When the concept of rebranding was crafted, no one thought that it would be taken up by a rural cafe and bar.

One can only imagine the impression given when a local cafe and bar is named “Mthandazafe”.

Before independence, a cafe and bar Mtshayazafe was popular, but the name gave an impression that someone must be hit until they die.

Whoever the person to be hit was, is a story for another day.

However, the name just needed to be changed somehow and for years after independence no one was concerned until the recent years when the provincial administrator Ms Latiso Dlamini gave it a new name ‘Mthandazafe’.

The first impression from that name is, love your spouse till they die, but as Jabulani Sibanda, a local resident explains, the meaning refers to something else, not men and women loving each other.

“Well the issue about this bar is that you could come even without money and you would get some food and drinks then pay later. This is how that is how it got the name Mthandazafe because the message was you must love this place and the reason was simple. It will prove useful when you have no money because you can buy and pay later,” he explained.

Another resident Edward Nkomo explains that Mthandazafe, a once popular spot is no longer a hive of activity as it was long back, due to emergence of more modern cafes in Lupane.

“It was a very popular spot and it still is especially with civil servants but it’s not as it used to be. A lot has changed since then but if you come late in the afternoon around 3 or 4pm, you will see people starting to arrive here,” he added.

Perhaps Mthandazafe cafe and bar still needs further rebranding to remain the love of many who struggle to raise cash to buy food and drinks everyday.