News & Updates

By Michelle Thanya

The word “creative” is commonly associated with painters and or musicians but the Creative Women’s Café gave life to the statement that “a woman with a voice is by definition a strong woman.” Now picture a gathering of Bulawayo’s flourishing and upcoming female creatives, creativity in all its forms, all under one roof.

The workshop was held on the 18th of February and was facilitated by Thembi Terry, the workshop being the first of its kind came as a serious wake up call for these creatives because seriously, “Turn Down for What?” when there is so much to be addressed and broadcast through young creatives. Not only was this a safe space for young women across Bulawayo to share their experiences as creatives, it was also a space for learning and teaching. The panel was graced by Khaya Moyo a radio personality from a local radio station (Skyz Metro FM), Chipo Kay a lifestyle blogger and podcaster, Nobuhle Zulu the editor in chief of iNgudukazi Magazine, a women’s’ magazine and Michelle Thanya a spoken word artist and podcaster.

In a city considered the capital/hub of the arts, the panellists shared their experiences in stepping out of what they had grown up to and inventing themselves as individual creatives with their years of experience. The young women were schooled about the multiple ways in which they could brand and carry themselves around, an entirely different approach from the bland approaches by artists of old. The facilitator handled the entire workshop with ease and like a pro with use of practical case studies of artists who are killing it in the creative industry. The importance of monetizing their crafts was stressed throughout the entire programme. and proving that art is not a hobby but should be equally viewed as a profession.

The room was ablaze with attendees eager to share relatable stories with that of the panellists and find possible solutions to their problems. The first and certainly not the last session of the Creative Women’s Café gave the young women a mandate to compete on an international level with creatives in their field. Not only was this the forming of relations but the promise of collaborations to give out the best work to have ever come from Bulawayo. #BulawayoToTheWorld

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Times have changed with the current global pandemic Covid-19. The way work and move around is different. From social distancing to wearing masks and by the look of things it is going to be like this for a while. Instead of wondering about what to do, we need to adapt to the “new normal.”

Many of us have suddenly been forced to adjust to a ‘new normal’, parents home-schooling their children, families or roommates suddenly isolating in cramped quarters, donning a mask when leaving the house, and wiping down groceries after a stress-filled visit to the store.

We have to look at this by putting in perspective that to win the war against COVID-19 we need to make sacrifices and develop a coping mind-set. It’s a lot to take in at the moment but Psychologist Dr. Robert Leahy lays out a few things you can do to stay sane.

Give yourself a break

One of the most important things you can do is accept that a new reality should come with a different level of expectations. For example, you’re not going to perfectly juggle remote work with home schooling and child care. Lower your standards so much that if you fall down, it’s a step up.

Be kind and practice acceptance

For those frustrated by the new limitations on everyday life during quarantine and the ‘new normal’, Dr. Leahy also suggests resetting expectations and identifying what you can do rather than focusing on what you can’t.

When hunkered down in close quarters with a lot of stress a “protocol of politeness,” is recommended, particularly when it comes to your partner or significant other. This is not the time to air every frustration. “Treat your partner like a total stranger you want to please. Try to be thoughtful, polite, compassionate, and rewarding. A compliment and a ‘thank you’ can go a long way.”

View life as a narrative

Looking at life as a series of chapters in a book can provide a sense of control and agency in what can feel like a helpless situation. If you look at life as a series of chapters, this chapter is objectively a hard one. But we can adjust our expectations and write a story about how we cope with this chapter to make it as good as it can be.

Chapters also have an end, which can help you from feeling engulfed in the moment. This isn’t the chapter we’ll always be in, and not all chapters have to be wonderful.

Most importantly stay safe, stay home.

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I vividly remember the first day I donated blood in High School. I had just turned 16 and was slightly above 50kgs. I was so excited, till this day I do not know why I was so happy.

I also passed out on the day because I went to bask in the sun right after. Well it was winter and freezing cold.

However, I have been consistent ever since with my 15th donation due already. Back then I always thought the person that gets my blood benefited the most but recently learnt that donating blood is also good for the donor.

It is helpful for the vital organs, and it reduces risk for chronic diseases such as cancer and stroke.

Here are more reasons on why you should donate blood:

  • Reduce risk of heart attacks and liver ailment.

The risk of heart and liver related problem is caused by the iron overload in the body. Donating blood helps in maintaining the iron level in the body and thus reduce those risk.

  • Lower the risk of cancer

Cancer is the most feared and deadly disease. Blood donation helps in lowering the risk of cancer. By donating blood regularly the iron level in the blood is balanced and the risk of cancer-related to the liver, lungs, and intestine gets lower.

  • New blood cells

Once we donate blood, the body tries to restore the blood loss. This helps in the production of the new blood cells and maintain good health.

  • Reduced risk of hemochromatosis

Hemochromatosis is a disease that occurs due to increase in the absorption of iron by the body. Blood donation helps in reducing iron overload in the body and prevent Hemochromatosis.

  • Maintain Weight

It is recommended to donate blood for those who are overweight. Regularly donating blood helps in weight loss and burn fat up to 650 calories.

  • Helps prevent premature ageing.

While donating blood, you not only lose weight but it also helps in reducing stress. Stress is one of the reasons that triggers premature ageing. Blood donation helps in reducing stress on your mind and body. Also, keeps the skin tight and wrinkle-free.

  • Speeds up healing process

The body tries to adjust to the loss of red blood the cells we donate blood, these adjustments also help in accelerating the wound healing process.

  • Free Medical checkup

Every donor goes through a routine checkup prior to donation. Body temperature is checked along with blood pressure, hemoglobin and pulse. Blood is tested for 13 infectious disease like HIV, West Nile Virus, hepatitis B and C and Syphilis. It gives you a cost free quick look into your health.

  • Live a longer life

The people who involve in the altruistic work have proven to live a longer life. Blood donation is altruistic works so it not only save lives of other but also helps you live longer and healthier.

  • Psychological Upliftment

Beside all the healthy benefits that we obtain by donating blood, we also get the powerful benefit psychologically by helping the one in need.

  • Save lives

Every time we donate one pint of blood it helps save three lives, so if we donate four times in a year we end up saving 12 lives. We don’t have to be a superhero to save someone, a simple act of donating blood can also save lives.

The 14th of June is World Blood Donor Day, it is not too late to save a life.


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Celebrations on May 25th, crowned as Africa Day, recite the annual commemorations of Africa’s independence, freedom and liberation strife from colonial imperialists.

Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa (SIHA) continues to remind the African Union that there is still work to be done by way of leading, guiding, defending and coordinating the African Union’s efforts on gender equality.

Women constitute more than half the world’s population, yet their participation in electoral and governance processes where decisions regarding their lives are made and remain peripheral in many countries.

Women and girls have been leading and continue to lead at the front-lines calling for reform, regime change, renewed and lawful democracy in a number of nations within the Greater Horn of Africa. African women’s role in political participation can no longer be minimized to casting votes and mere quota systems.

It must be reiterated that true democracy is effective when women are allowed to fully participate in political activities right from formulating their agenda, to claiming and taking their seat at the table of negotiation and policy-making in view of the lived realities of masses of women and in the interest of achieving gender equality.

Women’s representation in political decision making has been on the rise globally however the increase has been stubbornly slow, barely 1% in 2018 compared with the previous year. In 2018 the number of women ministers worldwide reached an all-time high at 20.7% (812 out of 3922).

In sub-Saharan Africa, the number of women seated in parliament grew in 2018, with a regional average share at 23.7%, according to the just-released 2019 edition of the biennial Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Map of Women in Politics.

Ethiopia saw the largest increase in women’s political representation in the executive branch, from 10% women ministers in 2017 to 47.6% in 2019.

On ministerial positions, the report highlights another striking gain more women in Africa are now in charge of portfolios traditionally held by men than in 2017. There are 30% more women ministers of defense, 52.9% more women ministers of finance, and 13.6% more women ministers of foreign affairs.

Among the top African countries with a high percentage of women in ministerial positions are Rwanda (51.9%), South Africa (48.6%), Ethiopia (47.6%), Seychelles (45.5%), Uganda (36.7%) and Mali (34.4%).

The lowest percentage in Africa was in Morocco (5.6%), which has only one female minister in a cabinet of 18. Other countries with fewer than 10% women ministers include Nigeria (8%), Mauritius (8.7%) and Sudan (9.5%).

Of the 210 parliamentary seats in Zimbabwe, only 26 are held by women

Two main obstacles prevent women from participating fully in political life, according to UN Women. These are:

  • Structural barriers, whereby discriminatory laws and institutions still limit women’s ability to run for office, and
  • Capacity gaps, which occur when women are less likely than men to have the education, contacts and resources needed to become effective leaders.

The number of women in politics is not proportionate to the population of women and as highlighted by the statistics above – reaching a point where women are adequately represented in politics is taking a long time… however, change is change, the rate could be slow but that is way better than no change at all.


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Each year on the second Sunday of May we celebrate Mother’s Day sharing love and appreciating the hard work women mothers go through in raising kids and their families.

It is a special day celebrated worldwide. It is believed that Mother’s Day was first celebrated in the US. A woman named Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother because her mother expressed a desire and had asked her to hold a memorial after her death.

Thus, three years after her mother’s death on May 10, 1908, Jarvis held a memorial ceremony to honour her mother and all mothers at Andrews Methodist Episcopal Church.

Since then it has been a date every child marks on their calendar never to forget. From the day a child is born, she works hard to make sure that her child is equipped with the knowledge, skills and abilities. She gives her best to make you a competent human being. Being a mother is perhaps the hardest, most rewarding job.

This has been a difficult year with people having to settle for less to celebrate special events like Mother’s Day but it’s the thought that counts.

This is a day almost everyone would want to spend with their dearly beloved mother or at least do something meaningful for her but with this global pandemic not everyone has been able to do so.

People are not only locked down in their homes but their pockets too. However this did not stop others from showing their mothers love though restaurants are closed down.

Meanwhile, majority took to social media expressing the heartfelt love and appreciation to their moms.


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The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence is an international campaign originating from the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute sponsored by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership in 1991. Participants chose the dates, November 25, International Day Against Violence Against Women and December 10, International Human Rights Day, in order to symbolically link violence against women and human rights and to emphasize that such violence is a violation of human rights.

This 16-day period also highlights other significant dates including November 29, International Women Human Rights Defenders Day, December 1, World AIDS Day, and December 6, which marks the Anniversary of the Montreal Massacre.

The 16 Days Campaign has been used as an organizing strategy by individuals and groups around the world to call for the elimination of all forms of violence against women by:

* raising awareness about gender-based violence as a human rights issue at the local, national, regional and international levels
* strengthening local work around violence against women
* establishing a clear link between local and international work to end violence against women
* providing a forum in which organizers can develop and share new and effective strategies
* demonstrating the solidarity of women around the world organizing against violence against women
* creating tools to pressure governments to implement promises made to eliminate violence against women

The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign continues the theme of “From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Let’s Challenge Militarism and End Violence Against Women!” in 2013.

Girl Grandeur Byo in conjunction with NYDT Zimbabwe is looking for 16 survivor stories to flight in support of the cause. Please email them to

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October is breast cancer awareness month. Breast cancer is the most frequent cancer among women, impacting 2.1 million women each year, and also causes the greatest number of cancer-related deaths among women. In 2018, it is estimated that 627,000 women died from breast cancer that is approximately 15% of all cancer deaths among women.

Girl Grandeur Zimbabwe caught up with Tendayi Gwata who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and below are the excerpts of the conversation.

  • Tell Us About Yourself. Who is Tendayi Gwata?

I am a mother of an amazing 4 year old boy, an older sister to 3 siblings, a daughter and good friend. 

  • What does Tendayi do?

I am a marketing consultant working in the digital media space as well as the political space (outside of Zimbabwe). I spent part of last year as a Campaign Manager for party elections in Ghana. I have also started sewing and will soon start selling headwraps and scarves that work for everyone but in particular chemo patients and people with natural hair.

  • When were you diagnosed with breast cancer?

I was diagnosed in July of this year. It was very unexpected and I can say blindsided me.

  • How did you feel when you first received the news?

I was terrified. I kept thinking about my son and what will happen to him. It felt like being given a death sentence at the time. Although now I realise there is a lot of hope and a huge chance that I will survive. I would say the most difficult time for me so far was the time between my diagnosis and receiving a treatment plan, which was about 3 weeks. In that time I felt very lost, unsure of the future and very very afraid.

  • Tell me about your treatment process.

The oncologist gave me what is called a Treatment Plan which maps out my treatment.  I would say that this was the first time since the diagnosis that I began tpo feel positive about y condition. My treatment plan consists of 8 cycles of chemo, surgery followed by radiation.

Can you please enlighten us on how it’s still affecting you?

I am currently in the chemo stage and it hasn’t been easy. The side effects range from unbearable bone pain to hair loss to hardening veins. What makes it most challenging is that even though I am aware of the side effects to expect, I don’t which I will get and when, so I am in a constant state of expectation. I struggle with sleep, enjoying the taste of food (the chemo has had a huge impact on how things taste). I also find I get tired very quickly and can usually manage a couple of hours of activity a day then I am completely exhausted.

  • What has changed in your life?

Living with a life threatening illness has changed my perspective about everything. I am more appreciative of the small things, waking up, being able to walk around and generally just being alive.

I consider myself a very social person but due to my lowered immunity I am no longer able to be around crowds, I have to be very careful about what and where I eat. This has meant that I now stay at home a whole lot more than I have ever done.

  • Please take us through the check-up process, what really happens?

I havent really had a specific check up process as yet. For now my check ups happen at the next chemo. It usually involves a blood test to check my white cell counts and liver function to make sure that they havent been seriously affected. I have also had to see a cardiologist after my 4th chemo cycle to check my heart function. All these checks are necessary as the chemo impacts these areas, and to be able to proceed to more chemo, there is a need to confirm that all is ok.

  • What message would you like to provide women in the community?

To all the women who have been diagnosed and are going through this I would like to say that I wish you well. I hope that you have a strong support system to help you geth through this journey. That nutrition and hydration are my secret weapons to remaining on top the treatment and side effects.

To those who don’t have breast cancer, please check yourself regulary and go for your annual mammogram. Catching it early means you have a higher chance of survival, and are less likely to have such an aggressive treatment plan.

I post quite regularly on my twitter account @tendayigwata where I share my journey and things that I am learning along the way. Such has where to find information about the drugs and how you can figure out at what point will your immunity will be at it lowest between chemo cycles.

Women are encouraged to regularly get checked for breast cancer. Early detection saves lives.

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It’s one thing to feel unsafe in public but its another to fear your partner, the one supposed to be your protector.

Following the release of the Air Force of Zimbabwe Pilot who allegedly murdered his girlfriend, it really has become worrisome that women are being murdered and the killers walking Scot free.

In the same light, South Africa’s Uyinene Mrwetyana’s death which caused shock waves is another femicide case which clearly shows that women are not safe. She was raped and murdered after she had gone to the post office to inquire about a parcel 

Femicide has been used to describe killings of women by intimate partners and family members; it has also been used to describe gender-related killings in the community.

Femicide is the most extreme manifestation of violence against women and girls. While it is not a new phenomenon it is one that is drawing attention worldwide due to the alarming increase.

Roughly 66,000 women are violently killed around the world each year, accounting for approximately one fifth of intentional homicides.

Southern Africa is ranked one of the five regions in the world with the highest rates of femicide.

A national study on femicide in South Africa estimated that a woman is killed by her intimate partner every six hours.

The South African female homicide rate is six times higher than the global average. Half of all murdered women are killed by an intimate partner.

A study in Zimbabwe found that of the 42 cases of femicide involving women older than 50, most of the women had been accused of witchcraft by male relatives prior to the killing.

Research is starting to help clarify the factors that increase women’s risk of being killed, especially by intimate partners, and those associated with an increased risk that men will perpetrate femicide.

There is real need to educate the community on gender based violence, awareness-raising and advocacy could encourage cooperation among police, medical staff and other relevant agencies to collect and report on the victim–offender relationship and the motivation for the homicide.




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Hello Ladies I am excited to be a part of the Girl Grandeur team. Its refreshing to have a platform for us women to empower and inspire each other to strive and not only achieve our goals and dreams but also just to be the best YOU that you can be and be bold and still look fabulous doing it.

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That alone ladies is commendable and for the sake of our daughters, sisters and other women out there, may we live passionately and set the world on fire with our love, creativity, compassion, boldness, intelligence and lioness spirit, so that when we pass the torch on to the next generation and can proudly say our light made the world a little brighter.

After what seemed to be a very long winter, for me personally, I am glad summer is around the corner. Now for some yes it means braais, weddings and starting to book holidays for Christmas, however for me what I am really excited to see is the fashion.

Bulawayo in the past few years has become a fashion diamond. Whether it’s been street fashion, trends across demographics or fashion shows, the city of kings and queens is living up to it’s name. The creativity is limitless and the Talent is mind blowing, what makes it better is that Bulawayo is evolving from being the industrial back bone of Zimbabwe to what could be the artistic fashion capital of Zimbabwe.

This year I am fortunate to have a front row seat to watch a fashion revolution unfold before my eyes. Unfortunately I am restricted to share too much detail of the event but what I can say that this event will change our views of the fashion industry as we know it here in Bulawayo or dare I say Zimbabwe.

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Fashion as we know it is about to be redefined in a way that could literally rival international players. The Summer Fashion drive is an event not to be missed, with an array of local talent coming together from designers, models, media, make-up artists just to name a few coming together to realize a vision from the genius that is Goodwill Mandeya also known as G-Force.

It is time for the industry to evolve and mature and bear fruit because it has been a long time coming but Bulawayo needs the Summer Fashion Drive. This event will set the bar for fashion shows to come so ladies you do not want to miss it. The crème de la crème of who’s who will be there including yours truly will be there too. I will be there to document a pivoting moment in our fashion history as well as interact with designers that will be showcasing, backstage coverage and interview a few of the prominent guests.

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This event won’t compare to any other fashion show and as your faithful lifestyle blogger I will give you the full spectrum of the whole experience from the show. The event is scheduled to take place early November so start shopping for those killer outfits because we will be there to slay not to play and be as bold and as daring as you can because from what I can tell this might become the Bulawayo’s Met Gala, so you don’t want to miss out. I will update you with the event’s social media pages so that you can follow them and get updates.

Lets get ready to drive into summer with style.

Ciao x.

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