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Chido Madzvamutse | Zimbabwe


What do you do in your home country and what do you hope to do upon your return? In particular, with the integration of your experiences here?

I am a psychiatrist involved in patient care and in planning and programming for mental health in Zimbabwe. I am also involved in a national organization for psychiatrists that works to create awareness amongst the health community and also in the border community about mental health issues, advocating for mental health.

One of the things that is quickly happening here that I can take home with me is the networking with Americans who are also passionate about mental health that will open up collaborations. Collaborations especially in mental health with people who specialize in this among the African American community and how that mirrors some of the things that we are facing back home. I think that in working together, there is definitely something we could all get out of this. Also, relating some of the programs that we have back home to how they could also help here in collaboration.

What is your favorite thing about your home country? How about Philadelphia?

Family. I have a big family and I think we do family well. We take care of each other and we are all very connected. Our culture too.

So far my favorite thing about Philadelphia is one that is specific to Drexel. I think that it is a university that is very integrated in the city. You find yourself right in the city as you are walking around campus. That is something that we could learn from at home because they are very separated from the cities they are in. That integration is something that I have learned here. If they interacted more with the city they could help the city more.

Do you have any hobbies or an interesting fact you wish to share about yourself?

I love reading. I read all sorts of books, but the more factual and close to real life the better… but I will read anything.

If I were to come to your home country, what is the first thing I should eat?

I would invite you home and cook you a traditional Zimbabwean meal. I keep my own free-range chickens and I could cook you fresh vegetables from my garden. So I would want to cook you a meal instead of just recommending where you should eat. One example of a specific part of a dish is Sadza, which is cornmeal or maize-meal.