FIRST Lady Amai Auxilia Mnangagwa on Sunday revealed that she was once a member of an apostolic sect before getting married.
The First Lady, who worshipped with members of the Johanne Masowe eChishanu at Madzibaba Moses’ shrine in Highfield, told the congregants that she would still be donning her white robes had it not been for marriage to President Mnangagwa.
Amai Mnangagwa made the visit as part of her cancer screening awareness campaigns around the country.
“I am not new here. I was once part of the apostolic sect when I was still in Mashonaland Central under Madzibaba Gibson. It’s unfortunate he is not here, dai vatokuudzai nhoroondo yangu.
“But because of marriage, I had no option but to change,” she said.
She said all Christians worshipped the same God and she would not feel ashamed to don the white gown again and adhere to the orders of the shrine.
When she arrived, like anyone else, the First Lady removed her shoes and went on to sit on the ground joining other congregations.
“This visit is also special to me; I can recall my days when I used to worship with Madzibaba Gibson,” she said.
During the visit, Amai Mnangagwa also talked about the dangers of cancer highlighting why women should prioritise screening.
The First Lady’s Angel of Hope Foundation also conducted cancer screening on the church members and urged others to visit government health institutions.
“Zimbabwe is on number 10 on the countries affected by cancer and what pains me is that it mostly affects women of child bearing age between 35 and 49 years. If this age dies, Zimbabwe will cease to exist,” she said.
“We should have a healthy lifestyle that includes exercising and eating proper food. Mothers should prepare healthy foods for their families that includes traditional food and fruits. Refined foods are not good for health,” she said.
As a former member of the apostolic sect, she denounced child marriages, which are prevalent within some apostolic sects.
Health and Child Care Ministry director for family health, Dr Bernard Madzima, who was part of the delegation standing in for the health minister, expressed satisfaction with response by churches to cancer screening campaigns.
He hailed the First Lady for championing the fight against cancer and child health care through the Angel of Hope Foundation.
“The First Lady, because of her passion for the promotion of health care and well-being of people, is now the champion of not only cancer but malaria, HIV and Tuberculosis and issues to do with nutrition.
“The First Lady has travelled countrywide through her awareness campaigns,” he said.
Madzibaba Moses said the visit by the First Lady showed that people were equal before God.
“We have been undermined over the years and the visit by the First Lady sends a clear message and we are really humbled.”
Amai Mnangagwa was given a sheep as a gift.