5 famous people you didn’t know are from Zimbabwe

Thandie Newton
Thandie Newton

Southern-Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe gained its independence from Britain.

The Southern African nation is known for its beautifully diverse wildlife, breathtaking landscapes and landmarks with the awe-inspiring Victoria Falls, which is located on the Zambezi River on the border with Zambia and is considered the largest waterfall in the world being one of the best gifts of nature the country has to offer.

After their independence, Canaan Banana became the country’s first president albeit ceremonially with Robert Mugabe serving as the country’s first Prime Minister and Head of Government. Mugabe later became the country’s president after winning the 1990 elections which was the first elections after the amendment of the 1987 constitution which scrapped the Senate and set up an elected executive presidency. It was also the first non-segregated elections in the country.

5 famous people you didn’t know are from Zimbabwe

Sibongile Mlambo
Sibongile Mlambo

Sibongile Mlambo

The daughter of a Zimbabwean father and a South African mother, 28-year-old actress Sibongile Mlambo is known for her roles in historical adventure television series Black Sails, Honey 3 and The Last Face. She is also popularly known for her role as Tamora Monroe on Teen Wolf and Donna on Siren.

Mlambo spoke briefly about her childhood and career.

“I’m a woman trying to live life in the most exciting way possible! I work as an actress, that way I can experience many lives! I was born in Zimbabwe. That’s where I grew up. I’m also South African through my mother’s side of the family, and I lived there for a few years before moving to Los Angeles,” she said.

Strive Masiyiwa
Strive Masiyiwa

Strive Masiyiwa

Ranked by Forbes as the 8th richest man in Africa with a $2.3B net worth, Strive Masiyiwa overcame protracted government opposition to launch mobile phone network Econet Wireless Zimbabwe in his country of birth in 1998. He owns just over 50 per cent of the publicly-traded telecom, which is one part of his larger Econet Group.

Masiyiwa also owns just over half of private company Liquid Telecom, which provides fiber optic and satellite services to telecom firms across Africa. His other assets include stakes in mobile phone networks in Burundi and Lesotho, and investments in fintech and power distribution firms in Africa.

He and his wife Tsitsi founded the Higherlife Foundation, which supports orphaned and poor children in Zimbabwe, South Africa, Burundi and Lesotho.

Oliver Mtukudzi
Oliver Mtukudzi

Oliver Mtukudzi

Oliver Mtukudzi, who is popularly referred to as Tuku was a legendary musician, a businessman, philanthropist, human rights activist and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for Southern Africa Region.

Mtukudzi won dozens of awards and performed with a lot of African legends and stars in the continent and around the world. Some of his popular songs include Neria (2001), Todii (1999), Mutserendende (2000), Hear Me, Lord (1995).

Singing in Zimbabwe’s Shona language along with Ndebele and English, Mtukudzi’s Afro-Jazz songs have distinct styles with a fusion of jazz and traditional African music.

Thandie Newton
Thandie Newton

Thandie Newton

Born in London on November 6, 1972, to a Zimbabwean mother and an English father, talented actress Thandi Newton is known for her role in popular movies including Mission: Impossible 2BelovedSolo: A Star Wars StoryThe Pursuit of HappynessCrash, among others.

Newton has won several accolades notably an Emmy Award in 2018 for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for Westworld, a BAFTA in 2006 for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role for Crash, among others.

She was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) at the 2019 New Year Honours for services to film and to charity

Danai Gurira
Danai Gurira

Danai Gurira 

Danai Jekesai Gurira was born on February 14, 1978, in Grinnell, Iowa, to a Zimbabwean mother and father.

The popular actress, who is known for her roles in Black PantherAvengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame was born to a university librarian, Josephine Gurira and a chemistry professor at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, Roger Gurira. Her parents came to the United States from Zimbabwe in 1960.

She moved to Zimbabwe with her family at age of five after the country gained independence and she attended the Dominican Convent High School in Harare during her later years. She moved back to the United States to attend college afterwards.

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