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A Place for Everything and Everything in Its Place - Fashionably

By Mustafa Salemwalla on Wed, Jul 04, 2018 @ 09:08 AM

Reticule. Purse. Handbag. The terms basically mean the same thing and each serves the same basic purpose: to hold stuff. However, these practical accessories also fulfill other purposes as accompaniments to fashion, status symbols, and organizational aids. Zawadee offers the Oryx Collection of fine leather handbags that hits the multiple purposes today’s women expect from their practical accessories.

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A Taste of Africa: Gages - Eggplant, Tomato and Onions - Oh My!

By Mustafa Salemwalla on Tue, May 15, 2018 @ 02:46 PM

Getting to know Africa includes experiencing the vastly different - and yummy - expressions of each culture through food.

Gages is a deceptively simple vegetable dish that originates in Sierra Leone. We say "deceptively simple" because the taste is extraordinary!

Topics: Recipes Food
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5 Misconceptions About African Art and Culture

By Penny Baldwin-French on Wed, Apr 25, 2018 @ 02:37 PM

Shop By Regional Map

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Make the Best of What’s Underfoot - Criteria and Caring for Area Rugs

By Mustafa Salemwalla on Mon, Apr 23, 2018 @ 12:57 PM

Area rugs offer many practical benefits, from providing cushion underfoot to warmth to protecting floors from scuffs and scratches to separating cold, hard surfaces from tender bare feet. Area rugs also offer aesthetic value by framing a space and adding color and interest. Of the considerations when purchasing an area rug, two in particular stand out: criteria for selection and caring for the carpet.

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B is for Bowl - The Most Versatile Vessel Ever

By Penny Baldwin-French on Sat, Jan 20, 2018 @ 11:30 AM

Almost every definition of a bowl goes pretty much as follows . . .

a round, deep dish or basin used for food or liquid

But we beg to differ!

Pangolin Bowl Ardmore Collection

Pangolin Bowl
The Ardmore Collection

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T is for Teapot - A Brief (but Fascinating) History

By Penny Baldwin-French on Mon, Jan 08, 2018 @ 08:30 PM

We've been using teapots for thousands of years.
No kidding, thousands!

Ardmore Goose Teapot

Goose Teapot
The Ardmore Collection

 Teapots were invented back in the Yuan Dynasty (in China). The design likely progressed gradually from ceramic kettles and wine pots made of metals. Prior to that, only cauldrons were used to boil tea which was then served in bowls.

By the Ming Dynasty, use of the teapot was widespread in China

Early teapots were small in comparison to what we use today, as they were usually designed for a single tea drinker. Believe it or not, once the tea was brewed, they usually drank it straight from the teapot spout! If I'd done that as a child, my grandmother would have clipped my ear! Different strokes for different folks, indeed.

They might have actually been onto something, as single portions of tea are easier to control with regard to flavour and are easier to repeat consistently.

From the 17th century onward, tea was shipped from China to Europe, along with exotic spices and other luxuries.  Porcelain teapots, often painted in the familiar blue and white we associate with many Chinese ceramics, were also shipped out.  

Here's a fun fact! Because porcelain is completely vitrified, it can stand subjection to seawater without harm. Therefore the teapots could be stowed below deck.  The tea, however, had to be stowed above deck in order to remain dry.

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Got To Go There - Swaziland - One of the Last Remaining Absolute Monarchies

By Penny Baldwin-French on Thu, Dec 28, 2017 @ 08:30 PM

Swaziland is a small, landlocked monarchy in Southern Africa - best known for its wilderness reserves and festivals.

Source:  Creative Commons, Labeled for Reuse

The borders of delightful Swaziland are shared with Mozambique and South Africa. The Lebombo Moutains, Mlawula Nature Reserve and the Hlane Royal National park are all fascinating spots to visit. Diverse wildlife including lions, hippos and elephants can be spotted throughout Swaziland.

Swaziland is known for civility and peacefulness, making it a great place to begin to experience Africa.  

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Got To Go There - The Magic of the KwaZulu Natal

By Penny Baldwin-French on Fri, Dec 01, 2017 @ 11:55 AM

The KwaZulu Natal is about as eclectic a place as you can find. That's part of what makes it so interesting.

Source:  Creative Commons, Labeled for Reuse

Rough and magical, smart and sophisticated, rural and urban, the KwaZulu Natal is a symphony of differences. Shabby suburbs nestle cheek to cheek with upscale malls.  Beautiful beaches contrast with dramatic mountains and dry savannahs.  African life beats a vigorous counterpoint in markets to the quieter and more pastoral settings in the rural areas.

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What's the Appeal of Handmade? A Renaissance of Taste

By Penny Baldwin-French on Mon, Oct 30, 2017 @ 02:13 PM

We encounter handmade products in trendsetting boutiques, and view them as artfully arranged emblems of good taste. So, why do we think that?

Giraffe

Giraffe TeapotThe Ardmore Collection

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Slow and Steady Wins the Race - The Benefits of Slow Fashion

By Penny Baldwin-French on Fri, Oct 27, 2017 @ 11:50 AM

That venerable tale of the tortoise and the hare isn't just an amusing story. It's a lesson in making the right choices - in the long run!

Image Source: Creative Commons, labeled for reuse

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How Natural Fibres Benefit You and Your Planet

By Penny Baldwin-French on Fri, Oct 20, 2017 @ 12:02 PM

Natural fibres are a great advantage when selecting fashion accessories.  Add to that the beauty of hand weaving or knitting and you get gorgeous, long-lasting fashion pieces that are uniquely different.

When production of  fashion accessories also achieves minimal impact on the environment, productive employment and skills training, it is a Win/Win for everyone involved!

Tsandza Handweaving produces some of the most beautiful, gorgeously hued, bespoke quality fashion accessories we've ever seen.

Tsandza Collection

Natural fibres are more comfortable, are less allergic to skin and production processes are less harmful to our environment. All wins as far as we are concerned.

We avoid synthetic fibres as they do not absorb perspiration and, for the most part, have a rough texture and feel we just don't like.

First established in 1979, Tsandza Weaving, formerly known as Rosecraft Weaving, is a social enterprise that produces high quality products, handwoven in pure natural fibres by talented artisans in rural Swaziland.

Consumers seeking ethically produced items that make an impact to a bigger purpose when making their purchase will find "forever presents" that not only represent beauty and skill, but also contribute to a more sustainable future for us all

MADE BY HAND

Every step of Tsandza’s production process is done by hand. From the dying, spinning & weaving to the knotting & tasseling. Even our sewing machines for labelling are manual! This means every item we make is unique and exclusive to you. Our impact on our environment is greatly reduced, and it also means we need many hands, ensuring we continue to be a vital source of training and income generation for many rural women.

It is quite a complex process requiring patience, skill and a lot of work!

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Seven Thousand Years of Skill-Building? A Brief History of Tuareg Silver Jewelry

By Penny Baldwin-French on Mon, Sep 25, 2017 @ 10:53 AM

The Tuareg silversmiths of Azel are a group of African artisans who truly excel at the creation of exquisite fine silver jewelry and leather artifacts. Tuareg history goes back 7 thousand years!

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There are 21 styles attributed to this Cross Of Agadez,
aka The Southern Cross

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Time to Spruce Up for Fall? It's Just Natural!

By Penny Baldwin-French on Fri, Sep 08, 2017 @ 11:16 AM

Fall is nature's second "rejuvenating period". Just like Spring, in the fall our thoughts naturally turn to refreshing, cleaning, sprucing things up.

And there's a psychological history behind this instinct! In our prehistory, it was natural to make sure that everything was safe and in order before cold weather set in. Our intimate connection with nature dictates our behaviour!

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A Tale of Two Slippers

By Penny Baldwin-French on Sat, Sep 02, 2017 @ 11:10 AM

Whether you call them slippers or house shoes, there is just no denying we have an attachment to the warmth and comfort they deliver.

Especially when the days get shorter and the evenings get colder! In fact, I have "seasonal" slippers to suit the temperature all year round.

The word "slippers" comes, of course, from the verb "to slip". As in - slip on your feet. Most think slippers originated in the East but it turns out that almost every culture has had a form of comfy foot gear to wear around the house.

The earliest recorded reference to a slipper was
in the 12th Century - in Vietnam

A Song Dynasty Officer described two different types of slippers with thongs between the toes.

The earliest reference to slippers in the West was about 1478.

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Want a New Look for Fall? Decorate with Accessories!

By Penny Baldwin-French on Thu, Aug 24, 2017 @ 12:09 PM

Decorating with accessories is a terrific way to give your home a little lift - without breaking the bank!

Any designer will tell you that rugs, art, sculptures, throw pillows and blankets can have a considerable influence. The trick is knowing how to use them.

First and foremost, choose quality items. While mass-produced items are plentiful and inexpensive, they aren't really what you want to surround yourself with. One or two quality pieces are far better than a vast array of run-of-the-mill pieces easily found in your local discount décor store. 

Quality home décor accessories will also stand the test of time far better than mass-produced items of inferior manufacture

Look for unique pieces. You're unique - reflect that in your personal environment.

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A stunning wall-mounted Impala
sculpted from recycled steel
is a unique piece you won't find just anywhere!

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Go Ahead - We Dare You - Monkey Around!

By Penny Baldwin-French on Thu, Aug 03, 2017 @ 02:02 PM

How many times (as a child) did you hear "Quit monkeying around"? 

Well, now we're telling you we think you should! The holidays are coming up fast and we can think of no better way to present your lovely holiday culinary creations than on our beautiful one-of-a-kind Mandrill Platter.

We guarantee this platter will be a conversation starter at your holiday table!

Mandrill Platter

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How to throw the best tea party ever? Invite a Hyena!

By Penny Baldwin-French on Wed, Jul 19, 2017 @ 08:10 PM

If you want your guests to "tell the story" about the best tea party they ever attended, invite a Hyena to your table.

A Hyena Teapot from Ardmore Collection is the best conversation starter we've ever dreamt up!

Africa

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I Wish I Was A Giraffe - or at least could sleep like one!

By Penny Baldwin-French on Tue, Jul 04, 2017 @ 10:02 AM

A giraffe sleeps only about two hours per day. Just imagine how much I could get done!

And they are so loved - the world round. The number of visitors to websites featuring the imminent birth of a baby giraffe is just astounding. And, who can forget the unbelievable response to the baby toy 'Sophie the Giraffe"? It was difficult to get your hands on one!

And, how can we forget the ubiquitious TOYSRUS mascot - Geoffrey the Giraffe? My grand-daughter can't get enough of the terrific children's book Giraffe's Can't Dance by Giles Andreae.

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Black History Month: Viola Desmond - Canada's Rosa Parks?

By Mustafa Salemwalla on Mon, May 01, 2017 @ 06:12 PM

We thought you might be interested in a book we've recently read and highly recommend.

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Jacob's Treasures - What a Treasure!

By Penny Baldwin-French on Wed, Mar 08, 2017 @ 01:44 PM

Billed on their website as "a magical experience for big kids and children alike", we have to say we've never seen a more interesting and interactive store!

Located in beautiful Hawkesbury, Ontario (on the Ottawa River and the border of Quebec), Jacob's Treasures is simply amazing. 

Zawadee is proud to count this astounding store as one of our newest retailers of Zawadee products.

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Symbols Jewellery - Trinidad & Tobago - What A Success!

By Penny Baldwin-French on Sun, Feb 12, 2017 @ 01:32 PM

"Jewellery is a living art" says Seema Persad, Co-Founder of Symbols Jewellery in Trinidad & Tobago.

And Seema's business is thriving in the Carribean! At Zawadee, we think her success has a lot to do with her tagline - "Speak from the heart".  Seema does, and it shows!

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Welcome - Debbie Noel - Zawadee's Newest Retailer

By Penny Baldwin-French on Mon, Jan 30, 2017 @ 09:46 AM

"I love clothes and I love to shop", says Debbie Noel, Zawadee's newest retailer.

And her namesake store, Debbie Noel Women's Fashions, is a showcase of Debbie's fashion sense! As she says, her love of shopping is a real asset, as she puts a lot of time into sourcing high quality merchandise for her customers.

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Attention All Retailers! Come meet us at the 2017 Toronto Gift Fair

By Mustafa Salemwalla on Mon, Jan 09, 2017 @ 10:27 AM

We travel the world, searching for beautiful fashion, jewelry, home décor and beverages of African origin or influence to delight your customers!

We are inspired by the rich artistic and cultural heritage that exists in Africa and other parts of the world, represented by a vast array of artisanal groups creating remarkable works of art, jewelry, food and beverage and home décor items.

If you are going to Canada's largest gift fair - please stop by and see us. We're located in fabulous "Artisan's Row", Booth #10828.

And if you're not going, you can still register in our contest and preview our gorgeous products in our online Wholesale Catalog.

Retailers can register for a chance to win one of our 6 exciting prizes
by previewing our Wholesale Catalog

$100 Restaurant Gift Card
$50 Chapters/Indigo Gift Card
$25 iTunes Music Card

$30 Moroccan Lantern
$25 Pashmina-Style Shawl
$130 Masaai Hand Beaded Table Décor

Register for Your Chance to Win

Contest Rules

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A Taste of Africa: Chickpea, Red Pepper & Spinach Curry

By Mustafa Salemwalla on Tue, Aug 02, 2016 @ 01:41 PM

Getting to know Africa includes experiencing the vastly different - and yummy - expressions of each culture through food.

this curry is just the best for hot summer weather!

 Source: Creative Commons, Labeled for Reuse    


Yum! Yum! Yum! This amazing curry dish is just the very best for hot summer weather.  Technically both vegan and gluten free, this fresh tasting curry is a snap to make.

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We Geared Up to Fight MS & Look What Happened

By Penny Baldwin-French on Tue, Jul 26, 2016 @ 01:16 PM


our zawadee-sponsored bike team - spokes & folks - geared up "big time" to fight multiple sclerosis

Riding 150 kilometers in extremely hot temperatures (but hey, they weren't complaining) our Spokes & Folks members (27 of them) raised an astounding $14,000 to help fight MS.  It's no wonder they won the Best Team Spirit award - coveted by the 133 teams in the MS Gear Ride.

Our oldest rider is 67 and our youngest (2 of them) are 10! Despite the heat, everyone displayed amazingly cheerful and cooperative spirits.  Just two flat tyres and one "wonky knee" according to Captain Robert's damage report.

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Talkin' About A Revolution? Power To The Coffee Cup!

By Mustafa Salemwalla on Mon, Jul 11, 2016 @ 10:26 AM


What an incredible idea! 

Every once in a while, someone crops up and sends us something that makes us go, "Yeah, right on!". (You can tell what generation we're from!)

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Are you really drinking coffee?

By Mustafa Salemwalla on Fri, Jun 17, 2016 @ 01:01 PM


Or just a warm, brown beverage?

All kidding aside, we actually have a friend who says just that. Her theory is that if you are only going to have a couple of cups a day, you should truly have the best coffee experience possible.

A self-admitted "coffee snob", she boycotts many of the more popular national coffee chains, claiming that what they sell is "just a warm, brown beverage" but not coffee.

She finds it hard to believe that people who will go to great lengths to buy the best wine for their dollar, don't apply the same logic to the coffee they consume on a daily basis.

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A Taste of Africa: Bran Rusks

By Mustafa Salemwalla on Tue, Jun 07, 2016 @ 01:52 PM

Getting to know Africa includes experiencing the vastly different - and yummy - expressions of each culture through food.

We grew up eating these bran rusks!

They are delicious no matter what age you are. A lovely crunchy treat to enjoy with a good cup of coffee or tea. We call them our version of biscotti.


 Source: Creative Commons, Labeled for Reuse  

Every one of us makes them slightly differently. We have experimented with the dried fruit ingredients. We've tried dried cranberries, blueberries, dried mixed fruit (chopped up), a variety of different types of raisins, dried dates . . . just use your creative culinary imagination! You can omit the dried fruit entirely, but we think they are better with the addition of fruit.

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What (Really) is a Pashmina?

By Mustafa Salemwalla on Mon, Jun 06, 2016 @ 04:10 PM

 Creative Commons, Labeled for Reuse

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The Majestic African Black Panther

By Penny Baldwin-French on Wed, May 18, 2016 @ 05:02 PM

Black panthers are a symbol of courage, strength and personal leadership, and are revered by many throughout the world. 

Because of their rarity, unbridled strength and power, it’s no surprise that these majestic, solitary creatures have woven their way into African mythology.

Afr

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A Taste of Africa: Veggie Cakes

By Mustafa Salemwalla on Tue, May 17, 2016 @ 05:16 PM

Getting to know Africa includes experiencing the vastly different - and yummy - expressions of each culture through food.

We don't know what others call these delicious little patties, but in our house, they're called "veggie cakes". They are vegetarian (maybe even vegan), so make a terrific meal if you're trying to eat less meat. About the consistency of a crab cake, they are very flavourful and relatively easy to make.

We try to have several "meatless" meals per week so this really fits the bill! You have to make sort of a paste with the chickpea flour but it isn't at all difficult.

 Source: Creative Commons, Labeled for Reuse 

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A Taste of Africa: South African Chutney Chicken

By Mustafa Salemwalla on Tue, May 03, 2016 @ 10:00 AM

Getting to know Africa includes experiencing the vastly different - and yummy - expressions of each culture through food.

Three ingredients? Under an hour? This recipe is just not to be believed! So simple. So delicious.

You can use any chutney you like, but we prefer to get Mrs. Ball's Chutney when we can. Any store that sells African (or South African) groceries should have it. For those of you in the Toronto area (like we are) - we suggest a trip to The South African Store in downtown Toronto.  You can also order online from them. They have quite a variety of Mrs. Ball's Chutney for sale.

 Source: Creative Commons, Labeled for Reuse

You can, of course, make your own chutney! Here's a link to a recipe we found at Foodgeeks for a chutney they claim is very similar to Mrs. Ball's. We haven't tried it yet. If you do, please let us know how you like it.

We try to keep these three ingredients on hand pretty much all the time. Because this recipe is so easy and so quick, it makes for a great meal when you're all busy. It's also saved us when people have dropped in and we're "casting about" for something tasty to serve.

Buy chicken thighs or boneless breasts ahead when they are on sale.  Keep at least a couple of jars of chutney and packets of onion soup mix on hand and "Bob's Your Uncle", you've got the making of a great meal.  Add some rice on the side and a little salad and you're good to go.

There is a wide variety of chutney chicken recipes around - just do an internet search and you'll see! We have made this one for years, though and keep returning to it because it's both easy to make and easy to keep ingredients on hand for. Don't mess with perfection, right?

SHOP KITCHEN & TABLEWARE

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A Taste of Africa: Matoke - Plantain Stew

By Mustafa Salemwalla on Mon, May 02, 2016 @ 09:45 AM

Getting to know Africa includes experiencing the vastly different - and yummy - expressions of each culture through food.

While this recipe is often quoted as originating in Uganda, we've encountered all sorts of variations, all over the place! No matter where it comes from, it is a simple, delicious and very appetite-satisfying dish. 

Matoke is a reference to plantain (sometimes known as plantain bananas). This dish can be prepared with or without the meat and beef broth.  It's equally tasty as a vegetarian dish.

 Source: Creative Commons, Labeled for Reuse

As with all our recipes, we often vary this dish. We've added carrots or sweet potatoes or yams, different types of peppers. Used vegetable broth instead of beef broth. Sometimes putting together a stew at our house involves tidying up the fridge. You know - "let's use this up" or "a bit of this and a bit of that". Experimentation with recipes is fun, in our opinion, and often creates a tasty result!

 Source: Creative Commons, Labeled for Reuse

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A Taste of Africa: Thieboudienne - Senegalese Fish and Rice

By Mustafa Salemwalla on Fri, Apr 08, 2016 @ 02:13 PM

Getting to know Africa includes experiencing the vastly different - and yummy - expressions of each culture through food.

Often considered to be the national dish of Senegal - Thieboudienne - basically means fish and rice. Some other African countries refer to this dish as "riz au gras" or "Jollof Rice".

You will see a wide variety of spellings of the name.  Cee bu jen, theibou dienn, tie biou dian, etc. 

Classic recipes for Thieboudienne contain netetou (also sometimes called soumbala or sumbala). Many cooks substitute the more readily available South Asian Fish Sauce.  How much to substitute is really a matter of taste. We use about a tablespoon but you may want to experiment to suit your own taste.

 Source: Creative Commons, Labeled for Reuse

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A Taste of Africa: Ugali - The Polenta of Africa

By Mustafa Salemwalla on Tue, Apr 05, 2016 @ 01:41 PM

Getting to know Africa includes experiencing the vastly different - and yummy - expressions of each culture through food.

If you like Polenta, you're going to just love Ugali! They are both made from cornmeal. Whether an accompaniment to a soup or stew or alongside meat, chicken or fish dishes, Ugali is a delight.

And, it's remarkably simple to make.  Basically just a combination of cornmeal and water, stirred until well thickened.

 Source: Creative Commons, Labeled for Reuse

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A Taste of Africa: Liberian Black-Eyed Pea Soup

By Mustafa Salemwalla on Sun, Mar 20, 2016 @ 03:07 PM

Getting to know Africa includes experiencing the vastly different - and yummy - expressions of each culture through food.

Black-eyed Peas are a big deal in West Africa! They show up in a wide variety of soups and stews.  This particular recipe is very tasty and you can vary the vegetables to change it up a bit.  You can make this recipe "thick or thin"! Add more vegetables and less liquid and it becomes more stew-like.

This recipe is technically vegetarian, although we admit we often substitute chicken broth for the water.  Which makes it decidedly NOT vegetarian. Up to you!

 Source: Creative Commons, Labeled for Reuse

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A Taste of Africa: Chakalaka (South African Vegetable Stir Fry)

By Mustafa Salemwalla on Tue, Mar 08, 2016 @ 02:10 PM

Getting to know Africa includes experiencing the vastly different - and yummy - expressions of each culture through food.

We love the name of this simple vegetable stir fry! Sounds like the lead in for a disco song - Chakalaka - Chakalaka! Can't you just hear it?

You can pair this recipe up with almost anything! It can be a side dish or, as we mostly enjoy it, all on it's own!

Super simple to make and just plain delicious. The trick is to not over-cook the vegetables. We like ours still a bit "crunchy".

Source: Creative Commons, Labeled for Reuse

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Aquamarine Gemstones: Water of the Sea

By Mustafa Salemwalla on Thu, Mar 03, 2016 @ 12:43 PM

The name "Aquamarine" is drived from the Latin word for seawater. While aquamarines range in colour, value has always been placed on the more blue varieties of this gorgeous gemstone. The birthstone for the month of March, Aquamarine is on our list of favourite stones - not only for it's beauty, but also for it's affordability!

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A Taste of Africa: Jollof Chicken & Rice

By Mustafa Salemwalla on Mon, Feb 22, 2016 @ 12:51 PM

Getting to know Africa includes experiencing the vastly different - and yummy - expressions of each culture through food.

We love to read Jamie Oliver's recipes because we always learn something from them other than just the ingredients and instructions. Jamie uses food to tell a story - about where the recipe came from, the diaspora of people and the spread of cultures (and therefore their cuisine). He makes food interesting and we follow him closely.

So, although we'd been making this recipe for years and years, we suddenly thought "why is it called Jollof Chicken & Rice". So we turned to Jamie Oliver to find out why! His explanation follows:

"Jollof rice is more of a concept than a recipe, because it’s found in various guises all over West Africa. Its other name is Benachin, which means “one pot” in the language of the Wolof people who invented it – evidently throwing lots of lovely food in a pan and letting the heat do its thing has always been a popular cheat."

Source: Creative Commons, Labeled for Reuse

The Wolof people ruled in what is now known as Senegal (1360 to 1549). They were quite powerful and wealthy and before their empire disintegrated, The Wolof traded with Europe. Before their kingdom disappeared, The Wolof spread through travel, trading with others and conquests.

Source: Creative Commons, Labeled for Reuse

As a result, Jollof Rice is a popular dish in Ghana - over 2,000 km from The Wolof homeland in Senegal. It is also found in Nigeria and Cameroon. This "spread" of the recipe has resulted in varying ingredients but the basic recipe has stayed pretty much the same.

Jamie Oliver often says that "the devil is in the detail" and recommends using the best ingredients you can find and ensuring you use long grain rice. Jamie's recipe is amazing - we highly recommend checking it out!

Here's an interesting fact! The word Ghana means “warrior king”, so they can probably stand the heat of the Scotch Bonnet Pepper often used in this delicious dish.

Our family recipe doesn't include a Scotch Bonnet Pepper, although we have prepared this dish with one in the past. We warn you, it does add quite a bit of heat!

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Black History Month: Josiah Henson - Author, Abolitionist, Minister

By Mustafa Salemwalla on Fri, Feb 12, 2016 @ 02:02 PM

Josiah Henson was born into slavery in Maryland. He escaped to what was then known as Upper Canada (Ontario) in 1830 and founded the Dawn Settlement (near Dresden, Ontario).

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Getting to Know Africa: The Niger River

By Mustafa Salemwalla on Mon, Feb 08, 2016 @ 01:29 PM

Running for an astounding 2,600 miles through a massive delta, The Niger River is the principal river of West Africa.

The river source is in the Guinea Highlands in southeastern Guinea and the river discharges into the Gulf of Guinea on the Atlantic Ocean.

The Niger is the third longest river in Africa. Only the Nile and the Congo rivers are longer. 

Mud houses on the center island at Lake Debo, a wide section of the Niger River
Source: Wikipedia, Creative Commons, Labeled for Reuse

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Lessons in African Art – 6 Quick Buying Tips

By Penny Baldwin-French on Sat, Feb 06, 2016 @ 12:28 PM

The Rise in Popularity of African Art

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A Taste of Africa: Shuku Shuku (Nigerian Coconut Balls)

By Mustafa Salemwalla on Fri, Feb 05, 2016 @ 10:35 AM

Getting to know Africa includes experiencing the vastly different - and yummy - expressions of each culture through food.

Make these for your sweetie pie!  Now, we have to confess, we've never made these ourselves. Although, we can say with certainty that they are truly delicious. 

This recipe comes to us from a favourite "Auntie". We've enjoyed these special treats since we were quite little!

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Black History Month: Viola Desmond - Canada's Rosa Parks?

By Mustafa Salemwalla on Thu, Feb 04, 2016 @ 04:23 PM

We thought you might be interested in a book we've recently read and highly recommend.

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12 Days of Christmas Contest Winners

By Mustafa Salemwalla on Mon, Jan 11, 2016 @ 01:38 PM

We are ever so pleased to announce the winners of our recent 12 Days of Christmas Contest.

We had a terrific response to this contest from our loyal fans and followers. Please make sure to watch for our upcoming events.  If you haven't already, please sign up for our updates to make sure you don't miss out!

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Dominic Mancuso Group - A Musical Delight

By Mustafa Salemwalla on Wed, Jan 06, 2016 @ 02:04 PM

If you're looking for something to spice up the post-holiday doldrums, look no further. Just a short trip to Niagara-on-the-Lake on January 16th is the perfect choice!

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The Mandingo of Sub-Saharan Africa

By Mustafa Salemwalla on Mon, Jan 04, 2016 @ 11:31 AM

Referred to as Mandingo, Mandinka or Malinke, the Mandingo represent one of the largest ethnic groups in sub-Saharan Africa. Based primarily in West Africa, the population of Mandingo peoples is about 11 million.

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A Taste of Africa: Moroccan Meat Cigars

By Mustafa Salemwalla on Sun, Jan 03, 2016 @ 12:16 PM

Getting to know Africa includes experiencing the vastly different - and yummy - expressions of each culture through food.

Sometimes a cigar isn't just a cigar! These little "wrap-ups" are cigar shaped morsels of goodness and (as we thought everyone would be a bit sick of both turkey and holiday cooking by now) a terrific quick recipe that's sure to please.

The truly ambitious cooks can make their own phyllo dough but, we can assure you, we buy the frozen dough when we make this recipe!  New York Times - Cooking has a great recipe for making your own dough, including a handy video on rolling out the phyllo - something we find rather challenging!

Source: Creative Commons, Labeled for Reuse

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Celebrate the New Year with The Strength and Beauty of Garnet Gemstones

By Mustafa Salemwalla on Wed, Dec 30, 2015 @ 11:13 AM

Garnet – January’s birthstone signifies health, prosperity, perseverance and strength. Derived from the Latin word granatum, which means seed, the stone is known for its resemblance to the pomegranate seed and represents trust and eternal friendship, making it the perfect gift for a cherished friend.

 

 

Topics: birthstones
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12 Days of Christmas Contest

By Mustafa Salemwalla on Wed, Dec 09, 2015 @ 12:47 PM

Enter for a chance to win in our exciting new 12 Days of Christmas Contest

Topics: Holidays Contest
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The Ultimate Cheat Sheet:  Purchasing African Sculptures

By Mustafa Salemwalla on Wed, Dec 09, 2015 @ 11:53 AM


The Popularity of African Sculptures

The way we choose to decorate our homes today is very different than how our parents’ homes were decorated. While art has always been an important part of décor, it is more common today for homeowners to take more leeway, often incorporating unique and eye catching pieces of art. As a result, African sculpture is more frequently encountered in home decor.

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Stylish Tanzanite Gemstones: The December Birthstone

By Penny Baldwin-French on Thu, Dec 03, 2015 @ 11:48 AM

Tanzanite – December’s alternative birthstone - is a gemstone that imparts vision and spirituality. A member of the zoisite mineral family, tanzanite supports compassion, calmness, and peacefulness with its rich, purple-blue hue.

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A Taste of Africa: Leftover Turkey and Peanut Soup

By Mustafa Salemwalla on Sat, Nov 28, 2015 @ 04:02 PM

Running out of ideas for using up all that leftover Turkey?

We make this fantastic Turkey & Peanut Soup, which we began making from an Emeril Lagasse recipe that is just incredibly good.  Emeril uses ground turkey and, yes, at first we did too.

Then, we realized that this soup would be a great way to use up leftover turkey and - VOILA! - our version came to fruition.

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Wahoo! Thank You to Our 10,000 Facebook Fans

By Mustafa Salemwalla on Thu, Nov 26, 2015 @ 11:48 AM

Without taking up too much of your time, we just couldn't stop ourselves from sharing achieving the major milestone of 10,000 Facebook Fans.

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A Taste of Africa: African (Leftover) Turkey Stew

By Mustafa Salemwalla on Tue, Nov 10, 2015 @ 11:20 AM

Getting to know Africa includes experiencing the vastly different - and yummy - expressions of each culture through food.

While Canadian Thanksgiving is past, American Thanksgiving is coming up soon! There are still lots of good buys on turkey at local supermarkets.

Whether made with inexpensive turkey legs or (as we usually do) with leftover turkey, this stew is a great "warmer upper" for those nippy fall days.

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Exploring the Global Migrations of African Peoples

By Penny Baldwin-French on Mon, Nov 09, 2015 @ 01:47 PM

Our blog series exploring the peoples and cultures of Africa has been such a success with our readers, we thought you might be interested in a series of publications available from the Harriet Tubman Institute - about the Global Migrations of African Peoples.

We have found these publications to be immensely interesting as we learn about where African people migrated to (willingly or unwillingly) and, more positively, about the tremendous influences in music, arts and customs they brought to bear.

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The Yoruba of Sub-Saharan Africa

By Mustafa Salemwalla on Wed, Nov 04, 2015 @ 12:19 PM

The Yoruba are excellent craftsmen and are held to be among the most skilled and productive of all of Africa.

They produce remarkable leatherwork, glass, weaving, wood carving and black smithing. As the Yoruba tend to gather to live in densely opulated urban areas, this allows for a centralization of wealth and for a market economy that supports patronage of the arts produced by this prolific group of craftspeople.

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The Versatile and Elegant Citrine

By Penny Baldwin-French on Thu, Oct 29, 2015 @ 12:11 PM

Citrine – November's birthstone (as well as Topaz) – is widely regarded as the “healing quartz”. Derived from the French word “citrin,” meaning lemon, Citrine supports health and vitality, and encourages hope, energy and warmth within the person wearing the stone.

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Topics: Gemstones
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Halloween in South Africa: Ghosts, Goblins and Ghouls, Oh My!

By Penny Baldwin-French on Wed, Oct 28, 2015 @ 12:56 PM

 Halloween is one of the most fun and most exciting times of the year for children, and, in recent years, it has increased in popularity with adults as well. While it is perhaps most popular in the United States, Canada and the Western World, traditions and celebrations vary from country to country. Even though it may not be as popular as in other countries, Halloween is celebrated in South Africa.

Topics: Holidays
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The Tigray of Ethiopia & Eritrea

By Mustafa Salemwalla on Fri, Oct 23, 2015 @ 12:43 PM

Keepers of the Ark of the Convenant?

The Ark of the Convenant was venerated in the First Temple of Jerusalem during the reign of Solomon (circa 970-930). Then, it vanished!

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A Taste of Africa: Harissa Roasted Turkey

By Mustafa Salemwalla on Thu, Oct 15, 2015 @ 02:36 PM

Getting to know Africa includes experiencing the vastly different - and yummy - expressions of each culture through food.

After Thanksgiving, each year, you can often take advantage of post-holiday turkey sales at your local grocers.

Try this North African inspired recipe. Harissa is a spice often used in Moroccan foods. Basically, a hot chili sauce comprised of several varieties of peppers, spices and herbs.  This kicks up the flavour immensely! You can keep any leftover rub in the fridge for a couple of weeks and enjoy it on all sorts of things.  We use it on both chicken and steak.  Delicious!

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The Opal Cloak of Invisibility? - October's Birthstone

By Penny Baldwin-French on Thu, Oct 15, 2015 @ 12:34 PM

Opal is considered the birthstone for people born in October or under the signs of Scorpio and Libra along with pink tourmaline.  The gemstone associated with celebration of the 14th year of marriage, the word opal is believed to come from the Sanskrit word "upala" - which means precious stone.  It may also be related to the Greek word "Opallios" which means to see a change of colour.

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Spy? Humanitarian? Abolitionist? The Amazing Harriet Tubman

By Penny Baldwin-French on Tue, Oct 06, 2015 @ 02:20 PM

It's very hard to define Harriet Tubman. Her dedication and bravery overwhelms us.

Born a slave, beaten and whipped, Harriet Tubman's devout Christianity allowed her to pray for her "master", despite his treatment of her. Harriet's finely honed sense of right and wrong steeled her resolve and ultimately she escaped to Philadelphia. 

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A Taste of Africa: Spicy African Chicken Stew

By Mustafa Salemwalla on Tue, Oct 06, 2015 @ 12:02 PM

Getting to know Africa includes experiencing the vastly different - and yummy - expressions of each culture through food.

There's just nothing like a hot, satisfying bowl of stew to cheer everyone up as the weather turns cold. This is our "go to" recipe for the fall season.

Topics: Recipes Food
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Food for the Soul!

By Mustafa Salemwalla on Tue, Sep 22, 2015 @ 12:59 PM

If you're looking for something fun and fantastic to do, please join us at Food for the Soul.  Great food, great music, great products.  All round fun for the entire family.  See you there!

Topics: Music Food Events
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Celebrate the Sounds of Africa: Mother of Soul

By Mustafa Salemwalla on Fri, Sep 04, 2015 @ 12:41 PM

Join Dominic Mancuso & Chendy Leon to explore the rich musical influences of Africa. The soulful sounds of these extraordinary musical explorers - unplugged - is delightfully entertaining.

Zawadee - Bring Africa Home is pleased to present Juno and Canadian Folk Music Award Winner Dominic Mancuso and his good friend and collaborator Chendy Leon - an extraordinary percussionist who has worked with a long list of internationally acclaimed artists, including Jesse Cook, The Parachute Club and Sultans of String.

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A Taste of Africa: Moroccan Chickpea Stew

By Mustafa Salemwalla on Wed, Sep 02, 2015 @ 03:32 PM

Getting to know Africa includes experiencing the vastly different - and yummy - expressions of each culture through food.

This super simple stew is so tasty you will make it over and over again.  We often do a double batch and enjoy it for several meals.

The recipe calls for 1 teaspoon of garam masala which is a mixture of a variety of spices.  AllRecipes has a failsafe garam masala recipe.  You can buy it pre-mixed, but it is so easy and economical to make it yourself.

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The History and Mystery of Sapphire - The September Birthstone

By Penny Baldwin-French on Sat, Aug 29, 2015 @ 01:13 PM

Sapphires get their name from the Latin word sapphirus which means blue.  Often referred to as "the gem of the heavens" or the "celestial gem", sapphires mirror the colour of the sky at certain times of day.  

Rubies are the red version of the mineral corundum - just like sapphire!

Topics: Gemstones
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Getting to Know Africa: The Magnificent Serengeti

By Penny Baldwin-French on Mon, Aug 24, 2015 @ 10:53 AM

Take a Photo Safari through Serengeti National Park

When you think of an African safari, chances are images of the Serengeti spring to mind.  Nothing quite imbues the grandeur of Africa and its wildlife as the vast open plains of the Serengeti. 

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A Taste of Africa: Easy Peasy - Chicken Marrakesh in the Slow Cooker!

By Mustafa Salemwalla on Mon, Aug 17, 2015 @ 12:04 PM

Getting to know Africa includes experiencing the vastly different - and yummy - expressions of each culture through food.

Although the temperature is an astounding 87 degrees Fahrenheit today, we looked at the calendar and realized that September - and back to school time - is just around the corner.  In our house, we get much busier between work and school and everything else, so the slow cooker is our good friend!

Chicken Marrakesh hails from (obviously) Morocco.  It is a hearty, filling dish and super easy when prepared in the slow cooker. There are a number of online recipes for the slow cooker but don't hesitate to experiment.  For example, AllRecipes and food.com both have a terrific recipe which calls for garbanzo beans.  We use red kidney beans, or, frankly, whatever we have in the cupboard.  Quite by accident, we ended up using black beans, and the results were quite delicious!

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We're So Excited and We Just Can't Hide It! Bravo Niagara:The North Star Festival

By Mustafa Salemwalla on Fri, Aug 14, 2015 @ 02:26 PM

Zawadee - Bring Africa Home is pleased to announce we're going to be part of Bravo Niagara! - The North Star Festival: Voices of Freedom. Niagara-On-The-Lake - October 2-4, 2015.

Celebrating and honouring the courageous freedom-seekers who followed the North Star to Niagara - a terminus of the Underground Railroad, this inaugural festival showcases the sights, sounds, history and tastes of the Niagara Region's rich black history and African origins.

Great music, fascinating history, mouth-watering food and a boat cruise down the Niagara River. Entertaining, fun and educational, this festival is a terrific experience for the entire family!

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A Taste of Africa: Sambal - A Fresh Tasting Side Dish

By Mustafa Salemwalla on Tue, Aug 11, 2015 @ 01:31 PM

Getting to know Africa includes experiencing the vastly different - and yummy - expressions of each culture through food.

Sambal is the perfect summer side to accompany almost any dish. Fresh and flavourful, this lovely combination is easy to prepare. Grated carrots and apples pair up with garlic, ginger and rice wine vinegar to produce a tasty slaw.

There are many varieties of Sambal, showing up from Sri Lanka to South Africa, incorporating different ingredients - cucumber, tomato, onion and even pineapple!  Most Sambals have a common trait - they are crisp and fresh versions of a slaw salad.

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A Taste of Africa: Chicken in Spicy Red Sauce

By Mustafa Salemwalla on Sun, Aug 02, 2015 @ 11:00 AM

Getting to know Africa includes experiencing the vastly different - and yummy - expressions of each culture through food.

Spicy Ethiopian Red Sauce has long been a favourite in our family.  You can prepare the spice blend ahead and use it on all sorts of things.  We use it to flavour salmon, chicken breasts or thighs, steaks or even on shrimp.

We guarantee you'll love this dish.  Some recipes we've seen suggest a dollop of yogurt on top just before serving.  It is delicious!

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The Fascinating History of Peridot - The August Birthstone

By Penny Baldwin-French on Thu, Jul 30, 2015 @ 02:24 PM


Peridot has been the official August Birthstone since 1912 but its history goes back much further than that!  The name comes from the French word ``peritot`` - which means gold - likely because the stone can vary toward the colour gold. Peridot is also given to celebrate a 16th Wedding Anniversary.

For any Leo in your group of friends and family (or, for that matter, anyone who likes Peridot), this collection of Peridot history, myth and lore would be a great accompaniment to the gift of this beautiful semi-precious gemstone.


 

 

Topics: Gemstones
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A Taste of Africa: Peri Peri African Chicken - A Perfect Summer Dish

By Mustafa Salemwalla on Tue, Jul 28, 2015 @ 11:30 AM

Getting to know Africa includes experiencing the vastly different - and yummy - expressions of each culture through food.

Spelled "peri peri" in Africa, Piri piri sauce (used as a seasoning or marinade) is Portuguese in origin.  Peri Peri African Chicken is popular in Angola, Namibia, Mozambique and South Africa.  We say you can't go wrong with this combination of ingredients!  Yum Yum, indeed.

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Spokes and Folks Ride to End Multiple Sclerosis

By Mustafa Salemwalla on Fri, Jul 17, 2015 @ 02:19 PM

Zawadee - Bring Africa Home is pleased as punch to sponsor The Spokes and Folks Bike Team in this admirable pursuit.

And we also want to do a little bragging while we're at it.

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A Taste of Africa: No We're Not Ftat. We just like to eat 'em!

By Mustafa Salemwalla on Mon, Jul 13, 2015 @ 04:14 PM

Getting to know Africa includes experiencing the vastly different - and yummy - expressions of each culture through food.

Actually, this summer our bike riding has pretty much eliminated the winter love handles!  That said, we simply love "ftat", which is a simple flat bread.  Easy to make, can be stored for up to a week and pairs well with lots of different meals.

Ftat is a tasty addition to pretty much any summer meal and is often served with salad. Usually this "cooked on the stove top" flatbread is just roughly torn up and either covered with soups, stews or salad, or is used as a "dipper" for a variety of foods. Many cultures have similar recipes.

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Getting to Know Africa: The Okavango Delta

By Mustafa Salemwalla on Mon, Jul 13, 2015 @ 12:24 PM

The Okavango Delta:  Gorgeous Lushness in the Desert

 In southern Africa, the Kalahari desert—a large, semi-arid, sandy savanna—stretches through much of the country of Botswana.  There is only one river in this area—the Okavango. 

River deltas typically lead to the sea, but the Okavango never quite makes it there.  Instead, it dumps its water onto open land, flooding the savanna with much-needed water for the surrounding plants and wildlife.

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A Taste of Africa: We're Coocoo for Kuku Paka

By Mustafa Salemwalla on Mon, Jul 06, 2015 @ 02:10 PM

Getting to know Africa includes experiencing the vastly different - and yummy - expressions of each culture through food.

We're (as the headline suggests) absolutely coocoo for Kuku Paka.  What's that you say?  Simple - Coconut Chicken Curry.

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Getting To Know Africa: Victoria Falls - Mosi-oa-Tunya

By Mustafa Salemwalla on Thu, Jun 25, 2015 @ 01:33 PM

It's breath-taking! No wonder this majestic site is also known as "Smoke That Thunders".

The spray shoots over 400 meters in the air and can be seen from 30 kilometers away. It is twice the height of Niagara Falls.

There’s no doubt about it.  Victoria Falls is massive and awe-inspiring. 

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A Taste of Africa: Ngege (Tilapia) in Groundnut Sauce

By Mustafa Salemwalla on Mon, Jun 22, 2015 @ 02:13 PM

Getting to know Africa includes experiencing the vastly different - and yummy - expressions of each culture through food.

We love Tilapia and this simple, straightforward version is easy to make. African cuisine uses peanuts in a variety of different ways to create tasty culinary treats.  This one will become a favourite, we're sure!

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Getting to Know Africa: Mount Kilimanjaro

By Mustafa Salemwalla on Tue, Jun 16, 2015 @ 01:37 PM

When you think of the unparalleled natural beauty of Africa, Mount Kilimanjaro no doubt springs to mind. 

Located in northern Tanzania, near the town of Moshi, Mount Kilimanjaro’s snow-capped peak juts up dramatically from the midst of a vast savanna.  It’s made up of three volcanic cones—Kibo, Mawenzi and Shira.

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The Himba of Namibia

By Mustafa Salemwalla on Mon, Jun 08, 2015 @ 01:05 PM

In the harsh desert environment of the Kunene region in Namibia, live the Himba People. 

Despite the modern world creeping ever closer, the Himba have resisted change and preserved their own identity and rich culture. 

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Getting To Know Africa Series: The Journey to Aldabra Atoll

By Penny Baldwin-French on Wed, Jun 03, 2015 @ 02:21 PM

Hundreds of kilometers off the coast of Madagascar exists a special place, which has remained relatively untouched by humans. 

There are numerous islands scattered in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Africa, and among these is the Aldabra Atoll.  This island ecosystem—which belongs to the Seychelles—consists of four islands surrounding a large shallow lagoon.

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African Wild Dogs: A Beautiful Animal on the Brink of Extinction

By Penny Baldwin-French on Fri, May 22, 2015 @ 01:38 PM

There are thousands of animals currently on the endangered species list, many of which call Africa home.  One such animal fighting for its survival is the often misunderstood, African wild dog.

The African wild dogs’ numbers are dwindling fast.  They once roamed much of the continent, but today can only be found in a few small pockets scattered throughout Africa.  It’s estimated that there may be as few as 3,000-6,000 left.

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Get To Know Africa Series: Wildlife Abounds In the Kenyan Lake System of the Great Rift Valley

By Penny Baldwin-French on Sat, May 09, 2015 @ 06:48 PM

Imagine seeing upwards of a million and a half vibrant-colored flamingos congregated on the shores of a single lake.

Well, it’s not an uncommon occurrence in the Kenyan Lake System of the Great Rift Valley.

The Kenyan landscape is dotted with 64 lakes.  And nestled near the equator are three very special lakesLake Bogoria, Lake Nakuru and Lake Elementaita.

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Get To Know Africa Series: The Unbelievable Beauty of Cape Floristic

By Penny Baldwin-French on Fri, May 01, 2015 @ 02:27 PM

About 25 miles south of the bustling city of Cape Town, tucked near the southern tip of South Africa, is one of the most gorgeous and unique displays of plant life in the world. 

The Cape Floristic Region is one of just six designated floral kingdoms worldwide.  Africa is proudly home to 129 World Heritage sites, spread over 37 African countries.

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Living On The Brink: The Omo Valley Tribes of Ethiopia

By Penny Baldwin-French on Sun, Apr 26, 2015 @ 06:28 PM

The Omo Valley in southern Ethiopia is as picturesque as it comes.  Hills, mountains, rivers, graceful waterfalls, jungles and numerous exotic wild animals and plants all converge in this one area. The grand Omo River snakes through the region emptying in Lake Turkana at the Kenyan border. 

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Serval Cats: Africa's Lesser-Known Big Cat

By Penny Baldwin-French on Tue, Apr 21, 2015 @ 01:31 PM

Africa is home to an incredible array of fascinating animals—among them many of the world’s most majestic big cats. 

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Back In Time: The Hadzabe People of Tanzania - A Photo Journey

By Penny Baldwin-French on Thu, Apr 16, 2015 @ 02:55 PM

Imagine a society with no warfare, no rules, no official leaders, no known history of famine and relatively no personal possessions; a place where people truly live in the here and now. 

Well, such a place still exists.

In northern Tanzania—in one of the harshest environments on the planet—live the Hadzabe people.  The Hadzabe are a small indigenous ethnic group, numbering fewer than 1,000. 

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The Maasai Olympics: Replacing Hunting for Lions with Hunting for Medals

By Mustafa Salemwalla on Fri, Mar 27, 2015 @ 03:43 PM

 "This Maasai Olympics has been the greatest celebration of Maasai culture I have ever attended,” - Katoo Ole Metito (Maasai), Minister of Internal Security, Government of Kenya.

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The Zulu Kingdom: Click Speaking, Miriam Makeba and More!

By Penny Baldwin-French on Thu, Mar 19, 2015 @ 03:54 PM

 

The Zulu (pronounced ZOO-loo) people are one of the most well-known groups in Africa, most notably for their unique style of speaking. Descendants of the Nguni-speaking people, they are known for their "click" speaking and singing.

Topics: Drums Music Zulu
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Africa - The Birthplace of Coffee

By Penny Baldwin-French on Tue, Mar 03, 2015 @ 04:15 PM

Many of us won’t even consider starting the day without our daily jolt of coffee. 

For centuries, people all over the world and from all walks of life have enjoyed sipping this tasty, caffeinated beverage.

 

But coffee is more than a simple drink.  Its social aspect throughout history cannot be denied.  Sipping a cup of coffee is a ritualistic experience for some.  Coffee houses throughout the ages have provided a place for people to share art, poetry, music, politics and simple camaraderie.

Topics: coffee
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Do You Know Where the Angora in Your Scarf or Shawl Comes From?

By Penny Baldwin-French on Wed, Feb 11, 2015 @ 03:51 PM

With a crisp chill in the air and snow under our feet, many of us are searching our wardrobes for something to wear that will increase warmth without making us look like the Michelin Man!

Do you ever wonder where the Angora fabric in your winter sweater and scarves comes from? You may be surprised!

Topics: Fashion
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Benefits of Bamboo Fabrics: How Bamboo Becomes a Scarf, Shawl or Cowl

By Mustafa Salemwalla on Sun, Feb 08, 2015 @ 07:05 PM

While many people commonly associate bamboo with home décor items, mats, furniture and different types of art, there is a growing trend in the fashion industry as more and more clothing designers are using bamboo fabric rather than cotton. Our bamboo scarves and cowls are a great example!

Topics: Textiles Fashion
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Soapstone Carvings by the Kisii People of Kenya

By Penny Baldwin-French on Tue, Jan 20, 2015 @ 02:48 PM

African carvings have become very popular décor items in recent years. With people taking more of an interest in global art forms, and with the rise in popularity of abstract sculptures, this type of art is popping up in homes, offices and galleries across North America.

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A particular type of African carving that is particularly alluring are handmade soapstone carvings from Kenya. While soapstone has been used for years as a carving material, it is the Kisii stone that is most desirable.

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Serengeti Migration: Examining the Path of the African Zebra

By Penny Baldwin-French on Fri, Jan 16, 2015 @ 02:17 PM

Each year, millions of Serengeti wildebeests migrate across the African continent. But they are not the only ones. A number of different groups of animals move throughout Africa in a similar pattern each year, with the goal being to find water to drink and land to graze.

Zebras are one of the largest of the secondary groups that are part of the Serengeti migration each year. In fact, more than 200,000 zebras participate in this amazing journey each year.

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The History of Boxing Day: South African Day of Goodwill

By Penny Baldwin-French on Sat, Dec 20, 2014 @ 12:36 PM

Similar to Black Friday in the United States, Boxing Day, which is held on the day after Christmas, is one of the most popular shopping days in Canada and in other parts of the world.

It’s a day where deal seekers are out en masse, looking to take advantage of huge sales. It’s a day where millions of Canadians get up early, it’s almost impossible to get a parking spot at your local mall, and there are line ups to get into stores – all in hopes of getting a smoking deal on a TV, buy that gift they didn’t get for Christmas, or to cash in their gift cards.

Topics: Holidays
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The Green Belt Movement: Making A Difference One Tree At A Time

By Penny Baldwin-French on Tue, Dec 09, 2014 @ 01:13 PM

“When we plant trees, we plant
the seeds of peace and hope.”

The Green Belt Movement (GBM) is an environmental organization, based in Kenya, which seeks to empower communities to conserve the environment. It was founded in 1977 by Professor Wangari Maathai as an offshoot of the National Council of Women of Kenya (NCWK) in response to the requests of rural Kenyan women. These women noticed a number of environmental issues that were posing a threat to the African environment, namely the drying up of streams, unsecured food supplies.

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The Tuareg: Nomadic Silver Craftsmen of Africa

By Penny Baldwin-French on Sat, Nov 29, 2014 @ 02:22 PM

Tuareg culture is rich in history and tradition.  A semi-nomadic Berber people, the Tuareg inhabit a large area of the middle and western Sahara and travel throughout Algeria, Mali, Niger and as far as Libya, Morocco, Tunisia and Nigeria.  

In fact, Tuareg people don't perceive the Sahara as one desert, but as many.  They call the Sahara "Tinariwen" which means "the deserts".  The Tuareg language is spoken by more than 1 million people.

Extraordinary silversmiths, the Tuareg produce some of the most unique silver jewelry in the world. 

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The Magnificent Serengeti Migration: African Wildlife

By Penny Baldwin-French on Tue, Nov 18, 2014 @ 03:54 PM

Commonly referred to as one of the great wonders of the world, the migration of african wildlife over the Serengeti is one of the most beautiful things to see in Africa.

The Serengeti wildebeest migration is a movement of vast numbers. The wildebeest are accompanied by large numbers of zebra, gazelle, eland and impala along their journey. The groups of animals move in a similar pattern throughout the year, making it a continual process as they are constantly looking for fresh land to graze and high quality water sources.

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Help Stop Poaching In Africa – What You Need to Know

By Penny Baldwin-French on Mon, Nov 10, 2014 @ 03:47 PM

Most people have probably heard about the issues with poaching in Africa, and you may have even seen some of the images in National Geographic or on the Internet or television.

What most people fail to realize, though, is how brutal and serious an issue poaching actually is.

Illegal wildlife trade is a $19 billion per year industry – something that is causing some of the most endangered species on earth to reach critically low levels. Without action, many of these species could become extinct a lot sooner than you think.

Source: http://www.janegoodall.org/media/photos/gregoire-gallery

Topics: poaching
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The History of Black Friday: Shop Bring Africa Home for up to 70% Off

By Penny Baldwin-French on Fri, Nov 07, 2014 @ 02:37 PM

 

 

Black Friday, the day after the Thanksgiving holiday in the United States, has become a cultural phenomenon.

It’s the biggest shopping day of the year for retailers and shoppers in the U.S.

We have all seen the images of people lining up for days in advance of huge sales that only happen once per year. We have also seen the crazy videos of people fighting over items, and the mass crowds in stores that make you wonder if it’s worth the trouble. The sales numbers suggest that people in the US (and increasingly, in Canada) believe the crowds and line ups are worth the deals.

Topics: Black Friday
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This Started Out As A VERY Different Blog About Evoking Humanity

By Penny Baldwin-French on Thu, Oct 23, 2014 @ 07:38 PM

As those of you who follow us (and thanks for doing so) know, we recently announced our collaboration with Dominic Mancuso Group (and others), beginning a new movement - Evoking Humanity.

Evoking Humanity is an effort undertaken to increase global harmony by sharing (and listening to) each others stories - our "truths".  It is an open invitation to engage in celebrating each other's cultures and experiences.

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A Guide to Family Tree Style Makonde Sculptures

By Penny Baldwin-French on Tue, Oct 21, 2014 @ 08:43 PM

 One of the most popular and fascinating forms of Makonde art is sculpture – especially Makonde Family Tree sculptures. These pieces have become extremely popular today with art collectors and homeowners alike. Considering they come in many shapes, sizes, and types of carvings, it’s not surprising they are popping up all over the world.

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Homowo – The African Festival of the Rains - Another Lovely Way to Show Thanksgiving

By Penny Baldwin-French on Thu, Oct 09, 2014 @ 01:12 PM

Thanksgiving is a celebration that is observed in a select few countries around the world. However, while it is not a universal celebration, many other countries and regions do share similar festivals and celebrations. In Africa, it is known as Festival of the Rains or the Homowo Festival.

Topics: Traditions
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The Increasing Popularity of Drumfests Around the World

By Penny Baldwin-French on Mon, Oct 06, 2014 @ 12:37 PM

Drums have been around since the dawn of time

They are deeply rooted in history, spirituality, tribal ceremonies, and, of course, music. Every culture has a unique drumming history. Many primitive cultures used drums to celebrate battle victories and for rituals. Others used drums for worship as well as for music. The drum permeates the history of many cultures.

 

Topics: Drums Music
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Egyptian Papyrus: Fascinating Stories for Your Walls!

By Mustafa Salemwalla on Tue, Sep 16, 2014 @ 11:04 AM

The art of Egyptian Papyrus paintings brings the past alive - depiciting daily life, mythology, gods and goddesses and momentous historical events.  But, it was almost lost forever!

 

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King Ramses at The Battle of Kadesh

Topics: Egyptian Art
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This Young Man Is A Shining Example: How An 11 Year Old Helped In The Fight Against Multiple Sclerosis

By Penny Baldwin-French on Mon, Aug 18, 2014 @ 09:10 PM

"Don't tell me the sky's the limit when there are footprints on the moon"
(Paul Brandt).

photo credit: ~Brenda-Starr~ via photopin cc

Zawadee - Bring Africa Home sponsored the Spokes & Folks Team in the recent London to Grand Bend "Gear Up to End MS" ride.  Doing so was a life-enriching experience for our entire Zawadee family.

Topics: Fund Raising
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The Fight Against Multiple Sclerosis - How 1,710 Cyclists Raised 1.34 Million Dollars in One Weekend

By Penny Baldwin-French on Thu, Aug 07, 2014 @ 10:22 AM

The Fight Against Multiple Sclerosis – How 1,710 cyclists raised 1.34 million dollars in 1 weekend!

It seems unbelievable but it is indeed true. 

Topics: Fund Raising
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Zawadee Gears Up to Help End Multiple Sclerosis

By Penny Baldwin-French on Wed, Jul 16, 2014 @ 05:27 PM


Zawadee - Bring Africa Home sponsors Spokes and Folks Team

An astounding 1,714 cyclists on 143 teams will come together on July 26th-27th, 2014 to take part in a ride that will make a difference - Gear Up to End MS - Grand Bend to London, Ontario and back - 150 km. Proceeds raised fund both world-class research and innovative programs and services across Canada. 

Topics: Fund Raising
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7 Signs You Should Invest in Makonde Art

By Penny Baldwin-French on Fri, Jul 04, 2014 @ 02:53 PM

One of the most interesting forms of African art - one that we are seeing more and more in homes around the world - is Makonde artwork and sculpture. It is the visual appeal and abstract nature of the hand carvings especially that intrigue people, making these pieces very desirable in both home and office décor.

About Makonde Art

Makonde art has become popular in Western culture because of the fascinating nature of the pieces and the history of the Makonde culture.  The Makonde peoples from Mozambique and Tanzania are known for their hand carved wood pieces in the global artistic community.

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Topics: Makonde
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More than $20,000 for Moving Forward’s Next Step Program!

By Penny Baldwin-French on Tue, Jun 10, 2014 @ 10:49 AM

It was an evening of music and movement at Moving Forward’s Moroccan Nights Gala last Friday night as hundreds gathered to celebrate and honor Marie Fiorellino Di Poce, founder of ETA Vaughan Women’s Shelter & Outreach Centre.  

Zawadee - Bring Africa Home was pleased to participate in this worthwhile event.

We spent an enjoyable evening talking to gala participants about our artwork, jewelry, sculpture and home decor.  Our lovely handcrafted African wildlife and Hand Beaded Maasai Table Decor were highly popular! Our Maasai Table Decor benefits both street children and women in need of employment through the Arusha Street Children Project.  

Topics: Fund Raising
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Fascinating Artisans of the Bazaruto Archipelago of Mozambique

By Penny Baldwin-French on Sat, May 31, 2014 @ 11:43 AM

The Bazaruto Archipelago is a region in Mozambique consisting of a group of six islands, just off the mainland coast of Southeast Africa.

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ENTER THE WORLD OF THE MAKONDE SHETANI

By Mustafa Salemwalla on Tue, Apr 29, 2014 @ 06:23 AM

There has been resurgence in the popularity of African art, especially when it comes to wood carvings and traditional African works of art. When most people envision African art, they are quite often thinking about the beautiful hand carvings created by the Makonde of Tanzania and Mozambique.

Topics: Makonde
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