For many years, people have been trying to come up with a unique way of having Zimbabweans dress. We dress like anyone, we have no national dress. To me this is not really an issue because we have so many other things that noone else has. For instance we have many genres of music that no one else has like sungura, chimurenga and mbira music.
Our food is also very distinct. We eat a lot of wild fruits that most people have never heard of like mazhanje- which I hope the world never “discovers”. Our prepared food, is easy to cook and uses very few ingredients.
Sadza should be our national identity. We all (generally speaking) love sadza.
Sadza is eaten all across Southern Africa in different forms. I think Zimbabweans love sadza a bit more than anyone else. In Harare, so many places sell sadza for lunch, it is almost ridiculous. Anyone selling food makes a killing if they make sadza. It has many “nicknames” like Jena Muponesi(The White Saviour) for obvious hunger fighting powers. Ask any Zimbabwean, they know that one person who is still hungry because you served them rice and not sadza. I am looking at you, Mdara Kwa(my father)!Admit it, there is that one Zimbabwean who is still hungry because they had rice instead of sadza. Click To Tweet
I can not tell you the precise history of sadza but from what I know people have been eating sadza for a long time. Sadza is a thick porridge made with water and ground grains. Usually maize meal, the white one. Other common grains that can be used are finger millet, wheat, sorghum and rice. We serve sadza with vegetables, meat, fish, salads, worms, insects and milk.
Unlike polenta, sadza is not seasoned at all, but the method of preparation is almost the same. Some like the porridge thin while others it thick. Many people also have sadza for breakfast, cold the next morning. I prefer to turn my left over sadza into a drink-mahewu. A traditional beer is also made using sadza.
Sadza is also used to make batiks. I love this fabric because each design looks so different from the next. I tried making one myself a few weeks ago and it did not work out.
I will be honest, I did not always love sadza. Moving away from home made me realise that I actually do. My husband beats me at that, a trait passed on to our son. If I ever have to request a last meal it will be Sadza and Pumpkin Leaves. If that is not available then Sadza rezviyo and sour milk will have to do.
What is your favourite side with sadza? Let me know in the comments below.