First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa will this week roll out nationwide cooking competitions to popularise traditional dishes that have immense health and nutritional benefits.
The move is expected to promote healthy eating and fight Covid-19 and other ailments like cancer.
Dubbed “Amai’s Traditional Cookout Competition”, the move will provide exposure on the various preparation methods of traditional foods in Zimbabwe.
Traditional foods are nutrient-rich and have a long history of supporting health and wellness.
These foods have been consumed for thousands of years. Traditional foods are simply prepared from vegetables and fruits, to meat, poultry, and fish, to dairy, eggs, legumes, nuts, and seeds.
The traditional dishes also have medicinal properties like zumbani which is now popularly believed to fight Covid-19 symptoms.
Selected groups will be afforded an opportunity to take part in the competition open to all provinces, including the general populace with specific focus on chiefs’ wives, women in business, women from the religious sector, the disabled, hotels, cascading down to schoolchildren.
The First Lady is the country’s health and Child Care Ambassador and the competitions dovetail with her role of ensuring citizens have access to good healthcare and good nutrition.
The entire event will be broken down into three distinct categories.
The categories were carefully selected to maximise the entire event and bring the highest value to the dedication and passion of the patron.
There will be a one-day pre-mentoring activity on cultural foods and contestants would be expected to share the skills learnt when they return to their communities.
The planned competition will have a mystery basket from the First Lady under which contestants will be given a basket of ingredients and be required to create a traditional dish of their choice within a stipulated time frame.
The basket will contain ingredients meant to challenge the contestant’s culinary ability and their capacity to think quickly under pressure.
A judging criteria and panel will be put in place to evaluate the dishes presented at provincial level then also at national level.
The brains behind the programme, the First Lady, has a key and important participation role through the entire process of the event mentoring and nurturing of candidates, conducting the closing master classes showcasing her own favourite dishes in Harare and inspiring contestants about making usage of traditional ingredients.
Amai Mnangagwa is driving the country’s own version of the world acclaimed cooking competition dubbed MasterChef, only that her version is unique to restore the country’s identity.
So passionate about preserving the country’s culture is the First Lady that in 2019 she launched the first ever food and culture festival which was a celebration of the country’s authentic Zimbabwean lifestyle.