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, Zimbabwe, Malaysia and Croatia

o Voices of God (Austrian television)

Collaboration with Canadian country musician Lennie Gallant

‘Christmas day on planet earth’

Directors Mr. Austin Chisare, Mr. Sotsha Moyo, Ms. Boitumelo Phuti,Miss Luzibo Tabona Moyo


Address: 33781 Mehlokazulu Street

Entumbane Township



Postal Address


Mobile: +263 719 509 910 / +263 772 386 385



Compiled by Sotsha Moyo, Founding Executive Director –Black Umfolosi             

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