Hopewell Rugoho-Chin’ono is a documentary film maker and international journalist. He was the ITV News Africa Field Producer from 2008 to 2015 and The New York Times ZIMBABWE foreign correspondent from 2015 to 2017.
Hopewell trained as a journalist at the Zimbabwean Institute of Mass Communications before getting his first post graduate Master of Arts degree in International Journalist from City University’s Journalism school in London, England.
After graduating from City University, he worked with the BBC World Service as a freelance radio producer. In 2003 he returned to his native Zimbabwe to work for the BBC as a freelance correspondent.
Unfortunately the Zimbabwean Government refused to accredit him as a journalist unless he worked with a pro-government media house, he refused.
He won a British Government Chevening scholarship in 2006 to read film at Brunel University, where he obtained a Master of Arts degree in Documentary Practice in 2007
He returned to Zimbabwe in 2007 and made a documentary film called Pain in My Heart. Pain in my Heart won the 2008 CNN African Journalist of the year award
After making Pain in My Heart he set up Television International in Zimbabwe, a production house that produced news for ITN and South Africa’s e.tv. He has also worked with CNN International as a field producer on special assignments and produced for Sky News, BBC Newsnight and Ireland’s RTE.
In 2008 he went to the University of Oxford’s Saïd Business School where he was awarded The Tutu Fellowship in African Leadership. Hopewell is also a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, the third Zimbabwean journalist of only three to have won the most prestigious Fellowship in journalism in 2009. In 2009 he was the winner of the US Aid Communication award in Zimbabwe for his HIV and Aids Reporting. In 2010 he was nominated for a Rory Peck television award for his documentary film A Violent Response
He worked as South Africa’s eNCA foreign correspondent and producer in Zimbabwe from February 2008 to April 2014. He is a multi-skilled television journalist who does Correspondence, Producing, Camera and Editing work.
He has left journalism to return to documentary filmmaking. He directed the only mental health film made in Africa, the award winning State of Mind, a film looking at Zimbabwe’s mental illness epidemic.
In 2020, Hopewell reported on alleged Covid-19 procurement fraud within the health ministry, which led to the arrest and sacking of Health Minister Obadiah Moyo. It was President Emmerson Mnangagwa who fired Obadiah in July for “inappropriate conduct” over the $60 million medicines supply scandal.
On July 20, 2020, Hopewell was arrested and charged with inciting public violence. The US embassy called Hopewell’s arrest “deeply concerning”, while his lawyer called it “an abduction” and Amnesty accused Zimbabwean authorities of “misusing the criminal justice system to persecute journalists and activists