The Sunday Mail
Tendai Rupapa in NIAMEY, Niger
First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa joined other African First Ladies for a banquet here on Friday night on the sidelines of the 23rd session of the Organisation of African First Ladies for Development (OAFLAD) General Assembly.
The First Ladies, who have a crucial role to play in achieving AU’s Agenda 2063, gathered over dinner and shared notes on their philanthropic works.
Amai Mnangagwa was happy to be part of the proceedings as she shared her Zimbabwean story.
She danced to cultural music together with her counterparts.
The dinner spilled into the early hours of Saturday morning.
Earlier before the dinner on the same day, there was a fashion show hosted by the Niger government in partnership with the International Festival of African Fashion (FIMA in French) president, Mr Aissata Issoufou (Alphadi), who is a renowned African designer. Several designers from different African countries showcased their cultural and modern designs.
Most musicians serenaded the esteemed gathering with breathtaking traditional dance moves.
In an interview, Nigerian Minister of Cultural Renaissance, Arts and Social Modernisation Mr Assoumana Malan Issa said culture was important in the development of a country and continent.
“We made an agreement with the founding president of FIMA, Mr Sidhamed, to host this special addition of FIMA as a way of bringing African countries together through arts and culture during this African Union Summit,” he said.
“We want to use culture in supporting development in the continent.
“We want to find out how culture can be used to support this development of our country and the continent at large.”
Amai Mnangagwa has been at the forefront of promoting local culture and heritage.
She recently hosted the inaugural Food and Culture Festival and called on Zimbabweans to embrace their own culture.
She called for the preservation and generational transmission of cultural values, which she said define evolutionary identity and instils moral values.
OAFLAD meeting is running under the theme “Collaborating to Transform Africa: Addressing the Needs of Vulnerable Populations.”
It is running concurrently with the AU Extraordinary Summit.