First Lady distributes PPE to San community One of the contestants explains her traditional dishes to First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa during Amai’s cook-out traditional meal cooking competition in Plumtree.

Tendai Rupapa in PLUMTREE

HEALTH Ambassador, First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa on Monday distributed an assortment of personal protective equipment (PPE) that included facemasks and sanitisers to members of the San community as she continues with her drive to fight Covid-19.

She reminded the nation of the threat and negative impact of the pandemic, imploring people to be more vigilant.

In the circumstances, Amai Mnangagwa said embracing vaccination was essential.

During the interactive meeting, she tackled various issues affecting the community which also held its Amai’s traditional cook-out competition with contestants showcasing their traditional dishes.

Among other dishes, they prepared hogwana, umxhanxa, amacimbi, roasted meat, road runner, dried vegetables in peanut butter, pumpkins. 

They prepared the food in makeshift kitchens which resembled how they set up their kitchen huts in their culture.

The traditional stoves used by contestants during Amai’s cook-out traditional meal cooking competition in Plumtree on Monday.

The participants also exhibited N’hahanyama tree saying the barks treated hypertension and heart challenges. 

It is soaked in water overnight and one drinks the water. 

As the San community, they said they relied more on traditional herbs to cure different ailments.

Zakhile Dube came first, while Sindisiwe Khupe came second in the traditional cook-out competition.

They won sets of pots and many other kitchen utensils, courtesy of the First Lady.

Ms Zakhile Dube and Ms Sindisiwe Khupe celebrate their prizes during Amai’s cook-out traditional meal cooking competition in Plumtree on Monday.

After the traditional cooking competition, the First Lady then addressed the community on the deadly pandemic.

Her awareness campaign on Covid-19 and vaccination comes at a time when the country has lost over 4 000 people to the pandemic which is wreaking havoc across the globe.

Amai Mnangagwa’s love for humankind prompted her to travel all the way to the area which is about 120km from Plumtree to ensure communities there get valuable information to keep covid-19 at bay.

“I have come to talk to you as your friend whom you are familiar with. Tinogara tiri tose kuno nguva nenguva uye ndinokudai zvakanyanya. I want us to talk about Covid-19 because I want you protected from this pandemic. Have you ever heard about Covid-19,” she asked?

Gogo Thobekile Moyo said they had heard about the pandemic and had been given information by local clinics.

“We heard about Covid-19 and we were taught in the clinics on the importance of masking up, washing hands and maintaining social distance. Our village health workers are also doing a good job by going around teaching us,” she said.

The First Lady was grateful for the knowledge they had and implored them to share the information they had with others who were not aware.

“I am happy you are aware of the pandemic and those with knowledge must share with others.”

“We must be vigilant and there is a new way of combating the pandemic. Are you aware of it?”

Sekuru Tody Ndlovu said it was vaccination.

In response the First Lady said; “This injection helps reduce the potency of the disease. How many were vaccinated?” asked the First Lady.

Almost everyone raised hands and she applauded them.

She urged those who haven’t been vaccinated to shun peddlers of false information.

“Some people are just waiting to post falsehoods on social media. I was vaccinated and am still alive and do not listen to lies. We alone can free ourselves from this pandemic. We wish to see the numbers of those vaccinated in this area increasing,” she said. 

Amai Mnangagwa spoke against gender-based violence (GBV) and told her audience about her gender based violence National Call Centre 575 toll-free line.

“Those who are being abused please phone. Men who are being violated by women please make use of that toll free line. Also women who are being abused by men you can call on that number for quick responds,” she said.

She highlighted the need for elders to constantly counsel children to ensure they grow up morally upright.

Gogo Tshipe Ncube voiced concern over bad behaviour among children.

Girls and boys from the San community follow proceedings during a Covid-19 interactive session with First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa in Plumtree on Monday. — Pictures: John Manzongo.

“We really want to teach these children, but Amai we do not have a say in our homes. Our husbands are suppressing us. They say as women we have no right to say anything in the house except clapping hands for them when they bring something home. We are troubled by the mischief in our children, but we are rendered powerless by our husbands,” she said.

In response, the First Lady discouraged that practice saying the Second Republic frowned upon such suppression. 

She also spoke against juvenile delinquency.

One of the participants, Gogo Kuimba Khupi, voiced concern over the way some girls were dressing.

“These girls are dressing shamefully. If she comes back at night and beat her she threatens to get you arrested. They are having multiple boyfriends and if she gets pregnant she does not know the responsible man and the burden to look after the resultant child rests on our shoulders,” she said.

The first Lady said though there were laws on children’s rights, parents were troubled by mischief in children.

“True there are children’s rights globally and these children are taking advantage of these rights. As parents we are affected by this. Vanangu we have come to teach you self-respect and discipline,” she said.

The First Lady gave the community that included the elderly, widows, widowers and other vulnerable groups some blankets, food hampers and toiletries.

Matabeleland South Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Abednico Ncube, applauded the First Lady for engaging the elderly in communities to teach and groom youths to be better citizens.

“There is an African proverb that says, ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ therefore, our elderly are ports of knowledge that we should tap into for the benefit of our society. Amai, through your God given wisdom, you have stood as a mother and built a platform that will close the knowledge gap allow the transferring of these principles through the revival of Ixhiba practice,” he said.

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