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    Friday, 8 March 2019

    Mukumbi brew takes Zvishavane by storm


    TARIRO MACHOKOTO

    ZVISHAVANE – As the prices of clear beer skyrocket out of reach of imbibers, mukumbi, a traditional beer made from marula wild fruits has taken the small mining town of Zvishavane by storm.
    Mukumbi is the in thing!
     The other push factor for this mukumbi liquid is the current drought. Women in Mberengwa are pushed to make the brew because it is the only business that gives them income for now.
    The Mirror understands that the alcohol content for Mukumbi is way above what you get in ordinary bars in town. The brewing process lasts four days.
    The Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education Proffesor Amon Murwira should be smiling wherever he is to hear about this brew. He is a strong advocate of local industries built and run on local resources.
    He says Zimbabwe is rich but its problem is that citizens suffer from an infatuation for foreign goods and products. He wants a turn-around of the economy based on the natural resources that the country has.
    Elizabeth Moyo who is from Chief Mazvihwa’s area makes a cool $60 from Mukumbi sales on a good day.
    She makes the beer from marula fruit at her home in Gwemombe. The cost, except for labour is low; she gathers the marula fruit herself, processes them and brews the beer. She takes the beer to Zvishavane Town some 40 km from her home.
    She sells the beer herself and the overheads are therefore minimal.
    To make the mukumbi brew, they collect fallen marula fruits and peel off its skin. They then put the peeled seed into a tin with water and pound it in order to separate the flesh from the seed and to collect the juice. They then use a sieve to remove chaff.
    They then mix the juice with prescribed amount of water and leave the liquid for four days. Your beer is ready when it develops a thick form and gives a vinegar-like scent.
    Entrences to several beerhalls in Zvishavane are now dotted with women selling Mukumbi. The beer is transported in 20-litre containers and a 2-litre mug is sold for $2 and when the demand is up it goes for as much as $3.
    “Each day I carry 20L of mukumbi to the market and not a single drop is left after selling it at $2 per litre. At times I even bring 2 x 20 litre buckets and sell at $3 and all is finished," said Moyo.
    Moyo who is now nicknamed Mai Mukumbi says business has become so brisk that she is selling bulk mukumbi to other women who then go and sell it to their own patrons.
    “This trade has changed my life. I send my children to school, I buy groceries and clothes for my family. I only ventured into this business in January and life is looking very good for me,” says Moyo.
    She said it was difficult for her to get customers in Zvishavane in the early days but her clientele base has grown. She does her business from points that are next to beerhalls particularly Mandava.                         
    “Now demand has outstripped supply and I am encouraging my friends to start brewing mukumbi as well so that we popularize it and make a sustainable living out of it,” said Moyo.
    Midlands Police Spokesperson Joel Goko said he is not aware of the issue when he was contacted for a comment.
    One of Moyo’s customers Obey Sibanda told The Mirror that he liked the beer because it is cheap, has a sharp taste and high alcohol content which gets him drunk fast.
    “Mukumbi is our natural drink, many love that natural taste in it. Because of its high alcoholic content I only need a litre to get drunk unlike other beers where I take drums with no effect. Mukumbi is a very powerful beer and Moyo knows how to brew it," said Sibanda.
    Tendai Mhere gets the beer from Moyo on a wholesale basis and she in turn sells to her own clients.
    "This beer is cheap and with the current economic difficulties it is the in thing. I earn a lot from selling beer," said Mhere.

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