Category Archives: Wining and Dining

Where to eat…what to eat and why to eat it!

Hostess with the Mostess!!!

It’s 2016 already ­čś│­čś▒. I feel like I blinked and 2015 was already over! The new year has been off to a terrific busy start and am grateful for that! 
Recently I was featured on a short “How to” series by Mud Journal! I had so much fun shooting it! Although the sun was blazing hot, the whole crew had a good laugh and our shoot ended on an epic note with us spotting a snake and everyone running for dear life! 

Mud Journal is the brain child of Alex Gazwe who until recently was teaching film at college level! 

  
We shot on a very sunny day in BULAWAYO. The set was beautiful and serene and very outdoorsy, which speaks a lot to my interests and likes. 

  
To watch the full interview visit  Mud Journal and repost and share in your networks! 

  

 
 
­čôĚ credit: Alex Gwaze (Mud Journal) 

 “Once again…welcome to my house. Come freely. Go safely; and leave something of the happiness you bring.”
Bram Stoke 

I think I love Zambia…

In my almost three decades on earth, its quite surprising that I had never set foot in neighboring Zambia till this past weekend! Zambia formerly known as Northern Rhodesia not only shares the same Colonial name as Zimbabwe but also a border and the magnificent Victoria Falls or to the locals Mosi-oa-Tunya (the smoke that thunders).

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Crossing over from Zimbabwe to Zambia is quick and painless and one can do so by simply walking over the bridge and be in Zambia within minutes.

From the Livingstone Border post we proceeded to what would be our home for the weekend, the Royal Luvingstone just a few minutes away.

The hotel built right on the banks of the Zambezi River is MAJESTIC! I was awestruck from the moment we drove in and could not help but fall in love!

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Although this was a working weekend I had the opportunity to do some fun activities!

I have seen the Victoria Falls several times from the Zimbabwean side however I had the opportunity to view the falls from the Angels Rock Pool which spills over into the falls! It was an adrenaline pumping experience. The water levels were very high and we had been advised not to attempt swimming in the pool! But what is life without some adventure?

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On our way to the airport I couldn’t help but be reminded of Zimbabwe with the oh so familiar political campaign billboards! I guess those are pretty standard?

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Could easily be a billboard in Zim

The Livingstone airport is cute and compact. It looked like there was still some work being done in it. Some of the ceilings were not complete. I wasn’t quite sure if it was being renovated or just the original construction was incomplete!

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Considering my stay was short and sweet, i cant claim to be an expert on our neighboring nation, however I absolutely loved my weekend in Livingstone! I even made a friend Edward ­čÖé

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Did I mention the sunset over the Zambezi as viewed from Zambia is second to none? Just breathtakingly inspiring!

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Like every other wonderful journey mine had to come to an end! But one last message from the Zimbabwean and Zambian Tourism Authorities:

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“There is a hidden message in every waterfall. It says, if you are flexible, falling will not hurt you!”-
Mehmet Murat ildan

These Streets…

If there is one thing I love is unrehearsed images…they capture candid moments, at times joyful moments and at times some really sad ones.

While goofing around with my two friends yesterday,  we managed to get some fun, natural images! They looked too great to not publish ­čÖé

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Did I mention I have this dhuku (headwrap) thing going, I want to see how long I can wear one everyday. I will be varying the fabric prints and also the style in which I tie them! Wish me luck. You can follow my #dhukuchallenge on instagram: @thandimuringa

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Something about the treelined streets of my neighborhood always inspires a photoshoot!

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“If tomorrow will be the end of the world, I will spend my today by looking at the pictures of my past!”
Mehmet Murat ildan

Photo Credit: KB Mpofu

About the weekend

I went out for the first time in 2015 this past weekend. Having made certain resolutions that were easier to keep if I kept a low profile I was not trying to tempt fate by being out and about for most of January!

This weekend the City of Kings and Queens was graced by Tehn Diamond and Take Fizzo of Few Kings. The pair were in the city to perform at an after party for a cosmetics launch held in Bulawayo.

The after party was held at Horizon Club in the heart of the city. As I mentioned I have not been out for a while now and could barely recognize most of the faces in the crowd. Its either am getting real old or a new breed of party goers was in full attendance at the club.

Tehn is no stranger to Bulawayo, having shot his music video for “Grown Up Kid” in the city, as well as performing with Junior Brown and Take Fizzo at the NAMAs in 2013 held at City Hall.

I have been dying to see Tehn and Fizzo perform in Bulawayo. I have seen some of their performances in Harare but missed their NAMA performance two years back.

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The set was very lively and the young crowd gathered around the performance area seemed to know each song that was being performed and sang along with much enthusiasm!

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There is no denying the energy of Take Fizzo, who though on the decks for the entire performance kept the crowd pumped up and entertained! He is so fun to watch and makes you just want to get up and dance!

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Among others performing at the party were my Bulawayo favs ” The Djembe Monks”. I love these guys and they never disappoint!

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Overall the night was a different experience for me. It was interesting to see a whole other group of Bulawayo people I never see out and see how they party and have a good time.

There also seemed to be a lot of cameras flashing and recording going on, with several interviews going on simultaneously!  Excited to see where all this footage will be aired and is this heralding the rise of new tv shows for the Bulawayo community?  And if so I am keen to know what the audience’s response will be to what seems to be young and hip entertainment shows!

Cant wait for the next big event in Bulawayo!  

Photo Credits: Byo Reloaded

Looking Back…

2014 has certainly been a crazy year! Filled with many ups and downs but I am so grateful for all those who stood by me through each moment and as the year draws to an end am super excited to see what 2014 has in store for me!

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Backless Dress By Shadow by Sdu

In looking back, I see nothing to regret and little to correct. -John C. Calhoun

of the groove…

One of Bulawayo’s best kept secrets is the recently refurbished bar/lounge- The Groove. Previously known as the “Basement”, The Groove is located in the Basement of the Bulawayo Rainbow Hotel. The lounge is in a key location in the city, minutes away from Bulawayo’s diverse night scene. Just across the street is the famous Safari Bar, next to it is Dickies Traditional Kitchen and a walking distance away is “The Lounge”. However the new look “The Groove” brings a refreshing atmosphere to the area that already has three thriving establishments within a 100metre radius. Its a definite must see.

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The upscale establishment attracts a younger and vibrant crowd and its convenient location makes accessing the spot very easy. Although its centrally located it is still very exclusive and is a great place to go hang and have drinks with friends.

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The lounge setting creates an intimate atmosphere great for couples and friends who want to share conversation while listening to the live jazz performance offered at the establishment.

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The Groove has a recurring Afro-Jazz theme as seen by the images displayed on the walls! The backdrop of the performance stage is a stunning image of South African Jazz Sensation Hugh Masekela. Images of other artists such as Zimbabwean Legend Oliver Mutukudzi as well as the Great Fela Kuti can be seen in the beautifully decorated lounge!

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Thursday nights offer the best experience at the lounge! With acoustic style performances as well as a mature crowd. The establishment offers platters and specialty cocktails. For a change of scenery from Bulawayo’s usual night scene, check out The Groove!

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I would give this place a definite 8 out of 10! Check it out and let me know what you think!

Ripperz Food Deli…

In recent days I have found that I frequent the Harare/Bulawayo route often. Most of the time I will be using public transport which has its ups and downs ( but that’s a story for another day). One of the biggest let downs is the eating places the buses often choose to stop at. They offer extremely poor services, very little to no variety and as I heard recently from a disgruntled traveler, the bathrooms are far from clean!

Today I had the opportunity to drive along the Bulawayo/Harare Road and made it a point to stop at a place I always see while on the bus but have never had the opportunity to try out. The Food Deli located on the Main Street in Kwekwe is easily accessible off the Bulawayo/Harare Road. Naturally being a small town, finding parking can prove to be a hustle but the enthusiastic airtime vendors are always there to assist with finding a spot; at a price though!

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At first glance Ripperz is not the type of place you would expect to find in a smaller town like Kwekwe. It is well positioned, the signage is great and it’s inviting as well. Upon entering, the food deli is divided into three sections; a coffee bar, a small food mart where you can get light groceries and baked goods, as well as a sit down cafe.

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First stop the sit down food deli. I was hoping to order a light sandwich or wrap I could have to go. The menu was quite uninspiring and had more of a fast food feel rather than a fresh food deli feel. Another surprising factor was the price point of the burgers and chips, quarter fried chicken and chips options. It was quite steep in comparison to other food outlets found just meters away from the deli. It was no wonder that although I passed through at around 10am (a time when people are grabbing late breakfasts or are on tea breaks) there was only one customer sitting and having a meal.

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After failing to find a healthy and appetizing option I opted to try out the coffee bar. I ordered a cappuccino which to my horror was $3 for a tiny cup! Admittedly i am a penny pincher however psychologically I expect things to get cheaper as the town gets smaller. What I would pay for coffee in Harare is not what I expect to pay for coffee in Bulawayo and certainly not the expectation with small Kwekwe. However I stand corrected! The cappuccino was nothing out of this world, neither was it horrible.

The sit in breakfast option seemed a better idea however I didn’t have time to sit and wait for eggs, bacon and toast to be prepared. While I was waiting to be served I decided to play tourist and take pictures of the place! I was quickly tapped on the shoulder by an unfriendly Fawcett security guard and was told I was not permitted to take pictures. This was highly unnecessary. On the way out of the deli after paying for my coffee the same security guard insisted on stopping me to check my receipt! (Are we at the down town grocery store?) this added security feature may prove a turn off to anyone that doesn’t like to be frisked on their way out of any shop.

My final thoughts of Ripperz? It is definitely a clean option if one chooses to stop in Kwekwe. The bathrooms are satisfactory and if you are not a picky eater the fast food options can be tolerable as well. The general service is slow like any other place in Zimbabwe. There is plenty false advertising. What you see in the pictures is definitely not what you will get on your plate. What was bizarre was the boxes of Johnnie Walker displayed at the coffee bar. I wouldn’t walk into a Starbucks or a Mugg & Bean and expect to find alcohol on display. The owner of the store was present during my time there and seemed oblivious of the different customers that kept walking in, asking one question and quickly stepping out.

Perhaps I raised my hopes too high for this place but overall I would give it two stars. There is a need to review their menu options, as well as an urgent improvement in customer service. With where the deli is situated and the traffic that goes through there, an efficient take away system for breakfast foods could be another option to consider!

Check out Ripperz the next time you drive through Kwekwe, let me know what you think! I would
Iove to get a second opinion on the place!

Proudly South African…

Everyone knows hands down that I would do anything for a hot peri-peri quarter chicken and chips from Nandos, unfortunately the Midwest does not have Nandos and I have found myself having to use alternate and rather shady ways to achieve that great Nandos taste. These include but not limited to purchasing chicken from the local Mexican joint and drenching it in Nandos sauce!

Bootleg Nandos

Up until recently I would have argued that Nandos is the closest taste we have to anything South African abroad but lo I stand corrected. In my most recent visit to New York City I had ┬áthe pleasure to visit Madiba’s a South African restaurant in Brooklyn. ┬áMadiba’s┬ápays tribute to ┬áthe legendary Nelson ┬áMandela and is built under the concept of a “Shebeen”-the informal dining halls in South African Townships. The restaurant’s site describes a Shebeen as:

“offering a sanctuary to the weary and well-traveled; a visit to one is the ultimate experience of everyday life one can have while touring South Africa. From humble beginnings, South Africans townships – replete with history and culture – have flourished as the hub of activity and social life in each community. The feeling of┬áUbuntu —┬áhumanity in the Xhosa language — is the very core of each township’s existence. Madiba restaurant is your gateway to South Africa.”

I enjoyed a traditional South African beef tenderloin sausage served with pap and a tomato and onion gravy. It reminded me of the wonderful days of braai’s (barbeque’s) the under the beautiful Southern African sun! The decor of the restaurant truly emphasizes all things South African from the Zulu Warrior Shields to the cow hides hanging on the walls.

If you are really looking for a walk down memory lane the Spaza Shop has just all the products that will remind you of home.

A can of sardines!
Handy Andy- Powers out Stains!
Joko gives you strength when you need it!

The restaurant also offers entertainment in the form of live bands. With New York being a melting pot of cultural diversity you are sure to find a wide variety of acts depicting different forms of South African Music and culture. This Zagat rated restaurant not only offers fine dining, entertainment and south african products but it also gives back to its community in a signficant way. Visit their Community page and find out ways to help Madiba give back.

I had a really great evening at Madiba and I would recommend this place to anyone who wants to get a feel of South African cuisine or anyone who just wants to enjoy a good meal in an authentic South African restaurant.

Partying for a Cause…

With February being the shortest month of the year it seems to have been jam-packed with events. The month kick started with the much-anticipated Superbowl, which went well with the Saints winning, much to my amusement, I heart Reggie Bush. Then there was Valentines Day, Mardi Gras and soon my Catholic friends will be observing Ash Wednesday and Lent. Wait did I forget the Winter Olympics in Vancouver???? well technically they do not count. I can bet my last dollar no one except the Canadians is watching the Winter games.

Well during this festive month my posse and I managed to entertain ourselves and still give back to a cause near and dear to my heart; African Health. I co-hosted a Pre-Valentines party, weekend of the Superbowl. Initially I was not sure at the response we would get from people with this event being a wine tasting and bachelorette auction. After much planning and praying [I had to take it up to the Man above] we were confident it would be a success.

The turn out was pretty impressive and made for a night full of laughs and an all around great experience.

The wine tasting went from sampling wine to wine drinking which is not necessarily a bad thing and makes for an extremely entertaining dance floor.

Thanks to generous donations we had a sufficient supply of red and white wines. Each guest was given a wine list of 42 different wines from across the globe and had the opportunity to try all 42. My favorite was a  red Spanish Estola Reserva made with the La Mancha Grape.

Nothing beats enjoying a glass of wine with delicious appetizers. Our caterer Vivian did an excellent job in serving up a storm. I could not keep my hands off the red velvet chocolate balls. Which has resulted in me having to do double time at the gym.

The highlight of the evening was the auctioning off of ladies who kindly volunteered to be put on the stake. I have to say they really deserve a round of applause because the entire process can be nerve wrecking to say the least. We had a fine bevy of females and a male ready to be sold in the name of charity.

The night ended well with all the ladies and the gentleman being auctioned off. For a first time event its safe to say it was a success and we hope to make this an annual event. I am already getting emails asking when next we will be partying for a cause!

I would like to give a few shoutouts to people who made this event a huge success, my man Graydezyn for making an awesome flyer and doing the final edit on the pictures. To my girl Agne for playing photographer, Vivian an awesome, awesome cook; I wake up at night and crave those cakeballs. Our famous DJ, DJ KB on the ones. The members of Alpha Kappa Psi for volunteering their time to serve the wine and double as ushers and security as well. My homegirl Isioma who was a wonderful cashier. All my people who came out to party for a cause and finally my wingman, the other half of this super awesome team Kodjo, who just like me was spamming all his friends inboxes with the flyer and put together all the behind the scenes aspects of the event that made it such a huge success.

Co-hosts: Thandi & Kodjo

“From quiet homes and first beginning, Out to the undiscovered ends, There is nothing worth the wear of winning, But laughter and the love of friends.Hilaire Belloc