03-03-2017 di Freddie del Curatolo
In Watamu there are those who know her as "Mama Zawadi" and who as the Lady of the Woods of the Sea.
Here they are called "driftwood", carried logs, honed and sculpted by the current of the Indian Ocean.
His real name is Tiziana Colis and Africa did not have the current flow rate, but a great passion: the one for freedom.
Freedom to reinvent themselves and be independent in a country where for a single woman is not really a joke. Yet this year Tiziana celebrates twenty years since his move in Watamu.
"The first time - tells the owner of a small residence that bears his nickname Swahili - I was like everyone on vacation, went down from Nairobi to Malindi. Two weeks of vacation that was enough to make me understand that this is a special place. I went home with the idea to drop everything and start a new life. "
After less than twelve months, Tiziana had chosen Watamu, leaving his country house in Spoleto who was also a guest house for dogs and cats.
"The overwhelming nature had convinced me - continues Tiziana - I bought a house a few steps from the sea, whose path to get to the beach was like a forest. It was my paradise in paradise "
With the creativity that has always distinguished, he began to play to dabble in furnishing the villa, looking between what was to be enchanted explorer: trunks, branches, fruits and seeds of plants and every other gift offered by her new wild world.
At the end of that villa, unique in its kind, it will be sold to the songwriter Roberto Vecchioni and Tiziana embarks on a new adventure, building and furnishing a number of cottage almost exclusively with sea woods. A wonderful complex that an unfortunate fire will destroy them just ahead.
"It 'was a blow - he admits Mama Zawadi - but I realized that in Africa it's all relative and these people always teaches you to look forward. So I accepted a job as director of the savannah, the Chyulu Hills not far from Kilimanjaro. I worked with Maasai carpenters, we went to get some wood among the elephants, we have built their own piers below that magic mountain. A fantastic experience that even without that damn fire would never do. "
Now the Tiziana philosophy is the right to live in Kenya.
Back in Watamu decides to devote himself to the activity of decorator and began to design and produce furniture with recycled wood and boats in disuse, including ancient dhow.
In the little free time that his new profession exciting the leaves, Tiziana dives into social helping associations, home and school children between Watamu and Gede.
Today many of Watamu villas bear his signature, have the style, the elegance mixed naturalness of her way to do that is at one with his character and the way of life in Kenya.
Only a second fire, which sends up in smoke machines and many beautiful wood with which to imagine, create and decorate, makes finally deciding to devote himself to Zawadi Residence, just minutes from the town center and the sea.
But in those rooms there all his life, his talent and his respectful gaze of nature and open to suggestions that materials and articles may give on the Kenyan coast.
At the dawn of the sixties, the beautiful Mama Zawadi has no intention of stopping.
"The next adventure? - She responds - while I put on sale the Bed and Breakfast, although a little 'I'm sorry, we'll see what they invent. Certainly I do not move from Watamu, this is now my home is where I decided to spend the rest of my life. "
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