By Vasco Chaya
Actress Anne Nhira, who successfully applied to government so they bar South African socialite Zodwa Wabantu from taking part in the 10-day Harare International Carnival which ends today, is celebrating the cancellation of the controversial Durban personality’s Zimbabwean tour.
The former Studio 263 actress believes Zodwa’s decision to abort her second trip to Zimbabwe, despite receiving the necessary approval from the Board of Censors, was a victory for “what is right.”
“I am ecstatic that my voice was heard as a young woman in Zimbabwe standing up for what is right. The only way is up for our communities for as long as we speak with one voice on issues that require attention.
“My inbox is full with congratulatory messages for this initiative from all over the world including some South Africans too,” Nhira told the Daily News.
The embattled actress was, however, quick to point out that her decision to appeal against Zodwa’s visit was not personal.
“As I said before, it was never a personal attack on a particular individual. It was against the practice and for standing for what I believed in for the greater good for Africa and the world,” she told the Daily News.
Though Nhira was attacked left, right and centre for blocking the South African socialite’s tour, she insists that she has no regrets for standing for what she believes in.
“I know I have been vilified for standing for what I believe in but that to me is what defines freedom of expression and association. What I spoke against is not an individual but a practice which doesn’t sit well with me.
“All the attacks did not affect me at all as freedom of expression is highly important. I have millions of people supporting my voice and my standing who are just not as vocal,” she said.
Nhira added she was willing to accept the South African socialite’s offer for a meeting but on her own terms which she was not prepared to divulge.
“That could be possible as it was never personal. However, the meeting will depend on the conditions that I will stipulate,” the former Studio 263 actress said.
Since Nhira is based in South Africa, several people have slammed her for working against a national of a country in which she has stayed for many years.
Yesterday, Nhira refused to comment on the matter and on whether she will be returning to South Africa soon.
In a related Facebook post, Nhira denied that her letter to government seeking Zodwa’s ban was successful because of an alleged improper relationship with acting Tourism and Hospitality minister Patrick Zhuwao.
“Allegations have also been thrown around to the fact that I only got government attention because of ‘inappropriate’ relations with government ministers but the truth is it is not every woman who sleeps their way to their goals and objectives.
“My engagement with government over the Zodwa issue was not only with the ministry of Tourism but also with the ministry of Women Affairs, ministry of Youth as well as the ministry of Culture.
“All this was not inspired by malice but a standpoint which probably resonates with many though they may not be as vocal,” she claimed, adding that her action was in keeping with her support of the local arts sector.
“Prior to this engagement I have always stood for empowerment of local artistes and I still feel it can be done.
“For example, if we can have Zodwa performing for God knows how much, why not having Gonyeti or Bev performing for the same amount? While some question the logic behind having one performer stopped, it goes without saying that you can’t have wholesome advocacy.” Daily News