Story by Josephine Mugiyo, Diplomatic Correspondent
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa says upholding the country’s culture and traditions is key towards ensuring Zimbabweans preserve their identity.
The President was speaking in Chiweshe at an event to celebrate the various achievements of the First Lady, Dr Auxillia Mnangagwa.
The First Lady, Dr Auxilia Mnangagwa continues to play a major role in the restoration and preservation of the country’s culture through her programme, Nhanga Gota Ixhiba, which has seen her going across villages as she works with traditional and village leaders.
This Thursday saw the First Lady being celebrated for her role in cultural restoration and her academic achievements in her home village under Chief Negomo in Chiweshe.
President Mnangagwa who spoke during the celebrations highlighted how colonialism had adverse effects on the local culture and the role that the First Lady is now playing in the restoration of good moral values.
“We had reached a stage where our children desired to be white people and mimicked Germans, Americans and the British. In our lives, we will be lost when we start mimicking alien cultures,” he said.
Apart from the Nhanga Gota Ixhiba programme, the impact of some of the First Lady’s humanitarian programmes in communities also came under the spotlight, particularly in Kanyemba, Mashonaland Central Province.
“She has her gifts and we are now seeing certain things we were not seeing due to the work she is doing. If you notice we have since sent ministers to Kanyemba following her visit. She came to me one day and said I had gone to Kanyemba and highlighted the things she had seen, watch and see the town that will emerge in Kanyemba,” said the President.
Several academic awards to the First Lady are in recognition of her impact on communities.
“Her first award was from America. She went to India and was awarded a degree. She also recently received an award from ZOU, but she was not around at the time it was awarded,” noted the President.
The first lady briefly spoke about how a culture of hard work was inculcated in her during her childhood and appreciated the support she continues to get from the President
“I started working hard when I was young and I would look at my grandmother as she worked. I also get amazed at where my strength comes from. This is all the doing of the Lord. I also want to thank my husband and my parents for supporting me,” she said.
The celebrations were attended by various stakeholders as well as the people in Chief Negomo’s area.