Msinje Farm, Your Next Travel Destination

Msinje Farm is 30km out of Harare CBD along Shamva Road. A place I instantly thought was spectacular when I saw one of the top day tour and weekend getaway service providers in Zimbabwe; Pamushana Africa Transport post pictures on Twitter. I told myself I’d join them on that trip but I simply couldn’t wait. I had to go and see Msinje Farm if it was the last thing I was going to do last weekend.

Msinje Farm MaKupsy

MaKupsy

A Few Things You Need To Know

  • Entry fee is USD5
  • Your cooler box and snacks get in for free
  • They open at 12 midday till late on weekends
  • There’s an option to braai your meat on your own or have one of the friendly staff do it for you
  • Braai Master charges USD2
  • They provide coal for braaing at a fee; my advice, bring your coal with
  • The tour guide, Tadzie Junior was an excellent host. He showed me around Msinje Farm. He’s very patient too. He took a dozen pictures of me without complaining.

Msinje Farm

The first thing that put a big smile on my heart was the well-manicured lawn. They take great care of it and I was quick to remove my flip flops to walk barefoot. It felt good and I could feel all the muscle tension leave my body. Just writing about it is making me experience this feeling a second time.

A red Ford classic truck is parked in the bar area. That has to be my favourite highlights of my trip. I wanted to jump in and take it for a ride around the farm but you’re not allowed to. My opinion is they keep it there as part of the “feel” to the place because it looks like it consumes a lot of fuel. Seeing I couldn’t take it for a ride I chose to take tonnes of pictures seated at the back of the truck instead. Makes for great Instagram content!

Msinje Farm Classic Ford

They have a stunning garden with modern comfortable chairs. I remember thinking to myself when I buy my house this is the look I want. Not too flashy not too subtle but just the right touch.

Accommodation is also available. One of the rooms was built around a ruware (rock). By far the coolest thing I’ve seen to date!

Msinje Farm Views

Lastly, they have a mini snake park. You’re allowed to take pictures and if you’re daring enough you can hold some of the non-poisonous snakes in your hands or around your neck. IT’S A NO FOR ME. I only went to see the snakes for what lasted less than a minute because they scare me and no matter how much the tour guide tried to convince me that some were harmless I was having none of that.

Overall I had a marvelous day filled with new experiences, lots of pretty pictures and one too many glasses of wine.

MaKupsy Msinje Farm

You should go and check out Msinje Farm and feel this for yourself first hand. Contact the owner on +263772476548 to make your booking to go through. Just let her know I referred you.

It’s a family-friendly environment (children under 3 get in free) so when you decide to visit, make sure you take your family, friends, loved ones or do a solo trip. Whichever way you’ll have a grand time!

©MaKupsy 2020

Haka Game Park, My Solo Travel Experience

Haka Game Park is about 12 kilometers from Harare city centre. You can either use the Cleveland Dam entrance along Mutare road or when you’re along Mutare Road turn left into Harare Drive at the roundabout. Haka Game Park entrance will be to your right after about 1.5 kilometers.

Makupsy Travel Zimbabwe

My favourite shot of part of Haka Game Park 🙂

It’s the perfect place to go on a solo trip or with friends. I needed a solo trip to breathe some fresh air and take in some exquisite views. I asked a friend who had been there before what I needed to take with me. He advised me to pack a picnic basket filled with all my favourite things and a bottle of wine. Thankfully I’d eaten so I settled for my bottle of water, crisps, and bar of chocolate. Just incase…

10 Things I Loved About Haka Game Park

  1. The cool breeze and crisp clean air.
  2. Silence. A welcome change from all the hustle and bustle of Harare CBD.
  3. Viewing zebras and buffalo so close up. You have the option to take a walk with them if you like but I haven’t reached that level of bravery just yet.
  4. There are braai areas and a lot of sitting space.
  5. A lot of available sitting areas are available. Most are tree stumps. A very clever idea if you ask me.
  6. There are a variety of activities you can take part in. Horse riding, canoeing, volleyball, and soccer. 
    Haka Game Park Game Viewing

    Image courtesy of Kelvin Motsi

    Image courtesy of Kelvin Motsi

  7. Bins are available. Please make sure you tidy up and bin your litter before you leave.
  8. You can bring your food, alcohol, and snacks.
  9. Any car can use the route to Haka Game Park. I’m not sure if the same applies when the rainy season hits hard.
  10. It’s close to Harare CBD, you won’t have to travel far and wide to experience a taste of the wild.

When I went the entrance fee was 120ZWL or USD6. They also take Ecocash so that’s a bonus!

Have you been to Haka Game Park before? What was your experience like?

©MaKupsy 2020

 

Sweet Chilli Chicken Kebabs with Avocado & Mango Salad

I will tell you this for free, cooking for one is a real pain!  That’s the only downside that comes to staying on your own and personally, I can count the number of days in a week I whip up something to eat at the end of the day.  I mainly survive on fruit and water and on a good day I will grill some meat but trust me, it feels like a mammoth task! However, after seeing some of the pictures on Instagram the past few weeks I had a change of heart because following Tanyaradzwa will have you bringing out the Chef in you.  She makes mouth watering meals and she was kind enough to share a recipe for a delicious and healthy meal that won’t take forever and a day to prepare.

Here’s a free healthy recipe you can try this Christmas.

All the ingredients:

 

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3 chicken breasts
3 peppers, different colours (red, yellow and green)
Fresh tomato
Cucumber
Lettuce
Red onion
Avocado
Mango

Dice the chicken and season spices of choice. I used:

Ground black pepper
Jerk seasoning
Cajun seasoning
Extra hot chilli powder
Paprika
Mild curry powder

 

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  • Chop peppers roughly to the size of chicken pieces
  • Using large skewers, assemble chicken kebabs alternating between chicken breast piece and a chopped pepper.

 

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  • Place chicken kebabs on oven tray and cover with foil
  • Cook in the oven. Cooking times will vary according to size of chicken chunks.
  • Remove foil for approx 10 minutes to allow kebabs to brown. Glaze with sauce of choice if you wish. I used sweet Chilli sauce.
  • While kebabs finish cooking, chop up the vegetables (and fruit if you wish) to make a side salad. I used mango to add a sweet element to the dish!

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Plate and enjoy !

I am still trying to figure out why I decided to share this post at this time of day because now I feel very hungry!  I will make sure I get some of the ingredients today and try this out because it is just the switch I need in my meals and it also looks easy to prepare.

In case you did not know some of the benefits of eating chicken are:

  1. Helps build muscles
  2. Keeps your bones healthy
  3. Relieves stress
  4. Promotes heart health

A big thank you to do Tanyaradzwa for featuring on my blog.  I hope you start on a Food Blog soon because you are really great at what you do.  You can find Tanya on:

Twitter and Instagram you will be sure to follow her because she definitely has a Smile So Bright!

Merry Christmas!!

©MaKupsy 2019

Saturday Is Going To Be Epic AF!

She’s talented, she’s beautiful and she does makeup so good you want to start taking classes to upgrade your skills. She’s also eloquent and enthusiastic about her craft. Best of all she’ll be gracing us with her presence at the DJ Stavo and Friends Concert as one of the Masters of Ceremony. Meet the lovely Miss Becky.


You still have time to grab yourself a ticket. For a small fee of USD10 or Zimbabwe Dollar equivalent you’re guaranteed to look forward to an event that going to be worth every dime of your money.

I enjoy all the musicians on the line up but the one act I’m looking forward to is WinkyD. He always brings the house down! I’m ready to lose my voice singing along to all of his songs.

My outfit is set and ready to go, my bank card is loaded with money to buy drinks until the sun comes up and my transport is sorted.

I’ll see you tomorrow. Gates open at 1pm sharp!

MaKupsy 2019

5 Things You Need To Know About The DJStavo & Friends Concert

Who is DJ Stavo? He’s a popular Zimbabwean DJ, Afro-Jazz artist, and music producer. His government name is Steven Sanders. He has partnered up with artists from different genres for a concert that promises to knock your socks off! 

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DJ Stavo

Here are 5 things you need to know;

  1. There will be Craft Beer at pump price! I’ve never had a beer in my life but the pump price sounds very attractive to me. I’m going to give this a try.
  2. It’s going to be a budget-friendly event. You’ll afford to treat yourself to an assortment of savory foods and not break your bank balance.
  3. Expect nothing but world-class performances. AKA Worldwide; the South African rapper, songwriter, record producer, singer, and entrepreneur is also on the lineup.
  4. You can enjoy your outing with a settled mind knowing there’s tight security and secure parking.  
  5. The best part? There will be full weather cover! Let the weather switch up all it likes. It won’t stop the concert that’s going to shut down Zimbabwe from taking place. They’re well prepared.

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P.S DJ Stavo is also doing this super cool thing of delivering some tickets to his fans. You can check out some of the lucky few people who got an opportunity to meet him on Twitter. Simply follow the hashtag #DJStavoAndFriends2019

So…are you coming?

©MaKupsy 2019

What To Wear To The Biggest Concert In Town!

I’ve always been a fan of concerts, especially the ones that have a whimsical vibe. If you don’t find me there chances are it’s a yawn fest. I only show up at the best concerts in town! Let me tell you a little story about the last one I went to.

I had a VIP pass, courtesy of being a Blogger. If anyone had told me these were some of the perks of being a creative I’d have started writing a decade ago. My biggest challenge when it comes to going out is deciding on what to wear so I was held up for a good hour trying to figure that out. As luck would have it I remembered that my very good friend and Fashion Blogger, Delyse lived and breathed fashion. A few WhatsApp messages later she helped me whip up the most delicious outfit I’ve ever worn! I felt and looked like a million bucks! See the picture below for visual details.

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The weather report says there are chances of rain on Saturday 21 December. You have two choices. Either you tell yourself I’ll be a fashion diva even if it kills me or you go the safe way and dress according to the weather. Here are your options to rock at the DJ Stavo and Friends concert that will be held at Long Cheng Plaza.

DJ Stavo and Friends 2019

Image from Pinterest

Why I love this look?

  1. Your feet will be happy and comfortable. You can dance the night away in these shoes.
  2. The bag will keep your valuables close to you. Alternatively, you can carry a fanny pack.
  3. If the weather switches up you’ll be prepared.
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Image from Pinterest

For the guys

I’m not a fashion guru but one thing I know is you can never go wrong with a white tshirt.  Dear men, make a statement with a look like this and the ladies will want to take a tonne of selfies with you on the day.

Additional things you’ll need for the DJ Stavo and Friends Concert include:

  • A designated sober driver
  • Fully charged phone incase you need to make payments via your phone
  • An extra jacket
  • Toilet paper
  • Your own boyfriend or girlfriend
  • A fantastic vibe to party the day away

©MaKupsy 2019

 

The Cookout ZW Anniversary

Cookout ZW 2nd year anniversary is on Sunday, 17 November 2019. I had the pleasure of interviewing one of the co-founders of the monthly festivity that has taken Harare and parts of Zimbabwe by storm.

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What inspired the event?

Cookout ZW was inspired by great food, great company, and a great vibe. This is something that was lacking in the entertainment industry when the event was established. Other countries host cookouts on a big scale so initially, this was going to be something intimate that Zimbabweans could also experience.  

Great moments?

The growth has been astounding. Every month there’s a great turn out. There hasn’t been a month we’ve been disappointed with the numbers. People love the Cookout ZW; they feel like they’re a part of it. We now have loyal fans who are almost always at every event; not forgetting the top fans on Facebook. They’re ready to share our posts, tag friends, and push the brand on social media.

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Corporates have also partnered up with the Cookout ZW movement. We’ve worked alongside Pacific, PSI Zimbabwe, National Foods, Vaya and Popticon. Considering the economic climate it’s humbling to note that more corporates are stepping forward. We’re excited about the future and will soon be headed to Bulawayo to share the fun.

The Ugly

Event planning would be incomplete if you didn’t face some stress. We’ve had problems with people taking advantage of security details or loopholes in the system. Sometimes you have people taking money on the side or getting friends and family to get in for free. What’s sad about this scenario is we work so hard and spend so much money putting the Cookout ZW event together, it doesn’t come cheap. 

Thankfully we partnered up with Rapid Tickets recently and our system is now full proof. Having people try to profit from our efforts was a big learning curve.

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What’s the future looking like?

We’re planning to keep the event fresh and fun. We’ve only hosted in Harare and Gweru but we’re working on introducing the Cookout ZW experience to other towns as we grow. We’re excited about this and you should be too! 

Thank you for your time Prayersoul, wishing you and your team nothing but success. 

I’m going to be the first one at the gate on Sunday. I’m happy that the venue is a few minutes away from home and I’ve got no reason not to show up.  

Have you been to The Cookout ZW?

©MaKupsy 2019

Travel To Paradise Pools Resort, Bindura

Paradise Pools Resort is situated in Bindura. Fancy yourself a day trip filled with refreshing activities? Paradise Pools Resort is the perfect spot! It took us about 2 hours to get there because we had one too many stops along the way. It’s ideally supposed to be a 1hr 30 minutes drive. I’d suggest you take a high rise vehicle because the terrain, once you get off the main road, is in a poor state.

1. Silence

The first thing that will greet you once you arrive is the silence in the atmosphere. There’s no sound of hooting cars, people shouting over the phone or someone playing their music too loud. You get to take in nature in it’s purest form and have a chance to listen to your thoughts. Before the people you’ve come with start talking about how quiet the place is.

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2. Ready-Made Braai Stand

This was my highlight for the day. They have readily available braai stands stacked with firewood. All you need to do is light up the fire and get ready to start braaing your meat. Other out of town braai areas places take notes.  You’re allowed to bring your own meat, drinks and snacks.  We had more than enough meat we didn’t even finish it. Compliments to the braai master who made sure our tummies were fed with mouth-watering sausages, tender pork chops, flame-grilled chicken pieces, and fleshy t-bone steak chops.

3. Fishing Area

There’s a designated area for fishing. Fishing lovers, you’re in luck! We bought some fresh fish from the locals who were fishing since we hadn’t come prepared. I must say that was the best braid fish I’ve ever tasted in my entire life. There were no additives to it and it was fresh crispy and succulent. Add it to your to-try-out list when you visit.

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4. Views

There are different beautiful pools in the area. You’re allowed to take a dip in the cool waters and enjoy a leisurely swim. However, the best view is the Arcadia Dam View. You’ll have to walk quite a distance to get to the top of the mountain but it’ll be worth your while. We didn’t even realise the walk up was a workout on its own. When I woke up the next day I couldn’t feel my thighs.

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Arcadia Dam, Bindura

It was an overall fantastic trip which I won’t mind doing again once my legs are feeling better. A message from one of the ladies who attended this day trip to Paradise Pools Resort read;

Saturday was too good, it was refreshing. It felt short though and your company was amazing you guys. Cheers to more adventures, more meat, drinks and meeting good people 🥂🥂till next time.

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What Else Does Paradise Pools Resort Cater To?

  • Camping
  • Family outings
  • Corporate functions
  • Team building activities
  • Weddings
  • Picnics

One of my goals for 2019 and beyond remains the same; To collect more enriching experiences instead of more material things.

Have you been to Paradise Pools Resort before? What was your experience like? A special thank you to @hikerszw for hosting this unforgettable trip.

You can also read another blog post they hosted titled:

Travel Tips For Visiting Nyanga National Park, Zimbabwe

MaKupsy

Top 3 Tips for a Successful Chevening Application

I was a recipient of a Chevening Scholarship in 2017/18 and completed my Masters in Media Practice for Development and Social Change at the University of Sussex.  This year I participated in the Mandela Washington Fellowship, where I met many brilliant young Africans who asked for tips and guidance for applying for a Chevening Scholarship.  My approach emphasizes understanding your story and making a compelling case that you are a leader and that the Chevening Award contributes to your career plans and vision.

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1.      Clearly articulate your vision, plans and accomplishments

The Chevening scholarship awards scheme is for people with leadership potential.  Leaders are people who have a vision that they are working towards!  Chevening applications are very competitive; potential alone without evidence of concerted steps and a concise plan towards attainment of the vision is inadequate. There’s a need to highlight the key accomplishments and milestones you have made towards achieving your goals, evidence that you are not only a dreamer but a person of action. Consider the following points:

  • Your vision should be of gain to your community or country for it to count. Chevening is seeking individuals who will return home and give back to their community and country.  A vision of personal fame and fortune will not cut it!
  • It may be useful to divide your career plan into a short-term plan (1-3 years), a medium-term plan (4 – 6 years) and a long-term plan (7 – 10 years).  Your plans could relate to specific projects you want to embark on, personal development plans or future career changes.  Examples of these could include enrolling in an education course, coaching or mentoring younger people in your field, running for political office or starting your own organisation. The list is endless.
  • Clearly articulate your accomplishments or impact as a leader in your field. This could include successful campaigns for a better community, development of products that improve society, groundbreaking research on an issue affecting the community, founding a successful start-up or non-profit organisation, improving the lives of disenfranchised people etc. Back up your successes with clear evidence, and where possible quantify your impact, e.g. number of people impacted. Use clear examples in your essays!

2.      Show how a Masters degree in the United Kingdom will contribute towards achieving your goals   

A successful application will require you to show how a Masters degree in the United Kingdom will contribute towards achieving your goals.  To do this effectively you need to research the standing of the United Kingdom and your chosen universities in the area you are interested in.

For example in my application I argued that a Masters Degree in Media Practice for Development and Social Change from the University of Sussex would equip me to better achieve my dreams of contributing to Zimbabwe’s democracy and development.  Sussex University is the best University in the world for development studies and since the United Kingdom is a leader in global media through institutions such as BBC and Sky News. I also argued that the presence of International Development Institutions headquartered in the United Kingdom would offer me opportunities for networking and learning.

3.      Understand your story, personalize it and tell it with confidence

The Chevening application asks you to make your case in only four essays of 500 words each.  You therefore need to decide how you will frame your application, develop a particular narrative and articulate it with confidence. You can’t include your entire life story but need to pick specific things that strengthen the argument that you are a leader.

Also, do not be afraid to talk about yourself. Since this is your application, you are the star… Show your growth as a human being, your vulnerabilities, your weaknesses and how you have conquered them in the quest to achieve your dreams. This is how you establish a connection with the application reviewers, and later with the interviewers.

Once you complete these three steps you will know if you are ready for Chevening, and if Chevening is what you need at this point in your life. You will also be able to effectively respond to Chevening application questions on your leadership potential, networking skills and career plans. In short, everything else (which is spelt out in the application guidelines anyway) will fall into place!

Good luck!

A big thank you to Zibusiso John Dube for sharing this priceless information.  If you have any questions concerning the Chevening Scholarship you can connect with him on:

LinkedIn: ZibusisoJohnDube or Twitter: @Zie22

©MaKupsy 2019

5 Tricks That Changed My Attitude Towards My African Hair

I haven’t always had a beautiful love affair with my African hair.  At some point I thought it was the most difficult part of my body.  Nothing I did worked and I was left frustrated.  I bought and tried out products I saw other black women using on social media platforms and still no joy.  I decided to give my hair a big chop to start all over.  It’s only then that I was fortunate to bump into hair events and these changed my attitude towards my hair forever.

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MaKupsy

  1. Massaging your scalp helps with hair growth, blood circulation and opening your pores.  It’s important that you take enough time massaging your scalp, 5 minutes or more will do the trick depending on how much time you have.
  2. Wash day doesn’t have to be a nightmare.  The reason you sometimes ended up having a killer headache after a new hairdo was because I was doing everything at once.  Instead, undo your hair today, shampoo it tomorrow and then get the style of your choice the next day.  This routine will leave your scalp feeling happy.
  3. You don’t have to shampoo your hair each time you wash it.  Sometimes a co-wash (conditioner wash only) is all you need to leave your hair with an extra layer of moisture.
  4. A woman should have a signature look.  Choose at least two hairstyles that work for you and don’t give you a headache when its time to get your hair done.  My signature look is the image above, it’s usually done in under 30 minutes giving me time to get on with other important things.  When I undo this style my hair is tangle free and straightened.
  5. Find out what your hair type is and you can kiss confusion goodbye.  The reason my hair regime never seemed to work out was because I didn’t know what to or not to do to it.  My hair type is 4c and two things work for it.  Moisture and coconut oil.  I no longer waste time and money on things that have nothing to do with my hair and have more money for wine 🙂

My relationship with my hair right now is amazing.  I’ve accepted that I won’t have long hair that flows all the way to my bum.  Instead I’ll enjoy thick bouncy hair that will look like candy floss after a wash and blow and completely shrink by the time the day ends and that’s perfectly okay.

Do you have a hair care routine, if yes, what works for you and how long have you been keeping your hair for?

Here are 3 more posts on hair that you’ll also enjoy reading;

Who Are You To Police My Hair?

Dreadlocks Love Affair

My Hair Grows Towards Heaven

©MaKupsy 2019