Christmas has become a time when, in the rush to get presents, we becoming unthinking consumers. Why not do something different this year, and consider carefully what you’re buying and who you’re buying it from. Supporting local or black-owned products ensures that your money goes to uplifting those around you. #Trending has put together a carefully considered gift guide for the season, which will suit all pockets.
Maria McCloy has created wonderful accessories over the years, all of which are inspired by our culture and mostly made from the continent’s fabrics. They range from extravagant neck pieces and fun shoes to beautiful bags, such as this one made from gorgeously woven cloth she found in Senegal.
This clutch bag is available at the AfricaRise retail concept store in Sandton City for R500.
Hats are in this season, not only to protect you from the sun’s harsh rays, but also to send out a fashion statement and display your unique personality and eccentric edge.
OwnURCrown is a hair street culture platform founded by Nikiwe Dlova.
It showcases freedom of hair expression in individuals, art and media productions in the form of a pop-up salon that styles hair, and has braided hats and custom headpieces to hire or to buy.
“I spelt ‘you’re’ as UR to emphasise that U R who U R. Just own it! I use hair to express myself. It’s a fun way to show my personality and tell a story.
Most of my headpieces are inspired by African hairstyles from back in the day, and crowns as well,” Dlova previously told beautifulnews.co.za.
“There’s nothing new in people discriminating against African hair. African hairstyles only become fashionable when the media decides to make them so. I want to put an end to that and make them stand out in a positive way,” she added.
Her hats and headpieces have been popular with those attending festivals and concerts and have received great feedback.
Pretoria-based fitness enthusiast and entrepreneur Barileng Ratsela, who is also a trainer at ShapeUp Family Gym north of the capital, launched a gymwear line, Exhale Physics, in September.
She co-owns the brand with her entrepreneurial mother Prudence Ratsela, who works in the security industry.
I haven’t tried out her gym gear yet, but from what I have seen, her collection goes beyond nice.
It includes anti-cellulite freeze leggings, which hide the obvious bumpiness around the thighs and bum.
Ratsela explains that the idea behind this anti-freeze material is that one can go from the gym straight into a meeting. Of course, the takkies can easily be swapped for heels.
Most of the clothes are created using Dri-Fit technology.
“It is an innovative polyester fabric designed to help keep you dry by supporting the body’s natural cooling system.
“Our smart fabric is extremely stretchy, trendy and comes in a variety of fun colours,” says Ratsela.
As I was going through the pictures of the collection, the title Butt Scrunch Leggings caught my attention.
“These leggings lift the butt and snatch the waist. This is on another level of sexiness,” quips Ratsela.
For those who love to flaunt what God (and their mamas) gave them or what they worked hard to achieve, she suggests the seamless line. She explains that this option “is like wearing nothing while something covers your body”. Exhale Physics’ gymwear line is available from R450 for a pair of leggings, while the bra and leggings set is R950. Any of these items make for a great gift to yourself or others and, as a bonus, you’ll be supporting a local business.
PUMA x PAROW VELDSKOEN
PUMA South Africa and musician Jack Parow are celebrating 10 years since Cooler As Ekke hit number 1, with the release of the limited edition PUMA x PAROW VELDSKOEN. These vellies are made to last and feature an etched “Jack Parow 10 Years” logo along with a thick rubber sole, stitching details and brown leather uppers with red lace-up fronts. “PUMA has been one of my best friends since the very beginning!” says Jack Parow.
“Cooler As Ekke catapulted me into the limelight and became the first Afrikaans song to reach a million hits on YouTube. PUMA was there before that, when I was just some weird dude with a snor trying to make people listen to my weird Afrikaans rap songs. They listened, they supported and they have always stuck with me.” Retailing for R1 299, cop your pair of PUMA x PAROW VELDSKOEN from Superbalist, Nolene’s in Robertson and Ritsa in Clanwilliam.
Mpumi’s Magic Beads is available in isiZulu, Tshivenda, isiXhosa, Xitsonga and Sesotho for R86.
In Africa with Avi and Kumbi are available on loot.co.za for R119
If you understand the power of seeing yourself reflected in stories, then, like me, you should be excited about books that educate black children about their history, and others that remind them of their brilliance in a world that’s constantly pulling them down.
Two of the titles that came out this year are In Africa with Avi and Kumbi by professor and historian Nomalanga Mkhize (under the pen name Khize wamaZambezi), and Mpumi’s Magic Beads by Lebohang Masango.
I think both texts will go a long way towards creating a generation of black children who know their magic.
In Africa with Avi and Kumbi relates the continent’s history from the ancient era to independence. Themes featured in the book include the rise of ancient civilisations and ancient trade, African philosophy, slavery and colonialism, and struggles for autonomy. Sanelisiwe Singaphi has illustrated Avi and Kumbi exploring the continent.
Mkhize came up with the idea for the book after realising that a generation of young people needed to understand Africa’s story away from the white gaze.
Get a copy of In Africa with Avi and Kumbi for your young ones this holiday to encourage reading – who knows, you might just give them a gift that forms the foundation on which they’ll begin to understand the world around us.
To supplement the historical with the fictional, buy Mpumi’s Magic Beads to remind your young ones that there is magic all around us.
The book is about a young girl and her friends who have a day full of adventure on a normal schoolday in Joburg after discovering the magic in Mpumi’s hair. This SA Literary Award-nominated book reminds black girls of their amazingness and affirms their existence through a representation of joyful black girlhood.
Read about beads that jingle, jangle and sparkle while enjoying illustrations of black girls giggling with glee, drawn by Masego Morulane.
The Gin Box
Advent calendars traditionally offer a tiny daily treat in the month leading up to Christmas. They were first made for children by German Lutherans in the 19th century and were originally simple paper creations decorated with pretty pictures of or poems about the baby Jesus, each covered by a little window. The windows had perforations so that a child could open one window a day. The last window was opened on December 24.
Those were simpler times and, until recently, that was all they were. Any excitement involved came from the anticipation of the Christmas to come.
Over the years, Advent calendars have become more secular and some are now aimed at adults. First, chocolate Father Christmas figures started to appear behind the windows. Then all sorts of other gifts crept in. Now there are Advent calendars with tiny bottles of perfume, Lego minifigures and microbuilds, and even seeds to plant in your garden.
The best 2019 South African Advent calendar comes from The Gin Box in Cape Town, which has put 50ml bottles of local craft gin behind the 24 windows. The handcrafted spirits come from all over the country and include award-winning offerings such as Magalies Gin, Indlovu Gin and Muti Gin. At R1 399, it is not a cheap thrill and it is definitely not for kids, but it is a deliciously enticing grown-up gift.
If you need more than a teeny tiny bottle behind a calendar window, you can join The Gin Box club. This subscription service sends full-size bottles of fine South African craft gin for a monthly membership fee of R699.
Imagine the bliss of a 2020 in which exclusive and limited-edition spirits arrive on your doorstep with comprehensive distiller’s notes, bespoke cocktail recipes, experimental garnish ideas, a range of tonics and gin-complementing gourmet goodies.
Available at leading retailers
It’s no secret that South Africans like to drink, and heavily. But did you know we’re some of the heaviest drinkers in the world? Today, a growing number of people practice pacing – alternating booze with non-alcoholic beverages when they’re out partying so that they don’t get overly trashed. There are also signs that millennials drink far less than the generation before them.
Martini Dolce 0.0 is the latest addition to the Martini portfolio created in response to the growing demand for a high quality, great tasting, sparkling wine that allows people to be part of the celebration whilst staying alcohol free. Martini 0.0 Dolce uses Italian grapes, to develop an all-natural, alcohol free sparkling that retains all the great tasting features of an Italian Sparkling wine. The result is a light, fresh, delicate fruity taste with hints of citrus, sage and peach notes.
Somizi X G.H MUMM
Available at leading retailers
14 days free, then R99 a monthPay online or buy vouchers from CNA, FNB, Game, HiFi Corp, Incredible Connection, Makro or Pick n Pay
There is a lot you could get someone in the way of local giftsthis year, especially when it comes to clothes.
Designer brand Maxhosa by Laduma Ngxokolo is available at more stores, and the market is doing well with brands such as Styla Gang, Tshepo The Jean Maker and even Youngsta CPT’s Y?Gen fashion label occupying the space. But clothes aren’t it for me.The perfect gift to give someone this year is a subscription to Showmax. Keep things simple; we all love watching TV and movies, and we love it more when the content is local.
A subscription to Showmax kills multiple birds with one stone and you can connect up to five devices to one account. Some of the best local content is housed in this streaming app, with titles such as Deon Meyer’s Trackers, Stained Glass Production’s Ifalakhe and a plethora of local cinematic classics.
Recently, the channel added a sporting element to the selection of entertainment so that we could catch the Rugby World Cup games during the tournament, and now the Premier Soccer League has been added, which, for some of us, makes this an even better streaming platform than international rival Netflix.
Showmax is doing its utmost to compete with the giant Netflix and, in some instances, it’s winning. One might argue that Netflix has an abundance of original content, but so does Showmax by way of its link to MultiChoice. It even backed a movie this year, The Girl from St Agnes, which didn’t disappoint.
After a 14-day trial, the app will cost you R99 every month, which isn’t terrible. Get someone a few months – they’ll dig it.