By Dr Masimba Mavaza
As Zimbabwe prepares to honour their living and non-living heroes in an annually occasion, the president in his wisdom has taken this opportunity to honour some people past and present heroes.
True Zimbabweans have accepted with satisfaction the honouring among others of the First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa. Even though there is a few misguided pressure groups and political opposition parties who are seriously suggesting that the first Lady should not be rewarded.
The honouring of heroes must be done regardless of the hero’s proximity to the president of Zimbabwe. The fact that she is the wife of the president must never be the impediment to recognising hard and heroic work wherever It shows it’s head.
The First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa is A woman for all times and seasons, for all people, and for all occasions. She is God’s shining light, in the darkness, she is the way, leading others home, she is the life of Zimbabwe for all peoples.
In Auxilia Mnangagwa Zimbabwe has one of the greatest gifts God has given to each of us is our living memory. Because of it we have images of wonderful things that have happened to us in the past by people who were so concerned about us. On a larger scale, the country now has a great memory of a woman called Auxillia MNANGAGWA.
A simple woman who lived a simple life not just playing politics and preaching the gospel but living the gospel she preached. Anyone who has seen a picture in the newspaper about her or a television show about her has a great memory. She did not only give food to the people of the rural areas and towns she was an Angel in the memory of many who were touched and those still being touched by her.
The leper, the Aids patient, the poor, the indentured, the suffering comedians, the great singers,many of them have had dismal memories of the past, but this woman gave them a memory they will cherish forever. They will have a reason for hope. They will have a better life waiting them.
No First Lady in the last 42 years has created an impact on the memory of mankind as has Auxiliary MNANGAGWA. When Christ gave the words, “when I was hungry, you gave me to eat; when I was thirsty you gave me to drink and naked you clothed me”, Auxillia helped those words become reality in the lives of the unfortunate who had very few good memories.
As she is being honoured she will be and her legacy will be known for compassion love and care. Thousands of words have been spoken about her and what she has done for the downtrodden and the unfortunate. She gave love and it was unconditional.
The First Lady was born in March 1963 in Mazowe District in Mashonaland Central, where she did both her primary and secondary education.
She the proceeded to Silveira House in Chishawasha, were she was doing secretarial studies,she then joined the Ministry of Manpower Planning and Development in 1981.
Because she was a caring person by nature she took her hospitality love to the Rainbow Tourism Group where she worked in all hotel departments.
In pursuit of excellence Auxilia left the country to pursue studies in hotel and tourism administration in Switzerland and she graduated with her degree in 2001.
Auxilia was bursting with intelligence so she put it into practice In 2008, when she graduated with a Masters in Business Administration Degree from the Midlands State University in Zimbabwe.
Currently she is undertaking a PhD with the Midlands State University. Auxilia is not that type of a person who just sits and bask in the glory of the husband she stretches her hand in every aspect for the best interest of the under privileged.
She is a former Chairperson of Pan African Parliament for the Southern African Region.
Auxilia has lived and breathed philanthropic work all over Zimbabwe. Because of her service to the public she is Passionately known as Amai, she is a champion of the needs of the vulnerable in society.
Contrary to the detractors Even prior to her becoming the First Lady, she has footprints demonstrating a passion for the needs of the vulnerable.
She was instrumental in the establishment of women’s banks in all constituencies in the Midlands Province.
She encouraged women empowerment through ownership of livestock and handcrafts (sewing knitting and clay-pot moulding),this resulted in most of the women being able to purchase their own residential stands and building houses for the first time in their lives.
She has proved that she is innovative as She also promoted floor-tiling of rural homes as a way of promoting good hygiene.
The First Lady also was instrumental in promoting women in cross border trading as a means of self-sustenance.
On assumption of her role as First Lady she has intensified her initiatives of empowering the vulnerable by forming the Angel of Hope Foundation.
As founder and Patron of the Angel of Hope Foundation she has spearheaded philanthropic work spreading its wings to the most marginalised communities and advocating for the preservation of their culture, for example the San people (bush men) and Doma community.
Through her Foundation the First Lady has visited communities and institutions donating foodstuffs, bed linen, stationary, ICT and medical equipment, and initiating comprehensive self-help projects like fishponds, nutrition gardens, orchards and free range chicken rearing.
Currently she has engaged the spouses of traditional leaders as agents of change and empowerment to influence other women under their jurisdiction to engage in self-help projects. Each spouse received two productive goats for a start in a nationwide goat rearing project.
Auxilia has initiated several women empowerment projects in partnership with both public and private players benefiting thousands of women.
In recognition of her selfless work towards women and children’s health the First Lady was appointed as Ambassador for Health and Childcare.
She was also honoured as Patron of Environment by the Ministry of Environment Water and Climate in recognition of her passion and hard work towards environmental preservation.
The First Lady is an active member of the Organisation of African First Ladies for Development (OAFLAD) known for fighting against the spread of HIV and actively engaging the youth on sexual health matters discouraging premarital sex.
During the OAFLAD’ s 23rd General Assembly Ordinary Session in Niamey, Niger on 8th July 2019, she was elected Vice President of this African First Ladies Organisation as a result of her hard work which has been noticeable even beyond the national borders of Zimbabwe.
She has been facilitating free medical specialist services to marginalised communities through her outreach programmes.
She has also been providing accessible and free cervical, breast and prostate cancer screening through her mobile clinic screening programme.
The First Lady launched the National Human Papilloma Virus Vaccination (HPV), an anti- cancer programme expected to benefit over 800 000 girls aged between 10 and 14.
The First Lady has been actively advocating for safe sanitary wear in girls and women and has been donating sanitary wear including reusable sanitary wear.
She has been applauded by the Ministry responsible for Primary and Secondary education and other stakeholders for her keen interest in addressing and engaging adolescents by way of interactive sessions on a country-wide schools programme discussing issues around child abuse, early marriages, teen pregnancies, drug abuse, bullying and school drop outs.
Again she engages men under the Men’s Conference on issues of Gender Based Violence, Child Marriages, and Sexual abuse especially of minors as well as challenging men to improve their health seeking behaviours.
The First Lady hosts a series of Family Fun Days aimed at promoting wellness and recreation in especially women and the elderly through sport.
The First Lady hosts a series of workshops for widows & Orphans on Inheritance and Property Rights and Deceased Estates.
The nomination of the First Lady to receive an award is a perfect and noble thing ever done. Almost everyone loves the idea of “speaking truth to power.” Standing tall, talking boldly, consequences be damned – how heroic! Auxilia stands for the truth and she is the Angel of reality.
Auxilia MNANGAGWA believed that “Everyone should be completely equal” she has fought for equality between man and man.
Additionally, over the years individual first ladies have held influence in a range of sectors, from fashion to public opinion on policy.
As a nation we thank Auxilia Mnangagwa we are so grateful for her family’s service and sacrifice…and we will always have her back. Mai has had extraordinary privilege of traveling all across this country.
Everywhere she has gone, and the people She met, and the stories she heard, She has shown the very best of the Zimbabwean spirit.
Auxilia has shown the incredible kindness and warmth enveloping her and the people she met sing of her humility and grace.
Heroes are a common part of our culture. Indeed, they are a common part of most cultures. More often than not, they are a model of the beliefs of a culture. And it is this that makes heroes an ideal means of evaluating the state of a people, an era, a nation, or whichever group such heroes may apply to.
Heroes represent to us far more than just entertainment – they represent a moral ideal.
Despite those few who try to criticise her Auxilia stands in the face of opposition, of evil, and they say “no”. Mai MNANGAGWA as a , hero refuses this burden of oppression of women by men She is man’s creative answer to oppression. Of all the First Ladies who graced Zimbabwe Auxilia has her own quality her willingness to fight evil, her strong sense of duty, her defined sense of good and righteousness, her humility despite her position and her consistency.
Consistency is often viewed as an impossibility in our daily lives but Auxilia has become an icon riding on consistency.
Auxilia is a model of good, of what is righteous, of the ideal citizen. To be inconsistent would require that she compromise on the good – and when one compromises on the good, there is but one thing you can compromise with: the evil. For a hero to be inconsistent for a second would be for him to willingly submit himself to evil. But our First Lady has shown us that power does not make her evil.
We thank the President for awarding this medal meant for heroes to Auxilia the wonderful First Lady. We must all remember that heroes are a reflection of our culture, of who we are as a people. So who are we? What can we see in our culture today that is different, aside from our heroes?
Mai MNANGAGWA will go on her knees to crown our lovely culture. She sits in the dust to cook sadza she is the mother of Culture.
We must remember that in 2019 Auxilia MNANGAGWA joined hands with Merck Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Merck KGaA Germany who organized their first ‘Merck Foundation Health Media Training’ on 16th September 2019 in Harare, Zimbabwe in partnership with Auxillia Mnangagwa, the First Lady of Zimbabwe and Ambassador of Merck More Than a Mother together with Ministries of Health and Information to break the stigma around infertility in Zimbabwe and rest of Africa.
Mai MNANGAGWA was appointed the Ambassador of Merck more than a Mother.
By looking at what the First Lady has been doing we can only look up and thank God for Mai Mnangagwa.
We must all look up and salute as the First Lady walks forward to receive her award for the heroic Jon she is doing for her country. She is the real Amai and May God bless her.