Hi, i'm writing this blog page to share information with all you wanderlust souls out there. Living in Morocco comes with lots of bizarre and unexpected events, which i thought you may enjoy reading about and sharing in the laughter.

My family and I moved to Marrakech 11 years ago from London. The beginning of a huge adventure for us. Choosing which country was right for us to live in had been an extremely long and tiring process. Having made a choice to move to Marrakesh, was in itself a big box ticked. We had two criteria lists, one for our business (opening and running a guesthouse) and one for personal.

Phase two of our journey then began. Setting up home in Morocco, also a non English speaking country with a very different culture to ours. Marrakech is a real melting pot of; languages, tribes, rich, poor, city slickers, country peasants. It sometimes reminds me of that place Luke Skywalker went to, to buy that space ship, with all those different intergalactic aliens. (Any one know what it was called?) After months of beauroctratic paperwork, rendez vous with people who don't turn up and renting from an unpleasant woman for a large amount of money, we bought ourselves a villa. This was not in the plan as we didn't want to tie up our capital in a home. I now realise it is one of the best things we could have done. When you've had a really difficult day here to be able to close the door and relax in your own place really balances you.

Zamzam Riad & Spa was eventually created out of love and we hope you will come and stay and be pampered in our luxury boutique riad.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Our Future - Made in Africa Foundation and the African Development Bank Gala at the Taj, Marrakech

During The African Development Bank Conference in Marrakech this fantastic Gala Dinner was hosted by the Taj Palace.  It was an amazing evening with music from John Legend, Youssou N'Dour as well as a spectacular fashion show celebrating creative talent from three of Africa's top designers.  At the event the Made in Africa Foundation presented a special award to Donald Kaberuka, President of the African Development Bank.  Ozwald Boeteng was interviewed that evening by BBC World News and he also launched his film 'Our Future, Made in Africa.  You can view the film on U-tube or The Made in Africa Website.

The extraordinary amount of work that went into this show was overwhelming and the performances outstanding.  It was fantastic that Marrakech was chosen to host this important week of inter country relationship building, knowledge sharing and debate.

Being born in Uganda and growing up in Nigeria, my life has been effected by African politics and I have been involved in many discussions on how this great continent can inter trade and harness its wealth.  After all I was made in Africa!  It was fantastic to be able to be involved in this inspirational week and hear new views and opinions from different generations.  
Watch this space as Africa goes from strength to strength and better road, rail and airlinks are developed.

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Creating the Guest House

We had decided to buy land and build a country guesthouse as per our business plan, about 10 double rooms and suites. The dream was to create a holistic retreat and build our house on the same plot. We were going to have an organic vegetable garden and provide a Moroccan Spa.

Land in Marrakech at that time, went mad. Prices going up daily, lots of people fishing but not really wanting to sell. There is also a problem here of title. ie not much land is titled and to buy land without a title is very difficult, unless you have a lot of time on your hands and like a gamble. We looked at more land than you can shake a stick at, drank more mint tea than you can imagine and got totally no where. It can take weeks to even get a price. You may be being shown a piece of land that isn't for sale or has already been sold. After a year of this we said 'that is it!, we are buying a riad!'

I had a total nervous breakdown and couldn't talk to anyone for three days. He then said this doesn't have to be the end....... It wasn't I have now built an Ecological Camp Adounia in the Sahara Desert!