Zimbabwe Govt okays Zodwa visit

HARARE – South African socialite Zodwa Wabantu will not be stopped from coming to Zimbabwe despite a ban imposed on her by the Board of Censors, government disclosed yesterday.

This comes after the Board of Censors barred Zodwa from participating in the ongoing Harare International Carnival on the basis that her signature look — short dress with no panties — would violate the country’s laws, especially the Censorship and Entertainment Control Act (Chapter 10: 04) section 16.

But in an interview with the Daily News yesterday, Home Affairs deputy minister Obedingwa Mguni said the popular South African socialite won’t be barred from entering Zimbabwe.

“Why should we be concerned about her coming? She has been here in Bulawayo before and why do you think we should be worried now?” he asked.

Asked if Zodwa would be allowed to take part in the Carnival, Mguni referred this paper to Tourism and Hospitality Industry minister Walter Mzembi.

“If you want to know about whether or not she will perform then ask Mzembi,” he said.

Efforts to get a comment from Mzembi were fruitless yesterday. His mobile number repeatedly went unanswered.

In an interview with a local weekly at the weekend, Mzembi said Zodwa won’t be allowed to take part in the Carnival.

“Her association, directly or indirectly with the Harare International Carnival, a government-conceived and approved branding and entertainment event, means the government is essentially the stage.

“And by the way, stages are very powerful communication platforms and therefore we could not be seen promoting how she brands her dancing through nudity or creating peeping Toms out of her audiences. Government can’t be that big peeping Tom or facilitator of such,” Mzembi was quoted as saying.

At the weekend, a defiant Zodwa told a South African newspaper — Sunday Independent — that her trip to Harare was still on.

“My booking is not cancelled and all my travel arrangements remain the same,” she said, adding that she will not change her signature look, which drew the ire of the Board of Censors and Mzembi.

“I told them if they want me to wear a covered outfit and panties then they must buy it for me because I don’t have any. I won’t change my look just for Zimbabwe, I have so many people who admire me and book me because of my look, should I change that I’ll lose a lot of money over one gig. I can’t risk that.”

The controversial South African socialite also hit back at former Studio 263 actress Anne Nhira who successfully appealed to government to ban her from taking part in the ongoing carnival.

“That woman is talking rubbish; my invite has not been cancelled.

“In Zimbabwe, it’s where I will be on September 7, I will not be stopped by her jealousy-driven complaint. She is not the one who invited me in the first place.

“I don’t even know why she sticks her nose in my business instead of focusing on herself. There are many Zimbabweans working in South Africa, why should it be an issue if I am invited to perform there?” said a fuming Zodwa.

The larger-than-life South African also expressed her determination to confront Nhira on the matter.

“I would love to have a word with her about this. She is just jealous of me. She must work hard on her acting career, maybe she will end up making more money like myself,” she said. DailyNews


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