Tag Archives: Bulawayo

From the People with a Story…

Once in a while I stumble across such awesome finds, that it would be a travesty not to share. Yesterday while doing an airport run, I discovered this yet to be opened craft shop.

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Abantu Trading Post located on the first floor of the Joshua Mqabuko Nkomo Airport Terminal is a fusion of art, creativity and all round awesomeness. The concept behind this well put together shop is to provide a space for various arts and crafts people to collectively showcase and sell their goods! The store owner; a local leather specialist said he wanted to help artist who make various wares but would not ordinarily be able to afford renting out a shop space in a place like an airport.

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Some of the crafts stocked in the store are these adorable knitted stuffed animals by Gogo Olive  Gogo Olive is a fairtrade initiative set up in the Eastern Highlands to assist local women to generate income through knitting. Some of the initiatives supported by Gogo Cares are Simukai Centre, Mutare Remand Prison, Murwira Children’s Home and Imba Children’s Home.

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There is something for everyone at Abantu Trading Post! The collection from African Bush Camps features beautiful beadwork, handmade bathrobes and bags and jewelry from recycled magazines. African Bush Camps is a safari tour operator that is supporting community initiatives in both Zimbabwe and Botswana. In Zimbabwe they support; The Vukani Project, The Thandanani Sewing Project and Vukazenzele.

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The store is also supporting a group from Matopos specializing in home products dubbed Sisonke Products.

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The owner who specializes in leather products is also stocking some of their creations, made of 100% genuine leather.

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The store is not only limited to stocking products from organizations but also has some handwork made by individual artists. There is a local Bulawayo artists who creates pieces from rusted metal. Some of his work is already in the store.

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The general outlay of the store is eye catching and will definitely draw in many people. The design is well thought out. Its refreshing to see that despite our ailing economy and general difficulties there is still business people making an effort to set a standard of quality and good product offerings.

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Kudos to the guys at Abantu Trading Post! I will definitely be popping in to pick up a gift or two on my next airport visit!

“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”
Desmond Tutu

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 ūüôā

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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

Earth Right Now…

Earth Right Now...

Today the world over celebrates Earth Day! NASA has come up with an exciting world wide campaign to promote Earth Day! The campaign involves individuals world over posting pictures of their current location with the hashtag #GlobalSelfie. Not to be one to miss out on the global campaign, I took a selfie at the Hillside Dams in Bulawayo today!

‚ÄúThose who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.‚ÄĚ
‚Äē Rachel Carson,

Ferris Wheels and Carousels

There is no denying that any native of Bulawayo knows without a doubt that the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair is the highlight of our city! The city comes alive, hotels are fully booked, most business is booming and my all¬†time favorite…”Luna Park” comes to town

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For many years as children we looked forward to going to “Luna Park” especially at night with all the lights were on! Luna Park not only had amazing rides, you also got to enjoy cotton candy and toffee apples. With age the very old Luna Park seemed to lose its lustre and I lost all interest in even going to the Luna Park. Having experienced outrageous theme parks abroad our old raggedy Luna Park had lost its appeal. Today while driving past the trade fair grounds my attention was caught by the already lit up Luna Park. I stop and am glad to say it was the wisest decision I made.

The rides might not be fast and fancy causing an adrenaline rush but something about the old rides gave them a certain appeal. Although quite vintage, the entire atmosphere felt very romantic and more than anything I would have loved to spend the evening there with my special someone.  There is also the great nostalgic feeling which sparks memories of happy childhoods making the Luna Park a more than perfect place to go for a fun and carefree date this week in Bulawayo.

I must warn you though, it may not be as calm and quiet as it was today but give it a go, live a little and take a well deserved walk down memory lane.

And we should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once. And we should call every truth false which was not accompanied by at least one laugh.

Friedrich Nietzsche

Hidden Treasures…

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One of my past time activities is playing tourist in the beautiful city of Bulawayo. While looking for ideal locations for an upcoming photo shoot we discovered this abandoned train whose inside looked recently charred by fire. It had such character and makes for such a great location for an unconventional shoot. Looking forward to returning here next week for the actual photo shoot!

Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing.
Camille Pissarro

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!

Ditch the Plastic…

5 Good reasons why you need to stop using plastic shopping bags:

1. Environmental Damage
Plastic bags have been known to cause a lot of environmental damage. A single plastic bag can take up to 1000 years, to decay completely. This makes the bags stay in environments longer, in turn leading to great build-up on the natural landscape (much more than degradable materials like paper). In other words, the more plastic bags you use, the greater the chances of environmental damage.

2. Pollution

Plastic bags are a common type of litter all over the world. In South Africa, plastic bags once were known as the national flower because they were so commonly seen along roadsides. Because plastic bags are so lightweight they are easily swept away by the wind, ending up as roadside litter, or even in trees. Of course, many bags do make it into landfills—Americans throw away 100 billion polyethylene plastic bags every year, says the Worldwatch Institute.

3.Fumes
Since plastic bags are not bio-degradable, the only way to get rid of them is to burn them up. Though lighting a match to them is easy, it has more than its fair share of disadvantages. The biggest of them is that smoldering plastics can release toxic fumes into the environment, in turn taking the air pollution to much higher levels.

4. Non-renewable
One of the main disadvantages of plastic bags is that they are not renewable. The reason behind this is that they are made of petrochemicals, a non-renewable source of energy. They can be recycled, but not as easily as paper bags. Plastic bags can last for as much as hundred of years. In other words, long after you are no more, the plastic bag used by you will be in existence.

5. Suffocation

Plastic bags not only have adverse effects on our natural habitats, but have also been found to be responsible for the death of many animals, mainly on account of the suffocation encountered on eating them. Not only animals, infants and young children have also been reported to have lost their life, on account of plastic bags. Since plastic bags are thin and airtight as well, children often end up blocking their mouths and nostrils with them. In case they are not being monitored by an adult, this leads to suffocation and, in some cases, even death.

THE BEST ALTERNATIVE?????

Thandi with a "reusable green bag"

A  reusable shopping bag, sometimes called bag for life is a type of shopping bag which can be reused several times: this is an alternative of single use paper or plastic bags. It is often made from fabric such as canvas, woven synthetic fibers, or a thick plastic that is more durable than disposable plastic bags, allowing multiple use.

Get your own “Green Bag” and reduce pollution and preserve the environment.

“I’m not an environmentalist.¬† I’m an Earth warrior”.¬† ~Darryl Cherney