By UK Correspondent
LONDON: THE ladies’ frocks duly dazzled, the gentlemen’s dinner suits were immaculate, the wine suitably flamboyant and certain to guarantee an ostentatious sozzle.
This was Saturday evening at The Leonardo City Hotel in central London; and the event was the Zimbabwe Achievers Awards (ZAA) England edition.
Now in their 12th edition and having spread beyond the UK to other countries such as Australia, Canada, South African and the United States, the ZAAs are aimed at recognising and celebrating the successes and achievements of Zimbabweans in the Diaspora.
And on Saturday many success stories were recognised and honoured across all areas of human endeavour, from the arts to entrepreneurship and sport.
However, two stories were particularly inspiring and emblematic of the tenacity and focus which goes into achieving success.
Jeff Madzingo was one of the keynote speakers and he went on stage holding a blue jacket emblazoned ‘The Watch Security’.
Madzingo worked as a banker in Zimbabwe before moving to the United Kingdom for a post-graduate programme on a British Council scholarship.
Relating his experience, Madzingo said, after completing the post-graduate programme, he was not able to get a banking job in the UK and found himself working as a security guard.
The jacket he brought on stage was his uniform then, more than a decade ago.
However, he did not despair and used his time working as security guard to study and secure professional qualifications in mortgages and insurance.
He then started a business which helped thousands of diasporans buy their first homes while others were able to establish property portfolios of their own.
After the mortgage business, Madzingo founded an innovative insurance product which, 13 years later, has grown into a multi-million dollar business.
Diaspora Insurance, a headline sponsor for Saturday’s awards gala, now has operations not just in the UK and the Zimbabwe diaspora but also more than ten other African countries.
Unlike the traditional funeral policies which give one a coffin and a bus for transport to place of burial, Diaspora Insurance is designed to respond to the changing needs of transnational diasporan communities.
Instead of a coffin and a bus for transport, policyholders get hard-currency cash payments within 24 hours of providing proof of death. The cover amounts range from £/€/US$/AU$/CA$2,500.00 to 20,000.00 per life. The currency of cover is based on the policyholder’s country of residence and the cover is denominated as cash because can knows no boarder which makes the policy completely flexible for burial abroad, repatriation back home, reverse repatriation or even cremation. The Diasporans can cover themselves and for additional peace of mind can also add relatives back home or wherever they maybe in the world. Diaspora Funeral Cash Plan is offered on a guaranteed acceptance basis with no medicals at all and cover is available on single, family or group funeral cash plan.
Diaspora Insurance which is authorised and regulated by FCA, UK: 795897 covers 13 African nationalities and still counting. To date over US$4,000,000.00 in cash has been paid to bereaved families in financial intervention that has guaranteed families peace of mind and an opportunity to celebrate their departed loved ones’ lives.