Growing up, one of the highlights of our household was the kitchen. A lot of our bonding as siblings took place there. Every Sunday after church, the five of us (Manfred, Wilbert, Winston, Rufaro and I) had the task of making Sunday Lunch. I have to admit I am not the most gifted in the kitchen, but you will survive in my care. I’m not bad at all, but in comparison to my siblings, I think I will stick to the guitar. All my brothers cooked very well, not sure if they still do, so trying to even compete with that was a complete waste of time. I was relegated to washing the dishes and the occasional chopping of veggies if need be.
The greatest promotion for me came when my little sister Rufaro was born. That meant that she had to take up the dishes when she was old enough. When she was about five years, I had the honour and privilege of introducing her to that sink, walk her through the intricacies of opening and shutting the tap, and the quickest and effective ways of getting rid of grime and dirt off the plates and pots. It was an art I tell you. I had moved on to greener pastures, chopping whatever needed to be chopped. In essence, our kitchen operated like a professional kitchen. Manfred, Wilbert and Winston would grill and sauce, I would do the cold section. Manfred was the head chef obviously, Wilbert was the sous chef, the saucier was Winston, (these roles interchanged though) and after my promotion, I became the commis chef and yes Rufaro was the porter.
Little did we know that we were preparing miss Rufaro for a lifelong dream. At age five, she knew that she wanted to cook and she was surrounded with brothers who enjoyed that too and a sister who enjoyed eating. Rufaro was able to watch every section and learn from each one and she managed to work all the way up. She went right up the ladder and after her studies landed her first job at the Meikles hotel in Harare, setting a very high standard for where her gift was to go. After that she went on to study more culinary arts at Capiscum in Cape Town, landing her a job at the Taj Hotel. In her free time, she would go and help out at Cocoafair, where she learnt to be a chocolateur; yes she makes some really good chocolate. She then returned to Zimbabwe and did a stint at the amazing Teta restaurant in Harare before joining the team at Ilala lodge in Victoria Falls where she currently holds the position of pastry sous chef.
Her journey excites me because she has not even started on the vision she has and all this is just ground work. I am privileged to have seen her hard work and determination finally paying off. She surrounds herself with mental pictures of where she wants to go and will not stop at nothing till she gets there. Your gift will always make room for you and in these end times, I pray that you are encouraged to look at your surroundings and see what gifts you have that bring you and others the most joy. Rufaro means happiness and food makes her happy. She puts that joy on a plate for another person to appreciate what joy tastes like. Your gift will make room for you, and Rufaro is a living testimony.