BEING a SA based newswebsite for Zimbabweans based in Mzansi, we had not really being following or covering the drama, surrounding Harare based 32 year old businessman, Wicknell Chivayo, choosing most of the time to dwell on issues that directly affect our targeted readers and also not to cover stories already published on most Zimbabwean websites.
However after, having socialized with Zimbabweans living in SA, it seems the young man’s story has captivated the interest not only of those in Harare but SA and other parts of the Diaspora.
Today after being in an Internet café, in Jozi’s Midrand this reporter overheard a Zimbabwean woman, talking excitedly about this Chivayo aka Sir Wicknell, narrating his story to another, that I realized that perhaps it was time to put pen to paper to air our views about this young businessman, who has set tongues wagging by many Zimbabweans Worldwide.
As alluded to earlier, it has not been the first to hear about this guy, having heard about him from my nephew , some two years ago.
Then my nephew, was trying convince me to move back to Zimbabwe, arguing that, despite the bad publicity and stories of gloom and doom, there are still opportunities in Zimbabwe, and that he wanted to make in life like Wicknell, who had made it big by involved in Solar Projects, how the guy had quite a huge FaceBook following and had had even Coco Cola make a can with his name “Sir Wicknell” engraved on it.
To be honest after that I forgot about the guy, but fast forward to 2016, another friend and confidante mentioned the guy, as one of Zim’s most flashiest and extremely rich Zimbabweans. This friend of mine spoke with such enthusiasm, which made me curious enough to visit the guys’s FaceBook page.
That is when I saw posts about him having been to the US to buy USD17 000 shoes and how he had given a Pretoria based, Zimbabwean comedian Baba Tencen R100 000, just for making him laugh.
Again I did not think much about the guy until the UK based New Zimbabwe.com published a FaceBook post recently about him withdrawing his sponsorship for the Zimbabwe Warriors.
But what got me interested was the subsequent back and forth and backlash from some quarters that got my “journalistic juices” going. Some were defending the guys’s actions while some were condemning him, amid stories (seemingly cropping up from nowhere about his alleged criminal background” and note I used the word “alleged” as the young man is yet to my knowledge to respond to those allegations. And most importantly I believe it is yet to be proven whether he did indeed commit those crimes, and thirdly if he was either acquitted or served his time, is it really necessary to bring them up against the guy.
Yes maybe his FaceBook posted, published in NewZimbabwe.com could have attracted the ire of some, but was it not patriotic of the guy, (however he got his fortunes, as the allegations that he is a criminal have not been substantiated and to my knowledge are yet to be proven in a court of law and not on FaceBook) to help our National Team, which perennially faces cash flow problems. How many of us with the Little or Lot that we have, done anything for Our country, except to degenerate each other. The guy has not only being accused of being a criminal but also being Gay ( a common favourite of Zimbabwean way of trying to put someone down) . Where does that come in one wonders? Is it not even defamatory to do that, do they people have evidence? Even if he were, what does that have to do with sponsoring or choosing not to sponsor the national team. Is the guy not entitled to choose who he wants to give his money to , when or even how, just like any one of us?
Maybe Wicknell may be described as a bit on the “brash” side but does the young man not deserve to be applauded for helping our most followed sport. How many of us have given even a red cent to some of our upcoming talent such as Baba Tencen?
What is wrong about even being a “front” if indeed that is the case for Asian businesspeople, Does that if it is indeed true not show some form of entrepreneurship, and is being a “Front” a criminal offence.
Let who of us has not “Sinned” throw the first stone and if indeed it is true that the guy has a criminal record has he not had his day in court and was acquitted and by what I have read in some instances, actually served his time and is now officially off the hook. Does he no longer have a say or choice in society because he has been to prison before?
Another “cardinal sin” the guy has made is being friends of having links with the first family. But again what is fundamentally wrong with being friends with Dr Amai or having dinner with her in Dubai?
Are we not misdirecting our anger? If I have a problem with the way Dr Amai’s husband runs the country, should I attack their kids, friends and associates, especially those not directly involved in making whatever decisions they make that they we may not like?
How many of us at 32 years old can boast of having made millions of dollars and having made political connections in high places?
Is it a crime to “show off” your success, if so what is the purpose of social media? Where so many other people show off various things from their children, family, cars, or even being at the Club in the company of beautiful people of the opposite sex.
Even opposition leader MDC-T president Morgan Tsvangirai has been associated with the guy, with media articles suggesting that Wicknell was involved with some army generals in persuading and financing Tsvangirai to run away to Botswana in 2008.
While we can only speculate on whether these articles are true or not, one cannot then admire the young man’s ability to align himself with the country’s movers and shakers, on all sides of the political divide And to be involved in such machinations, (if true) shows great political astuteness, great networking skills, immense influence that point to a brighter future.
And at the time of writing this article Wicknell remains defiant with his latest FB post saying” You can take away every single deal I have but you can’t take away my PASSION….You can’t steal my BRAINS…You can’t destroy what I already have as mine….MAKA JAIRA VANHU VEKU ZIMBABWE munhu wese aita mari YAKA BIWA , IMBAVHA , HE’S ONLY A FRONT , ANE CHIKWAMBO , INGOCHANI and all sorts of rubbish…..KATSI DZE VANHU MURI SIMBE and that’s why the MAJORITY OF US ARE POOR..”
Sadly this pull him/her down syndrome is true of many of us, as mentioned earlier to most Zimbabweans, one cannot possibly have achieved, but must be either a thief, front, or” mu CIO” all the time. The accusations are always the same.
As my former journalism professor always used to say “Bad publicity is always better than No publicity” it shows you have SOMETHING, you are SOMEONE to talk about and judging by the number of followers and the number of comments Wicknell has on FaceBook alone, never mind those who are talking about him on other social media platforms, bars and in their homes, second guessing him and making him some sort of enigma, it shows that if you can set a whole nation of people talking about you, good or bad, then you are definitely something to write home about and you have IT. – Patience Rusere