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GLAMOUR Women In Charge: Meet Lucinda Zinyemba a mixologist and founder of Lucy’s Magique

In an industry that is predominantly male, Lucinda Zinyemba has been able to craft her own path. As one of the few female mixologist her journey began when she was in college and with passion and dedication she became the first Southern African woman of colour to be a World Class SA Top 6 National finalist and a Patron Perfectionists National Finalist in 2023. Lucinda has participated in local and international cocktail competitions claiming her spot as one of the best mixologists in the industry.

How did you become a mixologist? Take us through your journey.

It all started during my college years, when I was working part-time at a local bar and participating in festivals. Inspired by the talented mixologists who graced the industry, I was captivated by the magic they wielded with their craft. To forge my path as a mixologist, I delved deep into extensive research on plants, herbs and spices while learning about how I could incorporate them into cocktails that could complement both passions from the humble confines of my home.

What does your job entail?

As a mixologist, my role transcends the mere act of crafting drinks. I am a storyteller, an artist, a herbalist, an entrepreneur and an African flavour architect. With a keen eye for detail and a deep understanding of the delicate balance between flavours, I create experiences that transcend the ordinary. Every day, I embark on a journey to craft unique and tantalizing cocktails, pushing the boundaries of creativity by experimenting with new ingredients and techniques. Collaborating with bar managers and chefs, I curate drink menus that seamlessly complement their culinary offerings, creating harmonious symphonies of taste.

Do you think there are enough women in your field and why?

While we have witnessed progress in recent years, the presence of women in the mixology field still yearns for further growth. Diversity and inclusivity hold the power to infuse fresh perspectives and unique approaches into the craft, enriching the industry as a whole. As the first Southern African woman of colour to be a World Class SA Top 6 National Finalist and a Patron Perfectionists National Finalist 2023. I am honoured and proud to inspire women to fearlessly pursue their passions and make a meaningful impact.


What challenges does your industry face and how have you overcome them?

Like any industry, mixology presents its own set of challenges. The constant need to adapt and innovate, the pressure to stay one step ahead of ever-evolving trends, and the competitive nature of the business are hurdles we encounter along the way.To conquer these challenges, I have remained steadfast in my creative vision and continuously refined my craft. I embrace innovation and experimentation, fearlessly pushing the boundaries of mixology. Building a strong network of like-minded individuals who share my passion has also played a pivotal role in overcoming these obstacles. Through collaboration and shared knowledge, we navigate the intricate landscape of the industry with resilience and grace.

What are your favourite ingredients to use when creating a new drink?

When it comes to creating new drinks, I find myself drawn to the vibrant flavors and aromas offered by fresh herbs, roots, seeds, flowers, and fruits. These ingredients possess the power to elevate any cocktail, infusing it with a captivating energy. I am also deeply intrigued by the art of infusing spirits with unexpected flavors, as it adds a layer of depth and complexity to the final creation. Through the art of experimentation, I weave together unique combinations of ingredients, crafting innovative and unforgettable cocktails.

Image: Supplied

What have been your career highlights?

Throughout my career, I have been privileged to experience countless highlights that have shaped me into the mixologist I am today. From being featured in renowned international cocktail publications for my unique African-inspired creations to being part of an empowering network of industry powerhouse women called Sisterhood for Industry Support (SIS), which has garnered prestigious accolades, each milestone has left an indelible mark on my journey. Yet, the true highlights lie in those moments when I witness the joy that washes over someone's face as they savour the first sip of one of my creations. The connection forged through my cocktails brings me immeasurable satisfaction and fuels my unwavering passion.

What do you enjoy the most about your job?

What brings me the greatest joy in my role as a mixologist is the perpetual opportunity for growth and learning. Mixology is an ever-evolving journey of discovery, allowing me to explore new flavours, techniques, and cultures. The ability to craft something unique and unforgettable, and then share that experience with others, fills my heart with immense joy and fulfilment. Witnessing the transformative power of a well-crafted cocktail, and the connections born from these experiences, is a constant reminder of why I embarked on this path.

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