FIRST LADY Dr Auxillia Mnangagwa, who is also the country’s health ambassador, on Monday went to Mabvuku and Murehwa at the invitation of families with albinism and battling cancer, and a Murehwa man with disability, in a tear-jerking gesture that underlines her unconditional love for citizens.
All parties visited by the mother of the nation had written letters, while Mr Shadreck Muzanenhamo (48) of Murehwa, appeared on the ZBC Social Welfare Programme “Toitasei”, expressing a burning desire to meet her.
The unprecedented visits, through which the beneficiaries felt the warmth of Amai Mnangagwa’s love, were held in the presence of health officials.
Dr Mnangagwa had heart-to-heart discussions with the families during which she inclined an ear to the challenges they face.
She prepared sorghum porridge for the sick who had not eaten anything since morning. It is rich in nutrients and helps people gain strength.
Health experts encourage people to take traditional dishes which help them recover quickly.
To the Mabvuku families, the First Lady donated food hampers, toiletries, blankets, sunscreen lotions, jerseys, maize meal, cooking oil, petroleum jelly, rice, dried vegetables, sun hats and sugar.
In Murehwa, she donated similar goods and a wheelchair for use by Mr Muzanenhamo for easy mobility and promised to bring another wheelchair for his late father’s eldest wife, who is now blind and unable to walk.
Among those visited was Mr Stephen Muchato (39), who has been battling skin cancer for five years.
So sad is Mr Muchato’s plight with the festering wound covering the back of his head, rendering him unable to fend for himself and lead a normal life.
As an avid follower of Dr Mnangagwa’s philanthropic works, the father of five made a passionate plea to the First Lady to visit him.
The Angel of Hope Foundation’s patron with the spirit of touching lives, fulfilled his wish.
Residents were awestruck by the First Lady’s hands-on approach and the fact that no First Lady had, in recent memory, personally led the search for solutions afflicting ordinary people.
The Mabvuku visit also underlined Dr Mnangagwa’s unconditional love, which is blind to one’s skin colour, political persuasion, economic status, tribe and gender.
She has a passion for vulnerable members of the community.
Despite being weighed down by sickness, Mr Muchato could afford a smile and thanked the First Lady for her visit and benevolence.
He also gave a brief background of himself.
“I have five children and a wife. I have skin cancer on the head and I have albinism. Chaive chishuwo changu kuonawo Amai, avo vane rudo nevana vavo vese. I have also seen her helping other people around the country.
“Everyone rushes to the mother whenever they encounter problems. I have endured pain for five years hence it was my wish to just have a heart-to-heart talk with Amai. My eldest child is in Form Three, second born in grade 6, my third born twins are in Grade 5 and I have another child in Grade 1.
“Two of my children are in the rural areas while three are here in Harare. I am gratified by Amai’s visit because she is there for everyone. She is not selective and I got a positive response less than a week after inviting her. I am actually in shock that she has come to see me. Her love is unmatched. I am thankful for the food and other parcels we have been given because things were really tight for me,” he said.
Equally elated was Mr Richard Muchato (42), brother to Stephen, who also has albinism.
“We were all born with albinism, the five of us, four boys and a girl. Stephen has had a challenge of cancer from 2017 to date. The wound is festering. We have tried our best but are failing to manage. We thank the First Lady, our mother, for honouring our invitation.
“We are grateful for the goods she brought for us. This will help sustain Stephen and his family as someone who is not going to work due to his condition,” he said.
Ms Netsai Mboga, who lives in the community with her child who has albinism called Tanyaradzwa Mugeyi (9), said the First Lady had given them a shoulder to lean on.
She thanked her for her generosity and love.
“Sunscreen lotions are hard to get and we are grateful that Amai has brought some for us. Winter is also upon us and she has brought us blankets and wither clothes,” she said.
Mrs Faina Mhandu (40), narrated her challenges with cancer and thanked Amai for assisting them.
“I am happy to meet Amai. It has always been our wish to just see her face and have a chat with her. We never dreamt that one day she will visit us here in the locations. “She has so much for all her children. We also thank her for the foodstuffs and other goods she brought for us,” she said.
Speaking while dancing and ululating, Mrs Patience Maruza from the community paid tribute to the First Lady for her unconditional love.
“I met Stephen while he was looking for help with food since he can no longer work because of cancer. He would go into the homes asking for help and as a community we would chip in with the little we could get. We are happy as the Mabvuku community that Amai visited us and stretched a helping hand. She helps people a lot,” she said with happiness written all over her face.
Mr Emmanuel Gasa, another member of the Mabvuku community, could also not hide his joy and thanked Dr Mnangagwa for always having people at heart.
“This is a first for a First Lady to show this kind of love to ordinary people. We had never seen this before,” he said.
Amai Mnangagwa said she was touched by the letter written to her by Mr Muchato.
“I love you my children,” the First Lady reassured them, adding, “I read what you wrote and I made time to see you, my son. I hope God will assist us because when you wrote to me I decided to fulfil your wish. As a mother I was touched.”
In Murehwa, the First Lady expressed delight to meet Mr Muzanenhamo, who announced on television his heartfelt desire to meet her.
Mr Muzanenhamo hails from Chumachangu Village and his father, who has since passed on, had three wives who are still living in harmony at the homestead.
His mother is the second wife, while his father’s eldest wife is unable to walk and has lost her eyesight.
In her brief words, the First Lady expressed delight to have fulfilled Mr Muzanenhamo’s dream.
“I have come to see you as a family to see how you, our grandmothers and your families are doing after seeing Mr Muzanenhamo on television. I was touched by his plight and saw it fit to come with the little I have to assist. I may not have a lot, but my visit to see with my own eyes and hear what he says and what you say helps me as a mother so that when I get something during my visits I will bring to you. This is why you have seen me come here with happiness and love so that I can be with you mothers, grandmothers and everyone here present,” she said.
Dr Christine Peta, who specialises in disability issues under the Social Welfare Department: “I have accompanied Amai after she saw brother Shadreck expressing his wishes that his greatest desire was to meet the First Lady because he sees the work done by Amai of visiting various places visiting people in marginalised communities. The First Lady saw it fit to fulfil the wish.”
Mr Muzanenhamo said she was grateful for the First Lady’s visit.
“I longed to see you as your child from the village. I did not know that you were watching when I was aired on television and I am grateful for remembering me.
“I never thought you would have interest in visiting me because most people look down upon me. I am grateful for the love you have shown,” he said with a face beaming with pride.
Equally ecstatic was Mrs Mary Nenzou (72), the mother of Mr Muzanenhamo.
“When I gave birth to Shadreck, he was not disabled. I realised when he reached five months that my son could not stand on his own. I carry him on my back. We had difficulties getting the things he requires since his father passed on.
“I am grateful for the visit by the first Lady and the goods she brought for us including the wheelchair. We have never seen such love from the First Lady whom we never thought would visit our humble homestead,” she said.
Gogo Lucia Masawi, who is now blind was also pleased by the First Lady’s visit.
“I have never witnessed such a thing like what the First Lady has done. May God bless her. I am thankful because I have never seen such a wonderful thing,” she said while clapping her hands in appreciation.
Legislator for Murehwa West, Cde Jona Sewera, thanked the First Lady for her visit to his constituency and congratulated her on her recent conferment with a Doctor of Philosophy (Honoris Causa) by GD Goenka University in recognition of her hard work and life-changing interventions.
“First and foremost I want to congratulate you on behalf of the people of Murehwa West. I thank you for the work through which we are seeing you being honoured on the global stage. You are helping us and we have never seen this since independence. Thank you very much Amai,” he said.