Early Life and Background
Ayanda Unity Mponda is a 24-year-old Zimbabwean individual who gained significant attention and media coverage for her involvement in the sex toy industry. Born in Harare, Zimbabwe, Mponda’s date of birth and specific details about her early life remain undisclosed.
Business Ventures and Controversy
Mponda became widely known for her entrepreneurial venture called “Bedroom Toys” and has been labelled the ‘Sex Toy Vendor’. Operating primarily through social media platforms, she engaged in the sale of adult sex toys. Her business quickly gained popularity, amassing a substantial online following.
Legal Troubles and Arrest
On May 15, 2022, Mponda was arrested on allegations of smuggling sex toys, specifically dildos, and selling them to schoolchildren. These accusations also involved her purportedly exposing minors to pornographic content. After her arrest, Mponda faced charges for violating provisions of the Customs and Excise Act, as well as for exposing children to explicit material.
Bail Denial and Tampering with Evidence
Following her arrest, Mponda attempted to evade authorities by going into hiding for a week. During this time, she reportedly tampered with evidence by removing the online pages where she showcased and promoted her adult toys. These actions further complicated her legal situation.
Denial of Bail and Potential Risk Assessment
The Mbare Magistrate’s Court, responsible for Mponda’s case, denied her bail, considering her a potential risk to society. The presiding magistrate based this decision on the seriousness of the allegations and the belief that Mponda’s release could potentially endanger the community.
High Court Bail Grant
After spending 15 days in pre-trial incarceration, Mponda’s fortunes changed when the High Court intervened. On May 31, 2022, High Court Judge Justice Esther Muremba granted her bail, amounting to ZWL$30,000. The court additionally imposed the requirement for Mponda to report to the police twice weekly.
Social Media Presence and Public Reaction
Prior to her arrest, Mponda maintained an active online presence across various social media platforms. Her TikTok account, under the handle @ayiie_juicy, had amassed approximately 18,000 followers. Similarly, she had gained a substantial following on Instagram, with 11,000 followers, and on Twitter, with 28,000 followers. On Facebook, Mponda had nearly 6,000 friends and followers.
Online Description and Marketing Strategy
Mponda described herself on Twitter as a “masturbation advocate, sex coach, and your sex toys, bedroom tools plug.” On Facebook, she openly declared that she made a living by selling sex toys, both for female and male customers, with a location specified as 6th and Nelson Mandela in Harare’s Central Business District (CBD). Her promotional efforts included using sexually explicit language and cross-posting content on her various social media pages.
Public Reaction and Support
The news of Mponda’s arrest sparked outrage and controversy online, prompting a division of opinions. While some expressed concern over her alleged involvement in exposing minors to explicit material, others demanded her release and defended her business activities.
Ongoing Legal Proceedings
Following her release on bail, Ayanda Unity Mponda awaits further legal proceedings in relation to the charges brought against her. Represented by Harare lawyer Zorodzai Dumbura, she maintains her innocence, denying the accusations of selling sex toys to children and violating the Customs and Excise Act. The outcome of her trial will determine her legal fate and potential consequences.
Legacy and Impact
Ayanda Mponda’s case highlighted the controversial topic of the sex toy industry and its reception within Zimbabwean society. The incident shed light on differing perspectives surrounding sexual expression and the boundaries of adult-oriented businesses in the country. Regardless of the outcome, Mponda’s case is likely to have a lasting impact on discussions surrounding sexual health, reproductive rights, and the regulation of adult-oriented businesses in Zimbabwe.