Sir Wicknell, actually you’re the poorest man in Zimbabwe!

Source: Sir Wicknell, actually you’re the poorest man in Zimbabwe!

When I read a recent diatribe by self-proclaimed businessman Wicknell Chivayo, I felt like puking.

Tendai Ruben Mbofana


  • He exhibited zero shame berating and disparaging legendary musician Thomas Mapfumo, as well as fearless activists Job Sikhala and Hopewell Chin’ono.

    The focus of his vicious and quite frankly uncalled for attacks on these great men was what he perceived as their weaker financial status as compared to himself.

    He unashamedly mocked Mapfumo’s supposed ‘destitution’ in the US where he is based. 

    Chivayo went further by declaring Chin’ono as a ‘half-witted and failed pseudo-journalist’.

    As if he had not disgraced himself enough, he proceeded to poke fun at Sikhala’s solitary confinement during his two-year unjust and unconstitutional incarceration.

    I would have ordinarily ignored this rant as the ravings of a man harbouring some issues. 

    Nevertheless, what I found most disturbing is how some people appear to believe that financial wealth is everything. 

    I am a social justice advocate and writer myself who has faced many financial difficulties due to the nature of my work, with which many employers may be reluctant to associate.

    In fact, I lost a very lucrative job with an NGO in South Africa after rejecting their ultimatum to either stop my writings or lose my employment.

    This was because the organization was also involved in humanitarian work in Zimbabwe, and as such, feared that my writings would lead to conflict with the ZANU PF regime.

    Today, I still face the same challenges, whereby I have lost many opportunities due to my fearless social justice advocacy. 

    Why did I choose my writings – which did not earn me any money – over a well-paying job?

    As much as it was a tough decision to make – on account of my dire economic situation – my love for the suffering people of Zimbabwe automatically took first preference. 

    There was no way I was to choose living a life of comfort and pleasure whilst the ordinary people of Zimbabwe endured unimaginable poverty and oppression with no one to speak for them.

    Standing up and speaking out for the suffering gave (and still gives) me more satisfaction and fulfilment in my life, which no amount of money could ever buy. 

    Even today, I go to bed with a contented heart whenever I have spoken for the impoverished, or my work has actually borne positive results for the marginalized. 

    There is nothing that gives me greater joy than receiving a message or phone call – from the people I would have assisted in their grievances against authorities – expressing gratitude for ensuring that the issues were resolved. 

    What can beat that?

    Is there any way I can ever derive the same satisfaction and fulfilment from having a donated lavish house and car from a character as Chivayo meant to silence me?

    Would I ever be able to sleep comfortably at night, even in the most expensive mansion, knowing that there were millions of suffering Zimbabweans out there who now had no one to speak out for them?


    It would be more appreciated to receive assistance from well-meaning individuals or entities that will actually support us in our  advocacy work. 

    I have used my own life experience, but I know fully well that this also applies to Mapfumo, Chin’ono, and Sikhala. 

    As a matter of fact, I was invited by Sikhala to his home in St Mary’s (Chitungwiza) a month ago – soon after his release from his unjust and unconstitutional  incarceration.

     I had the opportunity to know who he really was. 

    This is a man who would never exchange the harrowing experience he had in prison for a life where he no longer had to speak out and stand up for the oppressed people of Zimbabwe.

    In our conversation and from seeing with my own eyes the real Sikhala, it was so easy to tell his genuine devotion and passion for the ordinary citizenry.

    In fact, in spite of the fact that he is a renowned lawyer, he elected to stay in a high density suburb – ‘with the people’, as he proudly told me. 

    I had never met a more humble person like Sikhala.

    So, on what basis would someone like Chivayo ridicule him, or Mapfumo, or Chin’ono?

    Actually, if indeed Mapfumo is truly struggling financially in the US, was this not as a result of Chivayo’s own political party (ZANU PF) threats, which drove him into exile?

    Is Chivayo pleased with himself that his masters in the Zimbabwe regime can hound a legend like Mapfumo out of his own country?

    This is the same man he (Chivayo) claimed he wanted to present a lavish house and car in recognition for his (Mapfumo’s) contribution towards Zimbabwe’s independence.

    Is it not a huge shame that our post-independence leaders are the ones who have turned into our oppressors – even persecuting those who ‘contributed to Zimbabwe’s independence’?

    What was Mapfumo’s crime?

    Merely singing that the country that was fought for by thousands had been reduced to tatters by a corrupt ruling elite?

    What was Chin’ono’s crime when he was also jailed and placed into solitary confinement – something which Chivayo similarly celebrated?

    Exposing this same despicable corruption, particularly at the hands of those in power – which has destroyed a once prosperous country that Mapfumo had helped liberate.

    So, in the mind of Chivayo, this suffering in the quest to bring justice and a better life for the people of Zimbabwe is worth mocking?

    What has he done for these same poverty-stricken people?

    In all the dishing out of expensive cars to musicians, has he ever donated even a single paracetamol or exercise book to our rundown public hospitals and schools?

    Does he feel like such a big man by driving around in flashy vehicles whilst the ordinary citizenry languish in unbearable poverty?

    According to WFP (World Food Program), the latest statistics show that 5.4 million Zimbabweans face hunger this month. 

    What is Chivayo doing for these people?

    Yet, those he views as ‘half-witted and failed pseudo-journalists’ are at least highlighting these suffering people’s sorrowful plight.

    Those like Sikhala, whom he is mocking for spending time in solitary confinement, have endured this persecution for standing up for those crying under ZANU PF misrule.

    Just as I have personally experienced, Sikhala, Chin’ono, and Mapfumo are getting satisfaction and fulfilment from what they are doing for the people of Zimbabwe. 

    Whether they are poor or not, whether they are jailed or not – their lives have meaning and purpose. 

    Can we surely say the same about Chivayo?

    Is he genuinely happy swimming in his wealth?

    In fact, is all this dishing out of expensive cars and flaunting of his riches for all to see not a sign of an empty sad man desperate for some attention and validation?

    I can dare say Chivayo is, in fact, the poorest man in Zimbabwe!

    Doing what one gives you satisfaction and fulfilment is the real wealth.

    Is that not what Maslow’s hierarchy of needs also shows – with self-actualization (which includes experiencing purpose and meaning) at the very top?

    Chivayo’s quest for wealth – property, shelter, clothing, amongst others – are at the bottom!

    Granted, we all need money to survive – but definitely not at the expense of the people of Zimbabwe.


  • comment-avatar
    Dr Ace Mukadota PhD 3 weeks ago

    sir Wicknell Chivayo is simply a half educated buffoon. He appears to be the successor to Dr Philip Chiyangwa who also used to promote himself as one of the most successful people on the planet – also half educated and of course was a member of the BSAP in the days of the white devils.