SM Nyahwa Foundation (SMNF)

The SM Nyahwa Foundation (SMNF) represented by founder Florence Chanakira-Nyahwa, as well as representative for Christians Aware.

Florence Nyahwa born 1954, Zimbabwe (previously Rhodesia). Rhodesia was a British colony and she explains her life growing up in Rhodesia and how the regime was similar to South Africa;


Recalls her studies at University of Lagos, Nigeria, and her African Studies and the study of medicine and the importance of her African roots;


Recalls her post-graduate studies in Nigeria, America and Texas and her post-doctorate in Denmark, Finland and Norway and her family roots;


Explains the importance of organisations that bring diverse cultures together;


Explains how she created a foundation called SM Nyahwa that appreciates all cultures and diverse peoples;


Explains her family background and the movement of peoples within the region and how southern Africa is a diverse community;


Recalls the world of fashion dominated by African prints and the meanings behind the patterns and connections to African heritage;


Explains her thoughts on the importance of Black History Month to Africa;


Explains the importance of appreciation of cultures and traditions;


Explains her relationship as a foundation participating with Black History Month and the African Union within the diaspora;


Explains her thoughts on Serendipity and their organisation of the Black History Month programme and the recording and archiving of Black history;


Recalls the commemoration of the signing of the emancipation of the slaves;


Recalls drawing activities for schools as part of Black History Month and the importance of interaction with children learning about their heritage;


Recalls the foundation’s commemoration of the passing of Nelson Mandela in 2013 and her foundation’s work and networks with various groups from Africa in Leicester;


Explains the importance of sharing and dialogue between groups, organisations and diverse peoples building bridges between communities;


Explains opportunities to interact and engage young people with Black history to help them to learn about their identity;


Explains the importance of heritage and ancestral history in relation to her identity;


Explains the importance of consultation with the community and recalls the event CAPTA (above and around the head);


Recalls her understanding and the research of mental health issues when she arrived in Leicester and her thoughts on the support needed for young people and celebrating the identity of people;


Explains her thoughts on young people of African heritage and the issues they have to deal with to progress in life;


Recalls Martin Luther King day at Leicester College and the future support of the Nelson Mandela statue during his hundredth birthday year in 2018;


Recalls her involvement in Black History Month from 2001 and recalls visiting Leicester Central Library and the lack of African heritage literature;


Explains about the learning of Black history within the family and how this has changed;


Explains about how different support systems such as retired professionals can support the community;


Recalls Elvy Morton and Wolde Selassie;


Explains how the first herbal clinic (natural healing medicines) was set up in Zimbabwe and research undertaken into the traditional healing medicines and herbs;


Explains how Wolde Selassie understood the African civilisations and his research into medicines, and a lecture on astrology;


Explains the importance of archiving and collecting the history of Black history and African heritage;


Explains her thoughts on archiving and the future of Black History Month over the next 30 years;


Recalls her husband’s work with the foundation and how the demography had changed in Leicester and how this affects Black History Month.