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Chic Contemporary Batik Cushion Collection by Tonga Textiles

I am loving this chic collection of contemporary batik cushions on Mbare, whom I have featured previously. Created by Tonga Textiles a Zimbabwean textile company the collection features stylized geometric shapes and patterns in a modern colour palette. Created from 100% cotton the designs are produced using a resist painted dye technique. Sadza* is used to hand paint the patterns on the fabric, which is left to dry. Once dry paint is applied and then the fabric is baked in an oven to fix the colours. Once dried the sadza is removed revealing the finished textiles. The mix and match […]

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Mutapo Ceramics Inspired by Zimbabwe’s Basket Weaving Traditions

Tucked away in Harare’s Miombo Woodland you will find Mutapo, a ceramic studio producing one-of-a-kind collectable crockery. Owned by Zimbabwean ceramicist, Marjorie Wallace, Mutapo has gained international recognition for its intricately decorated porcelain ceramics often coloured with the studio’s signature blue and white glaze. The patterns adorning each product are inspired by the patterns found in Africa’s basket weaving traditions. Marjorie’s love for baskets stems from childhood and her memories of being surrounded by baskets.

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A Peaceful Weekend Home In Zimbabwe’s Matobo Hills

  Matobo also known as Matopos in the southern region of Zimbabwe is an area of outstanding natural beauty, known for its imposing gravity-defying granite formations, balancing rock formations created by the gradual erosion of the area’s granite plateau. These formations form the Matobo National Hills a part of the Matobo National Park. The Matobo Hills are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as the area is recognised for the highest concentration of prehistoric rock paintings in Southern Africa. It is also the historical land of King Mzilikazi and his son Lobengula. For lovers of wildlife, the Matobo National Park is […]

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Accessories: Calling All Emerging Accessory Designers Enter the Abury Design Experience

Abury – Abury Design Experience [ADEx]   [Image credit: Abury Design Experience – Abury] If you are passionate about designing and producing accessories that not only look good but have a positive impact, then it is not too late to enter the Abury Design Experience (ADEx) competition to be in with a chance to create a capsule accessories collection for the sustainable luxury accessory brand, Abury. Abury’s ethos is to combine traditional, old-world crafts with avant-garde design to create a new luxury style that fosters intercultural exchange and helps preserves world crafts.

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Fashion: NeoBantu’s Vibrant Homage to Africa, Embracing Community and Individuality

NeoBantu [Zimbabwe] [Image credit: Alba Tuxedo Pants and Blazer – NeoBantu] Bold patterns, vibrant colours, and contemporary classic silhouettes tailored to fit each wearer are the hallmarks of NeoBantu, a Dallas-based fashion label that was co-founded by pharmacist Tendai Tawonezvi. Hailing from Zimbabwe, NeoBantu is a celebration of Tendai’s heritage; and pays homage to the wider African continent. The company name is derived from ‘Neo’ meaning new and ‘Bantu’, the peoples, culture, and languages of sub-Saharan Africa.

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Lifestyle: Taking Care of Baby

Shea Mooti [Zimbabwe] [Image credit: Pampered Baby Sleep Kit, Gift Set – Shea Mooti] Based in London, Shea Mooti founder, and former nurse, Violet Reid started making her own skincare products to treat the dry eczema-prone skin of her newborn son. Baby skincare products, even if labeled natural and organic, often made her son’s skin condition worse, and Violet realised that the only way to ensure the products she used were pure was to make them herself. Violet enrolled in a natural soap-making course in 2007, where she learnt about the effects of certain ingredients; and more importantly, discovered the […]

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Decor: Colourful Batonga Stools on Safari Fusion

Batonga Stools [Zimbabwe] Bursting with colours that are right up my street, Australian retailer Safari Fusion is always guaranteed to lift my spirits, and yesterday as the view outside my window gradually disappeared under a rather depressing blanket of mist and fog, unexpectedly finding myself on the site provided the perfect antidote. I love joyous happy colours and the brighter the better, so was instantly taken with some colourful Batonga stools, that are hand-carved in Zimbabwe by the Tonga, who historically reside in the Zambezi Valley region to the West and North West of the country.  

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Food & Drink: Getting Saucy with Pepper & Stew

Pepper & Stew [Africa Inspired] [Image credits: African Cooking Sauces – Pepper & Stew] Sky Living TV channel in the UK is currently running a series called Cooks to Market. The concept of the show is to get budding cooks and food brands onto retail shelves, and see two different brands going up against each other and selling their product in food market and win the chance to pitch their idea to a panel of leading food UK experts. Of the two episodes I have managed to catch, both featured African food brands who  both outsold their rivals to go on and […]

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Art: Freestanding Wire Sculptures by Gavin Worth

Gavin Worth [Zimbabwe] It took me a heartbeat before I realised that what I was looking at was not in fact large-scale line drawings on a stark white wall, but instead freestanding wire sculptures that look like someone just took a pencil and started sketching in mid-air. The evocative, three-dimensional drawings are the work of artist Gavin Worth, whom I came across a few days ago courtesy of Aphro Chic.

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Jewellery: Avant garde Adornment from Heart 365 Emporium

Heart 365 Emporium [Tanzania] [Image credit: Uhuru’s Wings Neckpiece – Heart 365 Emporium] A string of approximately 365 crystal beads and a silver clasp in the shape of heart jewellery inspired the name for Tanzanian jewellery designer Jacqueline Kibacha’s handcrafted fashion jewellery and accessories label. Based in London, Heart 365 Emporium incorporates traditional Maasai beading with the drama of bold designs, colours, and layered textures. Proud of her Tanzanian heritage; Heart 365 Emporium is a celebration of cultures and traditions that go beyond borders and pays homage to handmade jewellery, traditional craftsmanship, and the art of adornment. During a trip to Tanzania, […]

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Decor: Raymond Masara Wire Work Furniture

Raymond Masara [Zimbabwe]  [Image credits: top left, Lighting – Raymond Masara; clockwise from top right, Raymond Masara Table, Stool and Chair via dbriefed] Like a piece of string squiggled across a page, innovative Zimbabwean furniture designer, Raymond Masara creates a colourful, range of stools, tables, lamps, and lounge chairs from steel rod wirework techniques. Raymond’s colour choices are inspired by nature and the intriguing twisted shapes reflect and connect him to a childhood growing up in pain and poverty.  Born in Malawi Raymond is now based in Cape Town, and was named the 2011 emerging creative designer at Design Indaba for his sculptural yet functional furniture pieces. Although […]

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Food & Drink: cctreats Award-Winning Cupcakes

cctreats [Africa Inspired] [Image credit: Midnight Safari Cupcake – cctreats] Yesterday in the heart of London’s West End, a cupcake inspired by Africa wowed some of the UK’s top bakery and patisserie chefs to be awarded the National Cupcake Awards title of ‘Most Innovative Cupcake of the Year 2011’. Beating off competition from bakers drawn across the UK, the stylishly titled ‘Midnight Safari Cupcake’ was the creation of cctreats, whom African Daydreams profiled about a month ago.

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Textiles: Kudhinda Potato Print Fabrics Made In Zimbabwe

Kudhinda Fabrics [Zimbabwe]   Back home in Harare no school art lesson was complete without a potato carved with a design that would then be printed across paper or fabric in an array of colours. I haven’t done potato-printing in ages but used to love stamping whatever I could get my hands on, getting caught up in the rhythmic process of it all. In Zimbabwe’s Shona language ‘Kudhinda’ means to stamp or imprint, and is the name given to a locally based textile brand that produces distinctive colourful textiles that have been carefully hand-printed using potato prints, screen-printed and hand-painted. […]

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Decor: Colourful, Contemporary African Masks on Mbare

Improved Arts Metal Sculpture Project [Zimbabwe]   A contemporary take on the ceremonial masks found across the African continent, these colourful Masks were made by members of the Improved Arts Metal Sculpture Project, a business based in Harare, Zimbabwe that was founded by the Mhankha Brothers in 1986, who upon discovering their artistic talents sought to depict African natural history through their innovative metalwork creations, that are made from old tin cans and other scrap metals gathered from businesses in Harare’s industrial areas.

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Lifestyle: Shumba Inc Hand Felted Products Made In Zimbabwe

Shumba Inc [Zimbabwe] [Image credit: Kissing Couple Card – Shumba Inc] No words are necessary with this sentimental card that captures the spirit of love. Using felt, the card is handcrafted by Harare based company Shumba Inc, whose cute and quirky products I have featured before here. Additional details:For further information about Shumba Inc and to order visit: www.shumbainc.com

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Food & Drink: Tariro Masayiti Nederburg Senior Winemaker

Nederburg [South Africa/Zimbabwe] [Image credit: The Nederburg Winery Estate] My Dad loves a glass of red wine every once in a while, and South African wines are a particular favourite as being so far from home it’s a small reminder of the region. However nostalgia aside, over the years South African wines, in general, have become an increasing presence on UK retail shelves, from supermarkets to dedicated wine shops. One of the more established brands is Nederburg, one of South Africa’s oldest and most awarded wineries, whose vintages have a growing international presence, holding their own in the highly competitive markets […]

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Jewellery: Ndau’s Eclectic Jewelry Collections

Ndau Collection [Zimbabwe] [Image credit: Peacock Feather and Silver Cuff – The Ndau Collection] I have a thing for peacock feathers; must be the vivid colours, so instantly honed in on the Peacock Feather and Silver Cuff from the Ndau Collection, a collective of jewellery and accessory designers based in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. I would like to wear it around my neck, just imagine the effect when paired with an LDB not necessarily in black though, I’m thinking fuchsia or teal blue… Growing up in Harare, the city and indeed much of the major tourist areas of the country were full […]

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Accessories: Tashanda Sadza Batik Afrobag

Tashanda [Zimbabwe]  [Image credit: Sadza Batik Afrobag -Tashanda] The Zimbabwe Sadza Batik is a modern classic, staking its claim as a future ‘traditional’ fabric and is one that takes pride of place across homes around the country and beyond in the form of wall hangings, bedspreads and tablecloths; I have mine that my mum brought back for me from Zimbabwe, I’m just trying to find the right size frame for it to hang on the wall, a task that has proved harder than I thought. The Sadza batik process works in much in the same way as the traditional wax […]

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Travel: Victoria Falls Safari Lodge

Victoria Falls Safari Lodge [Zimbabwe] [Image credit: The Victoria Falls – Illustrations Photography] Last summer I spent four amazing days representing Zimbabwe with my jewellery at an art fair in Oxfordshire; amongst the memories I left with were the number of people who stopped by my table to reminisce on their visit to Zimbabwe, frequently mentioning Victoria Falls; and what really made my day was hearing how most of them had visited within the last few years. Victoria Falls is a place that holds a special place in my heart; not only did I get to work on some of the […]

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