Call to commercialise traditional cuisines

THERE is an urgent call for extensive documentation of traditional cuisines recipes and their nutritional benefits including packaging the products in attractive ways to derive maximum economic benefits.

The largely despised Ndebele and Kalanga traditional cuisines comprising of amacimbi, indlubu and indumba to mention a few, have immense economic benefits. The uniqueness of the dishes has the vast potential of luring tourists.

The country is celebrating the culture month and the National Arts Council of Zimbabwe (NACZ) and the European Union held a food expo which saw a variety of traditional foods from Matopo being sampled on the day.

The French community, represented by the Alliance Française (Bulawayo), showcased their cuisine and gastronomy.

Speaking at the event that was held last Monday at Amagugu International Heritage Centre, NACZ director Nicholas Moyo implored women to take a step further and commercialise the craft of preparing traditional cuisines.

“I think for the general women that have been participating in this programme, my desire is that it should not just be a celebration of one day, but let us find a way to document these different ways of preparing food and its nutritional values and also promote our own dishes,” Moyo said.

“I think we have what it takes to package our dishes in a way that will make everybody want them.

“We had people from France and they were literally tasting and eating everything.

“People can come to Zimbabwe and also taste our food and this gives an element of how tourism can use the culinary, experience as a tourist attraction.”

Moyo said the country has the Victoria Falls and other attractive places where local traditional dishes could be sampled.

Renowned educationist, poet, playwright, historian, biographer and founder of the Amagugu International Heritage Centre, Pathisa Nyathi said he was delighted by the event.

“I think it went on very well,” he said.

“The centre of the expo was to bring out our cuisines to take pride in our cuisines, which is very important.

“Our cuisines indeed, like other arts, this is a culinary art, and they represent us.

“They give us identity and we get our history through them.”

“For us being part of the event and also sponsors means a lot to us,” Director of Alliance Française de Bulawayo, Guillaume Ripaud said.

“This is very important because so many things gather us together and Europe and Zimbabwe and food is one of them. 

“We were able to speak about many things gathered here.”

Umkhathi Theatre works founder Matesu Dube, Intwasa Arts Festival director Raisedon Baya, NACZ board member Jomo Mhone and Nkue Nkala, among others attended the event.

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