“I sat in a dark room sipping my tea staring out the window.
The sky was a picture perfect grey with sun rays slowly creeping through the dark covers of night when I jumped out of my chair and screamed
“I am a monkey
I am a chef
I am a darling “
That is two truths and a lie
I am a kick-butt young woman .I have had to learn the hard way that it’s okay sometimes, but necessary, to admit that I am good at what I do.”
Those are the words that I expect to read one day in Rumbidzai Mugabe’s biography (fingers crossed).
Who is Rumbi?
I had always wanted to be in a court room, defending people i wasn’t even sure were guilty or innocent. That’s how it should’ve been, then a few weeks before my “A” level exams it hit me i didn’t want to get into a profession because of how good i would make that wig look, or how FINE & elegantly dressed i would be, hell naah! I would get tired of it someday and be depressed because of work or not having time to watch my kids grow up. So i decided to reevaluate my career choice and what i came up with was a profession that’s rather unusual…or perhaps UNCONVENTIONAL is the right word for it. My best friend C.J was so supportive and encouraged me to go for it. I was just scared to tell my mom…yep!!! That scared me because telling her that i wasn’t as passionate for law as i thought was the easy part. That she would understand, It was the “new normal” disguised as my tangential dream that i was concerned she would not appreciate. Don’t get me wrong i love helping people just not in court. I lean more towards charity work. So i thought and thought and thought – then it hit me!!! slap Bam!!, right in the face. I LOVE COOKING & hosting people. I am really good at it actually, and i will do that professionally. This is why i am where i am and going where i am going, it is hard but i will get there.
My name is Rumbidzai Faith Mugabe (Chef Rumbie). I am a 23 year old, talkative, creative-cooking is art, loving, focused-driven, dedicated foodie and live to make your belly satisfied and to put a smile on your face with food.
For me happiness tastes like smooth vanilla bean panacotta, no crystal ice or lumps – encouragement, peace, love & unity. You are guaranteed a hiccup here and there of course that’s that vanilla bean. Your duty is to make that problem feel so small that you can put it between your pinky & thumb and not notice it at all.
I am an all rounder, i do work on perfecting my skills in everything, no one can stop me so why not. Every Chef is different so my cooking is from & with love.
What dish are you most proud of and why?
Apple crumble because that’s all my mom ever talks about. Lol
Has a female influenced your chef aspirations?
Well not really but, i would like to think that my mother did, she cooks up a storm.
What do you feel are your biggest achievements?
My biggest achievements? haven’t reached those yet… check with me end of year 😉 but, i am proud of doing my cookery program at G.H.S with Ms Matengenzara (Dhenge) in 2008. We initially had a full class of over 10 students but, only 3 students wrote the final. She is the best cooking instructor-teacher i have ever had because of when i burnt my victoria sponge and she told me to start over. Its the only time i have cried in the kitchen. It took me a few minutes to get my act together and i re-do it…i guess she saw the potential in me that i had not noticed because, after redoing my victoria sponge, it looked perfect. That is the first time i thought of being a Chef but, i soon realised that in Zimbabwe there’s no cookery degree so concluded that i could never pull it off. The high school qualification taught me basic cookery and i am glad it did. At the time i didn’t realise that this experience was going to be good for me. That was my first achievement ever finishing what i started and making use of it later in life.
To my fellow aspiring Chefs –
Do it right first time & all the time and it will all run smoothly
No short cuts, they will get you cut.
What obstacles did you face being a female chef ?
Maintain the passion, the drive, creativity, mobilise your positive energy and you will never go wrong.
A lot like every other industry my industry is flooded, everyone is in catering, that makes them a Chef.
Very good establishments are less likely to hire a female Chef, which is somewhat understandable women have too many commitments, but i am getting there. Watch this space.