The First Lady brings joy to Makoni

Sunday mail

Tendai Rupapa in Manicaland

ENVIRONMENTAL Ambassador, First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa, lamented the free cutting of trees and the increased incidence of veld fires in Manicaland, saying this is causing soil erosion and destroying the natural habitat of wild animals and other creatures.

She made the remarks yesterday at a traditional cooking competition in Makoni district, where she was invited as a guest of honor.

Women present traditional dishes prepared at the Amai Traditional Food Cooking Competition in Rusape yesterday.

“The regions I crossed have become semi-deserts; rave gwenga and all native trees have been destroyed.

“The earth is now bare, let’s not do this Manicaland. Let’s preserve our forests. Let’s preserve our environment. This contributes to climate change and when it rains we will be washed away. The trees and forests you burn are essential. Trees are lives and we must preserve them, ”she said.

The First Lady is so passionate about the environment that she has always spearheaded tree planting initiatives and other environmental conservation programs.

First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa presents a sofa to the winner of Amai’s traditional meal cooking competition, Ms. Joyce Chihwai, and her husband, Mr. Richard Chihwai, in Rusape yesterday. Photo: John Manzongo

An official with the Manicaland Ministry of Environment, Climate Change, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Mr Never Bonde, said Manicaland was once a forestry hub, but it was no longer the case.

He thanked the First Lady for denouncing deforestation.

“Deforestation has reached a critical level here in Manicaland, in large part due to tobacco farmers. Brick moulders are also plentiful here. We urge them to participate in planting trees to replace those they have used. Trees are essential to life and many human activities depend on the use of trees. We are happy that the First Lady saw what a lot of people here don’t see. As Manicaland, let’s immediately put his wise advice into action, ”he said.

Makoni District held an exciting traditional meal cooking competition, in which the winners won various prizes as part of a campaign to promote traditional dishes, which have high nutritional value and medicinal properties.

The prizes included a set of canapes, pots and pans, a gas stove and a tank.

The traditionally themed competition, in which various traditional dishes were prepared, was inspired by the First Lady, who led a nationwide campaign to promote indigenous foods to ensure people eat healthy foods.

Some of the dishes prepared during the traditional Amai cooking competition in Rusape yesterday.

The First Lady, the country’s health ambassador, was the guest of honor at the event to testify to the success of the program she launched.

She honored the event following an invitation from Mrs. Redempter Gwasira, wife of Chief Makoni.

She said she was grateful to the First Lady for accepting the community’s invitation.

“I am grateful for this day that the First Lady came to our district. As the wives of chiefs across the country, we are their ambassadors in the communities in which we live. We are now holding his national traditional cooking competition in our districts and neighborhoods so that his vision is reflected in every home. Amai brought us back to our culture through the traditional cooking competition. We invited her to see what we are doing at the district level. Country food is healthy and medicinal, and we promise to keep its vision alive, ”she said.

His feelings were shared by Ms. Tsitsi Chengeta Makumbe, wife of Chef Makumbe, who also thanked the First Lady for her vision, saying that as the chef’s wives, they also wanted the whole nation to know and embrace the food. traditional, readily available and nutritious.

The village chief, Mrs. Rhoda Kusotera, could not hide her joy at having received the visit of the First Lady and participating in the cooking competition.

“I want to thank the First Lady who led us and started such a program to take us back to the good old days of what we ate with our parents. Back then, our bodies were resistant to certain diseases due to the traditional food and herbs that we consume. Nowadays, most people prefer take-out and other exotic dishes to our nutritious foods. These exotic dishes are responsible for the increase in illnesses. I’m 72, but most people think I’m 52 because of the kind of food we grew up eating. If I stand side by side with someone 50 years old, you will find that I am stronger; and even if you give them a hoe to work in the fields, they won’t keep up with my pace. I thank the First Lady for what she has done, and continues to do, for our nation, Zimbabwe. As village chiefs, we partnered with the chiefs’ wives and brought the program to the neighborhood and district levels so that they appreciated that we had returned to our traditional way of life. Today, we invited the First Lady to come and see where her program is, ”she said.

The contestants yesterday came from all over the district and featured many ways to package the dishes to make them look appealing.

Among her dishes, Ms. Joyce Chihwai prepared a traditional pizza.

She made the paste from mashed cassava, while the toppings included tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, butter beans and madora.

She also made rupiza wraps whose dough was also made from cassava powder.

The filling had chicken breast mixed with rupiza.

Ms. Agnes Chimukuyu made herbal coffee using roasted and mashed soy beans mixed with Makoni and three leaf tea.

Other participants prepared yam chips served with road runner, karongonda pie, rice fritters, pumpkin chips, peanut fritters, grasshopper kebab, millet sadza, cassava sadza, mazondo, madora, mandere, birds , okra, road runner and fish.

The juices were made from a root called bombwe, which is found in rocky areas and soaked in water.

The juice helps ward off illnesses and stimulate appetite.

There was also maheu, Makoni tea and Zumbani tea.

Snacks included corn chips made from flour and eggs, roasted pumpkin seeds, roasted peanuts, banana chips and tsenza.

In the competition, Ms. Chihwai came out on top and received a set of sofas, while Ms. Blessing Gowe, who came second, won a gas stove and tank.

Ms. Takesure Mwapenya, who came third, walked away with a set of pots.

Ms. Chihwayi was in seventh heaven after being named the winner.

She danced and screamed, thanking the First Lady.

“I never thought I’d win a sofa set in my whole life. I thank our First Lady Amai Mnangagwa for her vision. I also want to thank Amai Chief Makoni, who is one of the First Lady’s Ambassadors, for advancing Amai’s vision. She fulfilled the task entrusted to her by our First Lady. I urge other women to participate in such competitions which benefit the nation. Country foods are very nutritious and it is time for us to fully embrace our locally available food as a country, ”she said happily.

In her speech, the First Lady congratulated the residents of Manicaland for continuing her program for the benefit of all residents.

“Here in Manicaland you have unique dishes that cannot be found in other provinces, and I am grateful to you, through Chef Makoni’s wife, for inviting me here. I saw that you have the zeal to make this program gain ground among the people. I have organized this grill contest in 10 provinces, but you invited me here today in Makoni district. I would like to thank everyone who entered the competition. For me, as a mother, you are winners.

“Many think that the preparation of traditional dishes is now outdated, but it is not. We are Zimbabweans with our own culture and our own food, embrace where we are from. Foods that were eaten in the past help prevent disease and what goes wrong with promoting good health. Yes, we visit hospitals where we are given medicine to heal quickly. Let’s eat traditional foods to combine with medicines given by health care practitioners. I was happy to see different types of pulses. I encourage you to dry the vegetables during the rainy season for future use. In the dry season, you will have enough to cook for the children. To all the wives of chefs across the country, let us continue to encourage traditional dishes in our communities, ”she said.

On Covid-19, the mother of the nation said, “As a health ambassador, I encourage you to follow protocols to stay healthy. Let us also embrace vaccination and do not listen to those who spread lies about vaccination. “

She encouraged people with noncommunicable diseases to take their medication all the time in order to stay healthy.

Manicaland Provincial Affairs and Devolution Minister Nokuthula Matsikenyere said the fruits of the First Lady’s interventions were there for everyone to see.

“We are witnessing the results of your Amai efforts; sign that you have not worked in vain. As Manicaland, we will make sure that all the programs you have initiated are broadcast in all districts and neighborhoods. Each of our districts has its own unique traditional foods. Thank you Amai for accepting our invitation as Manicaland, ”she said.

Participants and the elderly present received baskets of food and toiletries from the First Lady.

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