Sunday, November 21, 2010
Zimbabwe: Munya's Dream Comes True
Harare — ZIMBABWE'S representative in the Big Brother All Stars reality television show, Munyaradzi Chidzonga, is probably the only person in the world who can say coming second beats coming first.
After missing out on the show's US$200 000 prize, he returned home yesterday to be greeted with the news that a new bank account opened for him had the tidy balance of US$300 000.
On top of that, he fulfilled his childhood dream and met President Mugabe at State House in Harare.
Perhaps for Munya, the cherry on top of it all is that President Mugabe is the one who handed him the bank letter confirming the huge balance.
The money was sourced through a campaign spearheaded by businessman Mr Philip Chiyangwa and the National Indige-nisation and Economic Empowerment Boa-rd chaired by Mr David Chapfika.
Battling to contain his emotions, Munya greeted President Mugabe with his Gushu-ngo totem while the Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces responded with the 24-year-old's Unendoro clan name.
"That was something I wanted to do since I was very young," Munya said.
"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.
Big Brother Africa
"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 (President Mugabe), Your Excellency," he said as people chanted "Gushungo" and "Munya".
During the course of Big Brother, Munya intimated it was his desire to meet President Mugabe and usually went around the house with the Zimbabwean flag draped over his shoulders.
Earlier, President Mugabe said Munya-radzi Chidzonga 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 "gruelling" 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."
President Mugabe said BBA was a very tough competition.
"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 Zimba-bweans represented by you."
President Mugabe described Munya's victory as one for all youths in Zimbabwe.
"This is what we want from our young people, to do it for Zimbabwe, to demonstrate that we can do many more things than just politics . . ."
The US$300 000 was from Zimbabweans who felt Munya should have won the first prize.
The 24-year-old Munya, christened the "Diamond Boy" and "Son of the Soil" during his 91-day stay in the Big Brother House, touched down at the Harare International Airport around midday.
However, his multitude of fans, who included hoardes of screaming girls, were disappointed after he was whisked away before he could meet them.
Munya was driven directly to State House to meet President Mugabe, with whom he shared a cup of tea before the brief presentation ceremony in which he got the CBZ Bank confirmation letter reflecting the US$300 000 balance.
Present were his family, Ministers Webster Shamu (Media, Information and Publicity) and Saviour Kasukuwere (Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment), CBZ chief executive Dr John Mangudya and Multichoice Zimbabwe representatives.
Speaking to journalists after the tea date with the President, Munya said the meeting was a "dream come true".
"There is a phrase that if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.
"Now, this is one time that I do not believe that -- I believe if you can think it, dream it and apply yourself to it, you can achieve it.
"I just met one of my heroes; this man literally changed my life.
"It's because of him that I am and I feel over the moon," he enthused.
Munya refused to dwell on his second-place finish in Big Brother.
"Let God judge the criminals . . . rather dwell on the issue, let's look at the positive things," he said.
President Mugabe gave Munya an autographed Zimbabwe flag.
Unfortunately, due to the tight schedule Munya had to miss the welcome reception planned for him at the airport.
After waiting since early morning to see him, relatives and friends were disappointed to hear he had to rush to State House.
Clad in a waistcoat and a fedora, he was briefly seen hugging his wife, Adiona Maboreke.
The crowd waved placards inscribed "Welcome Home Diamond Boy", "You were robbed but don't worry, there is US$300 000", and "Son of the Soil" among others.
Business ground to a halt at the airport as fans and airport officials waited to welcome him.
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Thirty beauties from Gossip Models wore T-shirts emblazoned with Munya's image.
Croco Motors customer service manager, Ms Anna Matanhire said: "We are happy to be associated with Munya's homecoming.
"By picking up the Big Brother contestant from the airport, we are fulfilling part of our social responsibility obligation."
At a Press briefing after leaving State House, Munya thanked Zimbabweans for their support.
Multichoice Zimbabwe hosted the briefing.
"I thank you for effort and I always said revenge is a meal best served cold and I think the money is going to do just that," he said.
He said he had nothing against the winner, Uti of Nigeria