Sunday, November 21, 2010
Mugabe splashes $300,000 on Big Brother runner up
Zimbabwe’s representative in the Big Brother All Stars reality television show, Munyaradzi Chidzonga on Wednesday met President Robert Mugabe and was feted with $300 000 compensatory ‘prize money.’
This means that Munya got more than the winner of the competition, Uti from Nigeria who pocketed $200 000 for winning the contest sponsored by Multi Choice.
Zimbabweans felt Munya was robbed after surviving eviction nine times when he was nominated and political heavyweights from President Mugabe’s Zanu PF party jumped at the opportunity to exploit to their favour.
The move was initiated by business mogul Phillip Chiyangwa, a nephew of the president and David Chapfika who initiated a fundraising campaign.
After meeting the president, Munya said: “That was something I wanted to do since I was very young. They say when you are young you are given the power of dreams.
“You live that dream until a certain time it is realised. I have always told young people around that we are a product of a group of men’s dreams and we have been given a platform.
“And I can proudly stand on that platform and say a black man is more powerful in Zimbabwe than anywhere else in the world.
“I have been given the blessing of travelling and seeing, not all of it, but much of the world and this is the best place. It is thanks to men like you Your Excellency.”
During the course of Big Brother, Munya said he wanted to meet President Mugabe and usually went around the house with the Zimbabwean flag draped over his shoulders.
President Mugabe said Munya was a people’s hero and the true winner of the Big Brother All Stars reality television show.
He hailed Munya’s performance in the “grueling” and “rough contest”.
“This is quite a joyous moment not just for Munya, not just for me, but to all of us in the country… you have done well for the country,” he said.
“And you went through it all. I didn’t think you would survive because you looked so young, perhaps the youngest of them all.
“The most handsome of them all… We were very proud of you and of your performance.
“When it came to the end, the top decision, the judges had to make sure that one (person) had to win. It was Nigeria versus Zimbabwe and Nigeria is a very big country so you deferred to Nigeria.
“But both of you won and from our point of view, for us, you were the winner. You made us proud. I want to say congratulations to you and the young Zimbabweans represented by you.”
The 24- year old Munya touched down at the Harare International Airport around midday and was driven straight to the State house.
According to host of BBA IK, this was the closest ever finale with the winner securing the votes from eight countries and the runner up from seven.
Uti initially participated in the third season of Big Brother Africa and was one of the housemates from previous seasons chosen to enter the Big Brother All Stars house.