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Perseverance has to be taught

Few things in life that are truly worth having or achieving come easily. Raising a family, mastering the violin, running a marathon, surfing a wave, passing your final exams or climbing a mountain all take plenty of good old fashioned hard work. There are times when you feel disheartened as you see little reward for your efforts but, in the end, you enjoy a family dinner, ride that wave, cross the finish line, graduate or reach the summit.

Much of the spirit of our times is about luxury, ease and convenience. ‘Simpler, better faster’. We expect replies to our messages in minutes. We aspire to and come to expect business class, VIP parking, air conditioned comfort.

Children do not learn perseverance, tenacity and grit by themselves. It is human nature to give up in the face of adversity. We need to plan those lessons, as we do others. It starts with giving them responsibilities around the house that are appropriate for their age. A four year-old can help carry the shopping in to the house and by five should be able to help you pack it away. They should be able to feed the dog or cat and help water the garden. By 7 or 8 they should be able to fry an egg and bake a muffin. By ten they can cook a meal for the family. In so doing they learn to be responsible for something, knowing that it is an important task and that it needs to be done reliably and with pride. Quitting or making excuses isn’t an option. Later on in life, they will have the skills of self-mastery to be able to study for exams, practice a musical instrument, or train for a sport.

Important life lessons must be planned into the curriculum. Children must learn that in order to enjoy a tomato you have to plant it and water it every day. It takes weeks for the plant to grow and there is a small but real sense of accomplishment when they see the fruit ripening.

One of my favourite quotes is from Robert Schuller: ‘Tough times don’t last. Tough people do.’

Andy Wood, Green School South Africa’s Head of School.

More Wheelchairs from Bread Tags and Bottle Caps

Bridge House Servest staff was on hand at the handover of the wheelchair to Mavis Vingi.

Bridge House’s collaboration with the Bread Tags for Wheelchairs organisation reached another milestone during the recent school holiday when the seventh and eighth wheelchairs obtained in this way were presented to worthy recipients.

The seventh wheelchair was handed to Franschhoek resident Mavis Vingi, who has advanced osteoporosis in both knees. The eighth chair went to Yolanda Petersen from Somerset West, who has no right kneecap and suffers chronic back and hip pain.

If you’ve ever wondered how many bread tags are required to pay for a wheelchair the answer is 200 kg. To put that into perspective, a bread bag holds 1 kg of tags. So, keep eating bread!

In the case of bottle caps, 450 kg of bottle caps is needed for a wheelchair. The difference is down to the fact that they’re made from a different material for which a lower price is paid.

A request from the school though, please do not mix your tags and caps and make sure no other objects make it into the containers.  Odd finds like batteries and toothbrushes are laborious to separate and if missed damage the recycling company’s machinery.

Since Bridge House started collecting tags in 2017 the initiative has grown to such an extent that the school now receives tags from communities all over the country – and even Australia! The seventh wheelchair was obtained through contributions from the Bridge House community and the other was a team effort between collectors in Australia and South Africa.

Text: Editorial Desk | Image: Bridge House

Grand Met Raises R240 000 for Franschhoek Hospitality Academy

Fire Tribe’s fire dancers provided drama between courses.

On 7 March 2020, guests from all over, arrived in style on the Grande Provence red carpet, showcasing their glamourous sequins, satins and silks in support of the Grand Met – the Franschhoek Hospitality Academy’s annual benefit in proud association with Franschhoek Life and Grande Provence.

KUSASA Pays Tribute To: Jeff Siqwayi (1992 – 2020)

We are deeply saddened by the news of Jeff’s death. Jeff was truly one of the handful of kids who inspired us to get involved and more importantly, to stay involved with children and young people in the Franschhoek valley.

Jeff brought with him a unique charm, openness and warmth to any meeting, announcing himself with his incredible bright smile.

He bought into the idea of both self-improvement and community improvement right from the start. He never lost his positive outlook nor his belief that things could get better, that indeed, things could be better. As a kid Jeff was always prepared to volunteer for extra classes – our Dream Team – and for any other initiatives to assist others in the community, especially with younger children. He took his attitude with him into young adulthood in founding a small charity to provide assistance to families with small children in need.

Like others in that special group of kids we worked with in the early years, Jeff stayed in touch with us. We will miss this young man with his positive spirit of hope and belief in a better future.

Rest in Peace Jeff

2023 FLF Dates and New Patron Membership Announced

Browsing for books at the FLF

Franschhoek will again be transformed into a literary hub from Friday 19th – Sunday 21st May 2023, when the Franschhoek Literary Festival celebrates its 16th year since inception.

Running for three days, a content-rich programme packed with informal discussions, lively debates, insightful conversations and inspired talks will bring together a cross-section of South African and international authors.

Now, festival-goers have even more time and space to fully embrace the spirit of the weekend. The Franschhoek Literary Festival is excited to announce a new patron package that has been added to the membership programme.

Patron members are eligible for a Gold Pass, giving them free access to all sessions, subject to availability. The programme is also sent to them two days before bookings open to patrons and members – which means that they have additional time to consider the programme carefully and build a unique Festival experience suited to their own interests. A concierge service removes all the fuss out of ticket arrangements, and members’ names are also added to the patron board on the FLF website.

Speech Contest for International Museum Day

Museums worldwide annually celebrate International Museum Day on 18 May. In the Western Cape museums affiliated with the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport celebrate this global event by staging a very popular English speech contest for high school learners.

The topics for the first round and gala speech contest focus on “Museums and the important role they play in our communities.”

Locally the first round will involve grade 10 and 11 learners from Franschhoek High School, Groendal Secondary School and Bridge House School. The first round will be hosted at the Huguenot Memorial Museum where strict Covid-19 protocols will be in place.

The first, second and third place winners at the first round will receive a floating trophy to keep in their school’s display cases for the year. These learners also automatically qualify for the online Gala Speech Contest later in the year.

The closing date for entries is 3 May 2021.

The museum’s educational officer, Moniqec Dirkse, can be contacted for copies of the rules, the topics or any other information. Her contact details are: | 064 092 5467 | 021 876 2532

Boschendal to host dialogues about regenerative farming in restoring natural ecosystems

Boschendal to host vital dialogues about role of regenerative farming in restoring natural ecosystems

Boschendal is hosting a critical discussion on April 26th to raise awareness and funds to support Africa’s leading role in the regeneration of nature.

Presented in partnership with Project Biome and titled ‘Regenerating Soil, Water & Human Dignity’, the event will see leading experts including Zach Bush, Jay Naidoo and Rutendo Ngara as keynote speakers on the day.

Theo Cromhout, CEO at Boschendal, says the event comes at a critical time for the Earth’s biosphere. “As a leader in conservation, sustainability and regenerative farming practices, Boschendal is proud to host our esteemed speakers and look forward to a day filled with inspiring and important discussions about the future of our planet, and our collective role in achieving a more sustainable path.”

Recent data indicates that more than three-quarters of the world’s land area is already degraded, and over 90% could be degraded by 2050. Water scarcity is also becoming a major concern: two-thirds of the world’s population could live under water-stressed conditions in the next two years.

Project Biome is an initiative aimed at catalysing ecological healing within the planet’s biospheres, with the objective of uniting, inspiring and empowering the shift to regenerative food systems as a means of restoring nature.

Speakers on the day include:

  • Zach Bush, a renowned, multi-disciplinary physician of internal medicine, endocrinology, hospice care and internationally recognized educator on the microbiome as it relates to human health, soil health, food systems, and a regenerative future. He is also the chairman at Project Biome;
  • Jay Naidoo, a social activist and former cabinet minister with a passion for youth causes that place ecology and indigenous wisdom at the centre; and
  • Rutendo Ngara, an Indigenous Knowledge Systems practitioner and transdisciplinary researcher.

Proceeds from the event will go toward supporting Project Biome’s work, which includes a three-pronged approach to healing the carbon and water cycles of our planet.

Launching on Earth Day on April 22nd, Project Biome will prioritise three key activities, namely:

  • Rewilding river systems to reverse the ecological collapse associated with the loss of natural habitats along rivers;
  • Regenerative food systems and agriculture, which aims to speed up adoption of regenerative farming practices on a large scale; and
  • Distributed regenerative technology and economics for restoration of rural and indigenous livelihoods and cultures, which empowers rural communities with tools and resources to unlock move to more sustainable and humanitarian forms of job creation, economic stability, and educational opportunity.

Event Details

Date: Wednesday 26 April 2023

Time: 9am – 1pm

Venue: Boschendal

Price: R1800 (early bird ticket), R2500 (normal price)

RSVP: Please click HERE.


From South to North and Back Again

Dick Muir
Dick Muir, former Assistant Springbok Coach and now Head Coach of the Russian National Rugby Team will be transforming talent at Train Camp Franschhoek

Dick Muir played five tests and five tour matches for the Springboks and 183 first class games, but it is as a coach that he is best known – famously helping to steer the Boks to a Lions Series win and a 3-0 TriNations whitewash of the All Blacks in 2009.  Perhaps his greatest asset is an instinctive eye for talent, and how to develop it – having spotted the gifts of Bok legends Frans Steyn and Beast Mtawarira, amongst many others.  We caught up with him on a call to Moscow, where he now coaches the Russian national team.

Town and gown unite against COVID-19

FLTR: Maties SRC Chair Xola Njengele, Stellenbosch University Rector and Vice-Chancellor Prof Wim de Villiers, Stellenbosch Executive Mayor Adv Gesie van Deventer and Visit Stellenbosch CEO Jeanneret Momberg in the town’s iconic Victoria Street, which runs through the University’s campus. Key town-and-gown stakeholders are taking coming together in a campaign against COVID-19. (Photo: Stefan Els)

If we all work together, we can minimise the coronavirus risk, protect lives and livelihoods, and safeguard the success of the academic project. WIM DE VILLIERS (Rector and Vice-Chancellor of Stellenbosch University and Chair of Higher Health)

Stellenbosch and surrounding towns have of late become busier again in the runup to the formal start of our academic year on 15 March 2021. The return of students and staff may be a thrilling prospect for businesses, but some fears have also been expressed around COVID-19. Let me explain our approach, in collaboration with other role-players in our university town.

Quiz brings reading to life for Franschhoek learners

Klein Goederust wine farm owner Paul Siguqa inspires learners with the power of reading.

As the Franschhoek Literary Festival (FLF) had book lovers abuzz around the Cape village recently, the joy of reading was also spilling over at the local Groendal Secondary School as excited young readers vied to win the Phendulani Literacy Quiz.

The Friday morning event, cheered on by hundreds of Grade Seven learners, was closely contested with the two teams from the Dalubuhle Primary ending neck-and-neck. It took a tense tie-breaker from Phendulani founder and quizmaster Marj Brown to see Dalubuhle Team 2 win the day, with Dalubuhle Team 1 in second spot and Groendal Team 1 in third. Wes-Eind Primary School also entered two teams to compete in the quiz and Wemmershoek Primary one team, and shared in the literary excitement.

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