Paida Chiyangwa

Cultural Ambassador & Chef

I am Paidamoyo Chiyangwa an 18 year old girl child from Goromonzi District Juru, who is into food demos since May 2022 up to now .The idea of doing food demos came along due to a visit I had to SCOPE ZIMBABWE representing FAMBIDZANAI as a student in agro-ecology and Permaculture which was brought about by the PELAM organisation. Although there were some other role models that motivated me to go deep into the program the above mentioned organisations were the main key behind all this.

So during the first workshop we were mainly taught about Agro- Ecology and Permaculture programmes usually on how to grow crops in a cost effective and cultural way at the same time maintaining our health by eating those foods as shown by the picture below.

At this point, we were constructing trenches which will then be filled with manure to create fertile beds at SCOPE.

Some of the meals we had at scope which were grown using the organic methods, considered to be healthier and cost effective. Picture of nyemba and stir fried carrots from the garden. Hence, going back to the basics where people are now eating nyimo, nyemba and mufushwa instead of having junk food such as pizza etcetera, which sometime causes diseases such as diabetes as well as heart problems.

Since, I wasn’t much into digging and all other stuff, I asked myself why not venturing into cooking these foods. I started preparing cultural dishes in a Morden way such that the current generation will surely be attracted to these foods and feel appetized to eat them. Fortunately, I had a chance to meet up with one of the best PELAM’s chef by the name Tafadzwa on far left.

Tafadzwa greatly inspired me and I thought of becoming an ambassador when it comes to cultural foods just by the way he used Nyimo (bambara nuts) to prepare a salad which was indeed appetising and delicious!!

As for me, I started preparing what we call nyemba balls that was during Africa day for my family and they appreciated the meal which made me feel that I need to keep on adding something to these balls so that the taste become more enhanced

Then on October, 8 this year I had an opportunity to launch my first food demo show during my Daddy’s Historical Launch at Dzimwe Ragutu Creative Cultural centre with Fishers Foundation’s assistance. It took everyone’s heart especially the most targeted team (young ones) having nyemba in form of rolled balls dressed in green salad from the garden.

And at this point I was explaining how I prepare my meals serving them in cultural plates and also giving people time to taste. This demonstration show was a great opportunity to me as I now work with an organisation called AIL (Another International Level) which is an organisation which encourages people to go back to their roots and culture by having cultural food but in a modern way. This organisation is in Mt Pleasant and it is still growing. Thanks to the launch I managed to meet an expert in cooking (Takudzwa Mashonga) who was also interested and decided to join and we now do it as a team.

Takudzwa Mashonga on the left.

Our main aim is to drive the coming and current generation to go back to the basics in a skill full way which will help us to maintain our culture and health as well as reducing cost of living. My encouragement is that young ones must try by all means to adopt these methods as they can help them to save financially since most of these practises require less finances. So as for me the Nyemba balls are my favourite dishes. My expectations for the coming 2 years is to open my own restaurants which offers delicious cultural food helping people to protect their own health and also taking care of myself as a girl child.