Cape Town – South African award-winning vocalist Kelly Khumalo has reportedly declined an offer to replace Somizi Mhlongo for a Zimbabwean-based gig for which the former Idols SA judge had been scheduled to appear as a guest chef before he was canned out of it due to him being an openly gay man.
According to Times LIVE, Khumalo, who is Mhlongo’s best friend, had been scheduled to appear at the reopening of a prominent Zimbabwean eatery, Garwe.
Her booking came after the Apostolic Christian Council of Zimbabwe and the ruling Zanu-PF youth league demanded that Somizi be excluded from attending the event because of his sexuality.
The council expressed its displeasure in a letter to President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s office, requesting that Mhlongo be barred from entering the country.
]”Somizi is a homosexual, hence according to our people’s driven constitution, Zimbabwe doesn’t tolerate homosexuality. It is therefore our question, if we allow Somizi to come to our land, spiritually we would have disturbed a lot, and physically we would have openly accepted homosexuality in Zimbabwe hence affecting our children. This move will also affect our revolutionary party Zanu-PF by disturbing the 5 million votes win needed in the next 2023 harmonised elections for it is publicly known that our party strongly stands against homosexuality,” read the letter, in part.
On the other hand, Zanu-PF’s acting deputy secretary for youth affairs Tendai Chirau said he had engaged the restaurant owners to stop Mhlongo’s visit.
“The scheduled reopening of Garwe restaurant in Harare is a welcome development in the food industry sector. I have engaged the owner of the outlet, Ms Mandi, expressing our concerns and those by different societal groups over the invitation of one of the highly controversial guest (a declared ngito). I am glad to announce that the owner took heed of the great concerns and elected to remove the said ngito (gay person) from the guest list and never to associate themselves with the said character again,” Chirau said in a statement.
Kelly’s manager, Khothatso Tsotetsi said that they had no idea what had caused Mhlongo to be blacklisted from attending the event when they were first approached.
However, after learning what caused Mhlongo to be barred, they distanced themselves from the event and declined the invitation.
Take a look at some of the Twitter reactions:
Oh wow!! Somizi must not visit Zimbabwe for his “gig”because of his sexual orientation. The same christian council is mute on child marriages, Gukurahundi and other issues that affect Zimbabweans everyday. Can someone make it make sense for me please… #Angilwi pic.twitter.com/uhHxwZnezo
— Vusa Mkhaya (@VusaMkhaya) November 3, 2021
Somizi coming to Zimbabwe as guest chef at the official opening of a restaurant disturbs people spiritually? Is your faith that weak? How exactly is my spirituality affected by a stranger’s life choices?? Worse what he is traveling for has nothing to do with his sexuality…rest. pic.twitter.com/YekG5k9Rj8
— T’chafara (@AdioDinika) November 3, 2021
A Restaurant invited #Somizi to Harare for their official opening because he is a #celebritychef. How is that offensive to anyone’s religious beliefs? We have some very ignorant and stupid Fake Christians in Zimbabwe. Yes. I said it.
— Thabisa Sibanda (@SibandaSibbs) November 5, 2021
They will not protest against child marriages or corruption but they have all the energy to raise hell over Somizi coming here? Talk of misplaced priorities 🙄
— Mel🌹 (@tarii_mel_) November 4, 2021
The problem start when a shadowy organization thinks it speaks for us all .
If they had problems with Somizi, they shud not assume everyone has a problem with him.
Iyoyi nyaya yevanhu zvekuzviita ana father Zimbabwe ndoinotisvitsa patiri apa
— Dr T Stanzo (MBChB) (@realmedicaldoc) November 4, 2021
Picture: Getty Images
Compiled by Sinothando Siyolo