IN an environment where the arts have been neglected by the corporate world, Bulawayo’s reopened Windermere Hotel has come on board to change not only the hospitality sector, but also the arts and sporting fraternity through sponsorship.
By Sindiso Dube
Windermere Hotel, located 15km outside Bulawayo along the Victoria Falls Road, has become home to artists of various disciplines.
The hotel is one of the unique places one can find in Bulawayo, a good getaway from the busy and noisy city. It allows interaction with nature and boat cruising, fishing in Umguza River and also viewing of animals in Umguza Nature Reserve, which is a habitat for giraffes, zebras, kudus, impalas, warthogs.
The hotel’s management has offered a helping hand to the arts two months after the leisure spot’s reopening, with the management presenting the winners of the Miss Bulawayo Polytechnic pageant with an all-paid-for weekend at the hotel.
The winning queen and Mr Polytechnic had to take along two friends respectively to enjoy nature at the hotel.
Miss Polytechnic, Patrenda Mhundwa told The Standard Style that she was delighted with Windermere Hotel’s support as it made her feel like a real winner.
“I have won a number of pageants from which I walked home with only a crown, but this time I feel like a winner, a celebrity, I just feel important, thanks to Windermere management,” said Mhundwa.
“They have been taking care of us in a good way — good food, water, fresh air, boat cruise, swimming, drinks, music and we have interacted with wildlife.
Mr Polytechnic, Enoch Phiri echoed the same sentiments, adding that the hotel should cast its nets wider and support the whole arts industry.
“This is the life that every winner should experience. We are relaxed and took time away from school and the noisy city,” he said. “Windermere management must not end with us, but they should do more for the arts industry.”
Windermere Hotel also presented a cash prize to Xolani Sibanda, winner of the United Bulawayo Hospitals fundraising gig — Dance Off Competition — two weeks ago.
Hotel owner Reyner Marima said they wanted to rebrand the place to make it a hospitality and arts as well as sports hub.
“We are bringing in a new life, we have nature here and we call upon people to come enjoy the fresh air,” he said.
“We intend to support the local arts industry by sponsoring shows, artists and other disciplines; we have many shows in the pipeline that Bulawayo music lovers will enjoy.”
Windermere is not new to sponsoring sporting disciplines. A few years ago, Zifa vice-president Omega Sibanda sponsored a Southern Region Division One soccer team FC Windermere, and the new management is also looking into supporting sports.