FLOWER POWER DELIGHTS THE EYE AT MEIKLES HOTEL

Walk into the stylish lobby of Harare’s exalted Meikles Hotel and your eye quickly goes to a single, regal bowl of fresh roses potted in antique silverware. This epitomises the meticulous and majestic style of Zimbabwe’s most famous luxury hotel.

As you stroll around the hotel you will see such flower-power delights in many other stand-out and strategic places – the entrance of the Tanganda Tea Lounge, outside the signature La Fontaine Grillroom and various other corridors.

These beautiful creations are the work of gifted florists, such as Blessing Musavengana and Scholastica Kuseri, who started their careers at Meikles as general cleaners and bedroom hands at Meikles. We went into the basement to discover them energetically at work, together with a new mentor, Kirsty Benning, who is inspiring them with more modern arrangements.

Head florist Steven Shoniwa, who has been at Meikles for 18 years, was on leave but Scholastica Kuseri, who was born in Harare and educated at Mabelreign Girls High, soon projected the team’s pride: “I started as a general cleaner 15 years ago, but I came with a big passion for flowers and I kept on asking for permission to learn,” she said.

“I was lucky that Guy Lovemore inspired and helped me, so here I am happy to be learning new designs each and every day.

Blessing Musavengana started as a bedroom hand eight years ago and became a fully-fledged florist in 2008 “after I was given a chance to cross-train by Steven Shoniwa.” He was born in Chitungwiza, went to Zengeza High and always had a passion for flowers, even in the small family garden. He is also a soccer enthusiast who support CAPS United and Arsenal.