Controversial radio presenter, actress and DJ, Tinopona Katsande (Tintin) has blasted people who encroached her personal space.
Tintin says she does not have regrets about her leaked sex tape that went viral on social networks.
“People say oh she is so strong, but I feel violated, have I dealt with it? People came into my space, into my bedroom, it is a perpetual violation. These were two consenting adults, me and my boyfriend. I do not know why I should try and justify what I did. And I am sorry that people got into my bedroom and got into my personal space. And I will never wish that on anyone.”
“I do not have regrets, I have disappointments and setbacks. My biggest disappointment to date is that I could not find my passport so I could travel to South Africa for my Big Brother auditions.”
Tintin does not want to be described as “strong” because she remains resolute in the way she operates and says: “I am me!”
“Everyone is the author of their own problems but that does not give you an excuse to violate me, we are who we are. The fact that you wake up in the morning and do what you do makes you the author of your own problems because it is you who lives your life. But that does not give anyone the right to persecute. I have discovered that I am not alone in things when I share my personal experiences,” she said.
Tintin who was responding to whether she brews her own problems by creating unnecessary controversies so as to remain in the limelight.
Currently, the former radio presenter is operating a salon in the Avenues area of Harare where she specialises in nails.
She is qualified in the cosmetology field.
“I am a qualified cosmetologist; I studied it way back in California. I graduated in 1999; I went to UC Riverside School of cosmetology. When I did that I had no idea what it was but I fell in love with it and I went back again to do a teaching diploma. “When I came back home in 2002, I started my brand, Impeccable. My vision was to run an institution here which teaches cosmetology, which is what I am trained in. It is a multibillion dollar industry anywhere in the world, it really peeves me in that in this industry of ours it is taken as something that is not important.”
“I hold classes every two months, it is a private school. I turned my garage into a school, I used to rent but there are expenses. I have a maximum of 10 students per lesson. The idea came about as I was sitting at home when I realised that even hard working Zimbabwean women do have financial problems of their own. Everyone is going through some rough times, a lot of financial constraints. But when you talk of the beauty industry, it is not just the looks that matter and men do not get this,” said Tintin.
Her journey began in Mutare where she was crowned the queen in 1997.
“Before everything else, I was a model, I took modelling very seriously. In 1997, I was Miss Mutare and when my father found out he sent me to America as a form of punishment. I was doing modelling in California, I lost the rush and the urge to do it and also I was getting older. I believe opportunity is always around me and I believe that we are all born with talents but we just choose what to do with them.
“Studio 263 then found me because I did TV presentation when I got back. Because I am ready to grab opportunity at any given time, I thought why not? I used to host a television programme, AM Zimbabwe and that’s were I was picked up by the Studio 263 guys. I came back because my mother was involved in a car accident and was in a comma four years after that and I’m her only child. There was a lot of pressure as well that made me come back as she was in a comma she couldn’t talk. Along came Studio and everything else.” Tintin added that she is who she is, that she will not be bullied into silence or not acting like herself.
“I became who I am, a woman in California. A lot of what I do is influenced by my experiences in California. Because I left here just after 1997, when I did Miss Mutare my dad thought modelling was wrong and sent me to the US. For him it was a form of punishment because he was sending me to a place where my mother wasn’t
“My father is polygamous and my brothers and sisters were raised without their mothers, but mine was around so he thought sending me away from my mother was punishment. But to be honest that was the best thing he did for me. I became the woman I call Tinopona today, when I returned from the states I was just me. I later realised that people found me strange, but for me it was just normal.”
After her sex tape leaked, she was suspended from work which then resulted in taking her then employer, ZiFM to court. She described her relationship with the station as that of “family.”
“ZiFM, My Station, Yours Station for life, I may not be there physically but I have serious love for them, I still consider myself part of the family. I might not still be there but I am still part of the family. Unfortunately I cannot disclose the package I got, but I won.”
She added that she is willing to make a TV and radio comeback if the chance arises.
“I am prepared to go back to radio and TV because I love it despite the outcome with ZiFM. Look at the character Joyce, there is a lot of me that I put into that character. I loved it, I enjoyed it, I can’t wait for the new stations to come and I will definitely put in my CV.
Her relationship with her father, who is a strict disciplinarian, has not been spared by the controversies.
“My father is only human and this is what irks me, and I am very fortunate that in all the chaos, madness, the hurt, “scandals” my entire family has been supportive. But it took a while for me to explain, imagine trying to explain to my grandparents who are seeing the story.
“Any scandal that has come out is very much about my personal life, I have not gone out to say look here is something that I did. I needed for my family to understand that this is the industry that I got into and this is what sells for the media, I did not approach them.”