By Kennedy Nyavaya/lowen mutambara
Satire and current affairs production company Bustop TV says it will not be moved by abusive comments directed at Gonyeti (real name Samantha Kureya) after winning a human rights award last week.
The multi award-winning satirist was bestowed with a Human Rights Defender of the year award by the Southern Africa Human Rights Defenders Network (SAHRDN).
Speaking to Standard Style yesterday, Bustop co-founder Lucky Aaroni said they would not yield to the cyber bullying coming from detractors bent on discrediting their efforts.
“After the announcement of the award some ghost accounts have already started trolling Gonyeti and body shaming her, so we are going to be attacked for this award, but we have to be strong and continue doing what we love to do.”
This is not the first time Bustop TV has been exposed to negative criticism as well as intimidation tactics.
In addition to Gonyeti’s detention with her co-actor Magi earlier this year by the police, suspected state agents allegedly abducted and tortured the comedienne for one of their comic skits earlier.
According to SAHRDN the courage under such circumstances are one of the reasons why Gonyeti deserves this year’s honours for Southern Africa.
“Despite all these operational challenges and threats, Samantha has continued to use satire to defend the rights of the most marginalised at great personal risk,” read their statement.
Meanwhile, Aaroni said they were honoured to add a prestigious gong to their cabinet in a confirmation of the impact their art has on society.
“Its been five years of doing work and we have won a number of awards before as BustopTV and on her personal capacity Gonyeti won awards, but this award is special to us because its recognition at another level of artistic content we generate,” he said.
“It shows that we are not just an entertainment group, but a key component of society and as artistes we should be able to play our role to enhance social cohesion and defend human rights.”
SAHRDN is a sub-regional network that works to protect and promote the rights of human rights defenders within Southern Africa.
Zimbabwe is on the spotlight for violating human rights and there are many cases of abductions of human rights activists.