A Mutare man has neither been eating nor drinking anything other than spaghetti and mahewu ever since he contracted a rare disease some three years ago.
Onias Providence Mawodza is said to have contracted oesophagus stricture, a rare disease which is often found in people over the age of 50.
However, he was only 27 when he was diagnosed with the disease.
The Manica Post reports that for the past two years, Mawodza has been having trouble ingesting anything, be it food or drink, besides spaghetti and mahewu and he entirely stopped eating and drinking in May this year.
Eating Spaghetti Three Years
Onias Providence Mawodza The Man Who Has Been Eating Spaghetti for Three Years (cred: Manica Post)
When Mr Mawodza swallows something, he either chokes or vomits the food as it will be stuck in the oesophagus and will not go down to the stomach.
Doctors at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals in Harare had to drill a hole and insert a plastic tube which goes straight into his stomach.
To survive, he pumps liquefied food into the tube.
When The Manica Post visited Mawodza at his Chikanga home in Mutare recently, he was having liquefied potatoes and milk which he was pumping straight into his stomach before adding water.
A food blender does the chewing for him as it crashes all the food that ends up in his body.
Mr Mawodza revealed that he does not enjoy it as much as he enjoyed his food while consuming it through his mouth.
“When I pump the food into my stomach, I just feel that I am full, but I do not enjoy it. I am doing it to survive because one cannot live without food and water. I know that I am full when I feel like vomiting, the same with water. When I am full, the contents that I would have pumped into my body fill my oesophagus from the stomach,” he said.
He pumps liquid food into his body four times a day, at 6am, 9am, 4pm and 7pm.
Mr Mawodza does not swallow even his spit as it also chokes him.
Narrating his journey, Mr Mawodza said the diagnosis was a shock of his life as he never imagined surviving without ingesting anything using his mouth.
“I first started choking while eating because the food would not go past my oesophagus in 2020, so I went to Victoria Chitepo Provincial Hospital where I was given some throat infection medication. I was told that I would be fine in a few days. However, my condition did not change, so I turned to faith healers,” he said.
Mr Mawodza said for the past two years, he spent most of his money consulting prophets and traditional healers who made him believe that he would recover.
“I have been to different prophets across the country and I have wasted a lot of money with the belief that I would be healed, but my condition actually worsened. They would tell me that evil spirits from my family were causing my throat to close, but they never gave me any solutions,” he said.
Mr Mawodza finally went back to the hospital where he was referred to Karanda Mission Hospital in Mashonaland Central and then Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals.
It is at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals where he was diagnosed with an oesophagus stricture.
Mr Mawodza is due for an endoscopy and dilation procedure on his oesophagus at a private surgery in Mutare and is in need of US$530. The operation costs US$1 200. He is appealing to anyone who might assist him in cash or kind to help.
“I am appealing to the people of Zimbabwe to help me raise this money. I have paid up at least US$530 in instalments and appeal to you to help me raise the balance so that I may be assisted and be able to ingest food using my mouth. As it is, my life is in danger as each day passes,” he said.
Those who would like to assist Mr Mawodza can contact him on 0771080769 or 0717000609.