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Cynthia Masiyiwa: Inspirational Africans in the UK

Cynthia Masiyiwa
Since arriving in the UK from Zimbabwe, 23-year-old Cynthia Masiyiwa has accrued a longer list of achievements than most people do over a career.

Many people of African descent who are settled in the UK make valuable contributions to society – from businessmen and women to community heroes. We don’t always read about them in the mainstream media, so Taku Mukiwa caught up with six of them to hear their stories and find out what they think the future holds for African communities in the UK.

Cynthia Masiyiwa

Young Leader

Since arriving in the UK from Zimbabwe, 23-year-old Cynthia Masiyiwa has accrued a longer list of achievements than most people do over a career. She is currently a programme manager at Active Horizons – a youth charity where she volunteered for some time.

Cynthia has also been involved with Citizens UK Diaspora Caucus for more than four years, where she helped campaign for a change to immigration law which means that children are no longer held in detention centres. She says: ‘After years of negotiating, this campaign has prevented more than 3,600 kids from being locked up, by changing the Government’s policy. Change through communities working together is what we are about.’

You are never too young to be who you want to be.

Not content with these achievements, Cynthia was part of an initiative that helped 60 young Londoners to apply for and get jobs during the London 2012 Olympics. She also met the Prime Minister, David Cameron, when she was shortlisted as a Young Hero in the 2011 Spirit of London Awards.

She says: ‘I got to tell him about the work I do in the community. He shook my hand and instead of me telling him about what I do, I thanked him for helping us to end the detention of children. You should have seen the proud and happy look on his face.’

Last year, Cynthia was awarded Young Woman of the Year by the Women on the Move awards in recognition of the work she has done with Citizens UK Diaspora Caucus and Active Horizons. She says: ‘This was a life transforming experience. You are never too young to be who you want to be. It is better to start learning and grooming yourself for your future as soon as possible. You are the driver of your own life and it is up to you what you do with it.’

 

 

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Taku works at Terrence Higgins Trust as a Health Improvement Specialist. Originally from Zimbabwe, he has a keen interest in African affairs.

Comments

One Response to “Cynthia Masiyiwa: Inspirational Africans in the UK”

  1. Alan Evans July 23, 2014 at 9:47 am #
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    Thanks for this. It is truly inspiring. There is something about Zimbabwe that it produces some of the most motivated and original young minds in Africa.

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