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Mail & Guardian: What is the SLOW LIFE?

Bonnke Shipalana (BS): The SLOW LIFE is a creative communication platform that The Allure Group SA, the holding company that I’ve co-founded, has conceptualised. The SLOW LIFE is a fitting acronym that stands for Sustainable, Local, Organic, Wholesome, Learning, Inspiring, Fun, Experiences. 

At the heart of The SLOW LIFE is the importance we place on slowing down from the mindless, detaching momentarily from the rat race and the hustle-and-bustle of modern living and appreciating and soaking in life’s little pleasures.

The SLOW LIFE is not about living in slow motion, as the name can easily be mistaken, but rather it is about reclaiming your tranquillity and making meaningful connections — be it with people, culture, work, nature, or with your body and mind.  

Bonnke Shipalana, CEO of The Allure Group SA

It is an alternative lifestyle and entertaining choice. It is underpinned by prioritising living your life according to your values, rather than taking the fast lane to the end of your life.

When it comes to family and friends, we believe in quality over quantity, in doing things authentically and intentionally.  The SLOW LIFE is an alternative to our new obsession with speed, and it works to counter fast life.

The idea isn’t about literally moving in slow motion, but about taking a step out of the fast-paced modern racetrack so one can work out which things actually matter to us (including the global us), and make sure most of our time is spent on those.   

M&G: What motivated the creation of this lifestyle concept?

BS: I am certain that as someone living and working in Johannesburg, we are living a very hurried lifestyle. We desire instant gratification. We have little patience and most of us are caught up in the rat race, which is characterised by the relentless pursuit of accumulating material possessions, growing our businesses, or scaling up the corporate ladder. 

Amid the cacophony of this crazy work life, we miss appreciating the small and yet profound things in life such as the sight of the blue skies, the feel of sand between the toes, the scent of rain, the sound of your loved one’s voice and the taste of your favourite food.

The SLOW LIFE has built its brand motto around what we have eponymously refer to as the three F’s, namely family, friends and food. The SLOW LIFE lifestyle events are therefore centred around providing patrons with an ambient atmosphere, where they can be in great company with friends and family, enjoy scrumptiously prepared food by world-class chefs, and enjoy the great outdoors in a relaxed and unhurried setting. 

A luxury long table event created by Allure SA

M&G: What does The SLOW LIFE hope to achieve?

BS: This lifestyle event offers an alternative entertainment option that has, until now, been confined to the picturesque countryside in Mediterranean villages. South Africa has agreeable weather, delightful venues and great food that allows us to replicate this lifestyle, but with a South African touch. The outbreak of Covid-19 grimly reminded us of our mortality. The SLOW LIFE comes at an opportune time when the lockdown restrictions are eased and reminds us to appreciate our loved ones even more in a scenic and homely setting. 

With these lifestyle events, our primary objective is to create innovative and exciting experiences that bring cosmopolitan culinary pleasures and introduce enchanting lifestyle experiences that delight the senses. An Afternoon in Puglia is all about bringing the Italian lifestyle that is centred around family, friends and food to our backyard without having to travel overseas. 

The upcoming event will be hosted at Ground The Venue in Muldersdrift, 30km outside Johannesburg. The ambience will be reminiscent of the relaxed and unhurried lifestyle of the small villages in Italy.  

M&G: These events will be hosted by your company, The Allure Group.  Can you please tell us more about the organisation?

BS:  The Allure Group, otherwise known by its acronym TAG, is a strategy-driven communication organisation focusing on unique or owned experiential communication platforms.  It’s the brainchild of the Group CEO, Bonnke Shipalana and Group Operations Director, Caroline Dube.  The duo have been partners for nearly 15 years and are proud to name Barloworld, Development Bank of South Africa, African Bank, Shoprite Checkers, Private Property, Cote D’Ivoire embassy, Transport Sector Retirement fund and Trade Intelligence as some of the clients they have provided strategic communications and events management services to in 2022.

Our role is to assist our clients in not only reaching the correct stakeholders, but to also disseminate the correct message, using the correct channel and at the correct time.  We fully understand that communication without innovative positioning or channels is similar to using quality bricks to build a house without quality cement.  In South Africa, we are leaders in innovative communication strategy and implantation, which results in our clients achieving their objective.

M&G: How can South Africans be part of these lifestyle events?

BS: An Afternoon in Puglia will be hosted on 23 April between 11am and 6pm and the ticket price is R1 950 per person. The price per person includes an alfresco style luncheon paired with select wine.  To book a seat at the table, patrons can pay online at or email [email protected]

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