South African celebrity, Nonhle Thema, lost her New York shoe brand, Madison, endorsement deal after she described Botswana women as ugly, skinny, and AIDS-infected when she was in Gaborone last week.
Madison announced that they were also donating R10,000 to Options Stores in Botswana for HIV/AIDS causes, on Saturday.
The announcement followed an earlier announcement by Options Stores Botswana that they decided to send back all of Nonhle’s merchandise, including billboards, in-store advertising, and all other merchandise back to Madison.
In their Twitter announcement, Madison Heart Of New York said that they are deeply saddened.
“We in no way condone derogatory comments against any sex, race, or medical conditions. The trip, which was undertaken by Ms Thema was in her personal capacity, however being the ambassador for Madison, The Heart of New York, she felt it would be appropriate to address her fans and introduce the Madison brand as well, during the trip,” read the tweet.
“Due to alleged circumstances of this trip and its repercussions, we regret to announce Ms Nonhle Thema is no longer the brand ambassador for Madison, The Heart of New York shoes.
Madison shoes will be donating R10,000 towards AIDS awareness in Botswana and will work alongside the Options brand, which stocks Madison shoes in Botswana, to raise money and awareness in regards to AIDS-related illnesses.”Meanwhile, Options stores Botswana also released a statement on their Facebook page after a lot of Batswana took to social networks calling Options to take down her shoe line Madison from all their stores.
The statement released by Options Botswana reads “We are horrified to learn
Speaking with an Options representative on Saturday, he said it was unfortunate that Thema made the derogatory comments about Batswana women and in the process dragging their name along.
He assured Batswana that they are doing everything to address the issue. “I can assure Batswana that we have since started removing Nonhle’s advertising material in our stores and we are also taking out the shoe line that she represents, Madison in the view that they should stand up for women in general who are our biggest clients in the country,” he said. .Nonhle and popular talk show host, Khanyi Mbau, were in the country last weekend, to host a party at Cigar Lounge Club where it was alleged she made the degrading comments during a phone call she made to someone in SA.
It is alleged that she made the remarks while she seemed heavily intoxicated and disinterested in the event, though it was reported she was accorded VIP treatment by her hosts.