Monday, 9 May 2022

CONNIE FERGUSON : I WILL BE BACK


South African television personality Connie Ferguson, who was in the country for the last three days, has said she has started discussing with some local filmmakers on collaborations on future projects.

“The Queen” who left yesterday afternoon, promised to return and spend more days with her fans.

She left soon after she finished her last programme on her itinerary, a Zumba session which was held in the morning.

On Friday, she was welcomed with a dinner at Meikles Hotel, which was hosted by business mogul and philanthropist Zodwa Mkandla and her Zodwa Mkandla Foundation.

The glitz and glam event which ran under the theme “black tie”, attracted the “who is who” in Harare from business personnel to celebrities, musicians and fellow actors.

Representatives from the office of the First Lady Dr Auxilia Mnangagwa, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa and chairperson of the First Lady’s Angel of Hope Foundation and TelOne boss Chipo Mutasa were also part of the VIP guest list.

On Saturday, Ferguson took part at the “Women in Business” summit held at The Venue in Avondale.

Speaking at the dinner reception on Friday, Ferguson, who was clad in a gleaming black dress, spotting her signature hairdo, said she was happy with the news that some local filmmakers wanted to work with her.

“I have already started talking to some of the filmmakers I have been introduced to, who are doing great things,” she said. “I am sure you have seen we are now trying to go regional, bridge the gap involving other countries. You might have seen our production “The Queen’ and “Kings of Joburg”, we are now working on season 2, and we’re hoping Zimbabwe will be part of this initiative of going regional.

“I have already said business is business, but arts and culture brings people together. Business and politics are beginning to recognise that, so I think we should put ourselves more so that we are used more by the business and political side.”

She said Zimbabweans were a welcoming lot, while the country was a land of great opportunities, especially in the film and television sector.

Ferguson said she was chuffed by the response she got from Zimbabweans.

“Well, this is amazing and I am delighted,” she said. “Zimbabwe is so amazing. This is my first time in this country. It’s like an hour and some minutes from Johannesburg.

“But I think it just shows how we can be so close and yet so far apart. This is something that we need to change. I would like to say thank you Zimbabweans for taking that step, inviting me here and the love I have received since stepping on your soil has been overwhelming. There is so much Ubuntu.”

Ferguson said she was pleased by Minister Mutsvangwa’s strength, courage, gesture, love and dedication.

“I admired that lady,” she said. “Oh wow, I don’t know about you, but as I was seated here watching the minister welcoming me, it was so loving. I was all in her presence, stature and swag; style sense.

“She has so much swag and I was talking to Sibo about that. She is approachable, and adorable. A strong woman, she and I share the same story. We both lost our loved ones (referring to the recent death of Minister Mutsvangwa’s granddaughter Nonica in a car accident). Even in your grief, you can celebrate me. I am touched. Thank you so much.”

Giving her remarks at the dinner, Minister Mutsvangwa said Ferguson’s visit carried the double significance of celebrating show business and the arts, and also the contribution of female artistes and business persons who have excelled over the years in both Zimbabwe and South Africa.

“We are gathered at this magnificent dinner, held in Ferguson’s honour and you will undoubtedly find, we are warm, hard-working and hospitable people,” she said.

Minister Mutsvangwa said Ferguson was more than welcome in Zimbabwe for business opportunities.

“May I also take this moment to let you know that you are in our hearts, and our nation mourns with you and your family on the loss of your husband, the beloved Shona Ferguson,” she said. “As we do so, we celebrate his life and legacy with you.

“We are delighted as a nation to finally host you in our country, having been entertained and mesmerised by the world you brought to life on our screens and beyond. Indeed, you became family long before you stepped foot in Zimbabwe.

“Your visit has coincided with our drive to liberalise the airwaves, in order to enhance the quality of our programming. To date, we have licensed six commercial television channels, two of which are already on air, while a third is on the verge of going on air.

“As we do so, we seek to draw inspiration and expertise from persons like you, who have been in the television production business for a while now.”

Minister Mutsvangwa said Ferguson’s visit had been punctuated with moments of interaction with local producers, especially female producers, so that they glean one or two lessons.

“I am also pleased that we are celebrating a woman of the stature of Ferguson on the eve of Mother’s Day,” she said. “She has sent the message that for women, it is okay to be strong, affirmative and brave. You have inspired many across the globe and you continue to challenge women in all spheres that women can do it too.”

Minister Mutsvangwa acknowledged that Ferguson was a powerhouse, and greatly beloved in her country and beyond, and she represented values which inspired many and uphold a work ethic all should aspire to reach. Chronicle

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