“The King of Zanzibar” on the Max platform. A brilliant visionary or a clever fraudster?


“King of Zanzibar” is a documentary available on the Max platform, telling the story of a Pole who quickly developed a hotel empire on an African island. At some point, however, the chain went bankrupt, and tourists were deprived of their holidays, and employees of their salaries. – There were many groups defrauded by Wojtek – emphasized investigative journalist Agnieszka Szwajgier in “Wstajesz i weekend”. Żelisław Żyżyński, a journalist defrauded by him, also talked about his cooperation with Wojtek from Zanzibar.

“The King of Zanzibar” is a three-episode documentary that can be watched on the Max platform. It presents the behind-the-scenes activities of Wojciech Żabiński, known as Wojtek from Zanzibar. A businessman, today wanted on an arrest warrant. He founded the Pili Pili hotel chain on the island. However, his spectacular and rapidly growing business ended in bankruptcy, leaving behind unfinished investments, unpaid bills and unpaid salaries.

However, before this collapse, many famous people – encouraged by Wojtek's enthusiasm from Zanzibar and what his business seemed to look like – decided to cooperate with him. One of them was sports journalist Żelisław Żyżyński, who, together with investigative journalist Agnieszka Szwajgier, was a guest on Saturday in “Wzostasz i weekend” on TVN24.

“He seemed like such a visionary to me”

Żyżyński talked about how he decided to start this collaboration. He admitted that Wojtek “seemed to him as a visionary who actually made a business out of nothing during a very difficult pandemic time.”

“He seemed to me like such a visionary”TVN24

– He invited me and my family to Zanzibar, he made me a job offer there – he recalled. According to him, it worked “a bit like how you get a footballer to a football club”. – That you invite him, let him out through the tunnel to a full stadium, show him the beautiful moments of this stadium, 30 thousand people chanting the name of the club, show him the beautiful city – he pointed out. He added that then you want to stay there.

He said that he had already watched the documentary “King of Zanzibar”. – I am impressed by what the creators did. It was just the way it was described there. It was funny at first, then it got darker and darker, said the journalist.

“There were many groups deceived by Wojtek”

Szwajgier, who had been following the career of “King of Zanzibar”, was asked when she became suspicious about the whole matter. – There were a number of such elements, starting with the fact that Wojtek was no longer a saint. (There were – editor's note) various adventures with buying an apartment and selling it before payment was made, she said.

"There were many groups that were deceived by Wojtek."

“There were many groups deceived by Wojtek”Max

She recalled that “there were times when guests arrived at a hotel that was not ready, so they were driven around the island for hours just to try to get a handle on the hotel.” – Because there were no beds there, the windows were put in and the guests had already booked their stay – she added.

As she said, “the guests paid for their stays, he spent the money immediately, and the stay was only supposed to last for half a year.”

The journalist also pointed out that Polish investors were tempted to invest in villas that Wojtek was building. They were supposed to get 10 percent profit from them annually. When they came to visit their investments, however, it turned out that “those houses were not there at all”. – They saw a hole in the ground – said Szwajgier.

She emphasized that “there were many groups deceived by Wojtek.” – These include employees, local residents, and guests who traveled there and went to completely different places than those described there – she said.

"King of Zanzibar".  The document can be viewed on the Max platform

“King of Zanzibar”. The document can be viewed on the Max platformMax

Main image source: Shutterstock

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