BIKITA - Minister of State for Masvingo Provincial Affairs, Shuvai Mahofa, gave Odzi-Neguvhe cultural dancing group, a combination of Odzi Secondary and Neguvhe Primary schools, a paltry US$50 after the dance group put up a stunning performance of an old dance move at Gwindingwi High School last week.
Mahofa was attending the launch of the fifth Mass Drug Administration (MDA) on Neglected Tropical Diseases campaign by the Ministry of Health and Child Care.
Her act of 'generosity' came after the Odzi-Neguvhe dance group showcased excellent talent in Chokoto dance, a unique folk dance last witnessed decades ago.
Although the dance group seemed humbled by Mahofa's gift, people who spoke to this publication said it was shameless for Mahofa to give such peanuts as appreciation of rare talent given that she is part of an elite class with access to vast wealth to spare.
"The old lady has been in the privileged ruling class for decades now and she, like many in her circles, has easy access to state power and resources and has made a fortune for herself. It is therefore a wonder when she gives such peanuts to a dance group made up of poor rural children," said an attendant.
Another attendant described the offer as a mockery to the rural poor who often do their best to impress an insensitive leadership whenever given a chance.
"It is not surprising at all. She embodies the selfishness that characterises the country's ruling class; they have everything, but do not want to give anything meaningful to the poor masses they pretend to lead," said the attendant.
Others also criticised Mahofa for not learning from the philanthropic work of First Lady Grace Mugabe whom they said gives meaningfully to the poor.
However, the mentors of the dance group; Betty Nemabwe and Isaac Sungandewo, said they were pleased that the minister had recognised their work.
"I am exceedingly contented by the minister's offer because she has shown recognition of our work," Sungandewo said.
Speaking at the event, Mahofa said the province of Masvingo had been honoured to host the launch of the MDA.
"I feel honoured as a leader because we have been chosen to host this important event and that makes us special," she said.news