Lindt & John are characters from ‘The Last Resort’, a novel described as “a Memoir of Mischief and Mayhem on a Family Farm in Africa.” When visiting the farm I found out the author, Lindt’s son Douglas, was visiting from America. He accepted my invite for a drink, and we happily chatted away about his best-selling book. Lindt & John, partners and friends for 30 years, are exactly as described in the book: quirky teammates confidently plotting outrageous entrepreneurial scheme after another.
When I met Sharon, Sheila and Charmine they were volunteering as hosts at the Harare International Festival of Arts (HIFA), one of Africa’s largest international arts festivals. Every time I walked through the gate I looked forward to their cheerful greeting, and after a few days we got to chatting about their career goals and decision to wait to get married and have children. They were excited about the country’s new focus on female empowerment. In their words, “change is coming”.
Valencia is a traditional healer originally from Malawi, but has lived in Zim most of her life. She started training at 13 and now takes on cases as large as Cancer treatment, and has lately become prominent for her marriage counselling services (something that’s made her a very popular person in the community!) Her practice has typically remained very secretive in order to preserve the ancient knowledge, but she’s started training youth to ensure the traditions continue.
At 16 Duncan was given a camera as a gift, and has been shooting ever since. In a country where the economy has a reputation for being far from perfect, he’s found a way to make a living off his photography shooting subjects like school groups, weddings, passport photos and corporate conferences. He proudly advertises his shop in Chimanimani, a region thriving on timber mill, mining operations and now a slow return of tourism.
Despite all odds, Zimbabwe is an optimistic, colourful, proud and welcoming nation. One trip to Zim and you’ll be hooked.
Arts & Culture
A Capital City with
Capital city Harare, with its jacaranda tree lined boulevards and buzzing entertainment scene, has no trouble captivating the hearts of its visitors. Visit the one million plus township of Mbare and its lively wholesale craft market, then hop on a minibus to the city centre to catch a concert with one of Zimbabwe's many accomplished music stars including Jah Prayzah and Ammara Brown.
If possible, try to visit Harare around April/May to catch the annual 6-day arts and culture festival, Harare International Festival of Arts (H.I.F.A). Take in one of many African and international artists, shop for fine arts and crafts, and revel in the close-knit community of artists that has come to be seen as an important symbol of Zimbabwe's ability to unify and endure.