Ammara attacks TV show

HARARE - Rising musician Ammara Brown has hit out at the producers of Zim Punk’d, a ZBC-TV programme that pokes fun at celebrities, for allegedly lying to her that they had secured help for cancer patient Sandra Chimanga.

Ammara, daughter of late legendary guitarist and vocalist Andy Brown, tore into the producers of the satirical television programme for dragging Sandra into their “tasteless jokes.”

“Right now I am angry, horrified that they did this. They called me saying they could help Sandra and I did not realise it was all part of their joke,” said the More Sugar Daddy singer.

“I was contacted by someone who identified himself as Steve Mathews who said he could help Sandra and that there was a press conference at a local hotel. I told them that I could not come alone to get the money. I wanted the parents of Sandra involved; I insisted on that.”

The energetic performer added that in addition to Sandra’s parents she also informed Tinopona “Tintin” Katsande, the founder of the Celebrities Combined Trust about the “donation” before she went for the promised press conference.

“I arrived at the hotel and they said they wanted to assist with the donation but they were having second thoughts because of my album cover. I then told them that I did not work alone and that they could deal with another person so I called another artiste who came,” she said.

Ammara told the Daily News that she broke down and cried when she realised that she had been lured into a charade.
“I told them that it was in bad taste. I told them that it was a big issue and that they had to help in raising the money for Sandra and they said they could. Right now I am having a WhatsApp war with the number that called me as they are denying ever talking about Sandra but the evidence is there.”

Ammara’s manager Tsungi Zvobgo is also fuming over the incident.

“Ammara does not mind being “punked” but the way it was done, it was in bad taste. She knew she would get punked at some point but not like this,” said the daughter of late nationalist Eddison Zvobgo.

The producer of Zim Punk’d, Clive Mandizha, however, denied that they had promised a donation.

“What happed was that Ammara was called by Gerry Vengesai, one of our cast members to discuss a donation. Please note that Gerry did not say he had the money. He said he wanted to discuss a donation but Ammara went on to call the parents of the girl (cancer patient},” said Mandizha.

“Gerry did this as he wanted to get Ammara on set, but he has since realised his mistake and resigned. He was with us for eight months. It was just a way to lure her to where we were and we never said we had the money.”

The Zim Punk’d producer added that the aim of the show was to focus on Ammara’s latest album cover which has generated mixed feelings.

“We wanted to have her on set so that we could ‘punk’ her on her new album cover which has attracted a lot of attention. We also wanted to dwell on the song More Sugar Daddy.

“We wanted to pretend that we intended to make her a brand ambassador but we were thinking twice because of the song and the cover,” said Mandizha.

Mandizha refused to shoulder all the blame for the “unfortunate incident.”

“We apologise for the mix-up but please note that we told her not to call the girl’s parents and that she should come alone but she went ahead and did it. I think the outcry mostly on the social networks is from people who want to tarnish our brand,” he said.

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