Over 1000 people attended the two-day Bikita Traditional Seed & Food Fair on 21 & 22 August 2019. This was the third year the Bikita farmers hosted the event at Chamas Garden in the village of Gangare with the support of EarthLore and the Zimbabwe Small-scale Organic Farmers’ Forum (ZimSOFF). The big crowd was treated to displays by more than 300 farmers who exhibited traditional seeds and produce from their own fields, as well as wild fruits and foods that are once again being included in people’s diets after being ignored for many years and almost forgotten. Visitors came from Chimanimani, Shashe, Zvishavane, Gutu and Masvingo districts. We also had visitors from Ethiopia, Malawi, South Africa and France.….
The theme of the fair was: Our own Traditional and Local Seeds provide better Nutrition and are Resilient to Climate Change. On the second day, dignitaries, officials, politicians, specially invited guests and the media were treated to a short play, based on a real-life story to illustrate the healing qualities of indigenous herbs and the value of food made from homegrown seeds, grains and vegetables. The drama tells of a woman who was very ill and had almost given up hope of being cured until she was wisely advised to eat fresh locally grown traditional food. When she followed this diet, her health was restored, as if by some miracle, much to the joy of her family, friends and the community.
Day Two was dedicated to speeches and entertainment by different farmer groups singing, dancing and performing, including by the visiting farmers from South Africa. Traditional dances were performed by young learners from a local school. The audience enjoyed seeing the youth enthusiastically connecting with their heritage. Another favourite was an agile group of three elder men whose old bones lost their stiffness and old bodies forgot their tiredness, as familiar drum rhythms encouraged them to leap and cavort like youngsters. The crowd showed great appreciation for their skills and stamina.
Below is an album of photos from the Bikita Seed and Food Fair. Please click on individual photos to enlarge.