COMEDIENNE and singer Felistas Maruta aka Mai Titi says she was used and dumped in the United Kingdom (UK) by ex-boyfriend Blessed Zingwe aka Zizoe who she had helped secure a travelling visa.
Mai Titi, who recently celebrated her 34th birthday, said she has since forgiven Zizoe, 25, who had been issued a UK visa on the strength that he was her backing vocalist.
Initially she had committed herself to helping uplift the upcoming musician.
“I met Zizoe after his brother based in the UK asked me to assist him musically. For me, it was a simple task as marketing is in my DNA. It’s a talent. It did not take me days to boost his career.
“With the passage of time, we eventually found ourselves falling in love. For me, it was fine, despite the age difference, as he showed maturity,” the mother of two told the Daily News on Sunday.
Owing to their pronounced age difference, the celebrity couple endured criticism from society but they both turned a deaf ear.
“We encountered a lot of criticism at that time with people asking me why I was dating a young guy but we ignored them and moved ahead with our lives. He exhibited maturity. He sounded like a well matured person,” the former Mercy Mutsvene backing vocalist said.
“He was a very caring man. Even to my children, he knew how to get along with them. We had so much fun together.”
The lovebirds got an invitation to perform in the UK, thanks to Zizoe’s brother.
“Little did I know they wanted to use me to help Zizoe to cross into the UK as he had been denied a visa several times. As for me, that was going to be my fourth trip there. When he got the UK visa, we travelled together with him as my backing vocalist, according to the request and advice of his brother,” she said.
“When we arrived in the UK, the first days were okay. I got 24 contracts with people paying. It was quite a busy schedule for me; I was booked for weddings, baby showers and kitchen parties, among others. I fulfilled only three shows and the rest were affected by the outbreak of coronavirus. I had to refund all the unfulfilled shows; it was a huge loss for me,” she said.
Mai Titi claims she caught Zizoe red-handed with a girl just a few days after landing in Europe.
“In the UK we were staying at his brother’s house. Maybe it was a trap for me or what…I caught Zizoe red-handed with another woman at his brother’s house. His brother was also with his wife at that particular time. I was coming from a party.
“They were not expecting me that night as I had a tight schedule which was set to extend into the next day. However, I cancelled some of the parties and decided to go back to the house.
“The girl was in her pyjamas, a clear sign she was ready for a sleep over. Upon my arrival, the lady disappeared and I never saw her again. I was really affected by the incident and throughout the night, I was fighting to control my temper and I succeeded. I ignored my instincts that were pushing me to act but I chose to remain calm as I was new to the family. Yes, I am short tempered but I controlled myself,” she said.
The following morning Mai Titi phoned her cousin to come and pick her up, telling her she was not feeling well.
“Most of my relatives are in England as well. Imagine if I had no relatives in the UK what would have happened. That was when I left Zizoe and his family.”
While at her cousin’s house, Mai Titi sought clarification with Zizoe pertaining to the identity of the woman in question.
“He admitted she was his girlfriend and I was left wondering how this could have happened so quickly considering the short space of time we were there. He said to me ‘look, you don’t have to be jealous. You know I love you despite your HIV positive status. Remember I have endured the criticism from the public because of our huge age difference. Apart from that, cool down, no one will love you because of your health status’. It was very painful to hear such words coming from a guy who used to love and comfort me on everything back home,” she said.
The eccentric comedienne revealed how the 25-year old musician tried in vain to sweet-talk her to have a baby with him.
“As the drama unfolded, I was wondering if he would have uttered such words if we had a baby together. And was he not going to contract the virus during the baby making process?
“After all has been said and done, he tried to comfort me sarcastically. He said: ‘No Mai Mukweso (we have a duet together by the name Mukweso, so we used to address each other by that name) we can continue to be together but you should understand I have a future with that lady as we are of the same age. You will be my second wife.’ I was really shocked. I was depressed. Imagine hearing that nonsense from the person you loved the most.”
While at her cousin’s home, Zizoe’s brother called and ordered Mai Titi to come and collect her belongings.
“My cousin drove me there and I decided not to leave the car. She collected the goods for me with Zizoe enjoying the entire drama from an upstairs window. That was how I was treated by those guys in the UK. They kicked me out of their home, imagine how bad that was. At first, I felt that was the end of me. However, being strong as I am, I got up on my feet, started recording and I am happy that the situation inspired me to write many songs, with some of them now being played on Trace Africa TV and Channel O, among others.”
Already she has some confirmed collaborations with big names in the music industry like Patoranking and Yondo Sisters, among others. “Watch this space!” she said.
The good thing is that Mai Titi has forgiven Zizoe and his family.
“Everything happened for a reason. I believe the UK tour was not meant for me to assist Zizoe to cross into the UK but it was God’s special way of telling me to revisit my music career. Remember, I started off as a musician before comedy. So I take it (the UK experience) as a blessing in disguise.
“I no longer hold grudges with him. I forgave him though at first I was tempted to revenge. I was planning to deal with him both legally and illegally but it was pointless and a waste of time fighting him,” Mai Titi, who fellowships at Uebert Angels’ Spirit Embassy said.
When she arrived in the country from the UK, leaving Zizoe behind, she went into quarantine in line with the Covid-19 regulations.
“I went straight into a private quarantine centre in Harare. I chose the private one as I was scared of what I was hearing while in the UK about the public quarantine centres in Zimbabwe. Yes, I parted with some dollars for the eight-day period at the centre but it was worth it,” she said.
“I was tested for Covid-19 on the last day and I was glad to test negative. That was basically my quarantine experience in the country,” she said.
The singer ventured into music at the age of 18.
She is the proud mother of two daughters, Felisha and Tanatswa, who is simply known as Titi.
She singled out comedy and music as her main sources of revenue.
“These two avenues work hand in hand and I cannot say comedy is more paying than music or vice versa. As a comedienne and musician, I get bookings at high profile functions and I have worked with a number of corporates pushing their brands. Iko kutopengereka kwangu kuya paFacebook ndiko kunobva mari yangu (my rantings on Facebook are making money for me). I have a shop at Joina City that sells women wear and apart from the shop I am into buying and selling. I sell literally everything that is saleable. I am also into counselling.
“My strength lies in giving sound advice to those who are in marriages. This also shocked me considering that I have failed in marriage. In Shona we say n’anga haizvirape. Ndiri kuvaka nekumisa dzimba zhinji but ini yangu chaiyo yakaramba kumira. (…the doctor can not cure himself or herself. I am rebuilding other people’s marriages when I failed in mine). My husband was a womaniser and this was the main reason why my marriage to collapsed,” Mai Titi said.
Born and bred in Harare, she has an album “Zvandapihwa Nashe” under her name and several commercially successful singles like “Utange Neni”, “Makatendeka, Dzora Mwoyo”, “Kereke Dhukeke”, “Ndinouya Ikoko”, “I Miss You”, “Dzoka Undinyepere” and “Letting You Go” featuring Kazz Khalif, among others.
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Posted by Daily News on Sunday, July 5, 2020