Accessibility links

Breaking News

Zimbabweans Among Millions of Tea Lovers

Rose Nyathi drinking tea at a Baptist Church tea session.
Rose Nyathi drinking tea at a Baptist Church tea session.

Ezra Tshisa Sibanda

Some Zimbabweans drink up to three or more cups of tea a day. Many tea drinkers believe that they can’t live without taking a sip or two of the popular beverage per day. As the world marks International Tea Day, in Bulawayo’s second largest city, Bulawayo, locals held tea parties to discuss many issues facing them. This has become an annual ritual for these tea lovers.

Fifty-six year-old Steven Switzman takes a sip of tea at a party in Zimbabwe's second largest city, organized to drink one of the most liked beverages in the world. He is among millions of people who love tea.

"I wake up in the morning, lunch time l have a cup of tea about 11 o clock and then definitely at 4 o clock not necessarily with food but even a biscuit is fine, very refreshing and as you can see how l like my tea l boil it with milk for 3 minutes one sugar, Tanganda, Five roses or something like this."

Steve Switzeman
Steve Switzeman

Hazel Ndlovu, another Bulawayo resident, takes three cups of tea everyday. She can’t live without tea.

"I find it very relaxing, everyday l have about 2 or 3 cups. If l don't take tea l actually feel something is not right. I love my tea very much."

Some widows living in Bulawayo's Mzilikazi suburb regularly get together to drink tea to talk about issues affecting them. They have over the years held events to mark International Tea Day. Sakhile Mananike, an avid tea party attendant, is a 54-year-old widow who says drinking tea is her way of living.

Sakhile Mananike
Sakhile Mananike

"I like tea because it keeps me healthy, it keeps me home. When it's cold like this l always take one litre of tea and l like one type of tea bags. And then tea with milk, l always boil my water and boil my milk then mix together it will be nice for me and it's called a milk tea. So l’m having my rich tea and l’m enjoying it. And today is our tea day so l’m enjoying my tea."

Remington Moyo is a 22-year-old student who says he “inherited” drinking tea from his parents.

“I like tea because l think it's an inheritance from our old parents as they to love tea so much so l also take it from them but also tea is very relaxing and also good for health. I drink tea once in the morning and probably sometime in the afternoon depending on the weather. It gives me the renewed energy; it tells me to refresh and to start afresh the day."

Hazel Ndlovu attending a tea party in Mzilikazi
Hazel Ndlovu attending a tea party in Mzilikazi

Remington believes drinking tea can boost your health even if this has no scientific proof.

“I love it so much because it helps us with our health, it can help you with digestive systems. Continue drinking tea continue going for all types of teas, healthy tea. It will help you a lot, it will help you to keep on refreshing and to keep the legacy alive. Imagine the world without tea. How Will it be?”

May 21st was set aside by United Nations as International Tea Day for celebrating tea's long history, cultural significance, and its role in promoting sustainable development and fighting poverty in tea-growing regions.

FILE - Kenyan workers pluck tea leaves using a machine at a tea farm in Kericho, Oct. 10, 2004.
FILE - Kenyan workers pluck tea leaves using a machine at a tea farm in Kericho, Oct. 10, 2004.

According to the UN, tea is the world’s most consumed drink, after water. It is believed that tea originated in northeast India, North Myanmar and southwest China.

Tea production and processing constitutes a main source of livelihoods for millions of families in developing countries and is the main means of subsistence for poor families, who live in a number of least developed nations.

The United Nations says tea can play a significant role in rural development, poverty reduction and food security in developing countries, being one of the most important cash crops.