All posts filed under: Art & Culture

The Songs of the Zambezi ~ Royal Chundu

So proud to be part of this sensational Zambezi music video collaboration! Read more about this New Project by Royal Chundu & EC Bling here > and read our post, from Royal Chundu below. A Royal Chundu music video collaboration ~ “Zambezi” by local Zambian musician, Eric Choonga, aka EC Bling. As part of our hopes and purpose to create a platform for local artists and other local producers and suppliers through Royal Chundu, we bring you another talented Zambezi resident, our own lodge security guard and longtime music-maker… Eric Choonga aka EC Bling! Eric lives in the Malambo village right next to the lodge on the banks of the Zambezi River. He’s been singing since he was a child. In fact his grandmother tells of how the family used to tell him to be quiet when he was younger. He was just always singing. Natural talent and passion like that can never be erased. It lives inside the artist for life. Eric acknowledges that music is not traditionally seen as a serious, good or …

A Night of Song & Storytelling with Zolani

  After the sun has set and the sky has fallen dark over our tables on the terrace, a low call, like a mother lion crying out to her lost cub on a still night in the wild, sounds from somewhere in the distance. We follow it and the beat of a drum that echoes with our steps to the Wine Gallery at Ellerman House. Inside stands a woman dressed in white from head to toe, a skirt cast out over her lower body like a lampshade. Famed South African musician, Zolani. To her left, a woman sitting over an African drum, Sky, moves her hands to pick up another instrument, adding rhythmic shakes, the sound of beans being sorted in a sieve.     To the right, a girl is wrapped around a double bass guitar much longer and wider than herself, almost completely obscuring her. Sarah. When she begins to play all you see is her, as though her presence takes over the instrument completely, like a lion stepping out from behind a …

A Chitenge Love Story ~ Royal Chundu

  What I remember first is the warm voice of Brinah and the shaking of hands with Godwill, the Royal Chundu car picking me up and carrying us off to the market. I remember the words: Tina has organised something special for you. The scenes out the window as we arrived at the market in Livingstone, Zambia: the beans and vegetables and grains piled up on tables in stalls, men and women hiding from the afternoon heat, a boy walking up to me with one hand in a peace sign and a tyre held up with the other. The beat-up Landrover that intersected us and the winding dirt path leading to a dark corner lit up with every pattern and colour of chitenge possible.     I remember the chitenge! And Brinah saying, please take a look; me already eyes and elbows deep into fabric, camera trying to catch up to the motions of my excitement. Brinah saying, pick some of your favourites. For a dress. I tried to understand what was happening, a shopping …

A Wine Gallery Gig with Arno Carstens ~ at Ellerman House

I recently covered the Arno Carstens’ wine gallery gig at Ellerman House for the launch of the hotel’s second year of Ellerman Sessions ~ for the Relais & Châteaux Africa blog published here. I wish you had seen the way he shook his legs about. I wish I had captured it to show you but I couldn’t look away. No one could. No one did. You’d have seen them, those legs, if you were there with us, up close to the stage, with the wine gallery at Ellerman House behind and below us, a few intimate rows of chairs between us. Arno Carstens and his band: front and centre. You’d have seen that crazed Elvis leg shaking that powered the night in short bursts with unexpected energy – between the trumpet, guitar, drums, and that iconic voice once belonging to the South African cult rock band, The Springbok Nude Girls. While you were sleeping I had a vision That gently took the pain away Am I still dreaming I search for meaning You turn my …

The Secret To Understanding Art

Above: Anton Smit’s Faith sculpture at Delaire Graff Estate [Published on the Relais & Châteaux Africa blog] Most of us start out in life as rather eager artists. Our first art studios are the creches or primary schools of our youth or the tables of our family homes (also, sometimes the canvas itself, along with the walls and bed linen for the more avant-garde little ones). Our first materials are any pencil, pastel, play-dough or paint we can find; sometimes toes and fingers replace paint brushes, but the idea is the same. We engage in art for fun, as part of the explorations typical of childhood. Some of us create our art for chaos sake, or to express an emotion we don’t have words for, or that words are not enough for. Sometimes we do it for reward – the approving smile or words of affirmation from our teachers and parents. Not much has changed for the men and women of the brush or charcoal stick, clay or pottery wheel. Art’s purpose, our purpose in pursuing art, goes far beyond the simple statement, “art …