Main Article Content

Preserving knowledge about indigenous cuisine for posterity in Zimbabwe

Cathrine Moyo
Patrick Ngulube
Clotilda Kazembe


Indigenous cuisine plays a pivotal role in the nutrition and well-being of the Zimbabwean people. Zimbabwe has a wide array of indigenous cuisine which is gradually disappearing. Knowledge of the indigenous cuisine is disappearing due to modernisation and denigration of indigenous knowledge. In the Zimbabwean context, indigenous cuisine dubbed “Zimbabwe Soul Food” includes sadza or, isitshwala or, pap from maize, rapoko, millet and sorghum. Vegetable relishes include green and dried pumpkin leaves, cow peas, umhlabangubo or tsine (black jack) and nyevhe or ulude (spider flower leaves), served plain or in peanut butter sauce. Protein relishes include mopani worms (madora or amacimbi), dried meats and flying ants. Using a qualitative case study method, this study explored how indigenous knowledge of cuisine in Zimbabwe may be preserved. Findings from peri-urban men and women between the ages of 20 and 74 years revealed that the consumption of indigenous cuisine is associated with the old people and those who are socially inferior. It is recommended that the awareness about the preservation of the knowledge of indigenous cuisine should be raised because it has the potential of promoting healthy eating habits and food tourism.

Keywords: Indigenous food, indigenous knowledge, indigenous cuisine and preservation, food tourism, oral traditions, discourses of cuisine, documentation