Zim's Big Brother dark horse

HARARE - The wait is finally over! On Sunday night socialite and fashionista Pokello was unveiled as one of the two house mates who will represent Zimbabwe in season eight of Big Brother Africa.

The choice of the 27-year-old shoe boutique owner came as no surprise to many who had ceaselessly tipped her to make it into the popular reality show featuring 28 contestants from 14 countries.

While Zimbabwe was unanimous on Pokello, the choice of the virtually unknown 22-year-old Hakeem Mandaza as this country’s other representative took many by surprise.

Until his bolt-from-the-blue entry onto entry onto Big Brother, Hakeem did not appear at all in Zimbabwe’s entertainment pages.

Being the dark horse he was, it is not surprising that his name was not mentioned even once as the grapevine went into overdrive speculating on Zimbabwe’s representatives.

But who is this Big Brother dark horse?

Hakeem is a model from Harare who entered Big Brother because he is a huge fan of the reality show.

“I like the idea of taking simple and exceptionally talented people like me and thrusting them into stardom,” he says.

“Also, I am a model and aspiring actor seeking bigger opportunities”.

Hakeem lists his favourite foods as crispy rosemary chicken with fries and macaroni cheese. His favourite books include The Art of War, It’s Time to Unleash Your Greatness and 50 Shades of Grey.

The Harare model enjoys watching X-Factor, Two and a Half Men and Chris Angel: Mind Freak. His favourite musicians are The Game, Drake, Chris Brown and Jay-Z and his favourite actors include Dwayne Johnson, Johnny Depp and Denzel Washington.

He says the best thing about Africa is the people, the culture, resources and history, which is “so rich, authentic and intriguing”.

Hakeem is a great admirer of Jamaica because of its great food, drink and climate. He also fancies the Caribbean Island because its   “parties are out of this world”.

The Harare hunk’s role model is Tyson Beckford because who was the first black male model to become a supermodel.

“He was picked from the streets, yet so humble, ambitious and composed,” says Hakeem.

Tyson has also played a major role in his life because “he has been it all — actor, singer, performer, writer, millionaire and motivational speaker who started from nothing”.

If Hakeem wins Big Brother, he’ll invest in property, pay tithes, go to college, take care of his son and own the biggest model agency in Africa to help open doors for others.

While Hakeem is an enigma of sorts, the same cannot be said of Pokello who has attracted acres of media coverage because of her relationship with equally controversial boyfriend Desmond “Stunner” Chideme.

The holder of a Bachelor of Arts degree in Media and Communications owns a luxury shoe boutique. She enjoys pasta, spaghetti bolognaise and prawn cocktail.

She describes herself as “dynamic, captivating, intelligent, beautiful and hilarious” and says that the best thing about her is that she is headstrong and a woman of real substance.

“When I speak, I speak with depth and confidence,” she says. She admires people who are selfless, humble and modest. The controversial socialite is averse to disloyalty and betrayal.

Asked what viewers can expect from her, she says: “I am beautiful, intelligent, controlling and entertaining. I am funny and witty and I say the most humorous things.”

Pokello says if she wins the $300 000, she’ll buy a big house for her son and herself, send him to a full-time soccer academy in London and invest in her business. - Entertainment Writer

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