Hero’s welcome for BBA Wendall and Vimbai
Zimbabwe’s Big Brother Amplified housemates, Wendall Parson and Vimbai Mutinhiri, yesterday received a rapturous welcome from scores of fans at the Harare International Airport.
Business at the airport almost came to a halt as fans and relatives swarmed the arrival lounge to say “hello” to the duo that hoisted the country’s flag high in the popular reality series. The arrival coincided with that of Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo, who was on the same flight.
The rousing homecoming had its fair share of glitz and glamour coupled with traditional dances as well as Vuvuzela blowing fans. “It’s good to be back,” Wendall said as he was whisked away by bodyguards.
His mother Gillian Jackson was visibly overwhelmed as she was all over Wendall, who was nicknamed “Nibbles” during his 91-day stay in the house. As for Vimbai, both parents, Retired Brigadier-General Ambrose Mutinhiri and Labour and Social Services Deputy Minister Tracy Mutinhiri were there to support their daughter.
“She accomplished what she wanted and I am happy for her,” said Rtd Brig-Gen Mutinhiri. Wendall and Vimbai were driven in a customised game drive vehicle with police escort. The convoy drove through the city centre to Avondale Shops, where the MultiChoice Zimbabwe offices are located.
Wendall expressed gratitude for the support Zimbabweans gave him in the House.
“It was a great show (Big Brother) and we are grateful for the support that we got from Zimbabweans who voted us. I missed freedom, there was so much hard control in the house,” he said. Wendall said he fared well in the house owing to his consistency and the desire to remain true to himself.
“Just be consistent, be yourself. If I drink or don’t drink, I always remain myself,” Wendall said. The down-to-earth Wendall also slammed violence saying there were moments in the house that he would keep to himself after some housemates resorted to violence.
“I don’t like drama or people fighting. When people fought in the house I would withdraw,” he said. Wendall showered former Big Brother housemate Munyaradzi Chidzonga with praises.
“I went there, did my best. He (Munyaradzi) went there, did his best . . . but we are all equal at the end of the day. I will miss the whole thing (Big Brother house).” Vimbai said the win was not just for Wendall alone but for Zimbabwe as a whole.
“It fills me with pride that somebody from my country has had their moment to shine. I am here to help the nation celebrate Wendall’s victory,” Vimbai enthused. Vimbai said she would miss all the housemates.
“I am going to miss interacting with different people, learning something about their countries and their cultures,” she said.
Wendall is the co-winner of the Big Brother Amplified season six with Nigeria’s Karen Igho who got six country votes from Nigeria, Angola, Rest of Africa, Ghana, Mozambique and Tanzania. Wendall got four country votes from Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia and Kenya.
On Monday Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai congratulated Wendall Parson for winning this year’s edition of the Big Brother Amplified. “Throughout his 90-day stay in the House, Wendall showed the true Zimbabwean spirit of humility, courage, dignity and peace,” his statement said.
“The Prime Minister also sends his hearty congratulations to fellow Zimbabwean contestant Vimbai Mutinhiri, who has also held the country’s flag high at Africa’s most popular television reality show. It is our hope that Wendall will use his money to support his mother as he promised, and as part of the care that our culture expects our children to give to their parents,” the statement read.