27 October 2016
UK: Zim paedophile caged 18 months
Mujuru: tainted VP Mnangagwa unelectable
Zanu PF activists, MP disrupt Parly event
Play caricatures Prof 'Robin Hood' Moyo
Parly riot over flag; MP fondled, screams
Graft: Chinos slams Saviour protection
Zanu PF candidate offers 3,000 cabbages
Minister slams dry maize school dinners
Doing business index: Zim ranked 161
ZSE rebounds on Natfoods and OK
Mukoko Ammara leads Zim Achievers USA
After MTV triumph, Prayzah lifts Warriors
PSL: Highlanders say focused on title race
Mpofu in squad for Sri Lanka series
How land reform left Maphisa booming
Criticism of rogue doctrines Biblical
Pastor Simbo: The Folly of Atheism
Seewell Mashizha: Waiting for a NEW DAY
'The Dictator' ropes in Mugabe in Box Office blitz
08/05/2012 00:00:00
by Showbiz Reporter
Comedy genius ... Cohen as General Aladeen
Zim movie director tops US box office
Stars turn out for The Gentleman UK premiere
'The Gentleman' set for London premiere
Female rapists hit the big screen
Zim actress focuses on black women
Leicester premiere for Zim movie
Mugabe film set for big screen
Liyana star in new film
Munya's movie banned over smooch
Munya's Lobola movie premieres
SACHA Baron Cohen’s publicity stunts have made news headlines and turned his movies into box office hits.

A day after addressing a news conference in New York as his new character, Admiral General Shabazz Aladeen, the leader of the North African country of Wadiya, invites went out to the United States media on Tuesday for a special screening of The Dictator – in Zimbabwe.

Cohen – star of Ali G, Borat and Bruno – appears to have now roped in President Robert Mugabe in his publicity blitz ahead of the movie’s release in the United States this weekend.

The self-styled chair of a dictators’ union called the International Alliance of Constitutional Dictatorships (IACD) appears to have fooled a few newspapers into following up on a press release announcing the Zimbabwe premiere.

The Washington Post was one of the newspapers. It says an invite arrived on thick-stock paper bearing an image of the Zimbabwe flag below which was the message: “President Robert Mugabe and the Ministry of Education, Sport, Art, and Culture invite you to the Premiere of The Dictator.”

The invite said the screening would be at 8PM on May 12 at the Presidential Residence in Borrowdale Brooke, Harare.

Realistic specifics, like a note at the bottom directing attendees to “the Southeast Entrance” of the residence, might convince recipients that it’s a bona fide event.

It certainly got the Post curious enough to call the RSVP numbers provided for Lazarus Dokora – Zimbabwe’s real life Deputy Education Minister.

“We called the number provided, and actually reached Zimbabwe’s art ministry. Confusion ensued — no one there had heard of the movie or its premiere — and we were passed through to the minister’s office,” the newspaper reported.

A spokesman for the ministry said the invite “didn’t come through our ministry” and the Zimbabwe embassy in Washington similarly pronounced it false. “We know nothing of this event,” the embassy spokesman said.

The Holywood Prospectus blog was left wondering: “How come Baron Cohen went with Mugabe to troll? Is Kim Jong-un not experienced enough? Is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad not powerful enough? Is Alexander Lukashenko too obscure?”

In The Dictator, the funnyman portrays a despot who rules over the fictional African nation of Wadiya.

To promote The Dictator, Cohen pulled a high-profile prank at the Oscars when he appeared on the red carpet in character, flanked by leggy female bodyguards and toting an urn he said held the ashes of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il.


The actor “accidentally” spilled the remains (later revealed to be pancake mix) onto the Armani tux of E! host Ryan Seacrest.

General Aladeen claimed recently that the BBC had banned coverage of his new film, stating: "While I am a huge admirer of state-sponsored censorship, the BBC banning me from their meagre channels is an outrage.”



Email this to a friend Printable Version Discuss This Story
Share this article:

Digg it






Face Book


comments powered by Disqus
RSS NewsTicker