The film produced by Austrian film makers MADMAN are being featured at the Tri – Beca 2021 Film Festival – chronicling the story of the Zimbabwean Sommeliers competing for The wine industries’ biggest and most coveted prize.

Hello Good people, allow me to intoduce myself, My name is Eugene Shirto, The short guy in the photo, yes that’s me with the shades on. My 1st post on here was deleted in error. So sorry if i dint get to respond to alot of your questions. My grammar may be a little rough & off a little here. I was born at Richard Morris in 26th August 1977, Baptized aged 6 by Father Rowland at St Andrews Roman Catholic Church, just off the airport road. I grew up on Fortris juice, Cashew nuts, Casino Chocolates golden Morn, ProNutro & alot of Sugar cane. We danced at Christmas parties for smarties or 50cents to Boney M” & Grease, Don Williams & John Denver are deeply engrained into my DNA.

Went to primary school, Hugh beadle Grade 1- 2, then onto Newmansford grade 3 – 7.
Completed my secondary education at Northlea High, we forged lifelong friendships thats what molded us into who we are today.

In this Pic below mid 1990s from your left to Derick Shelton , myself,to my right, The late Jerome Titley behind me with the peace sign✌🏽, Beven Payne & Lawrence Rajah Northlea boys! till this day we are sort of all connected and alive thanks to social media.

Wasnt a big fan of school, went to school more to socialise, and was a bit of a problem with the ladies, hence i failed dismally haha man what a ride!! .. , I messed up big time with school, we even joked about getting a “U” stood for “Unbelievable! in our final O’level results🤪. Once all the chynnahs from, Northend, Sauerstown, then the charasmatic, mischievous lot from Queens park west & East Boys all left Northlea High, we all separated & went our own ways through life , alot travelled to SA, the America’s & Europe, others passed away from Natural ailments, murdered, Stabbings and car accidents.
These special close friends i have named some taken suddenly whilst in our 20s. Gone too soon and not to be forgotten

RIP Eugene Brandt
RIP Jerome Titley
RIP Frank Lees
RIP Samantha Fisher
RIP Anthony Bennet
RIP Felix Vickery
RIP Eddy (Mhlanga) Reid Jnr
RIP Oswin Chinyoka(sp)

To only name a few these are the only ones I am able to remember. They are sadly missed
Growing up in Queens Park was a bizarre mystical, haphazard & strange experience , from watching bare knuckle Fights under the queens park west bustop besides a streetlight , to the Big Roundabout bike races, with Fix or Peri bicycles many injuries ” we were Gladiators! .to getting sozzled on DonJuan or Chibuxx & sometimes alot of Ouzo or Montello, The bulk of the local shops Were owned or run by a Greek guy called Costa. Hence i think the shop was called Costas🙄 Then later MSA Superette. Run by Manuel & his Wife Maria. There used to be massive big green rugged ole tool box under a acacia tree on the path heading towards Frere road. It was always we used it as a gathering spot and sat ontop of it. At the back of the shops was a park, with swings and a slide.
On leaving School, i worked briefly with Nathan Greenland and Fazil Greenland, lathe machining metal products n stuff, they had a converted extension attached to their house for a workshop.just over the railway line After Ainsley Road.
Buckley Rd, Conway Rd, Dane Rd, Elsley, Frere (my road) , Greedon Harrow & so on

Moved On to work for Mr Bazil J. Katz at Marvo Printers situated in Thorngrove, Waverley Rd as a 2D artist in the art studio for about 4 yrs , worked alongside Larry Muller, he got me that job , Bonang Mlilo & Jeremy Mckop, between that of turning 21 yrs old, working & been big headed, my then Girlfriend & i set off, eloped to Vic Falls, got Married & by the 11th month had the marriage annulled through the courts fell out of love… Not long got a job in Harare, moved there worked with Maxwell Kay Chabika for Mr Ken Spencer, Xpert Printers as a plate maker in the darkroom. Graniteside on Seke road early 2000

Left for London 2001, stayed in Addiscombe,, moved South London, West Croydon, then moved to Stratford Eastlondon. Worked as a labourer in Construction taught all the tricks of the trade by at the time he was 70yrs old, British Royal Air Force( RAF) Engineer named Mr John Peters, Married to Eileen. Worked from Brixton to knightsbridge and Chelsea all the way up to Poplar & Whitechapel, to Lewisham, site banksman at Canary Wharf, then a traffic wiring techy at the Barbican and Farringdon. Then worked for London Underground as a labourer , got a job part time Bellboy at The MaryGreen Manor In Brentwood, Essex. Then got permanently Employed at Marks&Spencer (Romford) with Joe Styrka for 8yrs, 17 years later returned Back to settle in Queens Park West, Bulawayo.

I am a self taught mixed media artist /Carpenter , well ive always thought of myself an artist, ive exhibited t a few small gallery’s & festivals across Central to West London to Vauxhall, Elephant & Castle, just that now I now make a living soley from selling my art woodwork, i drive a light Blue 1974 Corolla Named Agnes, I am happier now in Bulawayo, i figured its not where you are that matters its about what you doing with where you are that counts. Bulawayo isnt just a city its Alive!! and has hidden gems like Northlea High if you care to look close enough youl find me too haha. I am the only person i know that can proudly say I’ve eaten fire roasted Cane rats (mbebah) at Renkini (Byo) near The Blue Lagoon (Thorngrove) to dining at the Ritz eating one of Londons finest prepared cuisines, To sitting on the 1230 over head rail service from Kingscross to Birmingham to sitting in a tshova heading home after a long day of looking for car parts at Barons, these experiences happend in a space of 44 yrs of my existence. Thanks for reading.

I create art by using dried up palm tree casks to make Elephant heads. Which i have now turned into Wall art and a few are now Lampshades. Some are squank and so Picasso like & fun to look at 😁😁 , yet still resemble an Elephants head🐘. So Next time you are out and about in Nature or your garden, look closely at any old pieces of wood, pine cones, dried out pods, seeds etc..their not fire wood, pick it up! Clean it up,work on it a little. Its Therapeutic and self rewarding.

If you like seeing my artwork please Share kindly so others can maybe see my work , as it may encourage or inspire whoever reads this to go and get a little crafty outdoors🐘🐘

recycledart #StopBurningStuff #artwork #Bulawayo #palmtreeart #selftherapy #savetheplanet #savetheelephants #sculptureartist #gardenart

‘It’s thanks to you that she’s here’ – grateful mum thanks behind-the-scenes NHS staff for saving her baby

by Claire Still

Pictured l-r is Anne Minogue, interim lead transfusion practitioner, Angela, and Colleen.
Collen Sanderson and Colleagues

First-time mum Angela Burgess (pictured above, centre), 38, had an emotional meeting with Colleen Sanderson (pictured above, right), a senior biomedical scientist at our Trust, to thank her for the role she played in saving baby Grace’s life. (Also pictured above with Angela and Colleen is Anne Minogue, interim lead transfusion practitioner.)

Angela came to Queen’s Hospital on Wednesday 14 April, two weeks ahead of her due date to have a cervical stitch removed. It was when Colleen was looking at her routine blood sample in our Pathology lab that she realised something wasn’t right. On closer examination with her manager Xiaohui Tang, they found it was due to a large foetal bleed.

Baby Grace is pictured in our NICU

Quick-thinking Colleen contacted our ante-natal ward, from where Angela was about to be sent home, so an emergency c-section could be arranged. Baby Grace (pictured above) was delivered safely that same day, with Angela’s husband Christian rushing to our hospital to be by her side.

Angela, of Brentwood, said: “Colleen and the Transfusion team are the unsung heroes of the NHS. I see my doctors and nurses so I can thank them, I never realised there was a Transfusion team behind the scene that did this.

“No words can thank them for everything they’ve done and I will make sure one day Grace knows the story of how she got here and the people who saved her life. It’s thanks to them that she’s here. It was only when it was fully explained to me that I realised how serious it could have been. I am so grateful that Colleen was there that day, and picked this up.”

Colleen, who in the same week had become an acting senior biomedical scientist, said any of her colleagues would have done the same; however, she was delighted to meet Angela face-to-face.

She said: “As we are a behind-the-scenes service we don’t get to meet our patients, they are names on a tube, so it was lovely to see Angela’s face and hear that baby Grace is doing well.

“It feels really good to have played my part in this, it’s a humbling experience. I’m really proud to have an opportunity to show what goes on that patients don’t see, this is what we do every day and I don’t know how many lives the team has saved.”

Grace, a much-longed for IVF baby, has remained on our Neonatal Intensive Care Unit to ensure she is feeding well before being allowed home.

Angela added: “It’s been quite a journey to have her. I’m so grateful my doctor explained to me what happened as I was worried I did something wrong.

“Colleen is so humble and I don’t think even she realises just what she’s done for my family.”

“It is important to preserve ocean life and birds so they don’t become extinct. Only we can look after them and we need oxygen from trees to live. It is important for children to get involved with conservation to learn how to look after nature for our future.” Romario Moodley

Romario Moodley is in the history books as the youngest Ocean Sole ambassador, He brought awareness to the damage caused to ocean life through the way we pollute our waters. He is a established fundraiser , having exceeded expectations in his quest to raise money for a local bird sanctuary. He is also a talented Artist!

He’s has featured on 50/50, has been in National Geographic, and several others .

And now this young eco warrior is being featured in a book by British-Australian author, Leisa Stewart-Sharpe’s book “What a Wonderful World” as a young environmentalist, earth shaker. It will be released on 19th August 2021.

She is also the author of Blue Planet II, foreword by Sir David Attenborough.

What an incredible honour for Romario to be included at his tender age to be included amongst other eco warriors !

Nick Stobart was born on a farm in Zimbabwe and finished all his schooling there. He spent his childhood days bare foot and running free on the farm with his three brothers and sister. 

‘’This is where my passion and love for the bush developed” says Nick.

 He trained as a teacher, and then taught for many years before becoming a headmaster. He left teaching to go farming and remained farming until his farm was repossessed by the Zimbabwean Government in 2002.

Nick and his wife Laura then moved to the South Coast of South Africa where they both moved back into the teaching world.

 Nick later left teaching and started up his own art gallery, selling original works of art, art supplies and becaming heavily involved in teaching art to both adults and children.

Says Nick, “I felt as though I was now in heaven. My two greatest passions in life united. Teaching and painting.  How much luckier could a man be?’’

Nick has always painted, but turned professional after a series of painting lessons and strong encouragement from two of the world’s most highly rated artists, Craig Bone and Rob Macintosh.

 Nick’s paintings are sold all over the world and can be seen in many private collections, hotels, business premises and private homes.

Nick, having moved back to Zimbabwe in 2012, says of his paintings and subject matter, “I have a limitless passion for Africa and all its complexities. I am drawn by its harshness yet incredible beauty. My soul is captured by its wide open spaces, limitless skies and the sense of freedom it invokes in me whenever I am wandering in the bush.”

I spend my life trying to capture that whenever I am painting, and if am able to pass on even a little of that passion to the people who view my work, then I have been part of sharing something that is so very, very special to me.”

Nick paints and runs art classes from his home studio in Marondera. He is also incredibly privileged to be able to teach private art classes at The Peterhouse Group of Schools

A book by Alton Edwards


I am Alton Edwards, I hail from Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia). I am a mixed race man and live in the UK. My profession is in the music industry. I am a singer / Song-writer / producer. I have had some success in the pop field and currently sell my music on all platforms. Take a listen
My grandmother was an inspiration for me. She insisted on hard work and respect ! Respect your elders and a hard days work never hurt anyone. Rosie came from a poor background yet never lost sight of her goal.
I have never written a book so this book was passionate for me. I wanted to share my experience of growing up with an amazing woman in my life and how it made me see the world from another point of view.
I think we all have grand mothers who are fantastic and I am sure other grand mothers can relate to Rosie in one way or another.

By Hannah Mentz

Part one

  • Alexandra Maseko, captain of the Zimbabwe national women’s basketball teamMaseko won a sports scholarship to Seton Hall University in New Jersey, US, and graduated in 2013. She is the founder of the Sports and Development Trust Zimbabwe, which helps young athletes to apply for sporting scholarships. ‘Honestly, few things can compare to that experience of representing your country and your fellow people back home. Being Zimbabwean carries with it a huge amount of pride for me’
  • Dr Thandeka Moyo, HIV vaccine researcherMoyo works at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases in Johannesburg, South Africa, as a post-doctoral fellow, researching HIV vaccines and more recently, those for Covid-19. ‘It makes me sad that many of us are at a place in our lives where we can’t be in the country that we love so much’
  • Dr Azza Mashumba, paediatricianMashumba works as a paediatrician at the government Parirenyatwa group of hospitals and in a private practice in Harare. She is a member of the Paediatric Association of Zimbabwe. Her passion is advocacy for equitable healthcare for all children in Zimbabwe. ‘There’s a lot of hope, given the support we need, that things will get better. It’s not an irreparable situation, there’s so much that can be done and some of the things are not very big, with the support of partners and the government – we just need support’
  • Chipo Chung, actorChung studied directing at Yale University and then trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) in London. Her vast repertoire includes theatre, television, and film. She currently lives and works in London, but still feels connected to Zimbabwe. ‘There’s always this umbilical cord back home to where family is and for me, where my mother is.’ She believes Zimbabweans share a unique sense of self: ‘In the developed world, what is cool is manufactured whereas in Zimbabwe, what is cool is completely original’

I have retired!!..This marks the end of four decades and more of being an educator. I marvel at how swiftly the years have flown. What a privileged life I’ve lead. The many wonderful children, great colleagues, and appreciative parents have made my life meaningful.
I have been lucky to have taught in both Primary and Secondary. The little people so eager and full of discovery!! I have had something to laugh about every single day in the early years. It kept me grounded.

Music has been at the centre of my life in and out of school. God gifted me with the ability to use it to bring love and joy and an appreciation of its many benefits.
The school assemblies, class and grade concerts, church services, Eisteddfodds and more…

I wonder how many remember Louis Mountbatten being the first school of colour to win the coveted Junior Mixed choir trophy, my first big win early in my teaching career.
Who remembers Belvedere Primary School’s many wins of the same Junoir Schools Mixed choir trophy years later? Or Belvedere’s televised shows on Mbuya Mlambo’s children’s programs?.We worked so hard to perfect these shows Mrs Lorraine Marshall A perfect team. Our Carols by Candle light services were pure magic with the Salvation Army band in attendance.

St. Michael’s Prep School where our services and concerts ensured House-full audiences. Wonderful boys!! More Eisteddfod trophies and children leading church services under the guidance of Sr Margaret and the wonderful staff, Catherine Shadwell .

Hartmann House was magical!! Not so Paul Nenjerama?!..Year on year of continued delight in ensuring the superb retention of the Juniour School Boys trophy… Our Christmas shows were first class, we even had a parents and friends band!!..Thank you Dr De Sousa , Vincent Haddad, and Gerald Hickey. Fun rehearsals!!
The Carmina Burana!!!..Wow did the boys rise to the occasion under the baton of the brilliant Paul Colman !!…Parents uncomplainingly spending their Saturdays carting boys to and from rehearsals. We couldn’t have done any of it without them.

St George’s College…What can I say??…The boys thrived on music!!…Again the enviable reputation established the many years before was fiercely held!!…trophy after trophy, year on year, from all our year groups!!.. Fr. Paul Edwards and Vincent Haddad lead the highly emotive Advent Service signaling the end of a busy year and the coming of reflection, relaxation and family time.
My afternoon choir sessions in the 80s at Allan Wilson, Girls High and Blakiston were wonderful. I met so many ex-Belvedere pupils there who encouraged others to attend choir practices I had huge groups to make music with.

My biggy was the Junior Combined Schools Choirs. The late Peter Joyce handed the baton to me and I didn’t look back. I directed these over 16 years helped by Alan Mayger, of Chisipite Jnr, and the different school Heads when they had to host the show. This massed choir was made up of twelve schools, four hundred voices, wonderful music teachers, a band of great friends- Liz Matthews (who so generously and brilliantly, became my right-hand partner and accompanist from the 70s and then over the many years), Vincent Haddad from the beginning!! With Rachel (keyboard), and Gerhard Van Stryp (bass guitar.)

My time here in the UK has been different and yet the same!!..Children are children wherever you are. I have loved being in the classroom, and also making music!!
I have been bowled over by the amazing dedication displayed by children. Choirs are totally voluntary. It is humbling to see them attend week after week; giving up their break times, eating lunch in record time to attend micro-practices; the respect, fun and acceptance by them has been truly humbling.

My Deputy Head sent me a lovely message this morning where she says, ‘Ava, Christmas wont be the same without you’) Lol… Not me, I think, but the enthusiastic singing of carols and Feliz Navidad by the wonderful children…
I must explain that I was in the classroom teaching and when done for the day, racing all over the place to take my choirs!! Gloriously busy!!

A massive ‘THANK YOU’ to each and every one of you for making the years fly by, filled with amazing memories that I will always cherish.

None of this would have been possible without the love, encouragement, sacrifices, guidance and full support of my darling, God-fearing, hardworking parents, grandparents, siblings, treasured husband Edgar and our beautiful family…Cyrus, Jodi, Lucas and Edgar.

Q: You were born in Zimbabwe; what are your childhood memories of growing up there?

A: How we use to play certain childhood games actually, I use to make cars from wires, and I was so good at doing that (I guess I was a creative from a very tender age)

Q: What schools did you attend in Zimbabwe and was school an enjoyable time for you? If not, why not?

A: I did my Primary school at Chivhu Primary School and my Secondary School at Liebenberg High School and that’s where I started studying Art. I later enrolled for an Arts Degree at Chinhoyi University of Technology. I can’t say I enjoyed my University years because I didn’t get what I expected. Upon enrollment, I thought it was Art throughout, but I never painted at University. I had more of theory and somehow, I’m glad I did have that.

Q: Were your talents recognised early by your teachers and if so, can you remember any that had a particular influence on you.

A: Yes, I would say they were recognised early during my first year at Secondary level. My first art teacher Mr. Obrien Bill has been much of an influence even up to this day.

Q Being an artist as a career – was this always the dream?

A: I would confidently say I wanted it as a career from a significantly younger age. I had a career as a Graphic Designer after I graduated from University, had to abandon it in 2018 and since then, I have been painting for a living.

Q: Who inspired you artistically as a child

A: This is hard, I must say. I would say my uncle actually, who is a carpenter. He teaches carpentry also. He used to make sketches of cars, and I remember I used to trace those as a child.

Q: What is your creative process like?

A: I do have such a flexibility of mind. When creating, I usually don’t know where I’m going to wind up or the difficulties I will encounter. I start working and from that moment everything begins to flow. But honestly, this is a difficult process, I must say.

Q: Tell me about the first time you saw your artwork on a gallery wall.

A: On a gallery wall, no actually, I haven’t been there, but I hope to. When I see my paintings nicely framed, the feeling is out of this world, hanged in clients homes. It shows your work is appreciated. I’m never satisfied with my job, actually, so when I see my work hanging somewhere, it shows I’m on the right path.

Q: where has your Art been displayed? What venues most excited you?

A: I haven’t had such a privilege, but I hope soon I will have a tale to tell.

Q: how do you feel the internet has impacted the Art industry?

A: it has in many ways, actually how artists perceive many things. Id say it’s hard to make Art nowadays have so much work to compare with on the internet. It’s hard to actually follow your path with so much work that tends to be doing well than yours. As a marketing tool, the internet has done so much for the Art Industry.

Q: What is the biggest life lesson you have learned?

A: Artistically following my path, being happy is a priority, and loving what I do.

Q: What is one message you would give young aspiring artists?

A: There is no such thing as an overnight success. It’s a hard road. You learn from your mistakes. That’s your biggest experience.

Q: What would you be doing right now if it wasn’t for your current career?

A: Graphic Designer

Q: What is the best advice youve been given?

A: for me, it has to be a Henri Matisse quote: “An artist must never be a prisoner. Prisoner? An artist should never be a prisoner of himself, prisoner of style, prisoner of reputation, prisoner of success, medium, etc.

Q: If you could change anything in the art industry, what would it be?

A: How people, especially back home, perceive Abstract Art.

Q: What difference has Covid made to your life

A: I was unable to ship certain paintings because of the pandemic. Very few inquiries also hoping things will improve.

Q: what do we need to do as a community to support young and upcoming artists that are based all over the world? What in your experience would you make a difference?

A: they need to be supported, schools should have art classes at the very beginning of childrens education only then can we know how to support them. In my experience, my former school Liebenberg High School no longer teaches Art because they are saying art supplies are expensive. There is a need for schools to have a budget for Art and also the school authorities should also consider it as they do any other subject.

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