Ann Beattie

Ann Beattie is a native North Carolinian who has lived in Zimbabwe for the majority of her adult life. In 1995, she met the man of her dreams while on safari with her family, and followed her heart to a tobacco farm in rural Zimbabwe where her path has led her into many life-changing experiences. In her autobiographical first book, Tengwe Garden Club, she recounts the challenges and wonders of a southern debutante living in the fabulously formidable country of Zimbabwe. She is currently the editor of Harare Magazine, the Marketing Manager at Halsted’s Aviation Corporation and the owner of her own business, Ann Beattie Proofreading and Copy Editing in Harare, Zimbabwe.


1. What’s your biggest achievement / Something you’re proud of yourself for?

“I am most proud of my fortitude and inner strength: the two traits that have made the life I live today possible and so full. I am proud of the life I have made in a country not my own. The challenges of being a “transplant” have taught me more valuable lessons that I can count, and while I may bear more than a few scars from those challenges, I wouldn’t trade them.

When I was 25 years old, I went on a bird-shooting safari in Zimbabwe with my family and friends. Of course, I had no clue how that one African safari would completely redesign my life. I am just so thankful that I was wise enough to follow my heart, take a chance and marry the man who stole it. It hasn’t been the smoothest ride, and while I sometimes wish it had happened to someone else, it is my story and it’s far from finished.  And by the way, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world!”

2. What’s your biggest fear / something that holds you back?

“My greatest fear is that I will not live up to my potential. As a result, I search everyday to try to find ways to build and improve on what I have.”

3. What’s your biggest contribution / Something you like to share?

“Harare Magazine is my passion project. Through our articles and features, we strive to highlight all the incredibly inspiring people of Zimbabwe. There is so much to be acknowledged, shared, learned and celebrated in the endearing and beautiful country of Zimbabwe. It is a country that has been through extremely difficult and disquieting times, but the resilience of this nation is extraordinary. It is a country of impassioned people who are determined to preserve a culture and a way of life that has stolen the hearts of many across the world. Mine included.

If I can contribute by encouraging others and sharing experiences in our little local publication, then I am satisfied in my job. I also like to think that that through my personal experiences, I can teach others what I have learned and maybe help someone else through something. I also hope that my story can embolden others to take a chance!”

It’s the heart afraid of breaking
That never learns to dance.
It’s the dream afraid of waking
That never takes the chance.
It’s the one who won’t be taken,
Who cannot seem to give,
And the soul afraid of dyin’
That never learns to live.”
(Bette Midler, The Rose)

4. Fun Facts:

“I play Bridge! About twelve years ago, a regular Tuesday Night Bridge Four was born. Gail, Lee, Tracey and I began to play every Tuesday night at 6pm. This has now morphed into nothing short of our religion today. There is no question as to where any of us will be on a Tuesday night.  Sometimes we just play, eat supper and have an early night. Some nights we get busy on the wine and solve all our problems until midnight. Sometimes we cry, but most times we just laugh a lot. Oh, and we also often do the same on Sunday afternoons and public holidays.We started saving for a holiday and put $10 each into an envelope every time we play. We have just returned from Zanzibar  – what a fabulous week!

Thank you for being you!

Where do you find your inspiration? “In all the ways, but mostly, inside” – SOW

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