Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Why Zimbabweans Love to Hate Makosi

By a guest correspondent

I have asked the Nehanda Radio.com editor not to use my real name because I am fully aware the anti-Makosi Musambasi lynch mob will in quick fire fashion set upon me like a pack of hyena’s and use all sorts of mudslinging to run away from what I wish will be an objective analysis of a controversial character.

You could say I know Makosi Musambasi from Zimbabwe and you could say I don’t know her, either way both statements are true in a way. Although I wish my identity secret I will drop a few hints here and there throughout the article for the more discerning readers to pick up. I believe more discerning readers will focus on the message rather than the messenger.

If you happen to be in the minority and don’t know who Makosi Musambasi is, then the following will suffice. She is a Zimbabwean girl, born 23 September 1980, who came to the United Kingdom several years ago and studied to become a cardiac nurse when she was only 18.

She briefly took time off to join the 2005 UK Channel 4 Reality TV series Big Brother 6 and came third in a controversy packed series eventually won by on screen ‘lover’ Anthony Hutton. Makosi’s sister happens to be a close friend of my sister and that’s how I have over the years picked up on some of the highlights of her life even when she was still in high school in Zimbabwe.

I have been motivated to write this piece because I am impressed by how a skinny little girl I knew from Zimbabwe who loved organising or being involved in beauty pageants and variety shows came to a foreign country and manipulated the publicity system to turn herself into a celebrity. Makosi is one of the most googled Zimbabweans outside politics, raking up 246 000 results.

Makosi in purple dress
Makosi Musambasi

But why has her fame come at the cost of fellow Zimbabweans loving to hate her. On the Big Brother series she was odds on favourite to win the show. She pushed herself into the reckoning by being controversial and gave viewers value for money with her outspokenness. However she went too far in falsely claiming to be pregnant after an infamous swimming pool sex tryst with Anthony.

Initially Zimbabweans were proud to be associated with her in the early days of the show, seeing her survive week in week out. The swimming pool incident and other stunts however gave many the chance to term her an embarrassment to the Zimbabwean ‘culture’ if at all we have one written somewhere in a book or a constitution. In their eyes she has been going downhill ever since.

After her stint in Big Brother, Makosi’s nursing career was virtually over with no chance she would be allowed back in the job by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). At the end of August 2005 her working visa was curtailed and she was forced to file an asylum claim based on the fact that her appearance on the show had made it unsafe for her to return home.

Her asylum claim was successful but cost her thousands of pounds which have not been fully paid up to now, allegedly. She was allowed to say in the UK for 5 years as a refugee with the Immigration and Asylum Tribunal agreeing that she would be in danger if returned to Zimbabwe. Fellow Zimbabweans again rounded on her, accusing her claim of belittling ‘genuine’ asylum claimants.

Makosi posing naked, breasts out in the open for many UK tabloids was to mark ‘the no going back period’ of her relationship with fellow Zimbabweans. While Zimbabwean men will not hesitate to feast on her naked pictures, the women driven my jealousy and envy have been vicious in branding her a ‘prostitute’ and many other unprintable names.

So why did Makosi go into Big Brother?

“I went on to Big Brother for all sorts of reasons, but the most important reason is that my mum (Sennie) has a brain tumour. It’s benign, it is not malignant, but it is sitting on optic nerves which could make her blind … Her having an operation is going to cost a lot of money, so I thought if I can use myself to raise money for my mum then fair enough,” she told a newspaper.

In 2010 Makosi was back for more TV action with Ultimate Big Brother where all the prominent contestants from previous episodes were offered £10 000 each to come for one final hoorah. Makosi revealed she had been in a relationship for 2 years with a 49-year-old man, who lived in Africa. This time naively without controversy her stay was limited, becoming the second housemate evicted.

Trawling through various forums on different Zimbabwean websites you will see the viciousness of the comments directed at her. The same people have no problems hero worshiping adulterous sungura star Alick Macheso or idolising Suluman Chimbetu who not only got his wife’s sister pregnant but has now had three baby boys with three different women in just two years.

Why Makosi is different?

For me the Black Butterfly as she likes to call herself does not pretend to be what she is not. What you see is what you get. She does not seek to hide away from the public glare and has a brain to match her antics. People tend to slide into branding her a ‘big boobed dump girl’ forgetting she had the brains to become a cardiac nurse several years ago.

A good number of people celebrated when they heard that she was struggling financially and that her £10 000 fee from her Ultimate Big Brother appearance was garnished by debt collectors. Everyone has been affected by the global financial meltdown and if we were to make judgments based on who is broke and who is not, then we would have a pointless point of reference.

The feeling of course by many is that she has made a lot of money from her TV and newspaper work that she should not be broke. If my reading of Makosi is correct, she plants ‘false’ stories in the media and manipulates the situation to her advantage. I would bet you soon after the stories broke of her being ‘broke’ dozens of ‘sugar daddies’ were queuing up to take care of her.

That’s how the woman operates, even as you read this piece, you are just another victim of her consuming PR machinery that is addictive like a drug, meantime she puts the resultant money in her pocket while waiting for the next PR moment. She has provided commentary for news items on Jacob Zuma and Gamu Nhengu among others, keeping herself in our collective consciousness.