Day 20: Breathtaking African Destinations

If I had all the money in the world I would travel the whole world; twice!  Nothing gives you that kick as much as leaving your day to day routine and simply plunging into a completely new environment.  The first time I went on a travel adventure I went to South Africa all by my merry little self.  I made bookings and hit the road.  My parents were worried sick because they thought something tragic would happen to me but nothing did and it was one heck of an astounding experience!

Sadly I’m not as well travelled as I would like to be so I got some travel junkies to help me out with today’s post.  After reading this I promise you the first thing you will do is be friends with Google and search for the first flight out of your country.

Vumba, Zimbabwe

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Photo Credit: @NdiSandra (Twitter)

My favorite Destination in Zimbabwe is definitely Vumba. I am still to travel to a place more beautiful than Vumba. Very quiet and serene with the humming of beautiful birds. The weather is amazingly cool and I have done a gazillion countless trips there because you can never get used to the beauty.  The food is amazing. Tony’s cakes are out of this world. I’m sure that’s the best cake one can ever eat. Forest Hills is my favorite resort in Vumba, it’s such a homely place with amazing people. The food is beyond amazing and Takura makes bomb weird dishes. I would totally stay there and just get fat!!

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Prince of Wales View

Minus the good food and hospitality at Forest Hills, they have amazing views. Its not far from Leopard Rock Hotel so if you need to play some golf or go for a game view Leopard Rock is the place. Game views are so much fun and you get to feed the Ostriches.  Make sure you also pass by Prince of Wales View point on your way. The beautiful view of Mutare will always brighten your day. – @NdiSandra

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You gotta love Vumba!

 

Arusha, Tanzania

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Tanzania

I recently had the pleasure of travelling to Arusha, Tanzania and I would definitely recommend it as a top destination to visit. As a Zimbabwean I warmed up to it very quickly because it reminded me of home. The people there are so welcoming and friendly and the food is the organic goodness we grew up eating in Zimbabwe. Although I never got an opportunity to sight see as I was on a business trip I managed to visit some of the local Masai markets and the markets in the CBD. The Masai markets boast of beautifully handcrafted proudly Tanzanian pieces; from bags to shoes, to jewellery. If you are looking for souvenirs from your visit to Arusha this is definitely a place to stop by. I also enjoyed the markets in Arusha’s CBD. I’m an avid fan of African print material and in the search for an originally Tanzanian piece the CBD was definitely the place to visit.

The people there are so welcoming and friendly and the food is the organic goodness we grew up eating in Zimbabwe.

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Although I never got the chance to go out to try their local cuisine or their braai spots or as they call them “nyama chomas” I think this is a definite must do for anyone visiting Arusha. The night life in Arusha is also something worth exploring. I would say it is different from what I am used to in its simplicity. The prices of alcohol are very reasonable. On a night out we spent about 60 000 shillings on two rounds of drinks (several beers and double whiskeys and cognac orders for four people), which is equivalent to R400. Tanzania seems to have a great appreciation for African music from not only within the East African region but also from the rest of the continent. We enjoyed ourselves dancing to music from Angola, to the DRC and the DJs even accommodated us by playing our favourite Zimbabwean and South African songs.

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Photo Credit: @_____layslee (Twitter)

Due to my limited time there I was unable to visit Mount Meru which is one of the main attractions in the city. Mount Meru is the second highest mountain in Tanzania and is the fourth in Africa. It is a definite must see. Of course there is Mount Kilimanjaro which everyone deserves to see at least once in their life. There is so much one can do in Arusha as the city boasts with many National Parks such as the Serengeti National Park, the Arusha National Park, Ngorongoro National Reserve and Lake Manyara National Park. I would definitely visit Arusha again so I can experience everything it has to offer. – @_____layslee

White Sand Beaches, Mozambique

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Image from Google

The White Sand Beaches of Mozambique are on my list of dream destinations.  If there is one thing I NEED this year it’s definitely a holiday!  I need to get away from all the stresses this country brings me on a daily basis and just enjoy an adventure filled weekend away.  I’ve been to Mozambique before but to the boring parts of it and on business so that wasn’t any fun.  I have a vivid imagination and I’ve already pictured what my trip will be like once it materialises, at least dreaming is free right?

I will arrive in Mozambique on a Friday evening and check into a medium range hotel.  Apparently accommodation in Mozambique is pretty reasonable averaging $24 per person.  I can’t go all out high end accommodation because I have a daughter starting Grade School next year(the joys of parenthood).  I’m obviously tired from my flight so I settle for an early night.  Still deciding if this will be a solo trip or I’ll bump into a chocolate brother over the weekend…

When I’m there I try out everything from the food to the drinks, no time to waste I’m here to have a ball of a time!  I’m honestly tired of all the food lately so it will be a welcome change to try out a local dish and definitely delicious sea food; I love all things white meat.  As long as it’s prepared in a way that I normally have it I’m going to enjoy every bite of it.

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Food of Mozambique (Image from Google)

You know those drinks in coconut shells you see on TV?  I want to try them out and I know there is no way they won’t have them in Mozambique.  I mean, this is my dream so it’s definitely there.  I will have me some sex on the beach both figuratively and literally!  How am I going to come all this way and not get laid???  But keep it on the hush, what happens in Mozambique stays in Mozambique…

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Image from Google

These are some of the activities you can do when you visit Mozambique and I will try out all of them because life is too short to not go hard.

  • Diving
  • Ilha de Mozambique
  • Maputo Central Market
  • Cocktails at the Polana Hotel
  • Swimming with Wild Dolphins (just wait till you see the pictures I will take!)
  • Gorongosa National Park
  • Sailing in a Traditional Dhow
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Image from Google

Don’t forget the walks on the beach.  My trip would be incomplete without it.  Take a dip every other minute to enjoy the cool water on my skin while taking in the clear blue water.  This is the one trip I will be completely off the radar and not even buy a sim card.  I will simply take photos of beautiful views and interact with locals and dare to do something different.  I can’t wait to visit Mozambique!

What are some of your favourite destinations in Africa?  What’s your dream destination and when do you plan on going there?

It’s day 20 of the #30DayAfriBloggerChallenge this is the first time I have ever actually counted down days in a month!

©MaKupsy 2017

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Day 17: When In Doubt, Eat Sadza!

Growing up I don’t remember a time when we didn’t have sadza included in our meals.  It was an all day everyday kind of meal.  Back then the only time you had rice or any other starch for that was on special occasions namely Christmas.  We all looked forward to this time of the year because rice, chicken and coleslaw salad would be served and we would dive in and enjoy every bite of it.  Not only did we get to enjoy fancy food but we also got to show off our Christmas clothes to all our friends in the neighbourhood.  On some Christmas’s the rains would come pouring down and we would be stuck indoors and have no opportunity to display our latest gifts.  Sigh

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Sadza, grilled pork chop, vegetables, thick tomato and onion soup + Glass of Mazoe Cream Soda for control! Photo Credit: @MsSmileSoBright (Twitter)

My mother taught me how to prepare sadza at around age 10 and I didn’t like it at all.  That meant an additional thing to do on top of my already long list of chores.  (I hate doing housework).  Thankfully I mastered the art and in no time I was preparing a mean plate of sadza.  Sadza is our staple food in Zimbabwe and the one time you know you can’t live without it is when you travel and you have to live on hotel food…you will miss sadza in ways you can’t even fully fathom.

The reasons why I love sadza aplenty!

  • You can have sadza for breakfast
  • You can have sadza for lunch
  • You can have sadza for supper
  • You can have sadza a few hours before going out for drinks to “cement” your stomach so that you don’t throw up
  • You can have sadza to cure a hangover
  • You don’t need any fancy cutlery to enjoy it, your hands will do all the work
  • You can enjoy a plate of sadza with almost anything from beef stew, chicken, mushrooms, green vegetables, madora (mopani worms), kapenta, sour milk…I could go on forever!  It’s one of the most versatile foods I know.

Here’s a recipe on how to prepare sadza that I extracted from ZimboKitchen:

  1. Put mealie-meal in pot. Add cold water to make a paste. Put pot on stove and add boiling water whilst stirring simultaneously.
  2. Keep stirring until rakukwata (it’s boiling). Cover pot, reduce heat and let it simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. After 15 minutes, add more mealie-meal bit by bit and as we say it in our vernacular, mona sadza(mix). Be sure to do it well. When it’s just about to reach the consistency you want, cover it rishinyire(loosely translated- let is simmer) for 5 minutes. Your sadza is ready. Serve with your preferred relish.

 

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Photo Credit @MsSmileSoBright (Twitter)

There you have it.  The staple food in our family.  Now that I stay alone the staple food in my house is anything that cooks fast because I don’t have time to be slaving in the kitchen all day!

What’s the staple meal in your family?  How often do you eat it?  Please share a picture or a recipe, I would love to try out something different.

©MaKupsy 2017

 

 

Day 10: If You Come To Harare You Are Going For A Run!

This challenge is taking our creative juices to the very next level.  Each day we have to come up with different content for our blogs and I can safely say I am out of all the flowery language that I can possibly think of!  BUT I live for challenges and I will sail through this like it’s nothing.  Today on the challenge we are sharing the ONE thing that you should do when you visit my city and naturally, I’m going to invite you to one of my favourite things to do…running.

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Greenwood Park, Harare

ParkRuns have been a major part of my health and fitness journey.  I remember the first time I set foot in the park with my neighbour for my first run.  The most unpleasant experience of my life!!  However, I kept going back for more because it was a place I felt safe because there were other runners as well.  Most were slow runners, others were on a mission to sprint away but generally the atmosphere was just right if you were serious about getting in shape.  Nearly 3 years later I still put in some parkruns when I need a place to bring back fond memories of the start of my journey.  I managed to lose weight from running in the park and I also got my fitness on while I was at it!

A few weeks ago I realised that there is actually no time like the present and I should start organising our very own parkruns in Harare!  This is how it’s going to work.

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part of team Fitness In The Park

The goal is to meet up for parkruns once every week on Saturday morning.  

I have already started hosting Harare ParkRuns together with Steward Health and each week we are running 3K.  We will gradually increase the distance over the next few weeks until we get to the ideal 5K distance.  Everyone is invited to come along for the parkruns; young, old, kids, as long as you have a goal to have a healthy body and mind then you must make sure you come through.

ParkRun Perks:

  1. The park runs are free!
  2. I will teach you how to run and share fitness related information.
  3. You will be able to lose weight or maintain it.
  4. You will make friends with similar interests.
  5. If you can’t run walking is still an option so please don’t feel excluded.
  6. Exercise is a stress buster.
  7. You will challenge yourself to commit to a habit that your body and mind will thank you for in the not so distant future.

Fitness Bae works towards enhancing the lives of the community through support, encouragement, mental and physical health awareness activities. 

I find pleasure in helping those around me achieve their health and fitness goals.  For this reason I have decided to start hosting parkruns starting from the 2nd of September 2017 going forward.

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Come Run With Us!

Like my Facebook page @thefitnessbae to stay updated on the parkruns and to also get weekly updates on different health and fitness events and information happening in and around Harare.

Some of the places you should check out when you visit Zimbabwe include:

Mutare by Leo

National Gallery of Zimbabwe (Harare) by Zimsphere

Gweru by The Quarter Wife

What is the number one thing to do in your country?  Care to share so that I take notes for when I pass through your part of the world?

©MaKupsy 2017

 

 

 

 

Day 5: Ready For Retirement(Financially)? Me Neither!

I have been thinking of ways to start saving money towards my retirement for nearly 5 years now with absolutely no luck.  Each time I try and save a dollar or two something comes up and I have to use that money.  Saving is hard especially in our current economy where most people, me included are living from hand to mouth.  If I am to be very honest with myself with the way things are looking right now chances of having my parents let alone myself in my retirement plans are bleak!  Let’s talk about the past, the present and the future of retirement and see where your thoughts fall in.

Many decades ago most parents in Africa where having children by the dozens.  If you ask most people they will tell you their parents had 12 or more siblings.  Back then most parents believed that the more children they had the better chances of having someone take care of them when they grew old.  It seems life was more affordable in those times and everyone managed to go to school and get an education, land a job and start their own life.  Some did take care of their parents, others chose to drop out of school and do odd jobs while others stayed at home and never really did make anything of themselves.  I suppose having a bunch of children was the hope that at least one of them would do well and never forget his or her parents back home and therefore that child became their retirement plan.  I wonder what the plan was if none of their children came through…

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In present time most Africans are not educated on making plans for retirement.  Most people don’t believe in forecasting and live each day as it comes.  A great example is how most Zimbabweans rarely buy advanced tickets because “We don’t know what might come up (insert what if I die or something happens to me) and end up not going”.   I was saying…the plan most people know is to go to school, get a job, rent in a nice apartment, buy a car, work, work, work then die.  Not many people will tell you about saving for a holiday, saving to buy a house, saving to pay lobola, saving for a rainy day, saving to surprise their parents or siblings with something nice, saving for their child’s college or even saving to spoil themselves at some point…the list is endless.  I know that part of the reason this doesn’t happen is because people genuinely don’t have the means to do so.  I will be honest, I only manage to save for a rainy day and for my daughters education and it leaves me feeling like I am failing at life.  It’s tough; you have to make A LOT of sacrifices.  I want to do so much for myself and my parents but each day it seems a lot of things are out of reach.  I believe if you work hard and apply yourself things will work out and that is why I am working hard towards growing my Fitness Brand so that years from today I will have enough money to take care of all my needs.  I do not want to be a burden to my daughter but have my life sorted out till the day I die.  I want to be that cool grandmother who spoils her grandchildren rotten, lives in a beautiful comfortable home in Nyanga, drives a pretty vintage car and when she’s around everyone knows a lot of great stories will be told about the adventure filled life she lived.

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I strongly believe that we should teach our children the importance of planning and dreaming big.  The earlier you start letting them in on it the better.  Teach your child to let their imagination run wild.  Let them think of ideas of how they can make extra income from the pocket money you already give them.  They can come up with selling muffins, lemonade, selling woolen hats or gloves that they would have knitted themselves.   Whatever skill they come up with that will give them extra income should be a starting point for you to then teach them that money should be saved for the future and relying on one form of income will surely send you to an early grave unless you land a very well paying job.  However, life is to be lived!  Live a little, save, enjoy the finer things in life and then get back to business.  I am one parent who will drill this into my daughter’s head because I know she will hopefully grow up and know that she has to make plans for her future if she wants it to be comfortable.

After all is said and done.  As it stands, asking me today, right here and right now, I can safely say that my parents are not in my retirement plan.  Luckily for them they planned their life to a tee and are enjoying staying at home and not having to work or ask anyone for money.  I have a long way to go because I still need to buy myself a car, a house, travel, take my daughter through school, make some investments, establish my fitness business…I want to get to retirement age knowing that I have income from my savings, pension, investments, from the houses I will buy and I do not want donations from my daughter to be one of those streams of income.  She will have a life too and will have her own plans.  As and when I can I will spoil my parents and that ladies and gentleman is my truth.

Here are some tips you can try out to get financially fit:

  • First things first, why do you want to be financially fit? Ask yourself that and then you have a starting point.  This will be your driving force, your motivation, your inspiration.
  • You need a routine of sort. Do you have a budget?  If not you have to get one today, that way you can track your spending habits and cut out unnecessary expenses that are stopping you from saving.
  • Be accountable to someone or if you’re like me to yourself. Write down your financial goals so that you are constantly referring to them to see if you are making progress.
  • No one but you can push you to be savvy with your money. Make a plan to find additional streams of income so that saving becomes a reality.
  • Set small measurable goals. For example you can start with clearing that clothing account and stick to buying with cash only!  When that happens then move on to the next goal and before you know it you are doing great at being financially fit!
  • RESEARCH!  I can not stress this enough.  There are entire books on the subject as well as many varying ways to invest your money, big or small.  Like everything else in life the more you read the more informed you become.

Making money is good, keeping money is great! 

Do you have your parents included in your retirement plans?  Have you tried any of the tips to get financially fit?  I would love to hear from you and also get additional tips on how we can work towards being financially sound!

©MaKupsy 2017

 

 

 

10 Exciting UnPlugged Facts

UnPlugged is back again this Sunday!  I am already doing a mini countdown.  If you have never been then I suggest you save the date because this is an event that you don’t want to miss. I know you are here because you know I like all things exhilarating and UnPlugged is definitely one of those few things I can never get enough of.  When you go make sure you are seen but whatever you do please don’t cause a scene! Today on my blog I give you, 10 Fun UnPlugged Facts, this is the only place you have seen this because I am always a step ahead on my blogging journey.  Read on…

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1. Unplugged got its name from the initial intention to introduce acoustic performances but the event quickly morphed to being electronically amplified and the name stuck.
2. The first ever Unplugged was held in December 2014 and was attended by just 150 people.
3. It’s a roving event with no fixed abode.
4. The two childhood friends who started Unplugged share a passion for homegrown music. They have known each other for over 30 years!
5. The heart of Unplugged is artist development – providing up and coming talent the space and audience to share and develop their craft.

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Prince Musarurwa & Pah Chihera

6. Unplugged Zim, the company that manages Unplugged, is actually an Arts Organisation whose work spans across various Arts disciplines.
7. Over 150 artists have performed on the Unplugged stage.
8. Unplugged was a loss-making business for close to two years, when it finally reached break-even.
9. Unplugged’s first Bulawayo event happens this year in September, the 3rd to be precise.
10. Unplugged is looking across borders, hoping to penetrate other markets.

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*BONUS FACT* 

Artists interested in performing at Unplugged can fill in the application form at:

http://unpluggedzim.com/artist-application/

See you at UnPlugged!

©MaKupsy 2017

Man Crush Monday : Chef Takura

Every woman wants a man who can cook; okay I lie, I love a man who can cook so I will speak for myself on this one.  Imagine getting home to a meal prepared with nothing but tender loving care by your one and only.  Chef Takura (hello beard gang) took some time out to share spinets of his story with me and you can read all about it below.

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Chef Takura

I have always loved cooking, working in hospitality made the choice easier.

My favorite meal changes so often. I am into soups at the moment. I also always love making pizza and pasta from scratch because they are so versatile for toppings and sauces!!
I currently work at Forest Hills Resort as the Managing Director.  I love building and making our product better. Sadly I have very little time to cook. (There goes my dream to have a Chef Bae!)  Forest Hills is a beautiful location many places to hike and enjoy nature.
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Forest Hills

Being the wine lover that I am I couldn’t resist asking him on his thoughts on food and wine…
Pairing food and wine was my last job in Australia where I was the Head Sommelier (a wine waiter) at a Modern European Bistro. Pay attention to the weight of the dish as well as flavour. A hearty beef dish will go better with a full bodied red wine and a light spicy Asian dish would go better with a lighter white wine. Experiment a lot and see what your palette enjoys!!!
I do try and exercise as much as I can. The nice thing about living on a mountain is that EVERY walk has an incline!! I also like to swim and skip.
I have just gained a little more fitness and I get to see the area and take loads of nature photos.  The greatest challenge I have had so far when it comes to exercising is making time and there is no one to work out with out here.  Chef Takura needs to read about the benefits of running alone.  However, I do enjoy running, I will start running when I get someone to chase me!
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Shakshuka or eggs in rich tomato sauce

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Grilled Crumbed Fish Fillets with home made mayonnaise and pineapple salsa!

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Beef Fried Rice

You can get in touch with Chef Takura on Twitter and Instagram to stay up to date with his mouth watering meals and beautiful views that he constantly shares on social media.
©MaKupsy 2017