First Lady Auxilia Mnangagwa has said she recognizes the invaluable role played by traditional leaders in upholding traditional values, and urged Zimbabweans to uphold these morals.
Speaking during her ‘Dzidziso yaAmai Munhanga/Mugota/Ixhiba’ project at Chief Nekatambe’s homestead in Dete on Friday, Amai Mnangagwa encouraged traditional leaders to help in preserving these cultural ethics among Zimbabwean youths.
She further asserted that technology and the media have played a major role in diluting the Zimbabwean culture as evidenced by the way the youths have adopted ‘popular culture’ in the society.
“Now in Zimbabwe, our culture has been diluted, we have taken cultures from abroad, people are not proud of who they are, and I often ask is it because we are embarrassed of being Zimbabwean? Or are we embarrassed of our food as Zimbabweans?” she said.
The First Lady urged traditional chiefs’ wives to also assist in preserving the nation’s culture which is being eroded by modernity.
“The chiefs need to help us in disciplining and advising our children.”
“Today we taught the young boys and girls on Ubuntu with the help of traditional chiefs and their wives. These young boys and girls will then go and teach others at home and at school, they are the First Lady’s ambassadors,” she said.
The Ixhiba project which she spearheaded comprises of teaching sessions for the young which are done throughout the country’s ten provinces.
She said the project does not encourage early child marriages but teaches the youngsters about Ubuntu/ Unhu also discouraging them from getting involved in sexual activities.
“As a girl child, respect your body, don’t be a sales manager of your body, dress properly and protect your body, have dignity. To young boys desist from alcohol and cigarettes, respect your bodies as well,” she said.
During Inhanga the First Lady, chiefs’ wives and three elderly women lectured ten young girls on issues to do with dressing, personal and menstrual hygiene.
Chief Nekatambe’s wife urged the girls to dress decently every time while Chief Shana’s wife also taught them to value their virginity as it has always been the pride of every girl child.
The boy’s discussion involved traditional Chiefs and the Minister of State for Matabeleland North, Richard Moyo who informed the young boys on how to be a responsible men.
Minister Moyo applauded the efforts made by the First Lady saying she is a true patriot who leads by example.
“You are leading by example, you want to encourage parents and guardians to take time to communicate with their children and enlighten them with their culture.
“This is important if we safe guard our traditional values and breed a young generation that is patriotic and proud to be Zimbabwean,” he said.
“I believe that if our children are rooted in Ubuntu they will desist from indulging in most of the illicit vices that we are now witnessing in our society. Most children no longer respect their elders, are involved with drugs and engage in sexual relations at an early age,” he said.
Those involved in the lectures were all handed over food hampers for their efforts. Nhau/Indaba