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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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Art: The Zata Family Master Wood Carvers

The Zata Family [Zimbabwe] To some, it may simply be a piece of wood of little or no significance beyond being gathered and thrown onto a fire, but in the hands of a member of the Zata Family it becomes a work of art; the shape of the wood dictating the eventual sculpture. The organic forms of gnarled and twisted, or smooth and shiny wood give way to slender sculptural figures, furniture and other inspired carvings. Through their work the Zata Family sculptors celebrate the beauty of nature, echoing the process of Zimbabwe’s stone sculptors who are renowned for working on a […]

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Food & Drink: ccTreats Tasty Little Luxuries

cctreats [Zimbabwe] Today has been a day of celebration; the culmination of an intense, but thoroughly rewarding year of study as I attended my graduation in the company of my family and was formally awarded my Master of Arts degree. I enjoyed my MA; so involved was I in the areas I was exploring that I wasn’t ready to let go when it ended and this was one of the reasons I started African Daydreams; I’m still learning! For me a celebration is incomplete without some form of delicious goodies from CocktailCouture, a London based events company that recently launched cctreats; a delectable […]

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Art: Zimbabwe’s Shona Sculpture

Shona Sculpture [Zimbabwe] [Image credit: Celebration; Boet Nyariri – Guruve] Under the skillful hands of a master craftsman or woman cold hard stone gradually yields to the forms it is being coaxed into, eventually giving way to some stunning pieces of sculpture in a process that requires patience, dedication and an understanding of the material being used. Powerful and evocative, Shona Sculpture is a revered artform sought by collectors across the globe. Instantly recognisible and spawning many an imitation; Shona Sculpture as an art form started in the late 1950s and has, and continues to produce noted artists; amongst them: Nicholas […]

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Decor: Shumba Inc Felt Wall-Hangings

Shumba Inc [Zimbabwe] [Image credit: Wall-hanging – Shumba Inc] Brighten up the walls of a nursery or young child’s room with adorable, quirky and colourful felt wall-hangings from Harare-based, Shumba Inc. The diverse wildlife found across the African continent is a constant source of inspiration for many and Shumba Inc’s interpretations sees buffalo, lion, giraffe and man’s best friend captured in the delightful childlike innocence that can be found in children’s drawings and give each animal a personality. ‘Shumba’ means lion in Shona, one of Zimbabwe’s languages and Shumba and his friends come in a colourful array of hand puppets, magnets and […]

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Decor: Patrick Mavros Wildlife Artist and Master Sculptor

Patrick Mavros [Zimbabwe] Wildlife artist and master sculptor, Patrick Mavros is passionate about the African bush, moments of which are beautifully captured in his evocative finely detailed sterling silver sculptures. Self-taught, Patrick started his eponymous business in 1978 when he created a pair of rose earrings for his then fiancé, now wife and this led to ever-increasing requests from friends and family for their own unique sculptures and helped hone his skills in the process. Now a fully-fledged family business involving his wife and four sons, Patrick works from a studio-cum-gallery located just outside Harare, Zimbabwe; and also retails his covetable, whimsical pieces […]

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Fashion: Bridal and Evening Wear Designer Angelo Lambrou

Angelo Lambrou [Botswana / South Africa / Zimbabwe] [Image credit: Angelo Lambrou] With three days to go till the Royal Wedding, anticipation has reached a fever pitch. I can’t speak for the rest of the world but here in the UK whether you are interested in it or not there is no escaping it. Strolling up London’s Regent’s Street last Thursday everywhere you turned there was the blue, white and red of the Union Jack lining the streets, hanging from shop fronts and incorporated into window displays as the city prepares to celebrate with the Royal couple. And of course […]

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Fashion: Farai Simoyi Madame’s Rouge Collection A/W 2011

Farai Simoyi [Zimbabwe] [Image credit: Madame’s Rouge – Farai Simoyi] There is a touch of sultry seductiveness about Zimbabwean designer, Farai Simoyi’s latest collection entitled Madame’s Rouge. Named one of Essence magazine’s ‘fashions next best designers’, the Autumn/Winter 2011 collection was defined by the drama of red and black in materials like plush luxurious velvet, slinky satin and sexy see-through chiffon panels; all highlighted by shimmering gold accessories. Although born in London to Zimbabwean parents, it was actually while growing up in Harare, Zimbabwe that Farai got her first taste of fashion and textiles; when at age five started making clothes for herself and […]

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Accessories: Clutch Culture Textile and African Print Bags

Clutch Culture [Zimbabwe] [Image credits: Clutch Culture] In the words of TLC ‘CrazySexyCool’ are words that come to mind when seeing Zimbabwean designer, Mo Handahu’s stylish creations. Her label Clutch Culture is a cornucopia of vibrant prints in the form of gorgeous batiks, colourful wax cloth, clashing colours and blooming florals all displayed across a trendsetting collection of clutch bags. Launched in 2009, Clutch Culture is about self-expression and with an evident love for fabric, texture and colour; North American-based Mo describes Clutch Culture as the ‘lovechild of diverse colours and rich prints’. Designed and handmade by Mo the versatile clutches take […]

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Food & Drink: Dorah Sithole Cooking from Cape to Cairo

Dorah Sithole [South Africa] [Image source: Tafelberg] Whether it’s a steaming plate of sadza ne nyama, a beautifully fragranced lamb tagine, spicy jollof rice or a Sunday roast; our favourite foods done just the way we like it provide a source of comfort, reminding us of Mum’s good home cooking and with Mother’s Day in the UK a week away, on Sunday 3rd April what a good day as any to get together, cook up a feast and honour our Mothers as we make them feel extra, extra special. As the flurry of gift buying gets underway if your Mum […]

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Textiles: Inspired by Africa’s Currencies

ekofabrik [Africa Inspired]     [Image credit: ekofabrik blog] Now here is something I haven’t seen in like, forever and it certainly took me back in time! I’m taking about the mid-80’s; and the object in question is a vintage Zimbabwean $2 note, later withdrawn and replaced with a coin and now virtually nonexistent. Browsing the net yesterday and following some random but interesting links I stumbled upon US-based ekofabrik showcasing the note design printed on a cushion. Using vintage paper money collected on her travels as a child, designer Kim Johnson replicates the designs onto organic cotton pillows that are backed with […]

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Travel: Singita Pamushana Lodge, Breathtaking Views

Singita Pamushana Lodge [Zimbabwe]     [Image credit: Singita Pamushana Lodge via Kiwi Collection] After some breathtaking views… then Singita Pamushana Lodge in the 140 000 acre Malilangwe Wildlife Reserve, Masvingo in Zimbabwe firmly ticks that box. Kiwi Collection who pride themselves on selecting exceptional hotels have selected it as one of their ‘Wow Picks’ and just looking at the opening image you can see why, it blew me away – absolutely stunning! (…and I know I’m biased!) Nestled amongst a spectacular forest that includes: Mopane forests, majestic Baobabs and sandstone outcrops in an area noted as one of Africa’s best-kept secrets; Pamushana Lodge is […]

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Lifestyle: Heartfelt Products by Heartworks

Heartworks [Zimbabwe/Congo/South Africa] [Image credit: Heartworks] Today is the first of December, and World AIDS Day. Marking this day, today’s offerings introduce you some gorgeous, cute and cuddly teddy bears courtesy of the talented ladies at Heartworks; an embroidery group based in Khayelitsha, South Africa started in 2004. Founded by Margaret Woermann, Heartworks has brought together approximately 38 ladies and their children from Zimbabwe, the Congo and the Eastern Cape. Heartworks is an explosion of bright colour, texture, imagery and patchwork appliqué lovingly hand-embroidered onto items such as cushions, slippers, bags and teddy bears. Heartworks mission was to help these talented craftswomen […]

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Design: ‘Basket Case’ A showcase of Contemporary Zimbabwean Basketry

The Basket Case Exhibition [Zimbabwe] [Image credit: BBC] I came across a photo-editorial on BBC about an exhibition called ‘The Basket Case’, currently being held at the National Gallery of Zimbabwe in Harare. The National Gallery is a beautiful space and a place I know well having spent many a time there perusing the latest exhibits and completing assignments. I am glad to see that it is still putting on inspiring exhibits. ‘The Basket Case’ exhibition is all about connecting the past and the present, traditional with contemporary and is based on a project by interior accessories designer, Heath Nash and the traditional basket […]

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