Tafadzwa Zimoyo Entertainment Reporter
Controversy has hit the Zimbabwe Fashion Week (ZFW) with some international designers and local organisers pulling out at the eleventh hour amid allegations of bias, corruption and lack of organisation.
The ZFW, which is pencilled for September 3-6 will run under the theme “Fashion Redefined”, is set to be graced by top local music acts including Oliver Mtukudzi who is billed to showcase his label — “Haikobo”.
One of the major pull-outs is Nicki’s Minaj’s senior designer, Zimbabwean born Farai Simoyi who is no longer coming.
Simoyi could not give reasons for her failure to participate but just wished the organisers a successful event.
The show organisers have been attacked on social media by angry fans and fashion enthusiasts for a “household thing”, after they released their nominations for the fashion awards last week.
“I think such events should be banned because how can you have the same people from the same organisations only being nominated. Besides most of them have been working with ZFW,” reads a post on Facebook by Zimbabwe Fashion Kings and Queens.
Some sources revealed to this paper that ZFW founder and director Priscilla Chigariro-Gessen runs her empire like a military camp.
“I have been working with the model cum founder for ZFW. She is a good person but I think at times she goes overboard the way she runs her empire. She doesn’t open for ideas. Right now the camp is falling and we are just a week away. I think she has failed as every year we are always struck by controversy. Look at the way how she is running those so-called awards. A third of the nominees are either her friends or workers (those she plans with or works together with). Because sometimes she doesn’t have monies to pay so the award will act as a way to soften the nominee,” revealed the source.
Efforts to get comments from Chigariro-Gessen were unsuccessful as her mobile phone went unanswered and questions sent to her social media platforms were not responded to.
Meanwhile, South Africa fashion show production company, Group of Creatives — GRP/CR8 (GC) — has opted for legal recourse against ZFW’s Chigariro-Gessen in South Africa over non-payment for services rendered.