MUTARE Polytechnic principal Ms Poniso Watema has won the Women’s Top Leadership Excellence Award – Special Recognition in Higher and Tertiary Education Science and Technology Development, while her college scooped the Women’s Top Leadership Excellence Academic Institution of the Year Award.
The Minister of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development, Cde Nyasha Chikwinya presided over the awards ceremony at a Harare hotel last Monday.
The Women’s Leadership Awards 2017 Women Leadership Awards (WOLA) celebrates women’s accomplishments within their leadership roles.
In a statement, WOLA said: “The organisation seeks to epitomise the core values of a successful female leader – strength, innovation, ingenuity, knowledge and foresight – values that are imperative to carving out powerful businesses and organisations in the global economy spread across various categories and industry domains.
“WOLA distinguishes and honours female leaders who have contributed and shaped the Zimbabwean economy, and are visionaries behind today’s outstanding businesses and organisations. The organisation salutes remarkable female business leaders and organisations in Zimbabwe for their continued commitment to female leadership excellence, developing best practices and innovative strategies.
“WOLA is proud to continue the tradition established by the Awards that define and celebrate vision, uphold the spirit of achievement and recognise women as leaders of excellence in Zimbabwe.”
In her acceptance speech, Ms Watema said: “I feel extremely honoured and appreciative for receiving this significant award the Women’s Top Leadership Excellence Award-Special Recognition in Higher and Tertiary Education Science and Technology Development, while Mutare Polytechnic receives the Women leadership Excellence Academic Institution of the year.
“We are deeply honoured that the award is presented by the Women’s Heritage World Society Organisation in conjunction with Zimbabwe Business Awards Council, an organisation of which we are proud of and which I believe remains on course to set to promote women leaders.
“I should admit I was a bit surprised when I learned about my nomination. Without false modesty, I feel that there are other leaders and institutions which are also worthy of these awards, especially being the first female principal in polytechnics where most of my colleagues are males, However, I realise that it can’t be divided into many, so again I want to express my gratitude to you. I am very pleased to receive this award.”
She said the award was a fulfilment of her childhood dream of standing in front of many high profile delegates accepting an award recognising her leadership qualities and achievements.
“I can’t express my excitement and inspiration with this award. Then, in the years of my unclouded childhood I could not imagine how interesting my life would be. Of course, I faced a lot of challenges, but I succeeded to overcome them and gained outstanding experience through my journey.
“These awards boost my confidence and inspiration to realise my dreams in developing innovative and creative artisans, technician’s technologists who stand a chance to contribute to industrialisation and modernisation of our country, thereby contributing to the GDP. The development of human capital is key to economic growth.
“My leadership journey is to make sure that female students are taking courses in those areas that are said to male dominated fields like Engineering encompassing Automotive, Motor Mechanics, Diesel Plant Fitting and Civil and Construction Engineering Quantity Surveying, Water and Irrigation.
“At Mutare Polytechnic we are give priority to the girl child in these courses.
“Moreso, we train human capital with skills and competences, in which we empower them to be job creators and not job seekers because the Technical Vocational Education Training (TVET) that they would have gone through allows them to be technoprenuers and entrepreneurs,” she said.