Tendai Rupapa Senior Reporter
First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa yesterday said the increase of non-communicable diseases in the country motivated her to come up with the idea of a food and culture festival as a way of promoting traditional diets.
She officially launched the Zimbabwe Food and Culture Festival in Harare yesterday.
The First Lady prepared two traditional dishes during the launch; a mopane worm burger with a dash of cabbage marmalade served with sweet potato chips and rape vegetables.
She also prepared a Zim One Stop pizza with traditional toppings.
The dishes, her kitchen attire and the recipe book were later auctioned.
Speaking at the event, the First Lady said most ailments like cancer, heart disease, diabetes and premature deaths can be prevented by eating healthy traditional food.
The First Lady, who is the Ambassador of Women and Children’s Health has been visiting communities across Zimbabwe promoting healthy living among citizens said the festival will be held during the Culture Week from May 23-25 in the Harare Gardens.
“We have seen an increase in diseases such as cancer and this led me to interrogate a number of things that may be contributing to this. This led me to our eating habits,” she said.
“Most of us have departed from the type of food that our parents and grandparents ate. Certain ailments and premature deaths were not heard of back then.”
She said besides traditional foods, the festival will showcase various native languages, arts, crafts, music and instruments, fashion, traditional healing methods and medicines, cultural practices and social activities among others.
“Someone once said, a people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.
“In our day-to-day engagements with families, I witnessed some misfortunes which I am certain can be reduced or eliminated if we can deliberately reclaim and embrace what was passed on us by our ancestors and our God the creator so as to keep the legacy.
“I am therefore, happy to launch the inaugural Zimbabwean Food and Culture Festival to be held fr
om May 23 to 25 this year in the Harare Gardens.
“The festival will showcase various traditional foods, native languages, arts, crafts, music and instruments.”
Dr Elliot Chikati educated the guests on cultural foods while talk-show host Mai Chisamba talked about upholding culture and languages.
Zimbabwe Tourism Association chief operating officer Mr Givemore Chidzidzi also presented on the tourism benefits of festivals.
Vice President Constantino Chiwenga’s spouse, Mrs Marry Chiwenga and several Cabinet ministers attended the launch.