Having recently completed their three-month pilot, in the process capturing the attention of local and international media alike, the Zimbabwean web platform, Her Zimbabwe is to make its first appearance at an international forum in the Netherlands, later this week.
Her Zimbabwe’s Founder and Managing Editor, Fungai Machirori will deliver a paper based on a study of the platform’s pilot phase at an event entitled ‘Digital Crossroads: Media, Migration and Diaspora in a Transnational Perspective’, taking place in Utrecht from 28-30 June. She will be accompanied by Her Zimbabwe’s Public Relations Coordinator, Rutendo Chigudu, who will also be sharing about the initiative at this event and other meetings that the pair are scheduled to attend.
“The conference looks at the impact of digital media in connecting diasporas, as well as in enhancing identity articulation and belonging, all of which are at the heart of Her Zimbabwe’s focus,” explained Machirori.
Her Zimbabwe has effectively fostered communication between Zimbabweans based in Zimbabwe, and Zimbabweans based abroad, with statistics and information from Her Zimbabwe’s site visits and followers on social media platforms showing a clear mix of geographical locations and experiences. Additionally, Her Zimbabwe has allowed Zimbabwe’s women a space to explore and express their opinions on the various roles they assume within society.
“The opportunity to be at this conference is really great for us and it is an opportunity to network and also learn from similar initiatives from different parts of the world,” said Chigudu.
Thus far, Her Zimbabwe has enjoyed significant media coverage with publications such as the UK Guardian featuring the initiative. Machirori and Chigudu have made presentations at various events including the TEDx Harare talk, the Sapes Trust ‘Women To Women’ dialogue series,and the Open Forum held in Cape Town, among others.
“For an initiative that began just three-and-a-half months ago, the response has been phenomenal and heartening,” stated Machirori. “We are now looking at how to harness all the good feedback that we have received and scale up and structure our work more effectively.”
Machirori and Chigudu’s trip is funded by Free Press Unlimited, a media institution based in the Netherlands, and is supported by the Netherlands Embassy in Zimbabwe.