For the love of the game

Admittedly there haven’t been many moments in my life where I’ve shared a confined space with football fans, but flight KL 205 from Amsterdam-Rio blessed me with 12 hours of such an experience. I would estimate the ratio of men to women on the flight was around 8:2.

Playground of the gods

I recently discovered I am incredibly prone to travel sickness; a message, which I feel, my body has delivered quite late in life. It was on the beautiful and scenic drive up the winding mountain roads that led to the sublime and sacred land of Uttarkashi, that I learnt this lesson.

A good cuppa chai

When I think of the small and simple pleasures of visiting India, drinking a piping hot, milky tea with excess sugar definitely stands among them. From street corners to train stations – it is the tasty cup of chai that hits the spot every time. Yet on a recent visit to one of Delhi airport’s domestic terminals I was disgruntled to discover there was none on offer.

Telling the story of a sex worker

Amina was one of nearly twenty urban sex workers I met in Tanzania’s capital a while ago on a film, photography and storygathering assignment.

The Perfect Chappati

It’s my mum’s birthday this week, and she’s already told me what she wants for her gift, “You can prepare a traditional Gujarati dinner and invite me to your home – you have to cook the entire meal.”

Where marketing doesn’t exist

In much of the developed world, we are bombarded by an overwhelming range of branded products, clothes, food and drink. Unknowingly we endlessly chase these things, goaded by a constant influx of commercials that involuntarily enter our consciousness. Commerce is simply the way of life; it’s virtually impossible to imagine a world without advertising. But in Mzuzu, in the north of Malawi, marketing still doesn’t really exist as a concept. In fact Mzuzu barely has any billboards to speak of, not that there is no captive market available to tap. The issue is more that products for sale in Malawian supermarkets far exceed the income of the masses, and there are few effective systems in place for the production and processing of goods suitable for the mass market. Most of Malawi’s population are farmers who just about grow enough food to eat, so it’s these people who should really be generating and benefitting from business. Last week, I spent the day with a remarkable woman who is trying hard to instil a business mindset into Mzuzu’s rural dairy farmers. “Marketing is not selling” is the motto she’s has been hammering into the farmers’ heads for the last one year. Though she’s made good progress, she describes it as a challenge, “It is the first time for them to see milk production and processing as more than a means of survival”. She’s introduced smaller-sized packaging for fresh milk to make it more affordable to larger numbers, and tightened up milk processing so the quality of the product remains high. She’s also schooled farmers, many illiterate, in ways to strategically market...