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Zikhali’s next target – a 543-tonne aeroplane

Story by Abigirl Tembo

Imagine consuming 2 kilogrammes of sadza or rice, 2 kilogrammes of meat, six pints of lacto, one litre of juice and two litres of water just for lunch or supper? This in addition to 30 eggs, 2 loaves of bread plus beans and bacon for breakfast.

That’s the daily eating routine of 36-year-old Arnold Zikhali, affectionately known as “Strongman”, who has turned into an overnight celebrity after videos of his weird eating habits went viral on social media with many questioning his financial muscle and stomach capacity.

Zikhali weighs 146 kilogrammes.

“I was born like this, that’s why I was given the name DDF – Don’t Disappoint Food. So, up to today I eat food, I don’t even have a favourite foot I just eat food,” Strongman says.

Zikhali attributes his huge appetite to his hobby which involves pulling wagons, haulage trucks and vehicles on straps.

“For me to be able to eat large quantities of food like I do it’s because of the work that I do. Have you ever seen a person pulling 2 buses, a train wagon 54 tonnes? It’s me alone, so which means I am abnormal, I eat this daily 15 boiled eggs – 15 fried, beans, a lot and right now I am already hungry. When I pulled the 54 tonne wagon my body was stressed. This happens every time I pull something heavy, so when I eat, my body will be recovering. I work with fat, more food, more fat, more power. Now I want to pull a plane, Air Zimbabwe weighing 543 tonnes. So for the mean time I need to eat more so that my body gains more energy.”

But then who cooks for him and does the man lead a normal life?

“I have no wife, but I have my friend Knowledge and his wife cooks for me she knows that I eat a lot. Right now, I am financially down but when the finances pick up, I will have a wife. I have a girlfriend and she has accepted me for who I am I do visit my relatives and whenever I do visit them I find my food well prepared because they know my eating habits,” Strongman adds.

According to calculations done by the ZBC News crew, his breakfast alone costs an average US$25 and the question on everyone’s lips is who funds it?

“I have never calculated how much I use on food because I don’t want to be stressed but my friend and my manager helps me whenever I am financially down and chip in with money for food. I have never gone without food, as you can see I have many friends so in the meantime they assist. 2 kgs sadza or rice 2 kgs meat 6 pints of lacto,” he says.

Zikhali’s daily eating habits have also baffled scientists.

Nutritionist, Ms Tafadzwa Zhawari explains, “In this case, it’s something that has speculation and it’s something that someone is saying not saying that its true or its false, but as a nutritionist and as a scientist, I would recommend that we carry out a study to really make him a cohort that we follow, follow his eating patterns everyday and also measure the energy that he is expending and understand how it’s happening that he is eating all this food that he is claiming to eat and he is still healthy. He is not obese he looks okay, he is physically fit, so we really need to understand what is it that is behind all this.”

Zikhali’s is also full of intrigue as the man claims that he has never fallen sick in his entire 36-year life journey.

However, true to the dictates of nature every man yearns for companionship with the only missing link in his life being a wife.

But he has got that covered too once he becomes financially stable.

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