Tuesday, 16 November 2010


It was Coco Chanel who made us understand the necessity of luxury in our lives. Asked what the opposite of luxury was she quipped; “vulgarity”. In today’s world there is no shortage of vulgarism – if in doubt hop on a plane and land somewhere between Dubai and Abu Dhabi, better yet Las Vegas. Turn on the TV and watch MTV cribs. If you manage to not vomit in disgust, then perhaps your stomach is sterner than mine! Standing at the edifice of the Vumba mountains I could not help but reflect on Coco Chanel’s insight- tucked away in the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe at the border with Mozambique the spectre of Coco’s Luxury descended.

Yet it is not Chanel who impresses a philosophy in these parts. Rather it is the Roman Emperor Hadrian, the last of the classical era who having lived 400 years after the classical glory in Athens went about to recreate and model everything Athenian. Recreating the ebb and flow, the art and triumphs of a by-gone time as a musing to the Roman generation of his time. In essence he captured the very best Kodak moment of Athens and its satellites.

Vumba, spanning a 24 km road of sharp curves around misty mountains and steep descents, captures the very best of the Victorian England and its satellite the Scottish highlands. It is important to step into this mist of Luxury with history in mind.  The British colonial settlers at the time believed in Vumba they had found a little England,  and so went about to pick their favourite grand pieces in Victorian times, recreating the cobble stone roads, architecture , castles, gardens and lakes in the most picturesque mountains and valleys.

The best in Luxury of the Vumba culminates at Leopard Rock, named after the Leopards abundant in the mountains. Perhaps it is important the reader understands why I write about the Vumba and Leopard rock in particular. Zimbabwe, after the lost decade has some of the most appalling and overpriced hotels in Africa. Most with the exception of a few tell epic stories of former glory and the hospitality is disparate and poorly.  Leopard rock, recently refurbished is munificent with grandeur of the highest notch and gives one reason to still believe in the Zimbabwean hospitality.

It was refreshing, being welcomed by dapper members of staff in navy blue blazers, white shirts, striped ties and chino trousers that were quite adept in handling the trivial and peculiar requests of a gentleman at leisure. I was suitably impressed with the home-made vanilla ice cream that comes in generous proportions and served on the terrace overlooking the wondrous garden. Every detail in the hotel has been done by a deliberate hand and an eye with a penchant for timeless splendour.

Horse riding in the game reserve, betrays visions of the English gentleman hunting hounds in Winchester- with the backdrop of whispering spring waters racing down a gorge. The gardens defeat in meticulousness all that is beautiful in Bath and rival Chateau Versailles. Decadence of mind and body is best served at the spa, after which a leisurely walk in the gardens inspires romantic prose even in a brute.

On occasion, I sampled the best of Vumba. Driving leisurely I meandered the sharp bends, reminiscent of the South of France, up the mountain right up to Mountain Heights- at the apex the breath taking view was an awesome reminder of the creative hand that moulded earth. A walk in the botanical gardens is like stepping in into the very best of Hardy’s distinct prose. Everything dressed in perfection.

 Further down my inquisitive pursuits landed me at Eden Lodge. It is at Eden Lodge, I found the staff very helpful and again bending backwards in entertaining my little nuisances. Upon discovering a quaint spot in the gardens overlooking the gorge, I was obliged with a table and chairs and devoured my generous portion of  t-bone steak with rice. Priced at $10, this was a dead giveaway, considering the calf whose fine cut of tender steak I made my lunch, was slaughtered on the Estate that very day. I was tempted to simply take a nap after such a meal right there in the garden, without further hesitation I made a pillow out of my jacket and snored the afternoon away.  Early evening saw me peddling a canoe at the Eden dam, a pleasant way of sipping sun downers.

Again another show stopper, is the Inn on the Vumba that serves a five course dinner. The Inn is not in the best of conditions, a little TLC would help, but the dining room is such a warm and cosy hideout and the food divine. Serving  aLá carte menu, I chose the five course menu starting with chicken livers with bread fingers, and the appetiser homemade maestro soup. Trout, captured that afternoon, was my main course served with jacket potato and delicious vegetables. I skipped desert and settled for cheese and biscuits served with tea.

For Afternoon High tea then Tony’s coffee shop is the idyllic rendezvous. Its confectionary, I was to be made aware of is world renowned. I consider myself a connoisseur of confectionary of sort and I have numerous tooth fillings  to show for it- and this has to be the BEST cake and coffee shop  in the whole wide world. Total decadence, scouts honour! This is the sort of place that needs no Homer myth to populate its sweetness. Only your test buds will attest.

I realise I could go on, and tell of every tale of the Vumba, but the locals will attest zviri nani kuzvionera pamhuno sefodya- its better you see it for yourself.  

Apologies for this post not appearing earlier. 

Thursday, 22 July 2010

The Renaissance man

In recent years men have been described by many adjectives in light of the recent advancement in our human civilisation and socialisation of the 21st century. As the walkman was replaced with the ipod, the yesterday man and his mantle have been replaced by today’s man with his mettle.  The iconoclast verve epitomised by Beckham is the metro-sexual, diametrically in opposite to Claude van Dame, the brute of the 90’s. 
While the debate ensues on the world’s idealistic creature to amplify manhood- an amble crisis of sort has landed on male shores. Maleness crisis is symptomatic of how masculinity has become emasculated, blurred and the prospects bleak. Similar, to the 14th century nonchalance that persuaded individuals to seek inalienable truths of the world, rather than accept the then collective mantra. The answer then, as is now, is the Renaissance man.
A renaissance is a renewal; then in 14th century Italy it was a renewal of Athenian classical antiquity virtues and ideals. The Renaissance man was simply one who had mastery of skills or knowledge from a wide variety of fields. It was a belief that man possessed all the essence and determination to excel in all exertions mental, physical and aesthetic.
Samuel Johnson says “A man may shoot the man who invades his character, as he may shoot him who attempts to break into his house.”And so it was a man’s strength of character, determination and ability that saw him rise above the parapet of societal standards and distinguish himself amongst his peers.  Often the renaissance period is called the humanistic period, a notion in art, science, travel and idea that firmly puts the individual as the nexus of worldly experience.
The Athenian man was first a seeker and lover of wisdom. The word philo (love for) sophy (wisdom), thus he engaged himself wholly in the quest to seek the truth about the world and exercised logic in his daily life. He was a philosopher! The Renaissance man in 14th century Italy begun to study Athenian Philosophy and Homeric texts. From these he gained the substance and form of what life is and gained strength of character to discern foolishness.
And so I am confused when the current world lauds the metro-sexual, I ask myself if at all he is a lover of wisdom –a Philosopher beyond just reading, writing and counting?  The blame is squarely on Hollywood and our educational system that disguises knowledge with robes of exams. The man who succeeds is one who has mastered the ideals of passing an exam and not necessarily the man willing to die for the truth that he believes.
Another ideal of the Renaissance man was the Warrior ideal. In classical times, a man was a warrior, who defended his family, country and what he believed in. The Roman Empire grew on the basis of these men that would farm their lands during the growing season and fight to increase the empire during the winter. The most revered men were conquerors, men who had exercised ability, skill and determination in the world and not in some film in Hollywood.  Valour and a heroic spirit walked side by side with him. Today engrossed in repetitive 9 to 5, shuffling paper, nothing in a man’s spirit calls for his initiation and bravery. He risks nothing, and gains nothing!
Theodore Roosevelt has imparted wisdom and importance of being the man ready for battle; man in the Arena
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
 Recently in a bus I overheard a group of girls talking, one claimed she only dated Bankers and the other claimed she had been cursed with only Accountants. On reflecting and unveiling this conversation I was sad for a moment and sadder for the men mentioned. But such is the world we live in where a man is qualified purely by his vocation, never mind that the world has over a million doctors- he is just defined as a doctor.
Asked who am i? My vocation immediately conjures my personality, success and mindset.  My individualistic personality now hardly recommends me or like in most cases my vocation has become the straight jacket in which my individual personality has merely fizzled into. This contrast heavily with the Renaissance man ;perhaps the quintessential renaissance man of this period was Leonardo Da Vinci, who was an artist, an engineer, an anatomist and also pursued many other disciplines with great success and aplomb.
 Finally the classical definition of manhood was exemplified by conduct. Decorum was a virtue taught in every man, and each man would in turn become a poet in his life and create the flair -avoir un don pour- to personalise his deeds. Today’s language this is known as swagger, for the Renaissance man it is panache. Valour and Wisdom led the man to battle, but his conduct in battle was equally important. It was not just enough to win a battle, it was important to win with honour.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Why I love man's fashion: a short essay

Accomplishment is best capped by an immaculate dress sense. Those that have disagreed with this are usually of distasteful inclination to anything aesthetic or have a personality of an ant. Why should an accomplished man be immaculately dressed? Because a man like a chair can never be staid on one leg. A brilliant mind, ability and social grace can all be summed in impeccable dress.
 A man’s wardrobe, it has often been commented is an extension of his personality, I argue it is his personality. Think about it how can a snazzy dressed man with swooning presence turn out to be a bore? Dressing, done appropriately epitomises one’s outlook on life and a pedigree in aesthetics- a swagger with a tradition as long as washing hands with soap!
 Indeed this was a generally accepted rule in the days of yonder when a man would take at least 3 hours to dress up in the morning. The elaboration was not lost to the lady folk of the time who would scrutinise and deduct a man’s character purely based on his cloth and use of thread. A potential employee would list his bespoke tailor as a reference. Hitherto every man, commoner and noble distinguished himself through the cut and make of his attire.  Even when fighting his enemy, cavalry distinction was usually an extension of his beautiful uniform.
 So what has changed over the years? Today’s man is described as colour blind and with other non flattery expletives. I suppose like all medieval chivalry, it no longer matters if a man’s character is worth insignia. Men have even abrogated the six week bespoke tailoring experience to off-the rack internet based synthetic suit- and with no shame whatsoever his lady does the buying. Is there a worse insult, than your lady buying a suit for you? Never mind the glaring innuendos about the man’s sartorial sense; this alludes to just how desperate the lady is in the mating game. Imagine Al Capone or the architect Le Corbusier mating with a desperate lady who does his wardrobe shopping. This insult is inconceivable.
 Every super hero has a suit- this is not just mere coincidence that saving the world requires appropriately dashing attire, it should be the staple food for any man. Not just the gay man who has taken man’s fashion to be his fiefdom- the straight man needs to reclaim what has always been his kingdom. Savile Row remains the one place in the world I feel like a man, where an appointment with the tailor takes the same importance as a woman’s appointment with her gyna. Where every pampering accentuates my manliness and not as endeavours to question my sexuality. Where upon leaving I am gleaming as ever!
 So what is it that I love about man’s fashion, notwithstanding the current state of affairs? I love how naturally important and dashing an impeccably dressed man looks.  Because a man who puts much thought and effort to his clothing and sense of style has measured attention to his work and craft. An elegantly uniformed soldier will draw his elegant sword, and fight an elegant fight. Why else would a soldier dress in an immaculate uniform shine his buttons, sword and shoes only to fight in the meadows of dirt, blood gashing in all directions? It’s because he understands the importance of virtues and strength are exemplified by his uniform.
 Once on a plane trip, I complemented an elderly gentleman on his attire- he turned and looked rather surprised. For the next 20 odd minutes he spoke to me about where and how he got every piece of clothing he had on.  We talked of how the different fabrics available feel on the skin, laughed about what to do when you gain weight and the trousers don’t fit anymore and reflected on why Anderson and Sheppard made the best blazers in the world. We lamented the death of the full Windsor tie, chuckled at Hugo Boss attempts as a serious man’s clothier and agreed that probably the English are plain looking on account of their dress in as much as the Italians are effervescent on the same account and the German’s as stoic as ever.
 As a parting shot, the elderly gentleman gave me a business card. I looked at it and smiled, it was a Cobblers’ business card of one eminent cobbler from the hinterland of Florence. I have never been to Florence- but it has now become one of the places I want to visit and perhaps in the stride get a handmade brogue.
 Perusing over the top dressed man in history I came across a photograph of Sir Sean Connery and the caption captured my imagination, it went “ because has anyone ever made it look easier?”.  The 007, glad in a suit touting a gun and fighting the bad guys was probably my first encounter with Film, the word “espionage”, GQ magazine and then his seductive moves with the ladies made it all look easy, until I tried to buy a suit, watch, and tried one of those cocky lines- in all attempts I failed. And only because I failed did I realise what Sean Connery had and looked simple was just not only a Scottish accent!  The entrepreneur Lapo Elkann has taken over this dapper savant mantle in recent years.
 What has caused me to write this short essay on Fashion? Coming from Melbourne at the airport, bored stiff I went into a clothing shop with man apparels. I had no intention of buying anything – until I came across this Pictoria/Art illustration book by Jeremy Hackett simply titled Mr Classic with photographs by Garda Tang( book review) . My face lit up and impulsively offered my credit card. The shop keeper looked at me, smiled and asked if it not be better if I first perused the book and see if I would enjoy it.  
The Man of the shop angry at such a proposal looked at the lady shopkeeper and exclaimed in a loud voice- “Its Hackett for God’s sake, that’s enough convincing anyone needs”. I smiled a second time, as the gentleman decided to offer me a 50% discount on an aftershave- Taylor of old bond street.
 15 hours of flight I spent nibbling at every word Jeremy had to say, sighing at the very detail exposed by the photographs- exposing my ignorance in many sartorial matters, and gaining valuable lessons on life, manhood, courting a lass, clay pigeon shooting and many other adept subjects-and of course fashion.  Who says man’s fashion is boring?

Saturday, 3 July 2010

What is happiness

I never did learn much from high school, I was one of those students that breezed through. So every time a high school friend starts a conversation along the lines “do you remember back in high school when...” I shrill and freeze before nonchalantly nodding to whatever they remember. However, I do remember assemblies, and at a boys only school the experience was heightened by the male bondage when the school song was sang.

I don’t even remember the school song now! Usually after the school song, the gentlemen would sing a hymn. Of course I don’t remember most of the hymns but I rather remember this little chant that was sang with male passion and gusto. I don’t know why but I was humming to the tune today and it reminded me of what happiness is and why male bondage is an exceptionally unique ritual:

Happiness is where you are and what you want to be,
If you look you're sure to find the rainbow of your dreams,
Tomorrow's fuller than a thousand yesterdays,
With a vision of a new day in your heart.

Like many lessons in high school I never stopped to reflect. Amazing that with so many holes in my memory I can still remember these particular words. I sang the words but never unravelled the meaning. Today i fully understood the meaning.Happiness is where you are and what you want to be.......

Thursday, 17 June 2010

10 worthwhile investments for a man

1.       Watch, not only because the wrist requires an expensive timeless accessory but because a gentleman must always be on time. This is the only mandatory jewellery piece on a man, anything else is just overcompensating for some inherent weakness or simply displaying a knack for distasteful antics

2.       Library, whatever certificates you have accumulated are only an indication of how good you are at preparing for an exam- and not how educated you are.  A man only gains substance by owning a library of books. Fiction is useful but should not define the collection.

3.       Blazer, I have never seen a man who doesn’t look good in a blazer. A Blazer is everyman’s near experience of being a highly decorated 18th century general. Because it’s an investment, bespoke is a must.

My early memory of my father’s towering dapperness was seeing him in a double breasted navy blue blazer. There was something about those six shiny gold crown buttons that every one respected; there was no reason to justify his opinions they were taken as orders!

4.       Vintage car. I am young enough to feel the pressure of the rat race, and doing better than the next guy. What better way to attract young lass than the latest BMW. But the most interesting gentlemen I have ever come across own a classic car. Jaguar 1968 XJK, mustang viper 1968, Aston Martin DB

Admittedly it ages one considerably, but is that not what makes George Clooney sexy.

5.       Soccer team or F1 or breed race horses. Nothing says I have arrived more than owning a soccer team, winning F1 racing cars or a couple of pure breed horses!

6.        Foreign language. I can never forget a time I attended a seminar and the speaker was Japanese, and by way of introduction spoke in Japanese, he had some encrypted message to convey, he challenged the audience to guess what he had said. In the 2000 strong audience of high flyers, a Romanian gentleman stood up and spoke to the speaker in Japanese. This gentleman became the most interesting person in the room.

7.       Hobby.  Because everyman requires his quiet moments, alone far from the world to reflect or just to have a sigh. I remember an uncle who was so obsessive about his garden, he spent his quiet moments in the garden or propagating flowers in the garden shed. No-one was allowed to disturb him, it was just him and the flora. I now understand why, beyond leading and taking care of a family, beyond the demands of a highly successful career and other social activities a man needs to do something that he truly owns, by himself in his own cocoon without disturbances.

8.       Children.  There is a natural inclination for a man to bequeath even just his surname to the next generation. In every culture/society around the world this is a important ritual/tradition especially if the off-spring is male. But how many people have taken the due time and care to think about how their children will turn out.

Your kid’s well being is important, therefore investing in a capable mother for them is important, a trust fund even before their born and ensuring they receive direct tutorship in their education. A governess is important to shield them from the vagaries of mass education.

9.        An adventure: We live in a society were travelling is not as encumbered as it was before. Thanks to the airline folks many of us find it easy to travel to distance lands and experience different cultures. This has become dogma, but few of us invest in an adventure of a life time. The once off, I have been saving up for this for the last 12 years, not just physically, mentally and financially. For example Phileas Fogg  around the world in 80 days.

10.   Tool Kit. Manly dexterity is such a marvel. You never know when you will need a screw driver or a power drill, owning a tool box  is purely functional but a stitch in time saves nine. I have also spotted men with to die for all out silverware Barbecue tool kit, of course there is nothing particularly difficult with a barbecue, but some men have made this into an art.

From a vintage point I observed a jaw dropping performance as this particular dude opened his metal case of tools, the crowd cleared, he pulled his shirt sleeves up, with tools in hand it was a delicate performance- standing ovation all round.

Thursday, 22 April 2010

The boy is doing it in Harare

The Easter holidays were the best I have had in years. I attended the Cape Town Jazz festival, which continues to grow in leaps. Back in 2004, the last show I attended- the festival was still a charming little affair. The years have given it bouts of exuberance and it’s a much larger affair courting fans from all over the globe.

I met 3 of my friends who had made the trek from afar shores- signally how global it has become. Though I enjoyed all the acts, I kept being reminded that the previous year’s show was the best. With nothing to compare with, I ravelled in the exploits of many artists

But, nothing at all prepared me for the Harare Jazz Festival this last Saturday at Harare Sports club. Still dazed in the aftermath of the Cape Town festival, I thought $50 a ticket was a tad too much. I got more than I bargained for, and so did 5,000 other Jazz fans. Tuku kicked off with his late son’s band to a sombre soliloquy of tunes written by his late son- being a novice of his late son’s music I rather thought the lyrics were foretelling a premonition in waiting

If Tuku’s performance was mediocre  ( quite understandable given the circumstances), the crowd was soon jumpstarted by the Sibongile Khumalo. It’s not only the variation of her voice that captures the ear lobes but this larger than life (literally) character did in one act what Mama Makeba did in a show.  The jazzy tapestry experienced was indeed world class.

Of course the night belonged to bra Hugh. The husky voice bellowed, blew the sax, cracked a joke and made hissing sounds of a train heading “ deep deep DEEP, DEEP down the mines of egoli”. The boy was doing it in Harare. I have heard bra Hugh’s music in London and Cape Town, but in Harare he connected with the crowd like no other, reminiscent he did say, of his time in the 80’s in Harare.

Although most of the patrons were local, something in the air told me Harare is back. I suppose people by nature are a herd, waiting for the buzzer to go off and see what Harare is like. In my mind, 10 years from today we shall recount when the turn occurred, I shall argue bra Hugh was the signal. 

Monday, 15 March 2010

Once upon a time in Lagos

My first trip to Nigeria was two years ago to the day. I was full of anticipation, yearning to finally experience a nation I had heard a lot of. I flew into Lagos on Virgin Nigeria from Accra and most of the passengers were Ghanaian and very chatty. On finding out that this was my first trip to Nigeria, they had all sort of advice and warning. “Be careful my son”, a beautiful old Lady I sat next to said to me in her  Ghanaian accent, “thaz people, ummmm”. I nodded my head like any obedient son would; simultaneously clutching the wad of cash in my back pocket and the thickness confirmed it was still all there. I had read and heard about the animosity between the two nations dating back to the 70’s when Ghanaians were thrown out of Nigeria but I was not about to contradict an old granny. She asked where I was from and when I obliged her, her face lit up. Oh my son, she said “I have fond memories in the 60’s of dating one fine young man from your parts.” Her eponymous sweetheart was the best gentleman she had ever met. She went on for the next 20 minutes or so until she exclaimed “funny how he later turned to be such a rogue”. This time it was my eyes that lit up, and I was full attention. “Ladies and Gentlemen welcome to Lagos ” the announcement went, “ oh NO, not now” I whispered in a hiss to myself, the story was just getting interesting.

My host a close friend, a Zambian I went to business school with, traded Chicago for Lagos. “Bhudhi”- my brother, she asked from Chicago “do you think I should take the job?  I was on the other side of the world and of course on a different time zone. She had awaken me from a deep  sleep and I had been listening all along to her rant but frankly her call was not welcomed, I wanted to go back to Naomi and Heidi who were about to agree on something I had kindly requested. “ Yes, yes, yes go for it- if the money is good then go for it.” I hang up and quickly tried to get myself to sleep again- hoping Naomi and Heidi would be waiting. I found no such luck.
And so my trip to Lagos was to see how well my friend had settled after a year and if indeed providence had been kind. She had been brave, I thought to myself. One of her drivers was waiting for me- yes dear reader one of her drivers was waiting for me. He was a well suited rotund fellow and quickly identified me- “SAR” he beckoned, I am here to pick you up complements of madam”. Who is your madam I inquired. He then confirmed his madam by calling her after which I allowed him to carry my luggage.  First time in Lagos SAR? Yes, yes I answered with heightened anticipation, my eyes wide opened as I surveyed all around me. Well “you are very welcome, SAR” he continued, before going into a tirade about how Nigeria got its independence and its history. I had read about all that, and it was the least of my curiosity- “ are those hookers” I broke his tirade, and at the exact moment he made a  quick look over his shoulders  from which I observed the big man smile, and he let out a giggle. YES SAR, his voice changed, now much louder with heightened excitement he spoke effusively about Nigerian women, their enthralling charm that will ensnare even the most devout Muslim after Ramadan. Their immutable charm I found out was not in looks and grace but traditional muti (herbs) and if I sampled one of them I would surely leave my job and settle in Nigeria. I smiled and thought “yes maybe Lagos would finally nail me down”.

Before long we were meandering in Victoria Island.  I was to find out that the trip was shorter than usual because it was one am in the morning. I met my friend, we chatted and before long I was sleeping in the guest bedroom that could easily be the size of my apartment. My friend was living very well indeed.
The Friday morning my friend left for work and told me to get all the rest I needed because that night was going to be a hectic night around Lagos. I found better ways to spend my time… I perused her library and found a couple of books I would read.

Friday night, my friend called a couple of her friends for cocktails at her place. The swanky bankers came. The conversation oscillated around money, travelling ( by the way travelling meant one had been to either New York or London- I overheard someone retort “ frankly if you have been to NY and London, then you can die knowing you have been everywhere”). They also talked about the deals they were working on- and the numbers were mind blowing and made me think about what the heck I was doing with my life. Outside of their jobs every one of them had a side project and it all seemed to be going on well. I must say I felt out of place for a couple of reasons, firstly I did not come from a well known family nor was my family into politics. Secondly I did not have a million dollars in my account. Thirdly I neither drunk nor smoked, this they looked at with derision amidst a puff in the air of Cuban cigar and a sip of Scotland’s’ finest whiskey.
In Lagos, a night out typically involves dropping by 4 or more places. Literally dropping by. The first place we went to was a club owned by Jay Jay Okocha, of the foot-balling fame. There was hive of activity and a long queue of waiting patrons. We did not join the queue but went in through the back entrance. As soon as I went in, I was hit in the face by the sheer glitz and glam in the place. Everyone was dressed to boot and most guys were puffing on cigars and sipping whiskey. I would later find out that Victoria Island is the only place on earth where fake apparel sells for more than the original and nobody complains. The music was loud and the DJ’s taste obnoxious. Certainly not obnoxious enough to kill my curiosity, I wandered off on my own, since my host had met a colleague from work. The most fascinating thing about this particular club was the way guys would literally circle a girl or two, and the girl or two would do the most Beyonce envy booty hoop ever. I tried to ignore, but it was too much, I gave in. And right there in front of me was the most synchronised scandalous live performance I had ever seen. Was this the charm the driver was talking about? I wondered? Before long my friend came to pick me up and off we went to the next club.

I forget the name of the next place but it’s next to the Yacht Club of Victoria Island. This was a much classier club with much older patrons. The highlight with this club as I suppose every club we went to is the club bouncer. Ladies and Gentlemen in Lagos the bouncer is never to be messed with, he carries on his person an AK47. He brandishes this apparatus like it’s a baton stick, and who dare argue with him? I am not an outgoing individual and night life in general tires me quickly so the third and forth clubs more than anything took a toll on me.
After a splendid night around Victoria Island I was ready to go back home and sleep, before the early morning tour of inland Lagos. When we got to my friend’s complex, around 4am, in the fog of early morning dew my heavy eyes were awoken by the sudden screeching tyres as the car stopped and a heavy knock on the car window made me notice the flurry of activity outside. We looked at each other in wonder, what could possibly be the problem? Madam, Madam, an exasperated guard at the complex shouted towards my friend whilst profusely and unconsciously knocking on the car window. “Abomination, abomination madam”, the guard continued to shout. (I kid you not- he used the word abomination- I later found out he had two masters degrees in engineering and accounting). We then found out that the complex had just been robbed by a militia- yes dear reader MILITIA. 
 The smell of gun fire was still in the air, bullets everywhere and the gate was crushed down. We quickly ran to her house and yes they had broken in and took jewellery, laptops and money. This particular militia had expensive tastes. I ran to my room, my clothes were all there but my man bag was missing.  “I can’t see my passport?” Where is my passport- ah it was in my bag along with my cash. I was not worried about the money, laptop and watch, it was my passport I was worried about. Whilst in Accra, I had been warned of travelling with my cards to Lagos, so my cards, apartment keys and a couple of valuable items were locked away in a hotel in Accra. But i had to carry my passport. We ransacked my room looking for my passport- it was not to be found! Now I was in a predicament. I own an exotic passport, with as many visas as there are countries in the world. Secondly, I did not live in my home country, and at the time had been away from my permanent residence country and on a temporary visa in Ghana. What to do?

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Durban with LOVE!

Durban is a lady of sort, whose enamouring charm you acknowledge only when you lie on her bed and she chains you with her arms and legs an embrace you hold onto, long after the fateful night. I still think of you Durban! (If ever you are in Durban be sure to visit the Mangwanani spa at Sibaya)

Seychelles and Mauritius :

I know a lot of people are holiday planning for the year, and I would like to bring to your attention one of the best holiday resorts. It’s hard to decide which one is better Seychelles or Mauritius, the best is both. Plan a joint escapade into a whirlwind of richer and fuller memories and none but your banker will complain. Coco der mer in Seychelles and Le Victoria in Mauritius for the quintessential holiday making on Islands.  Anticipate impeccable service, plenty of sun, sumptuous food (barbeque on desolate small island enclaves) and interesting creatures adorning the shores.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Nairobi demands Peace

My second trip to Nairobi had its moments of reflection, brought back by familiar surroundings. I found myself asking what it is Kenyans need the most. It was written everywhere!
Outside of peace, in Nairobi there is an insatiable need to learn, a quest for knowledge and to be empowered. I have decided to be part of this revolution; taking a career break i am going to be a teacher at a High school somewhere in Africa. Teaching A level economics i hope to pass on a passion i have for capitalism, entrepreneurship and self-determination. We can never fully exhaust the reasons why Africa is in its present predicament but we can start to take ownership of our lives.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Wedding/s in Harare

 "You shall go with me, newly-married bride,
And gaze upon a merrier multitude.
White-armed Nuala, Aengus of the Birds,
Feacra of the hurtling foam, and him
Who is the ruler of the Western Host,
Finvarra, and their Land of Heart's Desire,
Where beauty has no ebb, decay no flood,
But joy is wisdom, Time an endless song.
I kiss you and the world begins to fade." W.B Yeats