Crowdsourcing is nothing new to Zimbabweans. Several famous fundraising pitches have been made over the years including one that raised close to $100 000 for Cyclone Idai victims. Medical appeals are also not uncommon with several cash-strapped Zimbabweans using the platform to try and raise medical fees for expensive medical procedures. The latest such medical campaign, however, has tongues wagging and has caused controversy.
It involves Michelle Chiyangwa a socialite and daughter to the well-known entrepreneur Philip Chiyangwa who gave her address and location on Gofundme as London United Kingdom. The campaign seeks to raise about US$10 000 in funds for a reduction mammaplasty in order to “save Michelle’s back”.
Each time I go on a weight loss journey it is a struggle to work out because number one my breasts are an F Cup and cause a strain on my back and I have never been able to get rid of my stomach, which I think is associated with PCOS.The original Gofundme appeal
Social media storm
The campaign had been up for barely a day before it torched a social media storm. Philip Chiyangwa, her father, is well known among Zimbabweans for his flamboyant lifestyle and the luxury cars he drives. This led a lot of people to feel like the socialite could have asked her father or family for money instead of trying to ask for donations. Others castigated her campaign as a cheap publicity stunt while others defended her.
The responses were so much it seems that the Gofundme page has been closing. She had only managed to raise 10 British pounds or about $13 during the time it was up. It’s not clear why the page is no longer accepting donations but it could well be because she decided to pull the campaign after the frenzy it caused. It could also be because Gofundme itself made the move.