A Peaceful Weekend Home In Zimbabwe’s Matobo Hills

Khyetitshe-Weekend home Matopos Zimbabwe Africa Travel

 

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 also home to significant populations of black eagles and black and white rhino. And it is in these picture perfect surrounds located just outside the Park that you will find a home aptly called Khayelitshe, which is the Ndebele word for “house in stone”. Khayelitshe is the weekend home of Beks and Sophia Ndlovu and their three children. The family who live nearby in Zimbabwe’s second city Bulawayo escape to the Matobo Hills most weekends for peace existence away from the demands of busy and digital lives. I came acrosS the home on a feature in the South African design magazine VISI.

 

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The Ndau Collection Luxury Scents Inspired by Africa Past And Present

Zimbabwean jewellery label The Ndau Collection launched their first collection of luxury scents inspired by Africa past and present. The collection was created in collaboration with South African parfumer, Tammy Frazer of Frazer Parfum. Blended from rare botanicals and aromatics each scent takes the wearer on a journey inspired by Africa’s past and present, from the origins of perfume on the continent to the treks of the continent’s first inhabitants through to the present day traveller.
[Main image credit: Cacoa Ndau Limited Edition Signature Fragrance – The Ndau Collection]
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NeoBantu Vibrant Modern African Print Clothing Pays Homage to Africa

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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; embracing modern African print clothing 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.
[Image credit: Alba Tuxedo Pants and Blazer – NeoBantu]
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Peponi House Modern African Interior Design Style

African accessories for the home - Studio [D] Tale, Peponi House Terrace - Sam Churchill Photography
A kiSwahili word meaning paradise, ideal or idyllic place or state, ‘Peponi’ is the name given to a thoughtfully styled home, whose Kenyan owner’s wanted their living space to reflect this sentiment by creating a sanctuary from the bustling city. A three-story Victorian conversion, located in London’s Notting Hill, Peponi House pays homage to contemporary African interior design style and culture, drawing on the owner’s layered cultural background, travels and memories. Completed in February 2015, Peponi House was designed by Studio [D] Tale, who were commissioned to create a ‘home from home’ experience. Founded by Safia Qureshi and Maxwell Mutanda, Studio [D] Tale, is a multidisciplinary design and architectural studio with bases in London, Cape Town and Harare.
[Main image credits: Studio [D] Tale, Peponi House Terrace – Sam Churchill Photography]
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Basket Case II Showcasing Contemporary Zimbabwe Baskets

The New Basket Workshop - Bowls by Sebastian Herkner and Binga Craft Centre

In 2010 I featured Basket Case, a pioneering exhibition of contemporary Zimbabwe baskets from some of the southern African country’s leading basket-weaving organisations. The exhibition was the initiative of The New Basket Workshop, a South African based organisation that works with rural basketry groups in a number of African countries including Zimbabwe, Ghana, Ethiopia and South Africa to assist with areas such as product development and accessing international markets. Building on Basket Case, 2014 saw the presentation of Basket Case II, a showcase of cutting-edge basketry produced by a select group of local and international artists and designers commissioned to work in collaboration with five weaving communities; the Binga Craft Centre, Bulawayo Home Industries, Lupane Women’s Centre, Zenzele Foundation and STEP Trust in the Honde Valley.
[Main image credit: Basket Case II Exhibition, 
Bowls by Sebastian Herkner and Binga Craft Centre – Eric Gauss/Eye on Art]
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Shea Mooti Organic Baby Skin Care Products

[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 baby skin care products to treat the dry eczema-prone skin of her newborn son. Having found that baby skin care 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 benefits of natural Shea Butter. Creating formulations with Shea Butter and the purest natural ingredients and oils she could find, Violet soon noticed a marked improvement in her son’s skin.
[Image credit: left, Mama’s Belly Rub Stretch Mark Oil; 
right, Mama’s Nourishing Body Cream – Shea Mooti]
Expecting her second child, Violet began to make oils and butters in preparation for the new arrival, doing the same with her third child. Violet eventually started sharing her baby skin care products with friends and family who would recommend them to others, and gave her the encouragement she needed to start a business. Since formally launching the business, Shea Mooti has grown to encompass a range of pampering pure, natural skin care solutions for babies and mums; including a Pampered Baby Sleep Kit, Baby’s Pure Shea Butter Soap, and the multi-award winning Mama’s Belly Rub Stretch Mark Oil. All Shea Mooti products are made in the UK, and do not contain parabens, silicones, phthalates, EDTA, synthetic colours, additives or fragrances, and are not tested on animals.
[Image credit: left, Baby’s Pure Shea Butter Soap; 
right ‘Give Mama a Break’ Relaxing Candle – Shea Mooti]
The name Shea Mooti references; Shea, the butter used, which is ethically sourced from Afrikids’ Daughters, a Shea Butter producing multi-cooperative based in Northern Ghana; and Mooti derived from the Shona word Muti, which means tree, and also refers to medicine, and is a reflection of Violet’s Zimbabwean heritage. Stocked in independent retailers and boutiques, Shea Mooti can now be found in Selfridges, the UK’s iconic department store.

Additional details:
Shea Mooti products priced from: £4.99-£59.99
For further information about Shea Mooti and to purchase visit: www.sheamooti.co.uk
To purchase from Not on the Highstreet visit: www.notonthehighstreet.com/sheamooti
For further information about Afrikids’ Daughters visit: www.afrikids.org

[Image credits: The images shown belong to: Shea Mooti. If downloaded and used elsewhere must be credited accordingly]

Graphic Africa Celebrating Contemporary African Design

Heralded as being the first exhibition of its kind in London, September 14th saw the opening of Graphic Africa a thought-provoking showcase and insight into the emergence of innovative diverse contemporary African design aesthetics and all round creativity currently sweeping across the Continent. Highlighting that contemporary African design is offering something different and fresh to the international design market, the exhibition has generated something of a media buzz, and the impact of the exhibition not only for visitors but the designers themselves has been good to see.
 [Image credit: Dokter and Misses Kassena Server taken by Tapiwa]
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Lupane Women’s Centre Zimbabwe Modern African Baskets

Looking like they have been swirled with delicate watercolours, this gorgeous range of traditionally handcrafted modern African baskets is the result of a partnership between the Lupane Women’s Centre in Zimbabwe and the Kingston University Design School in the UK, bringing a contemporary edge to traditional African design. The initiative entitled, Kingston Project Africa was created to facilitate the exchange and support of knowledge between both regions, and led by Professor Catherine McDermott utilises the expertise of academics, industry practitioners and curators across various projects and collaborations.
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Safari Fusion Traditional African Design Colourful Batonga Stools

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, a traditional icon example of African design that are hand carved in Zimbabwe by the Tonga peoples, who historically reside in the Zambezi Valley region to the West and North West of the country.
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African Food Made Easy Pepper & Stew Cooking Sauces

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 make impassioned pitches, which has landed both brands shelf space in Partridges, one of the UK’s most prestigious food retailers who have the honour of being the Queen’s grocers. Pepper & Stew was one of the brands featured, introducing their range of African cooking sauces to a new audience.
 [Image credits: African Cooking Sauces – Pepper & Stew]

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