The appointment of Zimbabwean businessman and socialite Genius Kadungure, better known as Ginimbi, as the official ambassador of Harare International Carnival recently saw people having divergent views.
He is after all a less than uniting character.
In appointing Kadungure, Zimbabwe Tourism Authority boss Karikoga Kaseke said they had selected him as “he possessed qualities of being ambassador for the carnival”.
“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,” Kaseke said recently.
While he justified the appointment, some sections felt he indeed was the right person while some had a different view arguing that his name had been marred by a lot of controversy for him to be the face of the Carnival.
With this appointment, Ginimbi will be expected to assist in the promotion and development of the Harare International Carnival, guide ZTA on promotional activities and packages to pursue, represent and talk positively about the Carnival at any appropriate forum among other roles.
The Saturday Herald Lifestyle spoke to various notable figures in the arts and entertainment industry with most of them hailing his appointment.
Biggie Chinoperekweyi described the appointment as a “masterstroke” noting that Kadungure’s character was exactly what the Carnival needed.
“That was a masterstroke, yakagona zvekuti. Carnival is about happiness and I believe he is the master of happiness. Here is an appointment that was not looking for academic qualifications or moral standing and mind you morals are relative.
“Here is what the Carnival needs, People like Ginimbi. Philip Chiyangwa could have also made a good ambassador, this is about entertainment and the industry needs such characters for it to thrive.
“There was no way ZTA could have picked someone from the church to be a Carnival ambassador. Ginimbi is a happy character who has followers and I could not have thought of any better character.”
Social, youth, and urban arts activist, Plot Mhako shares different sentiments.
“I think the decision was not well thought out. Whilst it resonates with one of the Carnival goals to promote and foster national happiness to which Ginimbi as a socialite and entertainment entrepreneur perfectly fits, it misses out on the image and brand marketing for Zimbabwe as a tourism destination.
“Social standing and issues of questionable integrity come into play and do not do well for ZTA and the Carnival. The ideal brand ambassador should be able to represent a brand in a positive light and by doing so help to increase brand awareness and value.
Blogger and online journalist Michael Shoko had this to say: “Genius Kadungure is a very creative person. He has shown, with his own life that he is innovative enough to come up with ideas that start conversations in the show business.
“Secondly, he is a culture-fit for the carnival. Ginimbi embodies the personality of all that’s needed in the entertainment industry. In his sphere, I don’t know anyone who is more influential.”
He further argues that Kadungure “is a moving Carnival billboard. Appointing Genius as the Carnival Ambassador could be the most ingenious idea ZTA has ever come up with.”
Socialite Jackie Ngarande says he deserved a chance to prove that he was the right person for the appointment arguing that those who were judging him because of his controversial reported stories were acting holier than thou.
“People should not always look at the negative, he is fit for that and I feel people are just too judgemental yet they do worse things behind closed doors.”
Social media influencer, Mitchell Gumbo says Kadungure has what it takes to be the face of the sometimes controversial Carnival.
“I personally feel Ginimbi is worldly enough to be the face of the sometimes raunchy Harare Carnival. His links with celebs across the globe may also be beneficial. Let’s give him time.”
The general sentiment is that because this is the Harare Carnival and not the Vatican Carnival, the holier-than-thous can sit this one out and zip it.