HomeStandard PeopleOpen air venues: A reveller’s in-thing

Open air venues: A reveller’s in-thing

In almost every city and town, there are numerous outdoor venues where people meet for drinks and braai after work or over weekends.

Most of these places are open spaces in front of or behind shopping centres where common sights are thatched shades sheltering fireplaces where meat is roasted and various other relishes, as well as sadza, are cooked.

Although some of these places are at loggerheads with city fathers for various reasons, outdoor entertainment remains the most popular pastime for many people.

In most cases these places are named (or known) by trade names of the oldest or popular shops of the centre.

For Harare and its surrounds, names like Mereki, White House, Fatso, Chikwanha, Mastones and Ziko come to mind.

Also chief among them is Malvern Shopping Centre in Waterfalls that is popularly known as KwaZindoga.

Although Zindoga line of business was not the first to operate at the centre, the name somehow managed to eclipse other trade names.

Giant gum trees in front of the shops provide a convenient and stretchy parking space for merrymakers who throng the place for refreshment.

Zindoga Sports Bar has reciprocated by bringing outdoor disco where DJs like Dr Zobha entertain clients.

But, how did the place come to be known as Zindoga and how did it gain such popularity?

StandardLife&Style had a chat with Regis Zindoga who runs Zindoga Sports Bar to trace the history of the outdoor entertainment facility that has maintained popularity over many years.

He recalls that when his father Francis bought the place in 1977 he started with constructing a butchery and bottle store.

Then, they were trading as Zai Rimwe but because most people knew the owner of the place they preferred referring to it by his name.

Because he was one of the few black shop owners at the shopping centre, Zindoga’s shop became popular just after Independence as successful black professionals from Waterfalls and surrounding areas thronged the place, mainly driven by maintaining their identity.

The place expanded with time and also changed hands at some points but it remained known as Zindoga. Even the owner had no option but to change the name from Zai Rimwe.

There are many other shops at the centre including Munava Spar supermaket that was built recently.

People buy drinks and beers from the various bottle stores at the place and meat from various butcheries.

Since Zindoga’s death in 1988, his sons shared his complex and each runs a different business.

That is how the place came to be known as Zindoga.

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