While many technologies have come and gone with time, its interesting to note that some things are going to last longer and across generations, defying high tech inventions. The grinding mill years back used to be a sign of wealth and success in Zimbabwe and to date the engineering solution has been passed from one generation to the other.
One thing that has made our Zimbabwean culture so interesting over the years is our staple food, sadza.
The milling process is quite fascinating, but it is most important to identify the tool responsible for producing mealie meal which is the miller or Chigayo in shona.
We got in touch with one Tongai Purazeni of prospect waterfalls who owns and runs a milling machine , and he elaborated to us how the milling process goes and how the prices are reached.
It is important to note that milling process is viable industry on its own and one can actually invest in and get a sizeable income illustrated Tongai.
The first thing is to have a proper place for one to conduct business. Having done so you can buy your milling machine from shops in the CBD or from the various engineers found in Mbare industrial area.
The grinding mill should be installed by a certified installer or electrician other wise to avoid endangering the operator of the machine as well as the clients.
Purazeni went on to say most Zimbabweans often avoid the cleaning process they feel it is time consuming and they often go sraight for the gringing process
The cleaning process often involves pilling the cover off from the maize meal. This helps produce quality mealie meal which has an attractive white colour and it is good when you are selling sadza for bussness or at home. This process often last for 3 to 5 minutes considering your machine is in fine condition.
“One has to be in full attendance during the process to avoid a scenario were the maize meal is crushed into little pieces and can easily pass through the sieve without being processed.
“The next process is the grinding part which is most important. first the maize meal is set in jugs to help with the pricing issue and is then poured into the grinding machine through a rectangular tunnel,” said the miller.
As the maize turns into mealie meal it the passes through a sieve which acts as a bridge between the maize meal and the mealie meal.
The process can last for 2 to 5 mins and most of time is dictated by the brand of milling machine one will be using.
It is important to avoid having stones or any other hard staff that might rip the sieve apart as this might lead to unfinished product.
“Most of our prices are determined by the electrical charges being charged by ZESA as well as the quantity of the maize meal. At most times we sat our prices using the gallon measurement,” he said.