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Inside/Out with Rosemary Siyachitema, Consumer Council of Zimbabwe
January 12, 2012

Full interview with Rosemary Siyachitema - Read and listen

Describe yourself in five words
I am a very logical thinker, conservative and positive.

What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?
My mother always says to live life to the fullest and make sure not make a decisions that is based on today without thinking about tomorrow. I have followed this advice with variations according to what's happening at that particular time.

What is your most treasured possession?
I think it's my sense of self. I don't believe in real possessions because you go into another life and leave those things.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
At my age, both of my parents are still alive and I think I'm very blessed to still have them around. I feel very sad for people who don't have parents. Not having my parents is something I don't want to contemplate.

Do you have any strange hobbies?
No, but I love reading.

Interviewer: What are you reading now?

The Kite Runner. It was recommended to me by a friend I met at a conference. Books have led me to some very interesting conversations with people while I travel. Perhaps that's my strange hobby, talking to people about books

Interviewer: What would you like to read that you haven't already?

I can't ever know. There's a whole horizon out there of books to read .. a few years ago I went to the US and visited a Barnes and Noble. It was like a supermarket of books! I stood there and I was in heaven!

Would you say you're comfortable in your own skin?
Very much so! I know what suits me from dress to food to weight.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Interviewer: What is your favourite dish that you make?

I will make stir fry, either beef or chicken and have it with noodles. I used to share an apartment with a Malaysian girl in my student days and I fell in love with garlic and ginger. I live on my own and making stir-fries are easy and healthy.

Interviewer: What is your favourite thing about cooking?

It's the discovery of it all. I like the adventure of cooking when you're mixing herbs and spices and then the final dish at the end.

What do you have in your fridge?
There's vegetables, lettuce, tomatoes. I like dairy products like cheese. Olives as well.

What is your greatest fear?
My greatest fear is being poor. Where you are not able to feed yourself, you don't have a roof over your head or three meals a day.

What have you got in your pockets right now?
I have no pockets. But my bag, which works as my pocket of sorts, has absolutely everything. I like big bags. Usually I will carry the consumer basket in there as well. I've learnt that I can phoned at anytime.

What is your favourite journey?
It's the anticipation of going somewhere. I love to travel.

Interviewer: What has been your favourite place to visit?

Cape Town.

Who are your heroes in real life?
My mother.

When and where were you happiest?
I think I'm happiest when I'm with family; with a friend when we're talking and just being ourselves and when I'm in my garden at home growing things.

What is your biggest vice?
Perfume. A friend of mine came from overseas and she brought me a big bottle of Poeme. I love perfume. I like ‘smellies' for my bath and lotion ... when you go out of the house you want to feel good. And I like for my house to smell nice; it wards off negativity.

What were you like at school?
I was very quiet and shy. I used to live vicariously through my friends who were much more outgoing.

What are you doing next?
I'm considering that maybe I've given my all to the Consumer Council. This is my eighth year. I think I've gotten it to the place where it needs new blood. And I'm ready to take another step.

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