ROMAN Catholic Church-run Dete Old People’s Home in Matabeleland North Province yesterday became the second such institution to benefit from the breakfast offered and served by the First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa and her Angel of Hope Foundation to meet the nutritional requirements of the elderly.
The First Lady’s breakfast in homes will benefit homes in all the country’s provinces to ensure their nutritional requirements are met.
It was a morning to remember for inmates at the home as they tucked into the mouth-watering meal and got the rare chance to rub shoulders with the First Lady.
The breakfast comprised tea, bread, fried eggs, boiled eggs, baked beans, margarine and Jam.
The elderly kept asking for more food so that they could get an opportunity to be served by the First Lady who was at their service while resplendent in an apron.
“Mucheche haagute mukaka wamai (A child will never get enough of its mother’s milk),” the elderly said in jest.
According to the Sister-in-charge Cecilia Mwende, Dete Old People’s Home caters for the elderly of various nationalities and the destitute from the area who regularly take their meals there.
“We take old people from different countries like Zambia, Malawi, Angola, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. We take everyone regardless of tribe race. The institution opened its doors in 1984. We have 15 people and some come daily for meals and return to nearby compounds. We are near the railway station so the destitute also come for meals.
“Today’s programme by the mother of the nation is a first of its kind. Besides the breakfast she served ana gogo nana Sekuru, she also brought them an assortment of foodstuffs which will go a long way. She has shown great love which we have never seen before because she is not selective,” she said.
“We thank her greatly for her unconditional love and may God richly bless her.” She said.
One of the residents at the home, Mr Phillip Nkomazana said it is now one year since he has been staying at the home and had never been exposed to such love and hospitality.
“I started staying here in 2019 following the death of my wife. I did not have anyone to stay with since I have no children. Our councillor is the one who made the suggestion that I come here. Today I am so thankful to the mother of the nation who has remembered us. She has come to visit us and hear our challenges and I pray that God blesses her. The breakfast she has given us is as if we were in a hotel. May she not lose heart and continue doing as she has done today,” he said.
Mr Nkomazana said most people looked down upon the elderly, but this was not the case with the First Lady.
“Gogo Agnes Maphosa, who lives outside the institution but takes her meals from there, could not hide her joy. I live in the compound, but I come for meals here. It is rare for a First Lady to come to this jungle and share her time with us. I pray that God richly blesses her and gives her more years on earth” she said.
Gogo Esther Sibanda shared similar sentiments.
“I came from Lupane a long time ago and were it not for her love, I do not think I would have been this happy today. She is facilitating healthy and nutritious meals for us and we want to thank her heartily for that unconditional love,” she said.
In her remarks, the First Lady said it was heart-warming to stay close to the elderly providing them with all they need to lead healthy lives.
“I have come here to see you and spend time with you vana mbuya nana sekuru so that we relax while taking tea and other goodies. You are so close to my heart and I pray that God keeps you strong and healthy,” she said with a broad smile.
She donated maize-meal, powdered milk, sugar, tea, eggs, jam, margarine and bread to the home for continuity of the programme.
The First Lady’s breakfast initiative which she launched in Matabeleland South recently, is also being supported by Blue Star Logistics.