By Jonathan Mbiriyamveka
Harare socialite, Genius ‘Ginimbi’ Kadungure, who turned 34 yesterday, was on Tuesday appointed as Harare International Carnival (HIC) brand ambassador after a rigorous selection by the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA).
Presenting him with a certificate and appointment letter, ZTA chief executive Karikoga Kaseke said the young socialite businessman would be the face of the carnival for the next three years.
While the ambassadorial role is mostly voluntary, Ginimbi can renew or terminate the contract after serving the stipulated maximum three years.
In his acceptance speech, Ginimbi said: “I feel honoured to become the brand ambassador as it came as a surprise.”
Kaseke, while also announcing that the carnival which was expected to kick off next week had been postponed indefinitely, said Ginimbi had been selected as he possessed qualities of being ambassador for the carnival.
Reading a citation on Ginimbi, Kaseke said: “The concept of being the ‘face’ of a particular brand is widely used as a promotional tool and is a way to promote a brand. People are appointed brand ambassadors for the ability to make a difference in promoting the brand. These could be nationals of Zimbabwe or non-nationals.
“The person must have excelled in a particular discipline, be it sport, music, art, business, beauty pageants or charity work. The individual must be of integrity, must be able to defend the interests of the brand, must be apolitical and not hold any public office.”
The ZTA boss made it clear that the brand ambassador would not be paid.
“The brand ambassador is not paid. It’s a voluntary position. However, the authority may at the discretion of the board — pay an honorarium or provide other non-monetary incentives as it deems appropriate,” Kaseke said.
With this appointment, Ginimbi will be expected to assist in the promotion and development of the Harare International Carnival, advise ZTA on promotional activities and packages to pursue, represent and talk positively about the carnival at any appropriate forum among other roles.
Ginimbi’s claim to fame was when he hosted an All-white party where an estimated $17 000 worth of alcohol and eats was spent.
At age 17, he became a middle man securing gas for domestic users and went on to establish Pioneer Gases. The company supplies gas to commercial, industrial, public and retail sectors.
On the showbiz scene, he has ventured into show promotion and has hosted international acts such as Davido and Fally Ipupa in Harare.
He has also set up a posh nightclub, Sankayi, which is changing the entertainment scene in Zimbabwe as it is hosting high profile artistes. DJ Tira and socialite Faith Nketsi are among the personalities who have graced the club. The Chronicle