Image Courtesy: Nde Uyapo
The day of the long awaited GIFD- Gaborone International Food and Drink market finally came this past Saturday at the Bojanala Waterfront. Having previously attended the event (when it was still called the Food and Wine show) and thoroughly enjoyed myself, I couldn’t wait to see what the organisers had in store for us. The event was supposed to start at 10 in the morning, but Saturday turned out to be sweltering, even by Gaborone’s hellish standards. I ended up making my way there well into the afternoon after having to psyche myself out of staying in the house and braving what felt like a 100 degrees.
I arrived at approximately 3pm to find a small crowd in attendance and a beautiful set up. It was clear from the moment that I got there that this was a lifestyle event more than just a food and drink event. Everyone looked incredible, with off the shoulder gypsy tops, statement sunglasses and (I’m guessing thrifted) multiprint high-waisted skirts trending.
Blogger and photographer Trevor Stuurman also remarked on how immaculately so many women tied their head wraps, which were seen on several attendees. Speaking of Trevor, he was an absolute joy to have at the event. He mingled with many of his admirers and made the rounds several times at Bojanala to photographically capture the event. Other special guests were the self proclaimed “pitbull in heels” Farah Fortune as well as Kye Marlie of South African blog Just Curious fame, both of whom I had the pleasure of meeting and who were very friendly. Elle magazine’s Ayanda Molefe and South African blogger TeeTee Nteta rounded up the invited guests. I did get s brief introduction to TeeTee but perhaps because of the heat and her black attire (which was gorgeous but probably not helping) I did not see her leave the safety of her couch for most of the event.
Some of my favourite local bloggers Lorraine Kinnear, Brilliant Kodie and Uyapo Ketogetswe also did a fantastic job of representing the local blogosphere. They barely sat down, choosing instead to trot around Bojanala looking for great moments to capture.
My girls and I chose to lay out a picnic blanket under a shade on the grass, which is why I always savour coming to Bojanala for events. Nothing feels better to me than the cool comfort of shade and sitting cross legged on a comfy blanket. If that wasn’t your taste, there were shaded benches set up near the beer garden, which is where most people chose to enjoy their afternoon.
What made the GIFD better than its predecessors was that there were many more food options, which is great to balance out the huge selection of liquor available. I had some very delicious buffalo wings and croque monsieur that was so good it couldn’t have been better if I made it myself (and I’m a certified beast in the kitchen).
The food was also presented beautifully, as were the drinks. You could get a selection of cold, colourful boozy cocktails in stylish mason jars or cups from many stalls. The only reservation I had was over the prices. For a P250 ticket you got 10 tokens to spend; if you ran out you could purchase more- another 10 tokens would set you back P100 once you were inside. With 10 tokens you were likely to get no more than one snack and maybe two drinks- hard to stretch out over an event slated for 9 hours. Many attendees did note that although they had a blast they wish they had known that they would have probably needed more than just ticket money to fully enjoy themselves and try out everything on offer.
Regardless of the financials, the event was without a doubt a success, and I can bravely say my favourite event of this year. The vibe was the best I have experienced at any event since moving back from Cape Town and clearly the organisers weren’t playing when they said “international’. Congratulations to Tshepo Ntshole, Michael Hall and a special thank you to Katlego Morule for this transcendent experience. That being said, I have already started the countdown to the 2016 GIFD; this time, with a little more preparation in my budget