British luxury car maker Rolls-Royce Motor Cars Limited regularly posts promotional material on its Facebook page, showcasing its prestigious vehicles like the eye-catching new Rolls Royce Ghost and the immaculate Rolls Royce Wraith.
Over the past few months, each post by the high-end car maker attracted about 100 comments from enchanted connoisseurs drooling over the expensive toys.
But from Sunday, following the death of a Zimbabwean socialite and businessman who was often based in South Africa, the Rolls-Royce page exploded.
Rolls-Royce’s latest post issued on Wednesday, showcasing the iconic “spirit of ecstasy” – the bonnet ornament sculpture on Rolls-Royce cars – had by Friday attracted more than 56 000 comments and 25 000 emoji reactions.
The extravagant Genius “Ginimbi” Kadungure died at the accident scene along Harare’s Legacy Way (formerly Borrowdale Road) in the early hours of Sunday after his imposing R5 million Rolls-Royce Wraith crashed into an oncoming pocket-sized Honda Fit before it veered off the road and smashed into a tree and went up in flames.
Three other people who were with Ginimbi in the Wraith were burnt beyond recognition, but the socialite’s body was reportedly flung out of the blazing vehicle.
Enraged Zimbabweans rushed to the Rolls-Royce page, demanding answers as to how the Wraith, an epitome of safety and class, particularly among the few affluent Zimbabweans, could not have sustained the crash.
Popular Zimbabwean socialite and businesswoman Nomathemba Primrose Ndebele led the charge of the disgruntled crowd, highlighting that Zimbabwe’s lit party scene, characterised by Ginimbi’s all-white parties, where champagne flowed freely, would now be a thing of the past.
Ndebele wrote on the Rolls-Royce page: “We want champagne showers every weekend you wicked people. We are a small nation with a population but the other seven million are in other countries. You will have to send champagne in their countries of residence.”
Zimbabwean songstress Kuchinei Chatsama typed the popular Shona dirge, “Ndimi makauraya”. (You are the ones who killed.)
Moses Marimo wrote: “Rolls-Royce buyers should now get a fire truck as a compliment!”
Former Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation news anchor, South African-based journalist Tracy Tariso Sibanda added her voice: “It ROLLed and ROasted our young people.”
Pan-African development strategist and University of London law graduate Dr Charlton Tsodzo chipped in: “Imi vanhu ve Rolls-Royce imi jagwa renyu kukandwa neka Honda Fit…” (You Rolls-Royce manufacturers, how can your car be thrown like that by a small Honda Fit?)
Political activist Shelton Chiyangwa posted the hashtag #JusticeForGinimbi, while another Facebook user, Vennah Mothy, wrote: “If you want to die a painful death, ride Rolls-Royce. How can it lock everyone inside and explode?”
Tich Chihwa Makaz commented: “Now I understand why Zanu-PF fat cats go for Range Rovers, they know your cars are not strong against trees, Honda Fit and all other cars…”
Brian Bhubhu Nyamushamba reacted: “Your $5-million car hit a $3,000 and it blew up and killed four people on the spot. You are a scam!”
Chantel Mungofa wrote: “All I ask for is more safety on your vehicles. Young lives were lost tragically and painfully. A great compensation will be needed to pay their families…”
Another Facebook user, Cy Nthiah, wrote: “#RollsRoyce must fall.”
Faith Berry reacted: “Rolls-Royce do you know that Ginimbi was so loyal to you that he bought three of your cars – the two (Rolls-Royce) Ghosts and the Wraith? You should have been honest from the start… and told us your car is a moving barbecue machine…?”
Munya Mutetwa enquired of Rolls-Royce: “Your car killed our people. How can such an expensive beast burn like paper?”
Ginimbi, 36, was with Zimbabwean popular influencer and physical trainer Michelle Amuli, 26, better known as Moana, and Limumba Karim, a Malawian national wanted in his home country for grand fraud, and a woman from Mozambique named only as “Elisha”.
On Saturday evening, as he left his stately mansion in the village of Domboshava, an excited Ginimbi posted a video on Instagram, where he had a legion of more than 600 000 followers, saying: “Guys, it’s time to go out, it’s gonna be going down. We’re going to Dreams (nightclub) in the next few minutes, it’s gonna be going down. It’s Moana’s birthday, we’re going to pop champagne, it’s gonna be champagne showers tonight, see you there.”
As he climbs into the waiting purple Rolls-Royce Wraith, Ginimbi tells his followers he is “driving (a) Rolls-Royce Wraith”. The video, also shared by ZimLive, cuts out as the hit song Hello by Kabza de Small and DJ Maphorisa blasts from the R5-million motorcar’s sound system.
Media in Zimbabwe reported that at the time of his death, Ginimbi had a fleet of luxurious cars, including:
- Rolls-Royce Ghost
- Rolls-Royce Ghost (2020 model)
- Rolls-Royce Wraith (the one involved in his fatal crash)
- Bentley Continental GT (2014 model)
- Bentley Continental GT W12 (2020 model)
- Bentley Bentayga
- Bentley Mulsanne
- Lamborghini Aventador S Coupé
- Ferrari 488 Spider
- Mercedes G Wagon Brabus (2016 model)
- Mercedes G Wagon G63 (2020 model)
- Range Rover Vogue Autobiography (2019 model)
- Range Rover Sport SVR (2019 model)
- Range Rover Sport Lumma (2017 model)
- Range Rover Sport (2018 model)
- Range Rover Velar (2018 model)
- Mercedes-Benz S Class (2014 model)
- Mercedes-Benz S Class (2019 model).
The socialite is expected to be buried at his palatial Domboshava home on Saturday. Sources told Zimbabwe tabloid H-Metro that Ginimbi’s casket had arrived from South Africa, signalling the certainty of the planned burial at the mansion. | African News Agency (ANA)