PPRIZ recognises Matabeleland’s trailblazers

The Public Policy and Research Institute of Zimbabwe (PPRIZ) recently presented lifetime achievement awards to commendable individuals for their outstanding humanitarian contributions in Matabeleland and beyond.

The ceremony, held in Bulawayo last Friday, acknowledged recipients for their noteworthy work in academia, research, and community service.

The individuals who were presented with the lifetime achievement awards are Phathisa Nyathi, Dr Barbra Makhalisa and Dr Themba Dlodlo.

Speaking at the ceremony, the Director of PPRIZ, Dr Gorden Moyo, commended the work that had been done by the recognised individuals and noted that many others had done great work but had not been honoured for their sterling contribution to society.

“We have people that have worked for this city, region, country and continent for humanity. They have made a difference to humanity to the people of Matabeleland, Zimbabwe and Africa at large. We are celebrating courage, commitment to humanity and consistency. We want to celebrate those that have done great work for us,” said Dr Moyo.

“We have, amongst us, civic society leaders that have worked very hard during difficult times. Our community has suffered genocide and marginalisation. But we have people who have stood up during difficult times and maintained sanity in all of us. 

We have the clergy who have had the responsibility of burying our loved ones who died when they were not supposed to. They have prayed for us and consoled us.”

Dr Moyo added “We have also scholars, publishers and researchers that have memorialised our history, our heritage, our customs and kept this for us to help us pass it on to the next generations. You all have done well but you have not been recognized, this is what we are doing here today. To celebrate one another ourselves.”

Dr Barbara Clara Makhalisa-Nkala is a Founder and Chief Literary Officer of the Barbara Clara Makhalisa Nkala Literary Trust. Dr Makhalisa was awarded a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) by the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) for Education and Literature in 2015. She also holds an MA degree in Leadership and Management (with distinction), from the Africa Leadership and Management Academy (ALMA) and a BA General degree in English and Communication from the University of South Africa (UNISA). To date, she has written 21 books. 

Dr Themba Shadreck Dlodlo is a physicist who breeds Brahman cattle admired across Southern Africa. He is a star cattle breeder and a retired lecturer. In 1969 he was offered a scholarship to study for an MSc. Eng. Degree (Engineering Physics) in the Netherlands. In 1977–1980 he got another scholarship to study for a PhD in Laser Physics at the Physics Department of the University of Helsinki in Finland. In 1981 he joined the University of Zimbabwe (UZ) as a Physics lecturer.

Phathisa Nyathi is a historian and a cultural heritage expert. He has a BA Hons degree from the University of South Africa (1985). He taught Science, Geography and isiNdebele at Usher Institute (1974–1977), Howard Institute (1979), St Columba’s High School (1981-1982), and Sobukhazi High School (1983)  He was a Lecturer at Gweru Teacher’s College. He was a school Head at Gloag High School (1985-1993) and Nketa High School (1993-1995). He has published 75 books to date.

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