Talent Gore Lifestyle Writer
Bulawayo, decorously known as the city of kings and queens is a place of flamboyance and royalty, and, royalty is twins with style. No one argues that Bulawayo indeed has more style that any other place in Zimbabwe.
The streets are uncharacteristically wide in grid form and the buildings clearly stick out, for the eye to see. The vision is unobstructed hence the need for tasteful decoration; nothing hides from the other.
It is here that 26-year-old Zandile Moyo, has taken the town by storm, decorating and planning events and wedding for the rich and famous of Zimbabwe’s second capital city.
For, Zandile it is the passion to fulfil childhood dream and breaking the barriers that often bring down the girl child, that has driven her to greater heights.
After being forced by parents to take an Accounting Science Degree at a South African university, she took the opportunity to plan events for friends and the who is who at the university.
“I am one of the directors and the founding members of Doug and Flora Events, Doug and Flora Events is a bespoke and luxury events service provider.
“We offer catering, events decor, interior design and deco as well as equipment hire, we pride ourselves with being innovative and bold in our designs.
“I run this event planning business with my older sister and best friend Mthandazo Nomagugu Moyo.”
And, proudly, the name is derived from their parents’ names.
“The company is named after our late father Douglas and mother who’s affectionately called Flora by close friends and family.
“I remember telling my parents in 2010 soon after finishing writing A’ Level exams that I wanted to skip University and become a wedding planner, my dad didn’t approve of it and so I went off to University to pursue something more practical and safe so I chose Accounting Science.”
“I started planning events while I was a student at the University of Witwatersrand. I used to cater and plan my friends’ events such as birthdays and get together.
“It gave me so much joy to host my friends’ events but little did I know that I was slowly building up experience for my current line of work.”
Zandile said one golden rule in event planning is paying “Attention to detail”.
“An eye for detailed art, its application to the person whom you are designing for as well as grasping the trending designs is key to coming up with the event décor,” she said.
Zandile decided to make her dream come true after she spent months’ job hunting to no avail.
“After graduating with a Bachelor’s degree majoring in Finance and Auditing I returned back to Zimbabwe and I was job searching for a few months to no avail, I got tired of waiting for response,” she explained.
“Ok Mart Bulawayo had advertised for a wedding expo in 2016 and was calling decorators to come exhibit. We exhibited and won first runner up for best designed stand and decor.
“From then there was no looking back.”
But Zandile’s job was not easy as it is very hard to satisfy people.
“It is not an easy thing to satisfy people’s needs, but when you know what they like, then it makes your job simple,” she said.
“One of the greatest challenges comes especially with weddings which are not easy to host. While the bride and groom are busy anticipating the big day, as the events coordinator you have to plan and your job is to look at the areas that they don’t look at when it comes to the event.”
“When you plan for them, then they have confidence in you and that way, you know that your work is being appreciated.”
Asked to describe one of the best events he has done, Zandile said it was an elegant wedding.
“It was Thabisani and Gugu Ngwenya wedding, it was a lovely out of the box rustic affair. Every wedding is unique and beautiful and I would say this was my most memorable work,” she said.
“My hope and dream is to grow the company into a formidable giant in the Events Industry in Zimbabwe and Southern Africa.”
Zandile said her biggest inspiration was her mother.
“My biggest inspiration is my mother Nomalanga Florah Ndlovu. She believes in me and pushes me to be the best and challenges me to keep doing better,” she said.
“I balance my work by pursuing other interests such as furthering my studies, currently doing a professional course in Accountancy called CTA and working on building up a portfolio in the interior design, construction and renovations space.”
She said she was happy that her job was growing into a brand – Doug and Flora Events.
She added: “One other thing is that, when you see people approaching you consulting for décor and everything, then you know that you are doing the right thing at the right time.
“An event is the best way to introduce yourself to society and setting standards. I am also inspired by a luxury lifestyle because nothing says ‘I have arrived’ like throwing a properly planned event with all the trimmings.
“This is because each client is different with regards to their character, preferences and budget so research and spending some time with a client helps to understand them to suggest an appropriate mood board for their event,” said Zandile.
For Zandile, the sky is the limit.