Crates and cushions, the new way to picnic

The Chronicle

Bongani Ndlovu, Showbiz Correspondent 

PICNICKING has taken a new twist in Bulawayo this summer with people opting to have a rustic feel, with wooden crates and cushions making up the new wave of eating out. 

Planning a picnic in this day and age can be very daunting and stressful, with things like where to go and what to eat coming into mind. 

But it seems there are some people who have come up with a way to plan everything from the food and set up to the tee. Be it when one wants to go out with their lover for a romantic picnic, with a group of friends or family, there is a need to make the outing as memorable as possible. 

Using wooden crates which act as the table and cushions as chairs, one Mthulisi Moyo has found a way to make it possible for people to wine and dine with their loved ones in a memorable way. 

Moyo mooted this idea in Bulawayo last year when he personalised a couple’s picnic. 

“We started off with a couple picnic at Hillside Dams almost a year ago on the 17th of September. It was a birthday surprise so it was a unique, romantic and chilled setup.

“Since then, we’ve been doing couple and group picnics where we provide decor setting of a picnic style,” said Moyo.

Working tirelessly, Moyo and his colleagues who have since formed a company, Wood Affair Events, provide the wooden crates, cushions and food. They also do photoshoots. Mostly, these picnics have been held at the Hillside Dams, Waterfront and Happy Haven in Bulawayo.

The economic situation in Zimbabwe will force many to think outside the box and this is what happened with Moyo who came up with the idea so that he could make some extra cash.

“I came up with the idea as I needed to make a living after I discovered I had the talent and skill to make beautiful setups. I’m passionate about things that have wood hence the name of the company Wood Affair Events,” he said.

Moyo, who has no prior training in coming up with the setups, said people are accepting the idea, slowly but surely.

“After we started last year, we only started realising the business worth sometime in February this year. I think people were still familiarising with the concept or we hadn’t really marketed ourselves well. However, we’re proud to say we’ve managed to host weekly picnics for the past four months.”

For those who like outdoor chilled events, they could have had a feel of Moyo’s touch during the Munch & Sip and Soul Cook Out, held in the city recently. 

“We’ve also made great partnerships with other decor and event planners in Bulawayo. Our biggest success to date was doing the decor for the EU Film Festival, Munch & Sip and Soul Cook Out. People love the rustic decor and style we use for events,” said Moyo. 

He thanked his business partners, Christine Mpofu and Bongi Nindi for believing in him. 

“So, first of all, a complete stranger by the name of Christine Mpofu believed in my idea as she saw the first picnic I did and was taken. We then agreed to partner and make the whole concept work. Unfortunately, she’s not locally based, but she does a lot of behind the scenes work to make the picnics a success. 

“I also work with Bongi Nindi who is more of a mentor to me. She’s one person that also believed in me and would always say ‘you have blessed hands’,” said Moyo.