“Mind your language!” Victoria Falls tells poet Obert Dube… as tourism city wants gifted poet to be ambassador Obert Dube

Leonard Ncube, Victoria Falls Reporter

VICTORIA Falls City Council wants praise poet Obert Dube to be the city’s ambassador and advised the two-time National Arts Merit Awards winner to lead by example and carry the destination’s flag higher.

Councillors made a resolution during a full council meeting after Dube approached the local authority seeking financial help to travel to Zanzibar, Tanzania for the Sauti za Busara Festival from 10 to 12 February.

Dube approached the council seeking to be helped with US$680 and the council resolved to give him US$380 on condition that he clears his water bills, improves on public relations and stops using tribal inclined language.

Despite being multi-lingual and reciting poems in various indigenous languages, Dube has at times been accused of using tribal insulting language and councillors said Victora Falls is a rainbow city which embraces every tribe.

Dube recently returned from Germany where he took part in the International Afrika Expo Festival (IAEF) in Tubingen and the Britain’s Got Talent Series 16 in London and the Panafes International Cultural Expo and Festival in Cameroon.

Councillors said when he travels outside the country Dube will be raising the city and Zimbabwe’s flag.

“He requested for help with US$680 to travel to Zanzibar and management resolved that he be given US$380 and advised that his bills be checked if he is loyal to paying for them because we will be giving him ratepayers’ money when he is not paying,” sad the finance committee in a report to the full council.

The city’s deputy Mayor Councillor Patricia Mwale said if Dube is in arrears he should be given time to clear his outstanding bills.

“I propose that he be given the US$380 but he should be told that he is now our ambassador and should lead by example. As for the bills, let’s give him time to clear,” she said.

Cllr Prince Thuso Moyo who chairs the finance committee said: “when he is given the money, talk to him to mind his language about the council. Tell him that public relations is important.”

Cllr Lungile Nyoni said Dube should be warned to desist from tribalism.

“He should stop being tribal now that he is being funded by the council,” said Cllr Nyoni.

Contacted for comment, Dube was already at the R G Mugabe International Airport in Harare yesterday on his way to Tanzania where he will be the MC at the opening ceremony for the Sauti Za Busara Music festival.

He will also recite poems

“I haven’t received anything from the council although they asked for my banking details but I could not wait because the date of departure had arrived as I am already at the airport. So I got some people who assisted and added that to my savings to buy the air ticket.

“As for being the city’s ambassador, they haven’t formally approached me and if they do I will consider that and for being a tribalist, that’s not true. Yes we have argued with some individuals while trying to address some issues affecting people and it’s not that I am tribal,” said Dube. -@ncubeleon



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