Keep howling 

I always joked about how I’d never have a reason to be seen in Tsakane, Ekurhuleni; Sphiwe Giba unknowingly had other plans for me. 

I had never met the 34-year who runs and owns, Wolf and Co Cafe but by the time I walked into his restaurant, I felt like we go way back. 

He explains that we shared the same sentiment about Tsakane but he soon came to realise that what he thought was a backward township in the Styx is actually rich with history and like many forgotten places in SA, it played a major role during our political struggle. 

The restaurant wasn’t hard to find once I made it through my hour long drive to Tsakane – it’s far guys – pack a snack! The converted shipping container stands out in Ngcobo Street and despite the cold weather that particular afternoon we decided to venture there, we were welcomed with warmth.

When he described Wolf to me as a space that is never static and constantly fluid; I couldn’t have agreed more. 

After my friend, Tumi and I parked our cars, we were immediately greeted by the Bicycle Stokvel, cyclists who were gathered around imbawula warming themselves after cycling in the rain for 2 hours from Vosloorus. Once we stepped inside the container, I felt as though I’d been transported back to Tottori, Japan with the quintessential golden Maneki-neko beckoning us into the space. 


He attributed the Asian influence in both the space and the menu to his history with Asian practices – he did Tai Chi and Kung Fu back in 2013 and was also into dragon boat for training. He also loves Asian dishes and Zen influence and for those of us who miss being in the Orient, the space brings all the elements we miss together quite beautifully. 

We tried ordering some warm drinks hoping we’d be sipping on mulled wine or an Irish coffee but Sphiwe explained that Wolf is an alcohol free zone. He made the conscious decision to not have alcohol served in the space explaining that he prefers his patrons to take in the space without any lubrication. 

I opted to sip on warm pineapple tea along with Palesa and Dimpho while Tumi had her cappuccino – attributed to a slight caffeine addiction. While the guys had their lunch before heading back on their bikes, I got some time to take in the various aspects of Wolf. We found an entrepreneur working quietly on her Apple Mac while the girls and I filled the space with giggles. I distinctly remember hearing some of my favourite hip hop jams while watching the cyclists change back into the clothes they’d left to dry. 

Sphiwe is a lone wolf and he’s taken this aspect of his personality straight into his restaurant – he cooks alone and has no waitressing staff. I was a little averse to the idea but it adds a lovely personal touch when he brings out his meals and tells you what he’s prepared for you that day. 

The meals change every time and he only serves them on Friday evenings, as well as Saturday and Sunday afternoons so if you’re like me and get attached to a dish, don’t. He won’t be making it again. I love the element this brings to my dining experience, although I’m sad I missed out on a few dishes he’s already served over the last few weeks before I came for lunch; I have no regrets about the spicy soup the self taught cook served us on Saturday. You can taste the love and passion in each spoonful and I will definitely be back to sample more of his amazing dishes. 

While we’re eating he chats to us about how this has been a labour of love for 5 years that he finally made come true in collaboration with J&B Hive. He’d been living in downtown Joburg since his late teens and made his return to Tsakane after his 30th birthday. After looking for the perfect house, buying it, adding the shipping container; he finally built the space to what it is now. 

He hopes the space will translate his creative process and energy and will transcend creative boundaries that we sometimes find ourselves hiding behind. The vision is simple: happy faces, full bellies, more dishes, single origin coffee and live performances. 


“I want to see a safe space for creative freedom that doesn’t discriminate,” he smiled. After my experience there, I can safely say he’s well on his way there. 

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TRU giveaway 

It’s been quite an experience using the TRU products over that last 2 weeks. 

Being someone who’s fairly new to organic skincare products, I was both excited and wary to get started. 

As I’ve mentioned I don’t expect clear, baby soft skin immediately but I’m happy to report that I’ve not had any reaction to the products and as the temperature keeps dropping, the products have been dealing amazingly with the dryness that usually comes with winter. 

TRU has been generous enough to let me give away a starter pack to one lucky winner. 

The starter pack, worth over R200, contains to 175g African Black Soap, 120g Unrefined Shea Butter and 50ml Moringa Infused Serum. All you need to do to enter is subscribe to my blog, follow TRU and icherryefresh over on Facebook and Instagram then leave a comment on either platform about why you’d switch over to organic skincare products like the range from TRU and if you’ve already made the switch, let me know why you’re never looking back. The competition will run until the end of May and the winner will be contacted directly.

*Competition is open to followers in South Africa only. 

7 days later – Fresh and Clean

Firstly I’d like to declare that the breakout is purely my fault.

I’m guilty of over indulging in the marked down Easter chocolates from Woolworths and my skin is dealing with the consequences. 

Apart from that, the first 7 days of my 30-day skin challenge have been amazing. I must admit I was mostly nervous and excited about the black soap. What surprised me the most was the way the soap lathers up. The team at TRU explained that this was a chemical reaction of the main ingredient, Shea butter. The soap also contains cocoa or plantain ash which is similar to activated charcoal. The soap has a distinctive earthy smell which I like, surprisingly. 

I’d always thought that when the skin was all tight after washing with most cleansers, it meant it was squeaky clean – boy was I wrong. My poor face was tight and dry because it had been completely stripped of its natural oil due to the harsh nature of the ingredients. I had always heard that black soap dries out the skin so it’s best to use only 3 times a week but because I have very oily skin, it’s already helping to regulate the oil and my skin wasn’t feeling tight as it usually does after cleansing with most products. 

I love the Moringa infused serum; I think it’s mainly because the grape seed oil smells like raisins. Apart from loving the smell, the serum feels good on my skin. Usually after cleansing, I use an extra amount of moisturiser because my skin feels extra dry. I thought the folks at TRU were mistaken by giving me oil to put on my oily skin but then I realised that the serum doesn’t leave my skin looking shiny so it’s perfect. 

I’ve used Shea products containing West African shea butter before but this is my first time using the unrefined butter from East Africa. I’m used to body butters and lotions that have been mixed with essential oils and fragrances but it’s been surprisingly pleasant using a product that doesn’t have an overwhelming smell. 

The first week has been good so far and although I’m not expecting to see my acne gone in 7 days, I’m happy that the products have been good so far and I’m sure it will only get better. And yes I’ll stay away from the chocolates but I’m sure one won’t hurt the routine, right? 

GIVEAWAY!!

I have a TRU starter pack worth over R200 to giveaway. It contains 175g African Black Soap, 120g Shea Butter and 50ml Moringa Infused Serum. All you need to do to enter is subscribe to the blog, follow TRU and icherryefresh over on Facebook and Instagram then leave a comment about why you’d switch over to organic skincare products like the range from TRU and if you’ve already made the switch, let me know why you’re never looking back. The competition will run until the end of May and the winner will be contacted directly.

*Competition is open to followers in South Africa only. 

Fresh and Clean

Whenever the ladies at the skincare counters start asking me about my skincare routine, I start to squirm and mumble something incoherent.

Truth is, I don’t really have one. I don’t have great skin but I’ve learned to make do with what I have – I have good days where my skin almost glows and the days where breakouts are rife. Most days I’m winging it with a few pimples and some acne scars but I’ve come to make peace with the fact that I won’t be the next Garnier ambassador.

My good friends over at TRU have asked me to take part in a 30-day skincare challenge using three of their organic products namely Shea Butter, Moringa Infused Serum and African Black Soap. I’m all for a challenge but the only problem is that I don’t do well with routine which is the main reason why I don’t have a skincare routine. I get excited with a new product but soon enough it’ll join the rest of the collection of half used skincare products. So for me this challenge is, of course, about achieving great results for my skin but also keeping to the routine for the entire duration of May.


I first came across Shea Butter a few winters ago when the dryness of my skin was at its most severe. I found a body lotion in Clicks’ Oh So Heavenly range which contained Shea Butter and it worked like a dream. The brand has since discontinued this particular lotion and luckily my skin has since been better behaved during the colder months. When I recounted my little Shea Butter story to the folks at TRU, they were anything but impressed. What I didn’t know and came to learn from TRU is that not all Shea Butters are equal. 

TRU’s butter is 100% certified organic Nilotic unrefined butter which means it is creamy, soft and easy to apply onto the skin unlike its western cousin which has been described as hard and waxy. It is also rich in Vitamins A and E and has anti-aging and healing properties and is perfect for hair-to-toe use. If I didn’t have you at anti-aging, my favourite part of Shea Butter is that a small quantity goes a long way so you don’t have to keep buying new tubs as often. We’ve all established by now that bargains are my thing. 

I thought Moringa was a new diet craze and I immediately stayed away from anything that had to do with it. All I could imagine is dehydration and regret but of course I was far from the truth. The moringa plant is indigenous to various African countries including Mzansi and is high in minerals and vitamins including B and C. TRU’s skin serum is grapeseed oil infused with moringa powder and is, according to TRU, an excellent moisturiser for all skin types including acne prone, dry and mature skin. 


African Black Soap holds some form of mysticism for me. I was once told that this peculiar bar would rid me of my acne problems but it is only found in Ghana and so for the longest time I felt like I was on a quest for an elusive skin cleanser. Thanks to TRU my quest has ended and hopefully my skin woes too. The soap, which originates from West Africa, is made with pure, raw and unrefined Shea Butter. It has been used for centuries and has an abundance of benefits including anti-aging, evening out and fading skin discolourations (including acne scars) thus improving skin tone. It is a mild exfoliate with deep cleansing action and has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties; this helps with soothing skin inflammation and irritations. It sounds like a magical elixir but from what I’ve seen from regular users, it is not at all a fairytale.


I’m looking forward to transforming my skin to glowing and flawless and the folks at TRU want the same for you to and have given me a TRU starter pack worth over R200. It contains 175g African Black Soap, 120g Shea Butter and 50ml Moringa Infused Serum and all you need to do is subscribe to the blog, follow TRU and icherryefresh over on Facebook and Instagram then leave a comment about why youd switch over to organic skincare products like the range from TRU and if you’ve already made the switch, let me know why you’re never looking back. The competition will run until the end of May and the winner will be contacted directly.

*Competition is open to followers in South Africa only. 

Old school flavour

Thrift shopping is a skill.

In order to be able to get the most for your money, you need a game plan going into this.

After my recent trip with my niece and my girl, Leigh, I’ve come up with this list of 5 things I hope will help with your next thrifting trip:

1. Be prepared – my friend Leigh suggested you look as crusty as possible, you’re in downtown joburg so please don’t draw any unnecessary attention to yourself. Your joggers and hoodie will do and please no limited edition kicks – the comfy no name slip-ons for getting milk at the garage are perfect. There are no ATMs nearby so bring cash. In your bra. You don’t need your irreplaceable MIMCO wallet with all your cards. Thrifting is a team sport so do bring your BFFs, that way you guys can go through the piles looking for items for yourselves and each other.

2. Have a budget and stick to it – the piles of good stuff will overwhelm any shopaholic, don’t go over budget. Yeah sure skirts can cost anything between R10 and R40 but do you need all 10 of them? The whole point of thrifting is looking great on a budget so don’t go overboard now that your R200 can get you a lot of goodies.

3. Don’t settle for the first bargain you find – walk around and look through the various stalls. My niece was looking for a denim jacket, the first stall was selling them for R80 each. A few stalls further down we found them for R30 each and managed to pick up one for me and a denim vest. 

4. Know your wardrobe – shop the thrift items as additions to what you already have. All my finds work well into my current wardrobe and I’m easily able to create more outfits as we transition into autumn. My dad who’s an avid thrift shopper said: “you don’t want to be sitting with a bunch of old clothes you now want to give away because they don’t co-ordinate with what you already have”.

5. Patience is key – be willing to wade through piles and piles of clothing. Remember gold and diamonds aren’t found on the surface so keep digging. 
Between the two of us, my niece and I spent R190 and came home with two denim jackets, one denim vest, five skirts, one pair of jeans and one pinafore.

I’m obsessed with my maroon mules from Cotton On and when Leigh spotted this skirt, I had to take it home. I feel absolutely fab in this look. I’m rocking my wig from my friends at TRU, my Ndebele choker and I had to add my Zara clutch to this look. 

I love the colour on this skirt as well the button detail. Although I love my street style, I’m enjoying this ladylike feel my wardrobe has been moving towards lately. If you love my Ifindo earrings, send me message and I can hook you up – they’re available in a variety of colours for R50 a pair.

This is my favourite find. It instantly made me smile and how amazing does it look with my New Balance sneakers? It’s like they were made for each other. I’m wearing my XO earrings also available from my range of accessories at R100 a pair. And what better to finish off the look than with my doek and tiny cross body bag that I picked up at market in South Korea years back.


I absolutely love this skirt too. The print is amazing. I initially pictured myself wearing it with sneakers but when I tried the look with my Call It Spring wedges, it was perfect. I found the denim waistcoat while looking for my niece’s denim jacket in the pile, I couldn’t leave it behind. I’m wearing my bestseller, the Zuzi earrings (R150) and my grey ombre box braid wig from TRU. The little bag is a favourite of mine that I found at GAP during my Japan days.


This red denim jacket was a bit of a risk but it’s growing on me. I loved watching songstress Andra Day at the Jazz in Cape Town recently and for this look I had to borrow her style somehow. My niece helped me achieve her signature do with my cherry scarf which was gifted to me by Leigh from her previous thrifting trip. I’ve paired it with my City Chic faux leather skirt and Torrid wedges  as well the latest addition to my range: the Nefertiti earrings (R50) in the blue and red combo. I hope I look as badass as I feel in this look.

Last daze of summer 

This time of year always means two things for me: recovering from the International Cape Town Jazz Festival and enjoying the last days of summer.
I’m a Jozi girl through and through but I have to give it to Cape Town – they always seem to have summer last longer than us so I’m always glad to hop on the bus and make my 20 hour pilgrimage to the Mother City.

This year’s trip not only included seeing my favourite Capetonians but I also got a chance to meet some new people including my new favourite photographer, Shanaaz (@shazography_ct).

We made plans to meet up for a photo shoot around the city as an ode to endless Cape Town summers. We had fun shooting and I had a great time putting together looks from FBO Clothing with my favourite accessories from YATO Jewellery, TRU and of course icherryefresh.

I absolutely love this H&M L.O.G.G. maxi I got from FBO Clothing. As soon as put it on, I’m instantly in vaycay mode. I rocked my wig made by my girl from TRU and added my headpiece from YATO Jewellery.


I’ve collected these beaded bangles over the years and love to stack them up. They are definitely my go-to accessories so I always pack them whenever I’m travelling. 


I’m toying around with the idea of getting inked so these stick on tattoos help me get used to the idea of having art on my body. I got mine from Cotton On but most retailers have them in the accessories section. 


This dress is one of my favourite and to quote Shanaaz’s words during the shoot; “it is giving me absolute goddess”.


What I absolutely loved this season is mixing up trends. One of my favourites is the blend of luxury and evening pieces with day wear. 

My sequined H&M LBD is a fun piece, I paired it with my sister’s green H&M dress and because it doesn’t wrap around all the way, I can only wear it as a jacket. 


I’m warming up to the idea of wearing heels and I totally love the socks and heels trend. I found these socks and heels on sale at the Cotton On outlet and I’m looking forward to more of these combos.


I’m all about being extra and this look says exactly that.


My Zuzi earrings are my bestsellers at the moment. They’re a great statement piece and an absolute conversation starter.


Yellow is the colour of my aura and happiness. I’ve been eyeing this headwrap from TRU for the longest time and I finally did the right and bought one. 


My dress (worn as a top) was my party dress for my 30th – I’ve been wearing it as a top lately. I love finding new uses for pieces in my wardrobe. 


Ever since one client bought this combo of Zuzi earrings and the Indoni neckpiece for her graduation, I have fallen in love the idea of wearing them together although they work just as well as separate statement pieces.

My mom’s pleated skirts are some of the best things I picked up from her wardrobe after her passing. I love playing around with them and mixing them up with items in my wardrobe. 


Summer days are fading away by the day but as long as the sun still comes out to play, I’ll keep rocking my summer faves! 

i’m walking on bargains 

The one thing I love more than shopping is shopping for bargains.

The suburb of Boksburg is known for many things but I highly doubt being a fashion hotspot is one of them – I’m trying to change that – one post at a time. I mean it is home to the only H&M in Ekurhuleni and boasts two of my favourite Mr Price branches.

The past weekend I went looking for bargains and boy did Boksburg deliver. 

I started off at the Woolies Quality sale in East Rand Mall (it’s still on by the way) and found these amazing tassel detail peep toe block heels for R270. With the last few weeks of summer still with us I’m excited to rock these babies. 


I’ve styled them with some new goodies from my range: Ifindo earrings, R50; cuff, R70; mini Indoni, R130 (all items available in assorted colours).

Luckily for me, East Point is right next to East Rand Mall and boasts some amazing outlet stores including Nike, Adidas, Superga, Levi’s and my new favourite spot: Call It Spring – the heel life is really growing on me. They are currently running a 2 pairs for R500 special which could mean savings of up to well over R700.

I found two pairs that spoke to me and I can’t wait to rock them. 

This wedge is feather light – it feels like you’re walking on air. I’m definitely going to rock mine with a pair of Zuzi earrings, R150 and a mini Indoni, R130 (all items available in assorted colours). 

The other pair I took are these cork beauties, and they are everything! I totally feel like I was born in the wrong decade – I’m a 70s baby and these platforms speak to that. They look really high to me and there is a chance of me falling in them – but hey for these babies, I’m willing to risk it. 

For these, I’m loving my Yato Jewellery Studio leaf headpiece – she makes some amazing pieces in her studio and she’s very budget friendly! I also added my newly available Cleopatra earrings, R50 to finish off the look. 

In my many adventures (which is just me getting lost in the place) I managed to find Palms Value Centre located on North Rand Road. My eyes and ears couldn’t believe it when I was told that the Cotton On group had two of its popular brands’ outlets, Cotton On and Factorie, right there at the value centre.  

Although Cotton On and Factorie don’t stock plus sizes, I’m still a fan of the brands and love their heels and accessories. 

I found these amazing burgundy mules from Cotton On. They only set me back R150 and they are super comfy and can be worn with my dresses, skirts and jeans. 

I’ve styled them a pair of tassel earrings, R60 and a rope neckpiece, R250 from my range.

I’m totally inspired to shoot these looks with full outfits and hope to share this with you all soon.

Happy bargain hunting – I hope you come across great finds like I have.

East Rand Mall and East Point are located corner North Rand and Rietfontein Roads, Boksburg. 

Palms Value Centre is located on North Rand Road, Boksburg – not far from the Wild Waters Complex and the Birchwood Hotel. 

You can shop accessories from my range by sending me a direct message on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter on my page @icherryefresh

made with love: DIY Alice & You bow denim jacket

I didn’t think I wanted a denim jacket with bows until, of course, I saw a denim jacket with bows.

While browsing the interwebs I came across this Alice & You denim jacket with the bow details. I completely fell in love with it but when I saw the $82 price tag (well over R1000 – give or take rand / dollar exchange collusion) on the Asos website, I realised I won’t be placing an order anytime soon. 

My DIY skills are a little rusty but I knew I wanted this look and so I got cracking. I decided to use some old jeans leftover from my accessory making and to give it that icherryefresh flair, I also used my Ankara off cuts which I also use to make accessories. 

I’m pretty happy with the end result and I’ve even found other uses for my bows – good thing I made them detachable! 

Here’s the tutorial: 

(Disclaimer: I’m really bad with measurements and math in general so I’ve made it as simple as possible) 


1. I’ve used the pockets from the jeans – I also used them as a template to cut out all the 8 pieces which makes it easier for me! I totally winged it with the 2 Ankara pieces for the bows – I just made sure they would be more or less the same size as the denim pieces so it doesn’t look weird. I also cut out 10 short strips of the Ankara which I used for the middle part of the bow.

2. To make my bows, I didn’t just cinch the pocket in the middle (it’s easier) but I opted to fold the material in the way we used to do when making paper fans as children. 

3. The effect of the folded one is prettier – I now wish I had made a cinched option to show the difference. You’ll have to trust me on this one! 

4. I’ve secured the bow with a pin so that it makes it easier to secure the middle piece.


5. – 8. I cut the middle piece wider so that I’m able to fold in the two sides in to create a finished look (this is so much easier than having to sew the pieces). Also it’s best to use Ankara that hasn’t been washed before – it’s so much easier as the material keeps its folds. Remove the pin and place the middle piece around the bow. Hand sew at the back of the bow to secure the piece. Your hand sewing doesn’t have to be perfect – it won’t be seen anyway. 


9. Repeat the steps above for your remaining pieces and trim off any pieces of thread. I kept the edges of the fabric rough and didn’t hem them.

10. Now you’re ready to sew your bows on. I opted to make mine detachable by using safety pins; that way I can use them in all sorts of ways! 

Here’s how I styled my bow jacket (I couldn’t miss out rocking my favourite colour: yellow): 

You can rock one of your bows as a bow tie ( if you’re feeling generous, let bae have a go too!) 

I’m extra so I figured attaching to my kicks wouldn’t hurt! 

This, surprisingly, is my favourite alternative use for the bows. I think I’m finally warming up to heels! 

The entire DIY project didn’t even take me an hour and now I’ve got accessories that will offer me endless styling options. 

Keep a look out for more of my DIY projects because I honestly don’t believe looking good should break the bank! 

quality finds that made me blush!! 

Unlike my usual game plan, I wasn’t skulking around waiting for the security guards to open the doors to the Woolies – I waited two days to make my trip. 

The mission: find transitional pieces that’ll look great in the last days of summer and still move into my autumn wardrobe. 

I found three amazing blush dresses that I know will work for when the sun eventually returns. They are cute and flirty which is perfect for the last few weeks of summer and will transcend easily into the cooler autumn days (which, if you’re in Jozi, seem to have come sooner than expected). 
I was never a fan of maxi dresses – I always thought my height and maxis didn’t work (plus it didn’t help that my mom always said I looked like I’m playing dress-up in them). I’ve since gotten over all that and and am rocking them on the regular. I loved this one plus it wasn’t floor sweeping so I can rock it with sandals and kicks. 

This is the shorter version of the maxi. I love the tulip detail of the top part of the dress. It’s absolutely cute and paired with ankle boots and denim jacket – a winner right through autumn! 
This is my personal favourite! After the crop top, the return of the cold shoulder and off-the-shoulder trend has been a fashion god send! It’s showing skin without having to show much but still keep it sexy! This dress has EVERYTHING I love about the return of the 70s this season: bare shoulders, bell sleeves, tassels, and details on the finishings of the dress. 

What I enjoyed the most about this sale was that for the first time I wasn’t too overwhelmed with all the amazing items on sale. Plus with the crazy sizing that’s been happening at Woolies lately, it was refreshing to find dresses over size 16 that are in trendy styles and colours and actually fit! 

The sale ends while stock lasts and for another 3 days it’s an extra 15% for account holders and rewards members. Happy bargain hunting!!