She beat the odds: Meet Dr Hellen Venganai

Dr Hellen Venganai, a Gender consultant, researcher, and a advocate for women, girls and children's rights. After the passing on of her father, Dr Hellen was raised by her super mum, to be one of the most educated women in Zimbabwe - and a young age too! She beat the odds, she worked harder and now deservedly sits right at the top.

She beat the odds: Meet Dr Hellen Venganai
Story credit: The Issues PaneNyaya
 
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Her career started as a Radio Producer/Presenter at ZBC Radio Zimbabwe where she later became the Executive Producer for Continuity. She produced many programmes that focused on health, children and women's issues. Between 2007 and 2009 she moved to the music industry as Corporate Communications Manager and was also overseeing the portfolio responsible for management of music artists.
 
Born the leader she is, Dr Hellen occupied different leadership positions and used these opportunities to amplify the rights of women. In 2013 she briefly headed the Women Empowerment Foundation Scribes Africa (WEFSA), fighting against sexual harassment in media houses and took the campaign to journalism colleges in Harare.
 
Towards the end of her PhD journey, she established Mambure Trust in 2016 with the aim of promoting the effective and strategic use of digital literacy and other life skills for the empowerment of girls and women in rural schools and surrounding communities. The organisation has implemented a basic computer skills training programme in several rural primary schools in Bikita District,which has benefited hundreds of learners and teachers. It also conducts career guidance as well as supports girls with sanitary pads.
 
Dr Hellen is currently the Chairperson for the Gender Transformative Sciences Department at the Women's University in Africa where she teaches gender, sexuality and child rights related courses. She finds joy in mentoring girls and young women including her students, and to this day has a number of publications around gender, sexuality, culture and social justice. She was once the Coordinator for the Child Sensitive Social Policies Programme and being a woman of many talents, at some point, served as an adjudicator for the National Arts Merit Awards (NAMA).
As she took the entire Women’s Month to celebrate, applaud and cheer on other sisters, Issues PaneNyaya reciprocates, and takes a moment to love, salute and appreciate Dr Mainini Hellen right back!