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Empowerment Platforms: High Tea Craze Invades Zimbabwe

A high tea craze has swept through Zimbabwe, with upwardly mobile women taking the tea parties as empowerment platforms. Attendance to the...

A high tea craze has swept through Zimbabwe, with upwardly mobile women taking the tea parties as empowerment platforms.

Attendance to the fashionable high tea events come at a price of $50 per head. Not only is there a steep monetary price to it, but one needs to dress up in their Sunday best, including heels, fascinators (fancy head gear), and gloves to spice it up.

A recently held high tea party at one of Harare’s restaurants, saw Zari Hassan, wife of popular east African singer Diamond Platnumz fly in to give a “power talk” to Zimbabweans women.
Tea Party Craze is Engulfing Zimbabwe

Hassan is an entrepreneur and an artiste as well. It was not only Hassan’s talk that forced prospective entrepreneurs to fork out $50, but also a chance to mix and mingle with businesswomen who have made it in life.

Among them was Traverze Travel boss Zodwa Mkandla and businesswoman Olinda Chapel, who is based in the United Kingdom. Chapel has even taken the high tea business concept to the United Kingdom, where the original high tea culture began.

It has become a social event of empowerment, food and fashion. But it is not just the women who have made high tea big business; top hotels in the capital are now also selling the high tea package.

As the name suggests, high tea is a fancy tea meal including sandwiches, scones, cakes and other assorted bakes as well as meat.

High tea started as a light supper served with tea and taken in the afternoon or during sunset.
Zimbabwean comedy online television, Bustop TV, has been having a laugh over the high tea concept, joking that it preferred high sadza.

In another skit played out by Samantha “Gonyeti” Kureya and Margaret “Margie” Mutsamvi, Gonyeti got frustrated after Margie invited her to her home for high tea and then charged her $20 for the “business talk” they had had.

When high tea started, the drinking of tea not only became a social event for the upper class, it altered the time and manner in which they took tea. Afternoon tea became the bridge between meals because many wouldn’t eat their evening meal until maybe 8pm. As such, afternoon tea became a “mini meal” in itself.

This was all well and good for the upper classes, but the working classes ran to a different schedule and a different budget.

Tea was still quite expensive at the time and the working classes could not afford to waste money on anything other than necessities. A wearied factory worker wouldn’t arrive home until six in the evening, and when he did, he was famished!

Thus, in the industrial areas of the UK (northern England and southern Scotland), the working classes evening meal evolved around high tea. - Weekend Post

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