March Magnificence

From : Ndau Collection

March is upon us and it feels like last year is many moons ago! We have all worked some very long hours to make up new designs for our photo shoot and create our first dedicated menswear range, so every day has seemed like two. It has however, been more than worth it as the gorgeous new pieces will show…

Hot Off The Bench!

Christie Halsted has made up our first dedicated menswear range. She’s used leather, croc teeth and buffalo horn – the perfect Camel Man’s accessory mix!


Sterling silver capped XL triple croc tooth and bolo leather necklace






Buffalo and sterling silver capped croc tooth ring






Buffalo horn and brushed sterling silver bracelet






Buffalo horn and brushed sterling silver bracelet

Seems like Gail van Jaarsveldt has struck gold – literally – with her new vermeil African Renaissance Collection – it’s selling out faster than she can make it up! Here’s her latest creations…

XL Baoule brass pendant bead with vermeil, powder glass, Fulani agates, powder glass and Kakamba Prosser glass bead necklace

Malian spindle bead with cage Baoule brass beads and powder glass bead necklace

Batiked beads with ostrich shell chips, sand cast brass and powder glass bead necklace

Tonga ndoro, vermeil, Kakamba Prosser glass and excavated glass bead bracelets

Buffalo horn is Joe Mutoko latest inspiration – he loves the way sterling silver brings the depths of colour out of the horn. Adding a sprinkling of garnets and tourmalines creates a magical mix!

Buffalo horn bracelet with sterling silver and leather thong

Plated croc tail and sterling silver choker with buffalo horn pendant, set with pink tourmaline

Buffalo horn disk earrings set in sterling silver

Buffalo horn pendant with sterling silver capping and punch detail

After finding a treasure trove of hand cut stones in the spring clean, Christie Brookstein has designed these geometric pieces to show off the amazing local varieties of semi precious stones, all off set against leather thong. Modern art in wearable silver!

Agates, tigers eye and cat’s eye opal bracelet

Agates, quartz, carnelian, pyrite, tiger’s eye and cat’s eye opal choker

Agate, sardonyx and cat’s eye opal ring

Close up of choker centrepiece

Leather goes tropical! Christie Brookstein is in love with colour and feathers this month. Worked in top quality crocodile belly skin, these pieces add a jolt of full sunshine life to any look – your daily dose of Vitamin D. Note the finely wired amethyst centrepiece on the clutch bag by Gift Sithole for The Ruoko Project!

Sterling silver capped antique bone with peacock and ostrich feathers on vintage yellow belly skin cuff

Amethyst belly skin clutch, cuff and tie belt with amethyst and silver wire detail on clutch front by Gift Sithole

Red belly leather cuff with black and white pheasant and guinea fowl feathers

Sterling silver shaped Tuareg cross on red belly tail cuff with Swarovski stud

The Ruoko Report

Fine detail scrimshaw by Moses, inspired by an antique Shona snuff box










Large rare Tonga ndoro, sterling silver wired by Gift into a unique ring








Scrimshaw pendant by Moses, inspired by antique witchdoctor Hakata fortune telling bones











Obert hard at work making chitenge tiles at The Africa Cafe at Elephant’s Walk










It’s been a busy month for all the members of The Ruoko Project – as always! Gift is wearing his fingers out getting ready for his exhibition, Leamington is finishing commissions, Moses has been and is loaded up with work for Ndau and Obert is helping to decorate the new Africa Cafe at Elephant’s Walk Shopping and Artist’s Village.

We thought we’d focus on the beautiful scrimshaw work Moses has done for Christie Halsted for her Tonga Collection. This is featured in our upcoming look book and has incredible detail – it’s just going into the shops as I type… Moses was inspired by the fine detailing on several pieces fom the Jafuta Heritage Centre – witchdoctor hakatas, Shona combs, head rests and snuffboxes along with fine Tonga beadwork. He translated this graphically onto vintage bone for Christie H, working at such a fine scale, he had to magnify all his work. As these images show, the end result is modern and ancient at the same time – we love it!

Gift also added his unique touch, making up earrings and rings from antique Tonga beads, wired in sterling silver. It’s been a month of amazing collaborations

Fashion Focus

For March, we’ve taken a look at what’s on trend with leather and turned to the world’s current favourite style guru, Rachel Zoe, for her opinion, as read in The Style List:

“5 Accessory Trends To Look Out For In 2012: Team Zoe’s Picks
We’re less than one month into 2012 and Team Zoe is happy to report that many exciting trends are already emerging on the accessories front. Certain to be a promising time for experimenting with awesome add-ons, we have curated a list of our fave cutting-edge accessory styles.

Whether you opt for big and bold with futuristic details and metallic color palettes, or soft and subdued with pastel hues, you’re bound to find a trend that resonates with your aesthetic. From sunnies to bangles to corset belts, we’ve got the latest and greatest in accessories covered — all there’s left to do is pile them on!
xo, Team Zoe”

We’ve done our corset belts just that little bit more on the wild side – in croc and ostrich skin that is – with genuine Malian Ingal crosses and handmade leather tassels…

Chocolate brown ostrich and crocodile leather corset









Ostrich and crocodile hornback corsets by Christie Brookstein










Detail of hand made tassel and Malian Ingal cross front clasp on corset








Aquamarine Attitude

Sterling silver ndoro and aquamarine detail chocolate brown cuff by Joe Mutoko










Chocolate brown belly skin belt with sterling silver set aquamarine and vintage bone buckle by Christie Brookstein









Sterling silver ndoro earrings with chain drop aquamarines by Joe Mutoko









Hand sterling silver wired amethyst centrepiece and briolette droplet detail by Gift Sithole for The Ruoko Project on amethyst leather croc clutch by Christie Brookstein










March is the month of the aquamarine birthstone, a personal favourite, that seems perfect for Pisceans with it’s clear, vibrant, watery depths. Aquamarine is the stone of courage and its’ calming energies reduce stress and quiet the mind. It has the power to invoke tolerance in others and overcome judgmentalism. It was once carried by sailors as a talisman against drowning and is also said to be great for hayfever sufferers! Pisceans have moonstone and amethyst too as their star sign stones, both reminiscent of water, whilst those who come under the sign of Aires have the multiple hues of red jasper and red cornelian captured in their star sign stones.


Available in red, green or blue, we’re offering all of our wonderful newsletter subscribers a 10% discount on our Dot, Bar and U rings, made up in sterling silver with Ethiopian white heart bead centres. Either purchase them instore or simply ask us to list them on Etsy for you – let us know your ring size for a custom fit. We love colour!








Upcoming Events and Ndau News

Hand plaited sterling silver bracelets







We hope that all our local customers have been down to see the new African Renaissance Shop at The Victoria Falls Hotel. It has been completely overhauled by Gail and is looking amazing. Her collection of gold dusted vermeil jewellery is currently available exclusively there, so go and enjoy a delicious high tea and a spot of shopping!

The Look Book shoot is complete! We have had the priviledge of working with talented photographer Shirli Jade Carswell and are so impressed with the unedited end images – can’t wait to see the final work. We were amazingly lucky in finding perfect models right on our doorstep – literally. Edith came shopping at Ammonite, Lisa is Gift’s girlfriend, Munya is one of our silversmiths and Yakov is Christie H’s husband. They made our jewellery look amazing, aided by the very photogenic Sylvester, the majestic cheetah owner of The Wild Horizons Game Reserve. Our new website and online campaigns will be featuring all of these images. Thanks to all the team who worked behind the scenes and The Africa Cafe for keeping us so well fed – even if it did make me look rather temptingly plump to Mr Sylvester!

We look forward to the newest edition to our Ndau family this month – Christie H’s new baby will be joining us any minute now. And believe it or not, the ever immaculately stunning Edith was 7 months pregnant in all the shots we did – super professional, our own Mama Africa during the shoot. We love our Ndau babies so much that we’re thinking of releasing a limited edition range of jewellery just for them – Maya is already well adorned and posed perfectly as Pebbles Flintstone during the shoot, a natural infront of the camera. Let us know what you think of this idea!?

Don’t forget the upcoming solo exhibition by Gift Sithole, Master Wireworker on 2nd April 2012 in The Jafuta Heritage Centre. This will also be the official launch of the free to the public centre. Contact us for more information on the evening launch in conjunction with The Africa Cafe.