First Lady gives the elderly in Chachacha a treat First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa uses cow dung to polish the floor of Gogo Ethas Mabope’s hut during a pre-Christmas visit in Shurugwi yesterday. — Picture: John Manzongo.

Tendai Rupapa in CHACHACHA
IN line with the spirit of Christmas, characterised by caring, giving and sharing, First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa spent the better part of the day with the elderly here, putting smiles on their faces.

Showing compassion and motherliness, the First Lady distributed an assortment of groceries to the elderly and cooked for them.

She washed dishes, did laundry and cleaned their homes. Amai Mnangagwa surprised many with her appreciation of the rural set-up when she left homes squeaky clean using cow dung.

She urged the community to always practise good hygiene, saying cleanliness was the hallmark of a warm home since it reduced the chances of people falling sick by removing vectors that promote the spread of diseases.

Visits to the elderly, the First Lady said, would be rolled out to all the country’s provinces.

Amai Mnangagwa started her day by visiting Gogo Ethas Mabope (86), who lives in Matemere Village with her two grandchildren.

Like any other visitor, the First Lady sat on a mat in Gogo Mabope’s thatched hut and stated the purpose of her visit.

The old woman could not believe it, a whole First Lady in her small hut.

She defied her age by standing up lively clapping, dancing and singing a religious hymn thanking God for the unusual visitor.

“It can only be God. Who else could have done this for me? I am so happy to know that there are people out there who still care for the welfare of the poor and the elderly. God is great,” she said as she walked up and down in the house in excitement.

Amai Mnangagwa swept Gogo Mabope’s compound, thoroughly cleaned the main house and the kitchen. She later did laundry and prepared a sumptuous meal of sadza, chicken and vegetables. The First Lady sat down and enjoyed the meal with Gogo Mabope and her neighbours while sharing jokes.

Before moving to the next homestead, Amai Mnangagwa planted fruit trees at Gogo Mabope’s house and donated groceries while wishing her a Merry Christmas.

She had also despatched other teams to different houses where they also did household chores for the elderly and orphans.

Her next port of call was the homestead of Sekuru Titos Kwande (95) and Mbuya Cecilia Kwande (85), who live with their grandchildren.

She swept the compound and cleared garbage. She taught the eldest grandchild how to thoroughly clean the house and gave her handy tips on good hygiene.

She also did laundry before she was joined by Mbuya Elizabeth Siyapi who taught her how to prepare some traditional dishes.

An elated Ambuya Siyapi said what the First Lady had done was the first of its kind in the area.

“What this woman has done has never been seen anywhere in this community. She is the First Lady, but she humbled herself as a daughter-in-law, spending time with her mothers-in-law,” she said. “She is also a quick learner and so full of love and humility. We thank God for giving us someone like her.”

Chief Nosizi, Mercy Muleya, was happy with the First Lady’s kind gesture.

“It is a kind and loving gesture, as a community we are humbled. This is a unique programme that has never happened. Her actions bring people together because she was not selective. We hope the community will treasure this lesson for a long time to come. We have to be our sister’s, brother’s keeper. We were taught on cleanliness, good hygiene practices, love and unity.”

The First Lady donated an assortment of groceries to the whole community after cleaning and visiting the elderly whereupon she preached about love, unity and caring for one another.

She implored communities to always look after the elderly and less-privileged.

“Some of you might have heard on radio and television that Amai Mnangagwa started Angel of Hope Foundation to help those in need. We should regularly visit the elderly and ensure we clean their homes, wash their clothes and prepare food for them.

“I thank God for protecting each and every one of you so that you continually mould us as we raise our children. In this programme we are reminding you all not to forget the elderly. We should always make them happy for the benefit of our future generations.”

Caring for the elderly, she said, unlocks blessings from above as instructed by the Bible which teaches the young to honour their parents so that they may live longer on earth.

“Let this be a routine that we meet once a year and call all the young ones so that we work towards the provision of better facilities for the elderly.”

Gogo Lilian Bushu (85) and Mbuya Maritaka Kanavheti (90) who also benefited from the First Lady’s kind gesture, were all smiles when they received groceries.

“I do not know what to say about this. She is so humble and God-sent. She has done to us things that we always wished for. May God grant her more blessed years on earth,” said Gogo Bushu with happiness written all over her face.

Gogo Kanavheti pointed out that the First Lady showed that she was grounded in firm African principles.

“She is the First Lady of Zimbabwe, but she still has respect for other people and this is the right kind of women the country must have. I will always pray for her so that she can continue coming here to see us. She is a real mother with a heart of gold. I just do not know how best I can thank her for this gesture,” said Gogo Kanavheti while dancing in jubilation.

The First Lady’s show of love comes barely a week after she, through her Angel of Hope Foundation, donated an assortment of food items to children and old people’s homes.

Her latest gesture showed her motherliness and gave her rare glimpses into the lives led by ordinary people so that she, through her Foundation, Angel of Hope, can come up with appropriate solutions to address some of their challenges.

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