Posted on 18 April 2019 by Makhosi Mahlangu
The Matobo region experienced a surge of foodies to taste locally produced African foods. The event was a 3 day event which had a conference on the 4th and 5th of April, with various dignitaries gracing the event.
Some of the faces and food at the expo.
Numerous presentations were made on food production systems in rural African villages. The following universities attended the Traditional African Food and Beverage Expo: Lupane State University, Gwanda State University, National University of Science and Technology (NUST), Chinhoyi University of Technology (CUT), Midlands State University and Great Zimbabwe University. The presentations were multi-faceted, based on the conference theme which was the ” The Role of Villages in Promoting Food Security, Nutrition and Job Creation in Africa. The event was graced by renowned scientists such as Entomophagy expert Dr. Lesley Macheka and and food scientist Dr Desmond Tichaona Mugadza.
Dr Mkhokheli Sithole of the Institute of Development Studies (NUST) discussing the mopane worm industry
Dr Desmond Tichaona Mugadza of Midlands State University discussing the growth of the African food industry
Non Governmental Organisations who are heavily involved in community development were also present throughout the Expo from the Crop Breeding Institute to Harvest Plus to the Ali-Douglas Research Network to ORAP to LFSP-Extra to Elevate Trust. They enlightened governmental officals and academia on the role of village development. The Key Note speech came from the Mayor of Bulawayo, Solomon Mguni who spoke about the growing indigenous food market in the city. Tillers for Africa also held a practical demontration on tilling land in villages by Thulani Thata.
Thulani Thata of Tillers for Africa demonstrating the use of machinery for small scale farmers
Sakhile Kudita from Harvest Plus discussing Bio-fortification of indigenous foods
The 3rd and final day was dedicated to families. Various chefs were available for the cook-off competition including renowned Chef Mhlelusizo Ncube who is currently an advisor for the African Food Revolution and also the founder of the Stir-up African Chefs campaign. She managed to come all the way from Cape Town to attend the expo. She managed to bring a twist to the meals by designing an authentic African traditional menu, which was happily prepared by the local Matobo women.The event had a number of visitors, with the organisers estimating a turnout crowd of around 450. There was the annual braai on the rocks which saw over 250 attendees climbing the mountain to devour the meat. The venue was beaming with numerous food stalls from the local indigenous village women. Entertainment was provided by Babongile Sikhonjwa, Drums of Peace, Hwabaraty and Charles Banda.
Chef Mhlelusizo Ncube enjoying!!! Part of the YALI network
The crowd on the mountain
The event brought African indigenous foods into the spotlight with tourists from as far as Germany attending the event and sampling the local foods and beverages. As for Ngqindi he was the topping of the Cake, brilliant in all aspects. See you again in 2020 for an explosive event.
Various potraits of the visitors to the Food Expo