Culture is very important

Culture is very important to me. It all started with a search for truth to the many unanswered questions about life in general and purpose.

Culture is very important to me. It all started with a search for truth to the many unanswered questions about life in general and purpose. I asked many questions to different people about my culture, lineage and spirituality and l always hit a brick wall. Most of the answers to my questions came through my involvement with the Domboshava community in the Mashonaland East province which is situated 27km from the capital city of Harare.

Meeting Zvarimwa, a Spiritual leader of the Matemai/vi totem, from Molife Village guided me to self discovery. All the answers I had about my culture was answered by him through the many discussions we had when I visited him. The one thing in the year I spent with him he asked me to do, was to write down and record our conversation. Our cultural information through time in memorial is disseminated through griots. His recordings have been my road map as I continue on this life’s journey. More information about him is on Dr. Zvarimwa’s page on this website. Unfortutnately he passed away on June 16, in 2010 and was buried on June 18 which is my birthdate. He asked me to help my Domboshava community with income generating projects and hopefully put Domboshava on the world map through the vision he left. Domboshava is well know for horticulture, especially growing tomatoes and kale. My totem is Mbano Matemai/vi.
Evo Nzou, Mukunda
Maita Mbano, evo Musiyiwa, Mwoyowevhu, zvaitwa Madzorera.
Maita zveny vomuGoromonzi, vokwaChikwaka.
Zvaitwa vemvuto chena, vomuDzimwe.
Maita Matemai/vi, Mbano yangu yiyi,
Chiuya chinenge mukaka,
Chinodyiwa navasina meno,
Mhuka isina mutumbi,
Chiuya chava chafema.
Maita vari pamhiri paNhora,
Vari Dzimwe muGoromonzi,
VokwaChikwaka, Vachivakanamabwe,
Kuvaka nomuti unosakara.

Kana Kudyiwa nomuchenje.
Maita zvenyu vari Mutiwaora.
Waita waCheza na Benhura,
Zvaitwa maKorekore, VaChipahomwoyo.
Aiwa tatenda Musenda.
Zvaitwa, zvaonekwa vari Dzimwe.


Norma Riepenhausen manages the Harare Zimbabwe office and works directly with our Village Coordinators who are the links to our village communities. Our main coordinator Brilliant Ngoshi, disseminates learning materials, seeds, inputs, takes pictures and takes care of the community records. The selected households in the villages concentrate on sustainable small-scale farming, holistic management practices and food forest gardens. Fishers Foundation assists the community efforts by giving financial support, providing educational materials, organizing and giving training, providing building materials, networking and connecting them to the available viable markets whilst encouraging financial independence. Social entrepreneurship is encouraged so as not to totally rely on donations. Small holder farmers need to change agricultural practices through observations of climatic and environmental change. Women appear to be less adaptive because of financial or resource constraints as a result of male domination in receiving information and extension services. The available adaptation strategies tend to create higher labour loads for women.

This passion to invest from the grassroots was inspired by the late Dr. Zvarimwa who believed in water harvesting and good agricultural practices. Our environment should be better than what it is today. The selected villages in the Domboshava community are embarking on permaculture, holistic management practices, small grain farming and water harvesting to help improve their environment and reforestation. The community is a vibrant one which grows kale and tomatoes on a very large scale for the local and urban market. Unfortunately, their profits are minimal because of lack of crop diversity or intercropping. Growing food for supermarkets and restaurants especially organic will improve their livelihoods. Nutritional gardens will benefit food availability throughout the season especially when water is easily accessible.

Our ethos:

  • Smart Farming
  • Smart Partnerships
  • Social Entrepreneurship
  • Collaborations
  • Networking
  • Virtual-Smart Sharing

As a community, We believe that a Band-Aid will only mask and temporarily take care of the problem instead of getting rid of it. The saying “teach me how to fish instead of giving fish” is what our communities believe is the way forward. The community’s aspirations are to be the-bread basket again and to help feed the world as resembled by our Logo.VIEW MORE

My mother is Soko Murehwa and she comes from Shamu Village Govera Domboshava; My father is Matemai (Mbano) and comes from Goromonzi Chikwaka in Mashonaland East province. My grandfather Sande Mashonga moved to Hurungwe where my father grew up. My link to these villages is through my lineage which is integral part of my culture. My passion is working with communities where I can relate in terms of land ownership, chieftainships and our totems. Culture and knowing our heritage is very important and it determines who we are as a people and will help us as a Nation to go back to our roots and possibly improve our livelihoods.


Cultural tourism is what I would love to see in this vibrant community of hardworking men and women. Somehow culturally in Zimbabwe we are intertwined and interlinked through marriage and the extended family which is truly fascinating for those interested in learning more about our people. Women and children remain the backbone of small holder farming and due to the nature of culture, women and the girl child do not have land ownership, yet they produce the bulk of food for the nation. Fishers Foundation and our friends both locally and abroad are helping to advance these marginalized communities with income generating projects and sourcing viable markets for them.

INDIGENOUS PLANT LIFE: We believe in the reforestation of our wildlife. Our exotic national flower – The flame Lilly. There is an interconnectedness between humanity and the environment which is affected by climate change and food insecurity.
INDIGENOUS FRUITS: We believe in the expansion of our nutritional indigenous fruits. These are some popular indigenous fruits and some tree roots, leaves and bark are used as herbal medicines to cure many ailments

Fishers Foundation encourages Social Entrepreneurship and Smart Partnerships instead of asking for donations, however, if you are compelled to help our projects please click here