Harare-based Emelda Vhiriri is on a mission to cultivate lives of young people, one person at a time, unearthing their maximum potential to become generational thinkers.
Vhiriri has a deeply rooted love for women and she intentionally sharpens younger women through her “Pull As I Rise Mentorship” classes.
She is a developmental practitioner with a unique background in youth development, gender and women empowerment. Vhiriri is also Women Coalition of Zimbabwe Harare Chapter member, founding director of Cultiv8 Africa, founder- Invaluable Woman Exhale Community, co-director of Rickie Kane Pvt Ltd and co-director MelTat Holdings.
The 29-year-old gender champion holds an Honours Degree in Psychology and a Masters’ Degree in Developmental Studies. She also holds a certificate in Civic Leadership under the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Regional.
As a member of various networks, she serves as co-chair of the Southern African Youth Forum (SAYoF ) Zimbabwe, African Women Leaders Network (AWLN) youth causas steering committee member and National Youth Gender Advocate under Generation Equality (UN Women).
She sits on various boards, giving expert advice on youth and women’s development. She has contributed greatly as a young woman leader in forums addressing issues of realising the UN Agenda 2030 as well as Agenda 2063, at African Union level.
In 2018, Vhiriri launched her first book, From One Invaluable Woman to Another and in that same year, she was one of the recipients of the Ten Outstanding Young Persons (TOYP) in Zimbabwe Award by the Junior Chambers International.
In 2020, she launched her second book Beauty for My Ashes, Rising Like a Phoenix From the Ashes of Grief.”
She was also recognised as one of the 40 Under 30 emerging leaders (Class of 2020) by Gumiguru and in 2021 she was listed as one of the Founding 100 Women compiled by the Go-Getter Movement. Apart from developmental work, she is a wife, pastor, author and transformational speaker.
“Being a young woman leader for me comes with a lot of opportunities to grow as I tap into the wisdom of those who have walked before me,” Vhiriri said.
“It means being a part of a ‘whole’ [the Gender Equality Movement], and making meaningful contributions towards it.
“As a young woman leader, I need to build skills, knowledge and confidence and different areas so as to meaningfully contribute in various spaces.
“It also means that I have an important role to play in representing issues and challenges that previous generations may not have been exposed to.”
Her personal mantra: “If they don’t give you a seat at the table, bring a folding chair.” — Shirley Chisholm
- Vhiri can be reached on email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Twitter:@MelVhiriri and Linked In: Emelda Vhiriri
- This article was made possible through support from the Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ) under the Amplifying Young Women’s Voice for Equality and Non-Discrimination initiative supported by the Norwegian People’s Aid (NPA).