A Slow African Christmas…

Seasonal celebrations south of the equator, have a distinct flavour. We embrace the sun soaked occasions, the cry of the hadeda and summer storms that celebrate the uniqueness of our continent. We gather friends and family around colourful tables with the smell of hot earth or freshly cut grass wafting through the windows. Usually relatives arrive from far away bearing gifts. Why not reciprocate with local and jolly lekker presents?

Rondavel Soap, have created an African Christmas Spice soap beautifully packaged in a depiction of Malawian village life that captures the colours of the soil, the sky and the people in between. This handmade soap is fragranced by the spice markets of Zanzibar and Madagascar, Thatching Grass, Baobab and Mountain Sage – a combination reminiscent of baking gingerbread cookies or a new thatch roof on a warm summer day. For the more traditional, there is Frankincense (sourced in Somalia) and Myrrh collected by Himba women in Namibia.
Need a bit more sparkle? Seek out the bespoke jewellery created by Penny Jardine (Blueberry Hill) or Eike Eberhard’s wearable mini-sculptures composed of collected treasures (Tatham Shop).
Table and tree decorations have been charmingly reinvented for our summer celebrations by Zimele and Ooh Kamba. Quirky felt animals, strings of colour, plump Christmas trees and enchanting tin, grass or beaded angels made by skilled crafters in rural KZN. Seek out these treasures at House of Hearts Emporium at Dunrobin Nursery and Tatham Art Gallery Shop.
Midlands farmer’s markets and small producers ensure you serve the best of summer abundance to your guests. For great ideas, grab a copy of Mnandi – a taste of Mpophomeni, that is crammed with Christmas fare – carrots spiced with cumin, pineapple juice (that soon turns to pineapple beer in the summer heat!), crunchy rainbow salads of radishes and new potatoes and elderflower cordial – all the tastes of summer. The smell of just baked bread is everyone’s favourite – at The Upper Millstone in Hilton daily baking begins in the deep quiet just after midnight, Graham Taute’s sourdough always sells out at the Karkloof Farmer’s Market and the fragrance of wood-fired Love Bread is unbeatable. Add Franco Esposito’s traditional charcuterie made from the free-range pigs that live on his farm in Kamberg (available at Rosetta Market), trout smoked by Sue Hofman of Wayfarer (available at Dargle Country Market) and artisan cheeses from Swissland or Just Cheese to create an unbeatable feast.

acbread-at-upper-millstoneaczimele-earringszimeleacoohkhumbasalad-handszimele-oven-glovesWhile the world may seem overwhelming at times, making choices that support small local producers has a ripple effect – the more of us who do it, the more chance we have of changing the world one delicious meal and one gorgeous gift at a time. Slow down a little. You may have a watch, but do you have time? In Africa we do.
Illustration by Kate Chanthunya – Rondavel African Christmas Spice Soap
Rondavel Soap 073 806 878
Penny Jardine 082 326 0149
Franco Esposito 083 700 0005
Love Bread 076 886 6174
Upper Millstone Bakery 033 343 1344
Sue Hofman 082 425 3780
Mnandi 083 473 3074
Ooh Khamba online shop www.oohkhamba.co.za
Zimele online shop www.zimelecommunity.co.za