Wine festival hit by racism allegations

ORGANISERS of a wine festival held in Harare on Saturday have been accused of turning the event into a racist gathering after non-white merry-markers were barred from entering the venue although they were prepared to pay the requisite entry fees.

Source: Wine festival hit by racism allegations – NewsDay Zimbabwe September 20, 2016

BY STAFF REPORTER

The festival was held at The Queen of Hearts Café in Highlands.

Security details at the festival claimed it was a “private function” despite the event having been advertised in local newspapers with patrons expected to pay $20 entry fees.

“Ticket holders were allowed entry into the same festival, but we were denied even access despite the fact that white patrons who came as we haggled with security bought tickets and were allowed in,” said a local medical doctor, who visited the place in the company of his two Asian tourist friends.

“Looking at the crowd of more than 500 people, there were about three blacks among the white revellers,” he said.

“It was very embarrassing for me to take a tourist to the local wine festival and being denied entry. Tickets were obviously being sold and to be told that without a ‘pass’, we could not enter, it was so embarrassing.”

The bouncers reportedly later produced a banner indicating the event was private despite the ongoing sale of tickets to other patrons. The tickets were labelled “The Stable Winery”.

“There were tickets being sold at $20 each. There were whites only with no other race. Is this the Zimbabwe we know or we are reverting back to Rhodesia?” another disgruntled resident asked.

Fumed a foreign visitor: “I cannot believe this type of segregation still exists in your country after 35 years of independence. We don’t experience this kind of a thing in Zambia where I come from. I felt embarrassed, humiliated and insulted by the manner we were treated.

“Do they think non-whites do not drink wine? I think people should boycott buying these racists’ wines.”

NewsDay later visited the premises after receiving the complaint, and found a predominantly white people’s event underway.

As the crew tried to negotiate its way in, an elderly white man arrived and was immediately allowed to buy the tickets without hassles.

Contacted for comment, The Stable Winery officials said they were not responsible for the event, referring questions to The Queen of Hearts Cafe officials, where a lady who identified herself as Tendai dismissed the claims saying the event was an all-race function.

“It’s not true that other races were not allowed in. You can talk to Phillipa about it, but right now she is busy. Maybe you can send her your questions on her e-mail,” Tendai said before hanging the call.

Efforts to contact Phillipa later were fruitless as she was said to have gone out of the office.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 13
  • comment-avatar

    Oh get over yourselves. Let’s see you report on real racist issues like farms, corruption etc etc etc by your government and party.

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    chimusoro 6 years ago

    Change or “get out.”

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    I have no doubt that this is true as similar incidents have happened to me before. While I despise these actions, I think black people need to treat each other better before they reach out to other races. Let’s concentrate on getting rid of Mugabe. You can understanf Whites still having a hangover over getting kicked off the farms. They are angry so forgive them.

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    Dennis 6 years ago

    This article is so irresponsible and childish. The tickets were pre-sold (and went fast) and I know of several people who wanted to attend but could not get tickets as they were all sold out. It was a case of first come first served, and had NOTHING to do with racism. If you did not get a ticket then you were not able to get in, plain and simple. We found people inside with unused tickets that we were able to buy for friends that had not got. We passed these through the gate so they could get in. As I understand the function and the facilities catered for I think about 500 people and it is entirely understandable that they could not have more people pouring in than they could handle. Imagine the chaos! My advice to the writer, when you see tickets being sold for a function like this, buy yourself one!

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    C Frizell 6 years ago

    The problem is that Mugabe and his gangstas are violently racist so it would not be surprising if people got pissed-off.

    In fact I have never known a worse racist than Mugabe. He is a disgrace to all Africa.

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    JANE O'DONOGHUE 6 years ago

    I FIND THESE COMMENTS STRANGE. WE TRIED TO BUY TICKETS TO ATTEND THIS WINE FESTIVAL SEVERAL DAYS PRIOR TO THE EVENT BUT WERE UNABLE TO AS THEY HAD ALL SOLD OUT. I KNOW QUITE A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO COULD NOT ATTEND FOR THE SAME REASON. I ALSO KNOW OF SOMEONE ASKING ON FACEBOOK LAST FRIDAY IF THEY KNEW ANYONE WHO HAD ONE SPARE TICKET THAT THEY COULD BUY. I AM WHITE AND THE FACEBOOK POST WAS FROM A FRIEND OF MINE WHO IS ALSO WHITE. SO IT SEEMS TO ME THAT THERE WAS NO ONE, WHITE OR BLACK OR WHATEVER OTHER COLOUR, WHO WAS ABLE TO ATTEND ONCE THE TICKETS HAD ALL SOLD OUT.

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    JANE O'DONOGHUE 6 years ago

    WE TRIED TO GET TICKETS TO QUEEN OF HEARTS ON SATURDAY AND WERE UNABLE TO AS THEY HAD SOLD OUT. I ALSO KNOW A FRIEND OF MINE ADVERTISED ON FACEBOOK THE DAY BEFORE TRYING TO FIND ONE SPARE TICKET. WE ARE BOTH WHITE. SO BASICALLY, WE DID NOT GET OUR ACT TOGETHER AND BUY IN GOOD TIME, SO WE COULD NOT ATTEND. SAME APPLIES TO THE DOCTOR.

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    JANE O'DONOGHUE 6 years ago

    WE WANTED TO ATTEND THIS FESTIVAL AND WENT TO BUY TICKETS SEVERAL DAYS BEFORE BUT COULD NOT GET TICKETS AS THEY HAD ALL SOLD OUT. A FRIEND OF MINE EVEN POSTED A MESSAGE ON FACEBOOK THE DAY BEFORE, TRYING TO FIND A SPARE TICKET FOR SOMEONE. I AM WHITE, MY FRIEND IS WHITE. BOTTOM LINE IS THAT WE DID NOT GET OUR ACT TOGETHER AND PURCHASE THE TICKET IN TIME SO WE COULD NOT ATTEND. SAME APPLIES TO THE DOCTOR.

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    Ben Nyasha 6 years ago

    I honestly believe under the present climate Zimbabwe’s white community is ineptly making things difficult for themselves. If they continue to be aloof as if they live in a different Zimbabwe(or are still in Rhodesia) and isolate themsrlves, they should not expect empathy or even sympathy from the other Zimbabwe when the zanupf authorities pounce on them. Already there is talk of further farm invasions. Can they take on that system alone? We have said no to racism in our constitution and there is a call to come together as citizens of this country to once and for all solve our nations together as brothers and sisters. What do you think this does to that?

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      It is incorrect to have viewed this particular situation as being racist in the first place. It was not. Anyone could have bought the tickets on a first come first served basis from what I can make out. Actually that particular venue is fairly multi cultural on any given day that I have gone there. So what do we do about achieving a more integrated society on a more generalized level ? I believe that fundamentally this is just the passage of time. Children of all cultures attend schools together, they form friendships and some of those friendships extend into adulthood. People who have never lived in anything but a multi racial society do not notice colour in general terms. To allow the passage of time may not necessarily be an acceptable solution – but it is still a relevant point. As for threats of farm invasions – how many people are we talking about here ? I do not believe that is any longer relevant. The old farming community has moved on and are living different lives. Given the opportunity (not suggesting they will be) most would choose otherwise – or certainly they would do it a different way.

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    Joe Cool 6 years ago

    Dennis’ comments are entirely illogical and can be dismissed as silly and dishonest.

    I do recall the government press as publishing Mugabe’s ‘quotable quotes’ on the occasion of his 90th birthday, one of which was “we must continue to strike fear into the heart of the real enemy – the white man”.

    So, Dennis, why not just accept and admit that there is increasing racial tension in the country brought about through the increasing arrogance and bigotry promulgated by Mugabe and his friends? His ‘divide and rule’ tactics recognise no racial limitations and his lack of moral leadership has left African cultural values in Zimbabwe in total disarray. Any form of discipline has all but disappeared – so tell it like it is, and stop hiding behind feeble excuses.

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    Bacchus 6 years ago

    Sour grapes from an unprepared and immature author. Next time book ahead. Oh woe is me, the evil white racists won’t let me join their party. Grow up. And Newsday, I never thought I would see you descend to such gutter journalism. Nothing of note happening in the country? Laziness of the highest order.

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    CLIVE 6 years ago

    Seriously, some black Zimbabweans really need to stop playing the race card!. Simply, if you did not purchase a ticket in advance, you couldn’t get in. Hundreds of white Zimbabweans wanted to go but couldn’t, so whats the issue?. Tip of the day – get organized and get a life!!.