People of the South
We have been living in Kommetjie for 5 years. It is a small community nestled between a mountain and the ocean. On the surface it looks like a sleepy tourist and surfers spot. No matter what the weather is, the parents and the children are making the best of adventures in the ocean and its sandy beaches. Families are busy with schools and jobs but the outdoor activities like hiking, surfing and cycling seem to be an integral part of the life here in the South, like breathing. The alluring outdoors and luscious nature is one of the reasons why we have made our home here.
As the years pass we are discovering the many layers and the diversity of the South. Few minutes East of Kommetjie is Ocean View, Masiphumelele, Noordhoek, on the other end is the nature reserve of Cape Point and from the Southern most tip looking back is Scarborough, Simons Town, Fish Hoek, Kalk Bay and Muizenberg.
Lockdown has brought people and the communities closer together here in the South Peninsula. In these last few months I have had the privilege to meet incredible people of all cultures and backgrounds, from humanitarians, activists, gardeners, school children, cyclists, painters, singers, business owners, bakers, NGO volunteers, yoga instructors, fisherman, fireman, strategists, extreme big wave surfers and even a few celebrities have found a home for their families in this serene beauty of the South.
I would like to share with you stories of how all these beautiful people have managed to open their minds and hearts to give and receive, to learn and teach, to cross over into places, mindsets, lifestyles, cultures and collaborate, create friendships and find solutions.
You have already met a few incredible people like Jimmy James and Sophia Grodes from Ocean View in the previous Love & Rockets blogs Communities Wellness Solutions and Ocean View Organic Farmers . I have also mentioned all the inspiring work Kommetjie CAN, Wonderbag, Ocean View Mosque and all the soup kitchens are doing in South Peninsula Soup Kitchens and Wonder Bag in Soup Kitchens
Today we got to meet James Elkinton from Bowman Ingredients . James has lived in UK, Australia and few years ago brought his family to the South. He has been a baker for 15 years and he specializes in making breadcrumbs. Bowman bakery has perfected the crumbs recipe and is supplying them to some major businesses worldwide. In spare time you might see James in the water catching a few waves on our South African coast line.
Bowman Ingredients support a wide range of community projects, from local sponsorship and charity fundraising to helping individuals set up food businesses. Today James put aside 300kg of maze flour to donate to South Peninsula soup kitchens. The Kommetjie CAN crew and James spent an afternoon delivering the bags and meeting the hard working ladies.
Our first stop was “The Goddesses” from Camp C Community Kitchen in Red Hill, supported by Feed Our Valley , where in last 7 weeks over 138 000 meals have been made up to date. Feed our Valley organisation is doing an incredible job in supporting soup kitchens in Red Hill, Ocean View and Masiphumelele. They also provide nutritious porridge to feed 400 children in Red Hill every morning.
After Red Hill, we dropped off the maze flour in Masiphumelele and met this wonderful woman, Matilda Tsitsi Fakazi, who runs the soup kitchen from her home. She was happy to receive the donation and share her story with us before we made our last stop at Ocean View Mosque. At the mosque we were greeted by Yusra Davis and Zuleiga Manuel, who you have met in the previous blog South Peninsula Soup Kitchens
Seeing what all the people from different backgrounds, cultures and communities, that are working together to find solutions, have managed to achieve is a spark of light in these challenging times. It has made me realise that little communities can make a big difference when they work together, that each individual no matter where they come from or what their lifestyle is can change so many peoples lives in a positive way and that we should never judge the significance of a human being by what career, neighbourhood or status they hold.
Lockdown is one of the most challenging times worldwide on many levels but we are all facing it together as communities and neighbours. One of the positive things I have seen happening in lockdown is that it has brought communities closer and created new friendships, it has exposed our vulnerabilities and our strengths. What we choose to do is up to each individual and so many individuals are showing an incredible strength, humbling love and support towards their neighbours.
Here is the list of the people and initiatives that are doing incredible work:
Ocean View Mosque: email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Tasliem Manuel 0828787577
Thank you James Elkinton, Kommetjie CAN, Feed Our Valley, Ocean View Mosque, Red Hill Goddesses and Matilda Tsitsi Makazi for collaborating and participating in the photoshoot with Love & Rockets.
Article: Kristina Stojiljkovic
Photography: Kristina Stojiljkovic