Speaking to Standard reporter Kennedy Nyavaya (KN), Bigtime Strategic Group spokesperson Alson Darikayi (AD) confirmed that there was rivalry between Mary Chiwenga and Barbara Mzembi and explained that the group withdrew sponsorship from Mzembi’s Miss Tourism Zimbabwe because of misunderstandings.
Below is an excerpt of the interveiw
KN: There is a lot of speculation and insinuations surrounding Bigtime Strategic Group’s recent pull out from the MTZ pageant. Can you please give us a detailed account as to what really happened?
AD: We proposed as the anchor sponsor a way forward in this world of pageants, as it is, there is rivalry within pageantry in Zimbabwe and choosing to sponsor the other leaving out the other is seen as waging a war with the other which obviously divides the nation. We as Bigtime Strategic Group do not want to sponsor activities that divide the nation, our view is that pageants should have united even though in their diversity and come together to produce one big national flagship pageant. However, our suggestions, views and positions were not accepted. As such, we looked at the value derived from the pageants as a business. We looked at reputation and the relationship going forward and we decided that it will be best if we pulled out [from MTZ], which we did. The unwavering commitment and dedication from Bigtime Strategic Group towards Zimbabwe as a country cannot be reduced to us pulling out. We remain committed to the country and also remain committed to other initiatives that enhance the image of the country such as the Harare International Carnival, Gwanda Gospel Festival among others.