Top sommelier in charity cause

SOUTH Africa-based Zimbabwean wine maker Joseph Tongai Dhafana recently embarked on a charity cause that saw him donating part of the money that was realised following an auction of some of his wines.

BY LIFE & STYLE REPORTER

Dhafana donated R2 000 to his former school, Taringana Secondary School, and another R2 000 to Prosper Pachawo, a student at M Hugo School of the Blind, popularly known as Capota, in Masvingo.

“Nothing beats the feeling you have after giving back to the community. It has been an emotional journey for me, but as the director of Mosi Wines, I am happy to share the little I have,” said the award-winning sommelier.

The Zimbabwean donation followed an earlier one that Dhafana made to Eziko School of Cookery and Catering in Langa Township, South Africa, where Goedgedacht Trust helps orphans and other less privileged children.

Dhafana, who is the head sommelier at La Colombe Restaurant in Constantia, Cape Town, and the first SASA certified sommelier from Zimbabwe, appealed to the government to fulfil its promises to positively transform the economy.

He said while he was keen to work with the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Agriculture to ensure Zimbabwe became a wine-producing country, he has often been frustrated by the responses he received from the relevant authorities.

“I have been sending emails to (the) Tourism ministry but the replies came late, sometimes I see lack of interest, which is sad. The Agriculture ministry is way better and they have a great open door policy. I would like to see Zimbabwe producing better wines and stop consuming below entry level wines being shipped into our country,” he said.

“Mosi wines should be in all hotels, restaurant and bars in Zimbabwe as it is from a proud Zimbabwean.”
Dhafana leads the national wine-making team, Team Zimbabwe — which clinched 14th position out of the 24 participating countries, beating the United States, Italy, Spain, England and Holland along the way at the Blind Wine Tasting Championships held at Chateau, St Pierre De Serjac in France last year.

Team Zimbabwe was also made up of Tinashe Nyamudoka, the head sommelier at the Test Kitchen in Cape Town, Admire Wakwa, assistant tasting room manager at Mullineux & Leuu Wine Estate in Franschhoek, Billet Magara, the tasting manager at Passerene Wines in Franschhoek, Malvin Gwese, the head sommelier at Cape Grace Hotel in Cape Town and Pardon Taguzu, consulting and wine importer of African wines in Den Hague in Holland.

Meanwhile, Dhafana’s Mosi Wines last year released a new vintage, the Mosi “Calista” Merlot 2017, which is his third baby after Mosi “Flavian” Syrah 2017, Mosi “Tinashe” Chenin 2017.

Flavian — who died in 2004 — was Dhafana’s father while Calista, who lives in Chirumhanzu, is his mother and Tinashe his son.
He said he was “incredibly happy and humbled” seeing his labour of passion pay off.

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