Miss Rural pageant license holder Sipho Mazibuko has threatened to sue a local company Castor Oil that was running an online pageant called Miss Rural Africa on Facebook, as she says she is the license holder for the trademark Miss Rural, The Chronicle reports.
Mazibuko said Oil Castor Zimbabwe did not seek permission to use her trademark and her lawyers are looking into the alleged cybercrime right now.
My lawyer and I are looking for the address of this pageant (Miss Rural Africa) and I want to sue them. I’m also going to the police in Bulawayo to report them for cybercrime.
If they want to use the name Miss Rural, they have to seek permission from me. Thereafter they can buy the licence from me
Mazibuko said she sought an audience with Oil Castor Zimbabwe but her efforts were in vain:
I’ve been trying to call these people for a long time. They weren’t picking my calls and were only responding on WhatsApp. When I asked them what they were doing, they said it was their pageant. I told them it was mine and asked if they knew who they were talking to, of which they replied saying no.
I then said I’m the owner of the pageant and thereafter, they switched off their phone and blocked me on WhatsApp
When contacted for comment, Oil Castor said their pageant’s name was Miss Rural Africa June 2020, and they were ready to meet Mazibuko in court:
My pageant’s name is Miss Rural Africa June 2020. There were no trademarks on that name. The claims (by Mazibuko) are baseless and yes if she sues, we will have to defend in court.
Mazibuko reached out through someone else and was very aggressive.
More: The Chronicle