REIGNING Miss Tourism Zimbabwe, Vanessa Sibanda, will retain the E200 Mercedes Benz car, initially handed over to her by a Harare-based Nigerian movie distributor for use during her reign.
Oketex Investments — a one-stop shop distributing and selling African movies in Sadc countries and beyond — this week resolved that Vanessa keeps her car while the new queen succeeding her in 2009 has been assured of her own.
Zimbabwe Tourism Authority chief executive officer, Karikoga Kaseke, told journalists at a recent Press conference that his Nigerian partners had finally given away the vehicle to Vanessa with the stable promising more in 2009.
Oketex Investments is also one of the financiers of the groundbreaking movie "The Zimbabwe I Know", expected to bring together the crème deal crème of Nollywood and Zollywood.
However, it is the new pledge by the firm set to raise a lot of interest in some quarters.
Even Chief Jerry Okeke, one of the directors at Oketex Investments, who whispered into Kaseke’s ears to publicly make the announcement towards the end of the conference, got some plaudits from some guests who graced the occasion.
As usual, Kaseke even joked with the Press to "quiz" Chief Okeke’s "ulterior motive" in giving away the vehicle to Vanessa.
"Our partnership with the Nigerians has grown to another level. Chief Okeke has told me that Vanessa is going to keep her vehicle for good and the 2009 queen will drive a new vehicle from the same stable next year.
"I am surprised that you (journalists) haven’t asked Chief Okeke on his motives in making this donation.
"You can find more about his motives like what some of you guys wrote in the newspapers when he first made a similar donation to Vanessa?" joked Kaseke.
Despite Kaseke’s joke, Chief Okeke’s earlier donation of the second hand Mercedes Benz to Vanessa grabbed headlines in some sections of the media although he maintained that he had no hidden motives with this donation.
His young brother, Amarachi George Okeke, brought the issue to rest when he said it was out of love that they made the donation.
"I have always wanted to give back to Zimbabwe, community where I have lived for a couple of years.
"On behalf of Oketex, we feel proud being associated with this pageant (Miss Tourism Zimbabwe) and that’s why we made our donation," Okeke was quoted as saying in one edition of city.com.
Although the news of the hand-over had not yet been officially communicated to Vanessa early this week, the beauty queen welcomed Okeke’s move.
"If it is true, then Mwari vaneni. However, they (Oketex Investments) are yet to communicate to me about the news.
"I will be over the moon if they furnish me with finer details pertaining the issue. Who does not like such good things?" asked Vanessa.
Meanwhile, Miss Kenya-UK, Vicky Nsoki Ngari Wilson, is the country to promote the AIBAMO Trust, which seeks to empower and inspire young Africans gifted in various disciplines to follow their hearts as was done by US President Barrack Obama.
Wilson (20) who holds among other titles Miss East Africa-UK and Miss Exquisite Face of the Universe, described Zimbabwe as a safe tourism destination.
She confessed that she had been misled by some Western media reports that Zimbabwe was not a safe tourism destination.
"I was scared when I came here. I used to believe what I saw and heard mainly from the international media but now I can safely say Zimbabwe is really a safe country.
"We have a lot in common including the words," she said.