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X-Factor Gamu pleads with Simon Cowell: I will face a firing squad if I’m deported | Immigration Matters

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Rejected X Factor contestant Gamu Nhengu claimed today she will face the firing squad if she is forced to return to her native Zimbabwe, the Mail on Sunday reports.

The 18-year-old singer faces deportation after her mother wrongly claimed state benefits.

Speaking from a secret location in Scotland, she said her relatives back home have been approached by men she feared work for her country’s ruthless President Robert Mugabe.

She told the News of the World: ‘I’ve been in the public eye now and people there know I’ve fled Mugabe’s regime. They will punish us if we go back. They’re going to know where we are.

‘There’s a firing squad waiting for us there and they’re putting me in front of it.’

The singer said she had not been contacted by show judges Simon Cowell or Cheryl Cole although she had heard Cowell’s lawyers were ‘trying to help.’

Last week it emerged Nhengu and her family faced being kicked out of the UK after the visa application of her mother Nokuthula Ngazana was turned down over the benefit claims.

Ms Ngazana’s lawyer Frances Farrell said she planned to fight the decision at an immigration tribunal despite the family being told they have no right of appeal.

Officials have told them they must leave the country voluntarily or face deportation.

She told the Sunday People she had spent the last week locked in her bedroom sobbing since the decision that wrecked her future.

She said: ‘I’m a total mess. People want to know if I’m OK – well, I’m definitely not OK.

‘I don’t understand. I’m a good person, what have I done to deserve this? I feel so responsible I have put my family through all this.

‘My two brothers have had to be kept out of school because they are so upset and it’s all my fault. If I hadn’t applied for the X Factor none of this would ever have happened.’

She told the People she couldn’t think straight and was not in a ‘good place’.

Despite more than 250,000 people signing up to a Facebook group calling for Nhengu to be re-instated, the idea was rejected by X Factor producers.

Last night she was not among the four wildcards picked to join the final 12 by the show’s judges.

Contestants Treyc Cohen, Wagner, Paije Richardson and duo Diva Fever had their hopes of pop stardom revived after being selected for the live show. Source: The Mail on Sunday.

The Mail has claimed that multi-millionaire TV mogul Simon Cowell will put his considerable resources behind the Gamu family appeal, which will be much needed if the case goes to an expensive Judicial Review. However, with or without Simon the family will probably qualify for legal aid.

The fact that the family are from an unstable country like Zimbabwe will also act in their favour.

The case has already attracted a frenzy of media attention, which may help their case. High profile deportations and immigration cases often result in Home Office leniency. Who could forget Joanna Lumley’s ambush on the then Immigration Minister Phil Woolas, who eventually agreed to many of the demands of former Gurkha soldiers she was representing.

Yet the fact is that hundreds of people in this situation, where their visas have expired even for a few days, are deported each month with no fanfare or Facebook protest group.

In this sad case the Rules are pretty clear, but leave to remain can be granted ‘outside the rules’ in exceptional circumstances, which is why it is always advisable to seek legal advice from a qualified appeal specialist.

See also:

X-factor Gamu’s family to appeal against visa refusal

Statement of Changes in Immigration Rules on Family Reunion for Refugees

Changes to sponsor guidance announced by UKBA

Weekly UK Immigration News Round up 10 October 2010

Joanna Lumley in ‘Gurkha ambush’ on Immigration Minister

If you need any immigration advice or help with Sponsorship or Work Permits, Visa, ILR/Settlement, Citizenship, dependant visa or an appeal against a refusal please email: or visit

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6 Responses to “X-Factor Gamu pleads with Simon Cowell: I will face a firing squad if I’m deported”
Read them below or add one

  1. Allan Reynolds says :

    How can you compare the Gurkas right to be in the UK to Gamu and family?
    Gurkas have sacrificed their lives etc on behalf of the UK and still do..
    What has a Zimbabwe person done on behalf of the UK accept scrounge benefits,free housing,education etc..
    Enough Said.

  2. Hang on, in the UK illegally, claiming benefits, now crying because they have been caught out by applying for X-Factor, seriously ???

  3. […] X-Factor Gamu pleads with Simon Cowell: I will face a firing squad if I’m deported […]

  4. she need and her family to be deported is nothing to do w/ the firing squad about there status they lied and collect benifts were they know that they are not illigible to claim..they just want sympathy after they get what they want what will happen they will continue claiming benifits where we also an immigrant come here legally and work pay tax and govrt.don’t give us anything its unfair the rules should follow as im sure alot of people w/ the same problem will do the same..if the govrt want to save they must do what are the rigth for those illegal.and those who claim benifits who are not illigible to claim.

  5. […] Rejected X Factor contestant Gamu Nhengu claimed last weekend that she will face the firing squad if she is forced to return to her native Zimbabwe. […]

  6. […] X-Factor Gamu pleads with Simon Cowell: I will face a firing squad if I’m deported […]

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