Good Morning America Caught Up With Tawanda Kanhema, The Guy Who Put Zimbabwe On The Map

Photographer and filmmaker Tawanda Kanhema could not find Harare, his hometown on Google Street view, so he took it upon himself to get Zimbabwe on the map

"I was having dinner with friends and my friend's dad asked me to show him my moms house on the map. We all have the habit of looking up our home, the first time we pick up a map and for me that is something I had done before and I knew that I could not find my hometown. It occurred to me that this was something probably many people experience. I wanted to know what I could do about it."   He says in a Zoom interview with GMA

Kanhema got in touch with the Maps team at Google and learned about Google's camera loan program that lets people take a camera to interesting places.

"I talked to the team, told them about Zimbabwe and 14 of the countries in the Southern Africa region I thought would make an interesting place to represent on this platform. So I borrowed a camera and went back home to Zimbabwe for the first time to do a pilot shoot where I just held the camera out of the window of my brother's car and we drove around the city abd I came back. We had collected about 24-30 miles of footage." He continues

After six months of testing in San Francisco, Kanhema returned to Zimbabwe. However, Kanhema had to personally fund his trip — totaling around $5,000 in order to bring all of us the best views of areas like Victoria Falls, the main business districts in Harare, the Great Zimbabwe National Monument, and other tourist attractions and centers.

For his trip around Zimbabwe, Kanhema had to travel by car, ATV, speedboat, bicycle, and helicopter. He covered thousands of miles and most of his journey was undertaken by himself. Until Google took notice and sent a video crew to document his journey.

Watch the Good Morning America interview in its entirety below

Mungwadzi Godwin

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