Monday 5 June 2023


The 27-year-old Kadoma woman, Ms Virginia Dende, who won a brand new US$60 000 Ford Ranger in Saturday’s OK Zimbabwe Grand Challenge, says she is still in shock.

The pricey new generation Ford Ranger becomes her first car.

Ms Dende did not even attend the draw, which was held in front of thousands of people at the Borrowdale Racecourse in Harare, as she did not expect to emerge with any of the prizes on offer. She said she was shocked when phoned by OK Zimbabwe and told she was the winner of the Ford Ranger.

In an interview with The Herald yesterday from her base in Kadoma, the ecstatic Ms Dende said: “I am very happy, this is a very big thing that has happened to me, especially because I was not expecting it at all.

“I am actually glad to see that anyone has a chance to win these OK promotions, something I never believed in before.”

Ms Dende is employed as a procurement officer at Odyssey Hotel in Kadoma.

Previously, there were allegations that some winners dabbled in juju to enhance their chances of winning, but Ms Dende said it could only be God for her.

“I believe in God and nothing else,” she said. “I go to Celebration Church and it can only be God who showed his hand upon my life. This is the first car that I have ever owned and I am still in awe.”

Asked what she was planning to do with the car as some past winners said they would sell the big car and then buy a smaller one and a house, Ms Dende said she was still numb and had not given much thought to that yet. “So far I have no plans, I am still in shock,” she said.

A record 12,1 million entries were made in the 2023 edition of the OK Grand Challenge, and over US$1 million worth of prizes were up for grabs.

The 35th annual promotion kicked-off nationwide on April 5, and ran until last Saturday.

Over 40 Nissan NP200s and the Ford Ranger double cab won by Ms Dende, were up for grabs in this year’s edition, courtesy of a diverse network of suppliers.

Included in the vehicle prizes were the Shoppers Choice Loyalty Club NP200 and the Ritebrand car prize where customers qualified through buying groceries worth $15 000 and $10 000 of the brands exclusively found in OK stores.

These were complemented by weekly prizes, whose qualification criteria required customers to buy general groceries worth $10 000.

In his remarks at the event, OK Zimbabwe Limited chief executive officer Mr Maxen Karombo said: “The OK Grand Challenge has grown to be the biggest, most memorable and most adored brand south of the Sahara.

“The aim of the Grand Challenge is to give our customers the biggest savings in the year through discounts. As we close this year’s edition we start planning for a bigger, better version of the OK Grand Challenge 2024.”

The winning horse was Down to Business beating the 16-strong field, to land the US$90 000 OK Grand Challenge horse race.

Mashonaland Turf Club vice chairman Mr Scott Buchan said the partnership between them and OK had transcended into more than just a horse race.

“It is more than just a national sporting event and if I may acknowledge OK’s obvious transformation over the last two years, their investment into our sport has grown to be the largest yet, with US$90 000 being put across the races held on the day,” said Mr Buchan.

OK Grand Challenge is the biggest and longest running retail promotion in Zimbabwe, having been launched 1988.

The group skipped the 2020 edition owing to Covid-19.

The group continues to grow its branch network under diverse brands like OK Stores, OK Mart, Bon Marche, and the recently acquired Food Lovers, (all but one separately franchised branch) as well as specialty stores like pharmacies. Herald


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