Zamfest 2017: Eat, Play, Love.

Foodies and fatties assemble!

The pre-fest hype was real.

My taste buds were ready.

I deliberately had a quick tiny breakfast to save room for all the chow I was anticipating at “Zambia’s biggest and first of it’s kind food festival”. I am not much of a foodie, I’m more of a fattie. Anything that tastes good to me I will devour in seconds, no refined pallets and all the fancy smanshy talk you hear on the Food Channel. Anything that doesn’t taste good I will pretend to like (because I don’t like to hurt people’s feelings) but probably pick at it like a bird till it looks like I ate some.

I was really excited for this particular fest because it was also SQUAD DAY for my best friends and I. Every now and then we go out and act a fool as a group because adulting won’t allow us to do it all the time. What was more exciting is it was a squad member’s birthday weekend. All the reasons to indulge! ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜‹
๐Ÿ” ๐ŸŒฏ๐ŸŸ๐Ÿ–๐Ÿ—๐Ÿฅ“๐Ÿน๐Ÿป

I got to the fest at 1PM, only because besides the fact that weekends are for sleeping in, getting there was a bit of a mission.

Linked up with the squad and Amanda was dressed in a plaid shirt, a cap and shorts…she said she was channeling me. Ma setting. Funny, because I was in a plaid shirt too but this time I was rocking my bald nut (that, might I add, everyone kept rubbing all night. I hope you all got the fascination with it out of your system now) and I wasn’t in shorts ๐Ÿ˜.

Our first REAL stop was the food stalls. The atmosphere was thick with the aroma of barbecue beef and sauce, so much sauce. My mouth watered. It was reminiscent of a HUGE family re-union with all your uncles manning the braai stands and your aunties prepping the potato salad and coleslaw.

Eat.

We walked around for a bit, visiting each stand and trying to decide what were going to nibble on first. My heart was taken the second I saw the huge clubhouse-like burgers and kebabs on the braai stand right across from the Rugby Club. These burgers were HUMANGOUS!!
The pattie came stuffed with cheese and wrapped in bacon with a base of pickles, onion and tomato, plus a side of fries. I was in burger heaven! I kept looking around to see if I would find anything else that I liked but my mind was made, I was having that burger. Kinda like when you like someone but you keep ‘shopping around’, for control, but deep down inside you know you’re only wasting your time ๐Ÿ˜….

The burger won, I went back for it and had my fill. I was a happy chappy, with a little room for a cupcake…you know, dessert, for the fattie culture.


There was a station with foiled fish, a crowd favorite, because you know how Zambians love their fish when they drink like fish.

I heard whispers of a food stall that was serving nshima for K15. I didn’t see anyone have any and this was after I had stuffed my face with my burger so I wasn’t ready to take on nshima. It was a little disappointing that our local staples didn’t take center stage at a Zambian food festival. I was half expecting to see Bana Jacko from Matebeto serving her t bone, beans and veggies with that cold Fanta from the glass bottle OR at least Ba Bonnie from The Lusaka Jazz Club chopping up the his meat platter as he shows off his dance moves. But this was just the first one, hopefully next year we will see all the Zambian soul food.

What is a food fest without drinks to wash it down? Where there is chow, there are dops. Trust Zambians to TURN up, with an assortment of dranks. I counted plus/minus six bars each offering their own little special beverages, ranging from beer to blue and pink cocktails. Side bar: blue cocktails are never a good idea ๐Ÿ‘€

My personal favorite for the afternoon was the The Wine Shop. Wine tastes funny with food, probably because I don’t know what food goes with what wine, I’m unrefined so we sipped away at the cheap sour grapes non the less.


For all my health junkies, there was a drinks stall that offered an array of pure fruit juice mocktails/shakes blended right in front of you. They really thought of everything.

๐ŸŽง๐Ÿคน๐Ÿฝโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐ŸŽญโšฝ๏ธ

Remember when I said our first REAL stop was the food stalls? It actually wasn’t. Being one fourth of a squad of football hooligans our first actual stop was the Kaleza 5-aside football tournament. In the final (which I assume is what we were watching) The Law Association of Zambia kicked The Kaleza Dream Team’s butt to take home the trophy. It’s worth the mention that the Kaleza Dream Team was captained by Christopher Katongo…AWKWARD.


Play.

As the games went on, DJ Psycho Tash was on the turn tables killing her set. Her playlist was the perfect soundtrack to the late afternoon festivities.

Dance circles were formed. Lusaka’s coolest kids showing off waists that seemed to have a life of their own and boneless bodies wiggling to the beat.

Shisha/hookah circles were formed as well, to cater to the smokers. Cigars were on sale at K400, yes they usually sell for K800 ๐Ÿ˜ณ. I knew smoking was an expensive habit but that blew my mind. They had baby cigars as well, which to me looked a badly rolled blunt ๐Ÿ˜… for K50.


I enjoyed walking around and bumping into lots of people I mostly interact with on the interwebs. I met sooo many of my Twitter faves, no filter ๐Ÿ‘€. I also bumped into a few local celebrities: Uncle Gesh (who is SUPER COOL in person, I really want to be him when I grow up), James Sakala (who one of my friends totally went bonkers over), Tasila Mwale (forever a fave, she was supposed to be my date to the event but life happened ๐Ÿ˜ฉ) and Chi (who is also the coolest person and life goals). It was such a diverse crowd ๐Ÿ˜

Just a side note, two thumbs up to the organizers for the clean toilets and abundance of toilet paper. Very rare at many a festival ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿพ

๐Ÿ’™๐ŸŽค๐ŸŽท๐Ÿฅ๐ŸŽธ๐ŸŽต


We were graced with so much live talent. Zambia’s got talent! Music for lovers and singletons alike to wind and grind to. LOVE. Music is Love.

The first live performance I saw was Wilz AKA Mr Nyopole, who is currently perched in my top 3 favorite local rappers list. He didn’t disappoint, bringing the energy with ย bops like Toliwe (his catapult to fame), Londole and Ninalakwa.

Between every set, the MCs would step up, hype the crowd and try to make us laugh…notice I said TRY. Stand up comedy is hard, shame.

Cactus Agony came on next and delivered the exact same performance he delivered at the Siavonga Music Fest a couple of years ago. Still, we bopped because his covers are actually quite good.

Maureen Lilanda followed with her beautiful timeless vocals. I’m always impressed by how she still holds her own on a stage and can still keep even a crowd of millennials entertained. Between a few of her own songs, she covered the late Lilly T’s Mvela and delivered each note to perfection. A vernacular rendition of Bob Marley’s No Woman No Cry raised my respect for her to whole ‘nother level. She is a gem!

I was so stoked to see Oliver Mtukudzi live for a second time. A living legend. If your parents didn’t own an Oliver Mtukudzi tape or CD growing up are you even an African millennial? We all know his songs by heart. He is a part of the African story. If you were present you know what I mean because we turned into a choir when he performed Todii (AKA what shall we do!) and Neria. Take me back.

Pompi owned the stage next. His stage presence is unmatched. I love how calm he is when he performs, he makes it seem so effortless. He had the crowd singing along as well, kicking off with “so fresh, so clean, check the Hygiene!”, to one of my favorites because of the stellar back up vocals Zoz are Zoz…and a more recent favorite Maganizo Pa Ndeke. Pompi is the business!

Oskido came out to close the night with a powerful set that saw me dancing in a circle with Kuni, Bubbles, Tasila Mwale and a few more of my interweb faves. It went down right in front of the stage, a beautiful mix to end the night.

Overall, FOOD + DRANKS + MUSIC is the recipe for success!

Nicely done, Zamfest. We go again next year? ๐Ÿ˜

February 2017: A Black History Win

Who could forget the babies-on-the-bake announcement that broke the interwebs and Instagram’s record for most likes (10 million+)? The BeyHive ย was expecting twins!! ๐Ÿคฐ๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ

Beyoncรฉ is notorious for keeping secrets and dropping surprises (albums, movies and the occasional mic), so when she decided to tell us she was having twins we should have known at this point that 2017’s Black History Month was about to be LIT!

Now I know you lot are probably rolling eyes so I won’t be an annoying Bey Stan (for right now ๐Ÿ‘€).

ย Let’s talk Black History in Zambia, do we have a ย Black History Month here? Black History Month in the US is designed to recognise history, experiences and accomplishments of black people. We may not have a Black History Month here in Zambia but we had quite a few celebratory moments that will probably go down in history even if it’s just for the (pop) culture.

To kick off February, we sawย Lulu Haangala Woodย celebrate a diverse group of inspirational Zambian men with Vodafone Jump’s #MANth (Month of the man). The idea was to showcase Zambian men that were doing right and doing it well, so for every other day during the month of February we were given insight into the lives of these men and their stories.


Some of these men I have met and some I have not, but they are doing amazing things and it was a positive challenge for me and hopefully other young black men to kick butt and flourish. These black men are making Zambian HIStory and that by itself is a win!

For me Chinyonta Msimuko (aka Chi)ย was the most inspirational thus far, simply because he dropped a banking sector job and chased his dream. He is thriving in the media industry and is testament to how far pursuing your passion can take you. I mean, who doesn’t know that voice?

Ladies? We saw them celebrated in their own ways.

The nominees for the Zambian Woman of The Year Awards were announced. This list unveiled a manifold of Zambian queens doing it for themselves, giving the gents a good run for their money. From health care to entrepreneurship, sports and other creative spaces, The ZWYA’s highlight black girl magic and to be nominated should be a win all by itself. I can’t wait to watch the awards and see these queens shine, nothing makes me happier than seeing black women conquer! Run the world, girls โœŠ๐Ÿฝ

Check out the nominees and how you can get your favorite to win, voting is open until the end of the month (coinkidink? I think not ๐Ÿ˜)
A Zambian queen that flipped it on the boys and turned History into HERstory is Thokozile Mawumba (24) who became Zambia’s first female fighter pilot. How dope is that? I was going to make a bad joke about how FLY she is, but I won’t ๐Ÿ˜ can you say WOMAN CRUSH? ๐Ÿ˜


Girls are doing it for themselves!
To wrap this up, here’s a few international 2017 Black History Month moments (besides the baking twins) that made MY heart smile:

Beyoncรฉ:

Oh wait, the twins are back. But this time they went to The Grammys, yes before you and I. They were gonna be on the Coachella stage before you and me also, but their doctor said NAH.

Anyway, we all witnessed the outcry when Adele’s 25 won Album of The Year over Beyoncรฉ’s Lemonade, Justin’s Purpose and those two other guys ๐Ÿ˜…

Black people everywhere cried ‘is it because she’s black?’ and were salty about it for a couple of weeks. What made my heart smile though, was Adele speaking our hearts and talking about how Beyoncรฉ and Lemonade inspired her and her friends, her black friends. Beyoncรฉ’s speech when she scored Best Urban Contemporary Album about what Lemonade was for her and black women everywhere should have shown us she knew she wasn’t getting Album of The Year, because if she did get it what was THAT speech going to be like? We’ll never know. Adele gave that speech for her ๐Ÿ˜ A WIN!

Viola Davis:


That is all, to be honest. She finally won her Oscar, for her riveting performance as Rose in the screen adaption of Fences. This made her the first black actress to score a Tony, an Emmy and an Oscar. Whoopi Goldberg’s Tony was for producing, to the smarty pants in the back ๐Ÿ˜

And even though Denzel Washington did not win for Best Actor, he is a winner in my heart for Directing AND STILL delivering such a stellar performance in aforementioned Fences.

Mahershala Ali:


ย 

His Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in Moonlight made him the first Muslim to win an Oscar. A black man won, for his portrayal of positive father figure! Need I say more?

And FINALLY

Moonlight’s Win for Best Picture


An all black cast movie won? An all black cast movie that’s not about slavery won? An all black cast movie that’s not about slavery won The Oscar for Best Motion Picture? WHAT?

When La La Land was announced Best Picture, I turned off my TV and walked away. I scrolled down my Twitter feed and saw that there was a Steve Harvey flub and I was almost leaping for joy (at 6 in the morning, I am not a morning person!). This is the first time an all black cast movie has won this award and for this to be right at the end of Black History Month. A cherry on the chocolate cake. A WIN! โœŠ๐Ÿฝ

Just as a bonus here’s a picture of three more gorgeous black women whose movie (Hidden Figures) was nominated for Best Picture also ๐Ÿ˜


Photo cred: The interwebs (sue me ๐Ÿ’๐Ÿฝโ€โ™‚๏ธ)