Hazel Matebwe


Music is life! It is one of the things that bring people from different backgrounds and cultures together just like food and sports. As for me, l can say that music is part of my daily routine. l cannot spend a day without listening to music and l feel like l am not the only one who feels this way especially about Afro beats – which I think has given African culture a platform in the West.

I think music has contributed mainly to the evolution of the African culture globally and l can say this because l remember when l was so young, l used to watch music channels on television where they played only American songs – and if you knew some of these songs people thought that you were actually cool. However, as l grew a bit older – let’s say my high school days, l started noticing African music being played on well recognised channels like MTV and Channel O. And now some of you can totally agree that African music is now trending in the whole world. It is actually now normal to see African music being appreciated by everyone in the world.

My fav artist… 😊

Nowadays, so many artists from the Western countries are taking their time to collaborate with African artists. As much as it has become a thing now, still l think l am not the only person who gets so excited  to see all artists from the whole world collaborating. Through our music, people now want to know more about Africa, some even visit Africa and some even appreciate the culture too. Afro beats has become a thing now that you see well-recognised international artists collaborating with African artists. Take for instance the Beyonce’s Lion King Album that came out a few months ago, on which she collaborated with the likes of Tiwa Savage, Burna boy, Shatta Walle and other African artists. On the album she mainly talks about celebrating the black culture and skin too. Afro beats have become a thing; l can only imagine how it would be like to go to the club and not hear any Afro jams – that would be a shock!

Afro beats has contributed to bringing people together, we see people from different nations coming together making great music. It is really a vibe because even if l don’t speak French l always find myself singing along to French songs – even when l have no idea what they are saying. For example, some of my favourite artists are French speaking Africans like Aya, Dadju, Fally Ipupa who have also gone international. It’s also the same with how people who can’t speak English but you hear them singing along to English songs word by word. There is something about music that brings people together, like think about how Hollywood celebrities are now even tracing their African roots and some of them are even taking their time to visit African countries. This shows how the music industry has opened a wide door for blacks to really know their roots. This really makes me feel happy to know that people no longer view Africa as a jungle, but rather a beautiful place with beautiful people through the love they have for our music.

To conclude, l would say that whoever came up with this music genre is a genius because Afro beats have contributed to bringing out the African culture to the world and l am so proud of some of the hardworking African artists like Wizkid, Mr Eazi, Burna boy, Tiwa Savage and many more who have made it to the international music standards. Because of their authenticity with their music l think they have contributed so much to the uprising of the African cultures to the world. All l can say is I love Afro beats and l think if you are not a fan yet, just take your time to listen to these songs because these artists are really doing “the most” they are really coming with hits and bangin’ tunes y’all!

Makadii Zvenyu! It’s another week and I’m back again. Hope you all had a great weekend? From the title of this write up, you already know what’s on my mind today. So, what is financial literacy? According to Wikipedia, “Financial literacy is the possession of the set of skills and knowledge that allows an individual to make informed and effective decisions with all of their financial resources.” Yet, for those living on the margins of society where bread and butter issues are all they are worried about, ideas such as financial literacy can feel like somewhat of a luxurious thought. This is why I will try to show how financial literacy is important for everyone – especially those of us who loves to travel.

Financially literate people enjoy life on a normal budget without having to nag their parents for money. And if there is anything I have learnt about African parents, better yet Zimbabwean parents, it is that they don’t like lending money to a grown man or woman!

The ability to use knowledge and skills to make effective and informed money management decisions is nowadays among most people’s goal and the call to teach this skill to youths, is currently at the forefront, making it somewhat of a trend. Also, the influence of social media platforms like Instagram, has spiked interests in travelling, making it a trend.

Growing up in a very small city in Zimbabwe I will admit that my life was simple and that I had a decent upbringing. I did not grow up in a fancy lifestyle but l do remember how l wished to see the world. I remember how my mother emphasized that we had to save money for local trips. So whenever I wished to visit a local attraction which was just a taxi away I would sometimes foot my own bills.

I was still very young at the time. Fast forward to 2019 and l am still using some of the skills my mother taught me; writing down every penny that l use so that l can be able to track my finances, as well as to distinguish between priority trips and luxurious trips. I at least try my best to gauge which places and activities I want to do in the European city I stay. Like I said, I just don’t visit a place – I list, determine the benefits I can get from each visit, and then execute!

In London, but I never got to see the Queen…

Apart from travelling, I also use financial literacy to survive the foreign city. The responsibilities that come with moving out of one’s parents’ house, worse still, one’s continent are a lot. ‘It’s a cold world outchea’ (Excuse my French but I mean it) and experience has taught me that it is mostly those who have financial discipline that can survive this curve. Financially literate people enjoy life on a normal budget without having to nag their parents for money. And if there is anything I have learnt about African parents, better yet Zimbabwean parents, it is that they don’t like lending money to a grown man or woman!

Prince Donnell, the CEO of JumpingJack Tax wrote in a tweet on November 2, 2019, that parents should teach their families about the importance of financial literacy. He goes on to state how wealth is not actual ‘money’ itself but also the knowledge and wisdom to handle it. Donnell goes further to encourage families to teach members how to manage money effectively. That begs the question. Does this mean that only wealthy people are the only ones who should learn about handling money? Or are they the only ones who can afford to explore different parts of the country or world? I don’t think so. In fact, basing on my childhood experience of saving every small penny, I have learnt that even those who earn little can save and travel – be it for a honeymoon, a baecation in Mauritius or a road trip across the border. The secret lies in saving, being prudent – simple financial literacy.

Here are things you can cut on to save up

  1. Entertainment: Saving requires sacrifices. Try reducing the amount of money you spend on gaming, clubbing and even data
  2. Transport: It’s not every place you have to drive to. Take a walk or use the tram. It’s  cheaper, great for the environment and keeps you fit too – it’s good exercise.
  3. Takeaway: We all love food but takeout is expensive. Cut on your takeout spending and out those coins towards your baecation account.

I hope these tips will help your save up for your next big local or international trip. Who knows we might run into each other someday on a trip.

Ndini wenyu Hazel. Catch you next week peeps.

Mama could have taught Prince Donnell a thing or two…

Makadii Zvenyu! It’s only proper as an African and a proud young Shona woman from Zimbabwe that I greet you in my mother tongue and officially welcome you to my little corner on this platform. My name is Hazel Matebwe and I thank you for stopping by…

As a proud African woman far from home, the two things that l always miss and hold dearly to my heart are family and food! This is because both family and food form an integral part of our daily interactions as Africans, and today, I will show how the African culture and family is indeed mainly centred on food – good traditional food for that matter. I will also show you why – if you by any chance meet me on the sidewalk or in the train – I am most likely to start ranting about how much I miss home.

I find it somewhat strange that in Africa, you will find American, Italian and French dishes – even Indian – served in restaurants and homes. …why isn’t that the case for African dishes in European restaurants and homes? Could this be a product of or a new form of colonisation?

Recent migration of Africans to Europe and the American continent is directly linked to the availability of a variety of African dishes with the introduction of African food shops and markets. However not all foods from the vastly diverse regions of Africa have managed to penetrate this mainstream food culture away from home – and honestly those popular dishes are from African countries that have reached the global stage through endeavours such as fashion, sports and entertainment, i.e. Nigeria.

Jollof rice, a popular West African dish

Yet, even though one finds such restaurants that offer a variety of African foods, I have come to realise that the experience does not invoke the same feeling that the taste and flavour of the very same food invokes if one were partaking of the meal in their motherland. This perhaps demonstrates the connection that food has with space, sense of belonging and a good conversation with one’s nuclear or extended family.

As an African who recently moved to Europe, I think there is an absence of diversity of the African culture in Europe, America and other continents. This could be because we are the minorities of such worlds, or because our culinary cultures are hard to mainstream. For instance, one can find an African food shop in Europe, but the shop can be far from where most Africans stay which means driving a long distance to buy foods such as cassava, maize meal or any other traditional African vegetables. Or the food can be a little pricey.

For most such as myself, the expenses that come with such a hustle to find food does not make sense and we end up buying what we find in the local stores around us. In other cases, because the food is cooked out of its original context, a certain flavour may be lost – because the food is not cooked the same way as it is done back home. Therefore the absence of properly-cooked African food feeds the hunger and desire for one’s motherland taste, smell and view. All these are interconnected really!

I find it somewhat strange that in Africa, i.e. Zimbabwe, where l come from you will find American, Italian and French dishes – even Indian – served in restaurants and homes. My question is why isn’t that the case for African dishes in European restaurants and homes? Could this be a product of or a new form of colonisation? Maybe! However, to avoid over-generalisation, it is vital to note that in countries such as Britain, some Africans stay close to African food restaurants and shops and the food is widely available compared to other European countries.

In other cases though, I think the lack of African eating choices in Europe shows how African cultures are viewed by white people here. They are seen as not so relevant. Yet, we Africans revere European food, until we come here and realise just how important that our food is to us. Food is a part of one’s origins.

Some may feel after moving abroad that they have left a part of them in Africa, it’s absolutely okay and nothing bizarre because one will always miss the traditional foods and no matter where you go the taste of motherland food will always be a part of you. It’s like DNA y’all! See you next week. Ndinokutendai!