Sipho Mazibuko rages at Miss Rural organisers for stealing idea

09 Jun, 2020 - 10:06 0 Views
Sipho Mazibuko rages at Miss Rural organisers for stealing idea Sipho Mazibuko

The Sunday News

Bruce Ndlovu, Sunday Life Reporter

THE license holder of the Miss Rural Zimbabwe pageant, Sipho Mazibuko has hit out at the organisers of this year’s contest for allegedly stealing her idea and corrupting it by using murky competition rules.

The Miss Rural Zimbabwe contest was last held in 2007 under the guidance of Mazibuko and for the past 13 years the pageant has been dormant as organisers cry foul over a lack of finances.

However, recently there seemed to be something afoot for rural beauties interested in modeling, with an online pageant promoting and campaigning for contestants for the Miss Rural Africa contest. It is run by a bio-technology company based in Harare in search of an ambassador for their company.

In an interview with Sunday Life however, Mazibuko came out guns blazing against organisers of the pageant, saying she had not been consulted prior to the announcement of the competition and thus had not given her authorisation as the license holder.

“I don’t know how we came to be where we are now. I basically registered my trademark because this was my idea. I came up with this whole thing. I registered it long back and it expired and renewed it again. What anyone should have done if they wanted to hold the Miss Rural pageant and they thought I wasn’t doing anything, is to come and buy the license from me. But these guys never did that. They just went on and did this whole behind my back,” Mazibuko said.

She claimed that she had only been alerted to the fact that the pageant had come back to life by former Miss Rural Zimbabwe contestants.

“I saw in the media that Miss Rural is now back. Actually, it was former Miss Rural contestants who alerted me to this scam. I’m not happy with it. It’s a nullity and whatever pageant they’re doing is not Miss Rural. I only got to know of this about three weeks ago,” she said.


Mazibuko said she had tried to get in touch with the brains behind the Miss Rural revival but her efforts were fruitless.

“I don’t know any of the people behind this pageant. I actually got a number from someone after he interviewed these models campaigning for votes online. I asked him if he knew them or was involved with them and he said he would help me with their contact number. I have been trying that number but nobody answers my calls,” she said.

Mazibuko said she had now initiated legal proceedings against the organisers.

“I have taken the issue to my trademark lawyers and we are looking for these guys. We just want an email address because we just have that phone number. If we get an email address then we can serve them with papers. This is theft of intellectual property. They should have come up with their own thing and maybe called it Miss Kumusha or Miss Makahaya or whatever because Miss Rural was my idea,” she said.

Mazibuko claimed that the pageant was currently unable to take flight because of a lack of finances.

“The reason why we haven’t had any Miss Rural pageant is because of the economy. Miss Rural is a very expensive project. This is why these people are doing an online pageant. They’re not going district by district in the rural areas, something that I was doing.

“So, it needs a lot of money and with the economy in this state, it would be beyond my means. It’s not like I have forgotten about Miss Rural, I haven’t. It’s my baby and I have plans for it. So why should someone take my baby and use it just because I’m looking after baby and I’m not taking it out there. Why? They should form their own pageants,” she said.

This is not the first time Mazibuko has come out against “thieves” after the Miss Rural concept.

In 2015, she again initiated legal proceedings against the Zimbabwe Multi-Talented Youth Association led by Christine Matizha.

“There was another one from Harare who started using Miss Rural and again I was alerted and my lawyers stopped them. The same person went on to hijack Miss Heritage and again she was stopped. This is not the first time this has happened.”

Mazibuko also said that the pageant’s rules were a misrepresentation of what Miss Rural Zimbabwe was all about.

“How can you have a rural model who works at a broadcasting company in town? Honestly, they’re abusing my idea. They’re supposed to get rural girls who stay in rural areas. Rural girls don’t do Instagram and they don’t do Facebook. I’m fuming. What they have done is not nice. I’m not sitting on my baby. Miss Rural will come back one day. This is my baby and I know what I’m doing,” she said.

She said despite the pageant’s idleness, it did not give anyone the right to take her idea and run with it.

Efforts to get a comment by the organisers of the pageant were fruitless as their phone went unanswered.

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