MAD and the Future of Hope – Sadza

by Arielle Johnson

Chido Govera came to MAD 2 in 2012 to tell her story of how she became a farmer and activist in her home country, Zimbabwe. MAD has been collaborating with Chido and her growing Future of Hope Foundation in Harare to turn ideas into empowerment for women, girls, and communities in Zimbabwe and beyond. This post is one in a series covering our work together in Harare. Watch this space for more.

Visiting Zimbabwe for the first time to work with Chido Govera and The Future of Hope Foundation, we needed to get into the local ingredients, cooking techniques, and dishes before we could start experimenting ourselves.
The Shona (the majority ethnic group of Zimbabwe) staple food is sadza, a kind of thick porridge one could classify in the culinary family of grits, polenta, or fufu.
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Chido Govera eating sadza and roadrunner at Samukuze’s Traditional Place in Harare

While it’s increasingly common to find Sadza made from corn, a nonnative crop, more traditional versions are made from millets or sorghums. In the central market in Harare millets, finger millets, white and red sorghum varieties are all sold, unmalted (for sadza), malted (for a sweet, thick breakfast drink called mahewu), in milled and unmilled forms, alongside peanuts and groundnuts, cowpeas and other legumes, dried amaranth and squash leaves, mopane worms, and fresh fruits and vegetables (not to mention cooking equipment, bootleg CDs and DVDs, household goods, shoes, clothing, and jumper cables).
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The makings of sadza at Mbare market, Harare