Thursday, 5 December 2013

The Ironman dream

Growing up in the confines of a farming community (well partly) my life was greatly influenced by my environment on the one hand and on the other confined to my narrow and somewhat diminutive worldview. Wandering around the city, my adventure coveting soul seeks yearns for an outlet, an avenue down which adrenaline may flow freely and perhaps wildly. Long distance running sufficed for a while, still does get me going but like a romance needing rekindling, I searched high and low for some way of metamorphosing this passion of mine into something more.
On a quest to defy gravity, norms and odds, I am embarking on a journey. A journey to carry dreams to full term and not rest till they are birthed and well on their way to growth. Mission Possible has seen a year of ups and downs, running miles for Newkidz on the Block, pulling all nighters filled with planning, heartaches and headaches that have all led to growth and chipping away of some undesirable habits. As 2014 looms, my heart is indicting another good matter, contemplating on yet another extreme adventure to embark on for the millions of orphans in South Africa and beyond.
My heart beckons, my heart entices me to take part in yet another extreme challenge….Iron Man South Africa! With my little cycling experience, a body that refuses to float (which literally makes me Iron woman) I am taking a leap of faith and daring to tri! With a little over three months to get my swimming and cycling act together, I realise it will take much more than athleticism but habitation at the oasis that never runs dry. A place where the terrain working against us will become magical carpets, carrying dreams home. A place where the trees lining the streets, will become knights bowing in humble adoration, paying homage to the bravehearts who have taken the silent oath to defy gravity with their rear quarters. 
 I reach out and press on to the place where a marriage of earth and sky take place, to create the finish line for which I long to reach. On sheer faith and determination, I embark on this journey, bearing dreams of millions of orphans, hoping the reader will come alongside as we bring all to birth, for a better South Africa.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Make Everyday Mandela Day


Over the past year, we have seen many news headlines highlighting the vulnerability of the children in this country.
Furthermore, there are close to 4 million orphans in this country alone and this is excluding millions more who are either classified vulnerable or living under harsh conditions.
While not all of us are in a position to change the world single handedly, our combined efforts can and will certainly make a difference.
We may not all be a position to adopt, foster or mentor a child but small gestures such as taking part in a fun run, giving of our time, financially or in kind will go a long way in helping organisations such as Newkidz on the Block (www.newkidz.org.za), working towards creating safe living environments for the millions of children in need.

Please take time to share this with fellow club members, family, friends and colleagues that many will come out in great numbers as we host the 67 Minutes of Endorphins for Orphans Fun Run on the 18th of August.
While this may not be timed a race, it is certainly a race against time, as we need to act urgently to ensure that all children in our communities grow up in safe environments and live to fulfill their dreams.

It is my sincere hope that we will see you on Sunday the 18th of August, as our footsteps leave a mark on the roads of Durbanville that shows we care and are willing to go the extra mile for our future.


So whether you can run, walk or trot, please come and help us move a step closer to fulfilling the Newkidz philosophy, “There’s no such thing as an unwanted child, just an unfound family”  and make everyday a Mandela Day.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Mandela Coins or Mandela Minutes...

At the edge of every valley is an incline. While an incline oftentimes requires hard work and endurance, the splendor of the valley below can never be truly beholden without gritting teeth and digging into the the task of climbing.
Such is our endeavor for the month of July. We grit our teeth in a bid to overcome the challenges that millions of orphaned and vulnerable children face on a daily basis. The mountains before them may seem all too distant from the regular person but they are an imposing reality that stands in the way of many a dream.
On Saturday 20 July, Cape Town has to come to a stand still as we partake in the challenge of the year. Here's a challenge to anyone who can walk, crawl or maybe acquire mobility on any two legged contraption, complete a 9.5km loop in 67 minutes (or more)! The route will proceed from the Nothern Suburbs,through the Atlantic Seaboard and CBD and forms a circular route via the Southern Surbubs.

If you are an adrenaline junkie and looking to achieve an ULTRA ORDINARY feat of note, be inspired to do all 10 legs and complete a total of 95km to celebrate Madiba's birthday.
While it may seem all too impossible for some, we imagine the sacrifices made by those we look up to which cost them a lifetime.
Though we are not all born to become a Mandela, Ghandi or Mother Teresa, we certainly can be one of these to someone through a simple act of kindness such as taking part in the Mandela Day Minutes for Millions Charity run or supporting from the sidelines.



Details: 

Event: Mandela Day 67 Minutes of Endorphins for Orphans
Event Type: Fun Run
Distance: 9.5km (runners welcome to take part in more than one leg of run)
Date: 20 July 2013
Venue: Choice of 10 pit-stops around Cape Town (See route maphttp://goo.gl/maps/M8C1m)
Time: First Leg starts 06:30am (all others are 67 minutes apart)
Entry Fee: R30
Contact: 079 939 0026

Lots of spot prizes to be won and blue ribbons for all finishers

All proceeds will go towards Newkidz on the Block, to help establish loving homes for orphaned, vulnerable and destitute children in South Africa. (www.newkidz.org.za)

If you can walk, you can run and if you can run, you can certainly make a difference!

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Mission On Hold...


The climax of any given story often leaves one with a desire for more. Furthermore, the protagonist is expected to emerge with some form of victory which brings the audience a sense of triumph. However, Mission Possible Comrades Back to Back does not follow a similar plot to the regular story.
Once there was a team, whose endeavor was to slay a dragon of sorts. An imposing menace that broke hearts, minds and lives, leaving the young tenderlings calloused by hardship leaving them with neither inclination nor ability to love and be loved. The thought of one young life derailed on our watch was enough to convince us to leave the familiar and venture into seemingly uncharted regions. With minimal reserves, we put much on the line with one thing in mind…radically bringing down the monstrosity replicated in millions of scenarios, labeled “orphan”.
Though the vision of our trip ended with the raising of hands in triumph as I crossed the finish line of the Comrades marathon after 174km, our journey ended only a couple of hours after it started due to a faulty starter motor. 


While our sights were set on Pietermaritzburg and Durban, our car gave in just outside Laingsburg in the Western Cape. Constant sighs, echoed what words could not express but we knew one thing had to be done, keep level heads and look for the silver lining in the dark cloud. If truth be told, silver linings are difficult to spot through tainted eyes but we continued to fumble on. With all other options exhausted, we resolved to abort Mission Possible, Comrades Back to Back.
The mission ended before it hardly begun on Friday 31 May. Something that may seem like failure but we took this a learning curve. If one lives to tell the tale, then the tale will certainly be worth telling. All those clich├ęs, "what 
doesn't kill you makes you stronger," all came to fore but above all we learnt to be content in whatever circumstance we found ourselves. We learnt never to take our eyes off the goal. Our trip to the Comrades was cut short, but the mission to spread the word and change the lives of millions of orphans is far from over.

Wednesday, 29 May 2013

“A prophet has no honor in his own home…” 

A statement that rings true more often than not. Well except in cases where the prophet comes in the form of ballad makers like Justin Bieber or wealthy business moguls of one caliber or another and it is 5 years after establishing one’s career.
 I am thankful to the many that have shown support, by cautioning the somewhat crazy individuals like myself against taking on more than a mouthful. Negative thoughts fester and when entertained, they can become debilitating. However, I choose to feed negative thoughts to fear, not in a bid to fuel fear but rather in a gesture of defiance that will nauseate fear to the point of bringing up courage.
The realization that Mission Possible Comrades Back to Back is upon us is more evident than ever. As the last few days go by, the anxiety mounts and courage is tempted to travel down the easy road marked "Give up!". 174 km in less than 24 hours may be no mean feat especially for a novice running this distance for the first time, but what stands to be gained is more worthy of dwelling upon.  
News reports in the past week alone, of children who are either perpetrators of crime or victims of it, wrenches at the gut of anyone who has the ability to feel. Running the Comrades Marathon twice this weekend is not just a sporting indulgence but the cry of a heart pleading with every individual to take a moment and make a difference.
Financial contributions will go a long way in furthering the activities of organizations such as Newkidz on the Block for whom I run. However, change will come when men and women lay aside the reasons not to do something and just do it. Just sacrifice a weekend to show a child what it is like to be loved. Just take a few moments to teach a child little things that show them they are worthy and here for a purpose. Just write a letter, pick up the phone or visit those who feel forgotten and forsaken. Change will come, when we see the dreams that could be born with the right foundation instead of just a statistic.

I run because I envision millions of dreams coming true, not because of what I or a few individuals have done but because of what you will do. I run carrying millions of dreams, afraid that if I stop, they may never reach maturity. I run as a page, a mere message bearer of good tidings. Our future is bright, not because of this simple gesture but because you hold the wax to make it shine. Please join me on the 174km journey, in mind, heart and spirit as we carry forward the hope that all children, our children will be raised lovingly and that the broken may find healing for a better tomorrow.

Tuesday, 28 May 2013


Comrades from far and wide

With less than a week to go before the 88th Comrades Marathon, the Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) has issued its Substitution and 2013 Entry statistics for the June 2nd event.
This year’s ‘up-run’ from Durban to Pietermaritzburg, has attracted a total of 19,722 entrants, with male entrants totalling 15,383 and female participants coming in at 4,339.
The month-long Substitution Process has yielded 729 successful Substitution applications.

Women’s participation in the great race has been maintained at 22%. The CMA’s goal is to grow the female entry tally to 30% in the next five years.
4295 Novices have entered the race while a record number of International participants will be taking on the 89km road-running challenge. 1422 foreign runners from nearly 70 countries have signalled their intention to take on the world’s oldest and biggest ultra-marathon, as opposed to 1374 in last year’s race.
The average age of Comrades male participants in this year’s race is 41 and 40 for female runners.
CMA Race Director, Johan Van Staden says, ‘We expect between 15,000 and 16,000 runners at the Comrades Start at 05h30 outside the Durban City Hall on Sunday, 2 June. As usual, we are prepared to host another fantastic Comrades Race Day.’


Monday, 20 May 2013


Yet another "Mission Possible"


Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. While some say faith is blind, I believe faith has eyes that see beyond reason. Faith sees possibility where many see failure. Faith sees a way where obstacles mount and restrictions inhibit the individual from being. Faith is what prompted me to take on yet another grueling challenge as part of the Mission Possible campaign to create awareness about Newkidz on the Block as well as raise funds for their projects. 
As a fundraising activist for Newkidz,  I have faith that one day, South Africa will no longer be home to millions of orphans but rather a nation where all children are placed in loving homes and raised to become the best they can possibly be.
It is faith in our future that compelled me to run the Comrades Marathon back to back. On the 1st of June, the night before the official Comrades Marathon race, I will set off from Pietermaritzburg for the first leg of a double Comrades in 24 hours. Upon arrival in Durban on the morning of the 2nd of June, I will join close to 20,000 athletes as they take on the official Ultimate Human race which starts in at the Durban and finishes in Pietermaritzburg. The Comrades Marathon 2013 is an up run, a difficult hilly route which will be a test of physical and mental strength but the race is not my own. I will be running it with over 3 million orphans in mind. At present, South Africa is home to over 3.5 million orphans and the number is set to increase to over 5 million by 2015.

It is this realization that makes me feel the urgency to act now. If we don’t take action now, millions of children will grow up to become broken members of society. By running this race twice, I am hoping people will come alongside these children, either as mentors, foster parents or even adopt the children because Newkidz believes there is no such thing as an unwanted child but just an unfound family. However, we understand that not everyone is able to adopt or foster a child, but we call upon members of society to give whatever they can towards this cause. Whether it is financial support or volunteering to help out at the extreme makeovers Newkidz conducts regularly.

To support Mission Possible please visit www.newkidz.org.za and click on: Support Edeline

Monday, 13 May 2013

Mission Possible Comrades Back to Back


 Patience if a virtue I do not claim to naturally possess but one that I have had to cultivate. Next to the patience patch, is a bed filled with hope. Hope that come the 2nd of June, I will be able to embark on a journey that will perhaps bring more change to the lives of many more orphans and vulnerable children  As much as I detest the term "orphan" it is a reality that cannot be denied. A reality that is not only prevalent in South Africa, but across the Sub-Saharan African region, where many are plagued by HIV/AIDS. 
In my garden of hope, grows many varieties. Some varieties more fruitful than others but each one playing its art in keeping the garden alive. While I wait patiently for permission to run the Comrades Marathon back to back and at this stage with no sign whatsoever of the trip coming together, I continue watering the few seeds I planted in days past. Like any sower, I wait for that day when the ground breaks and the shoots of hope are evident but then again, what is faith...the substance of things hoped for...the evidence of things not seen.
Hope differed may make one wroth at heart, yet I hang onto that invisible glimmer of which I am reminded with every heart beat.


A flicker, another flutter...as long as the heart beats, hope is not lost.
Hope that I will run this for the millions of children who cannot win the race against poverty themselves.
Hope that the body and mind will carry their frustrations, that their future lives may be far much better than their present. Hope that they may not be trapped in a vicious cycles, that draws them deeper and deeper into the womb of pain and misery, never to be birthed.
I have hope that this simple gesture, will be just a nip in the bud of the many challenges that lay ahead and takes away the innocence of childhood. 
I have hope that each one of the 174km will be a victory for each and every one of the over 3.7 million orphans in the country. 
I have even more hope that for every mile I run, one child will find a loving home and experience what it is to be loved and cared for.

Friday, 26 April 2013


Bleed and heal


A land so fair yet her people's hearts are wroth with pain. Pain whose pangs are evident in the hunger and illness Mother Africa's children suffer daily. Ailed by violence her children cry out, yet their cries fall on deaf ears. Perhaps Mama's children speak a language undecipherable to the rest of the world. Perhaps the weary cries have become all too familiar, rendering what they resound, to be of no consequence.  A land where possibilities abide in abundance, yet her fertility is eroded by tears awash her countenance.
Africa bleeds, I bleed, does anyone hear?


A gaping wound long inflicted
Festering with a puss my all corrupts
Resistance rising mingled with blood
Tears long shed their meaning lost
Voices choked to silence by lies
The wound throbs a broken wince

Galleys abreast where hope once laid
Draining with them substance to enrich
Barrenness dousing the desire to birth
Offspring a mere figment of dreams past
Aflame with yearning yet to possess cannot
The wound throbs a feeble wince

Thrones upon rolling hills manicured
Watered by sweat from children spent
Songs of praise turned venomous slander
Thundering feet unable to dance so plunder
Melodies once known long forgotten
The wound throbs a stifled wince


Gagged by toxins through scarred veins
Looking unto scales unjustly inclined
Paying a price dear for which is owned
Hands tied by inequality dipped chords
Disinheriting and stripping rightful heirs
The wound throbs alighting defiance

Monday, 22 April 2013

Journey to the West



I can hardly call myself a morning person, let alone am I an early riser. I could attribute this to being a very light sleeper and something of an insomniac but due to my defiance to being labelled anything other than Monsieur Columbus' sidekick or the very least, Shakespeare's apprentice, I will rest my case at "I have trouble waking up in the morning"
So as one can imagine, waking up at 2am on Saturday 20 April was no exception. I wasn't whistling a tune, neither was I fully aware of what I was doing up at such an ungodly hour. However, a shower always does the trick and in no time, I was trying to force some left over baguette with peanut butter down my throat. With my digestive system slightly in shock, I continued the motions of getting ready for another momentous occasion. 
Every race I have run has had some significance, great or small but this year's Weskus Marathon came with a lot more. Not only did it come a few days after the Boston Marathon bombings but it was a reminder of the reason I run. Pleased that I wouldn't have to drive, I found myself the passenger of probably the best running club shuttle ever. The Afrikaans chatter that went on around me, reminded me of the television show I watched as a child growing up, "Journey to the west". Though the show had English subtitles, one cannot help but marvel at how language can be a key or barrier to communication. Sitting there listening to Afrikaans folk chatter away, was like trying to decipher Morse Code amidst blazing guns and exploding grenades for a novice ear. Once in a while I caught a phrase or two but for the most part, I was lost in translation so I resolved to take a snooze.
The race in itself needed no interpretation, a straight forward route that took you to the finish. A moment of silence held for the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings and we were all set to go. We had to run our hearts out for those who could not run for themselves. The sights around us, dreams that others would have loved to see for life has placed upon them one permanent restriction or another. Pondering upon these thoughts, the desire to press on despite the pain and weariness, was awakened. Undulating through the West-coast National Park, the route had its way, taking both seasoned runner and novice to the same destination - home.

3 hours and 48 minutes later, elation - a personal victory. A victory for those who inspire me daily. Those long gone and those recently lost. The fallen comrades some who remain unsung. The dreams that were meant to be lived but were cut short. I breathe deeply once again, as I sit and listen to Afrikaans chatter on the way back. I am sure I recognised a familiar word "hard-loop" or something along those lines. concluding my journey to the west. 

Thursday, 18 April 2013


Safety at the Comrades Marathon


The Comrades Marathon Association (CMA) has sent a message of support to the organisers of the Boston Marathon, as well as the runners and families of the victims after the event was rocked by two bomb blasts on Sunday, 14 April 2013. 

In a statement released by the CMA, Chairman Dave Dixon, empathised with the organisers of the Boston Marathon, saying: “The CMA can identify with the myriad risk and safety challenges race directors all over the world face because of the nature of road races being mass-based events and generally supported by hundreds of thousands of supporters and spectators at the start and finish of the events, as well as along the race route.”

“These circumstances leave the events vulnerable to these kinds of attacks and makes it all the more challenging to stage and manage”, he added. 

In light of the concerns raised about the safety of runners at the upcoming Comrades Marathon, CMA Race Director Johan Van Staden has assured Comrades Marathon entrants that the CMA has a tried and tested security system in place to ensure the safety of all Comrades Marathon athletes, supporters and spectators during the 2013 Comrades Marathon.

“Over the last 20 years, the CMA has maintained stringent risk and safety measures to protect the event against any kind of disaster.  A key measure entails a bomb sweep at the Comrades Marathon Start and Finish Venues”, he added.  The bomb sweep is carried out by the SA Police Services Bomb Squad.

Van Staden stated that “everyone is evacuated from the Start and Finish Venues of the Comrades Marathon from about 01:00 (am) on race day in order to conduct the bomb sweep. Thereafter, the premises are locked and guarded until control of the venue is handed over to the Head of the Comrades Marathon private security contractor, Bhejane Special Events Security.”

Van Staden went on to assure Comrades Marathon athletes, supporters and spectators alike that “the CMA will continue to work closely with the SA Police Services and Bhejane Special Events Security to protect the Comrades Marathon against any kind of attack or activity that will jeopardise the safety of runners, supporters or spectators”.

Friday, 12 April 2013


The Verdict – Two Oceans Back to Back Challenge


Before the 30th of March, many thoughts were going through my head. Having taken the challenge to run the Two Oceans Marathon twice seemed incomprehensible for most in my close circle of friends, family and colleagues. For most, this somewhat reserved unassuming individual was taking a gamble beyond measure. If truth be told, there were instances I thought they could be right. The longest distance I have ever run in my meager two and a half years of long distance running was my single Comrades marathon which I practically wobbled to a finish on a bad knee.

Those who had witnessed the effects of those 10 long hours were right to think that taking on 112km was being overambitious. However, the reason and motivation for taking on the challenge compelled me to stick to mission at hand. More than 3 million orphans in South Africa whose muffled voices cry out for help, day in day out. More than 3 million dreams waiting to be born. More than 3 million destinies waiting to be fulfilled and a simple gesture such as 112km could very well ensure at least one is carried to full term. All fear that I would fail or hurt myself, was eroded by a vivid picture of millions of dreams being dashed as many broken beings infiltrated society. Putting my body on the line for a day would be incomparable to the generations of broken individual the country will see if nothing is done here and now. While my body would heal after a few days of rest, some Arnica anti-inflamatories and at the worst, a visit to a medical practitioner, nothing could take away the pain of an orphan growing up feeling like an unwanted child.

The Newkidz on the Block philosophy is simple, “There is no such thing as an unwanted child, just an unfound family.” With this in mind, the 112km journey was something of a pilgrimage of sorts for these millions of children.

When the 30th finally came, I had developed a certain kind of numbness on the inside, a peace that surpasses all understanding. Neither was I afraid nor was I doing somersaults. Lining up at the start of the Two Oceans Ultra Marathon this time around, had much more significance than the previous time I had run the race. This was not my race, it went far beyond me in every sense. Alone, I had no strength nor will to start, let alone complete it but with an invisible legion of lives in pursuit of hope, I trotted across the start line. Being seeded E meant I had to start at the back of the field and the last minute bathroom visit  meant I had to start right at the back. Unfazed by neither this nor the gale force winds that greeted the runners as we ran along the coastline, the first 56km was completed.

It only hit me at the start of the second lap that this was a lone journey. By mid-day, the roads had been cleared and any evidence that there had been a race in progress had been carefully taken away. Despite the tired body, the journey continued, slowing down as the kilometers went by. Fighting against the wind reminded me of the many challenges the orphans in our country faced while at the same time stirring up the determination to defy the odds. Through the terrain this lone traveler progressed, with shouts of encouragement coming from the support vehicle from time to time. When the going permitted, a team member from Newkidz on the Block would run alongside, making light of the journey.

The most difficult mile was the last, when I had to dig in deep. The body was long spent and all that carried me was a Lover who kept whispering “ it is for 3 million dreams…” Looking up literally at times, He gently tugged at the heartstrings, playing a tune that numbed the pain. Almost dragging my feet, the last kilometer was completed with the team from Newkidz right by my side all the way.
Never have I appreciated a bath, a salty snack and above all the love of the Creator like on this day. The love that frees us and spurs us on to do what many perceive to be impossible. The love that makes one do crazy things without standing to benefit anything from it. The love that knows no limits nor boundaries. The kind of love that Newkidz and many other organizations selflessly  display daily.
After close to 14 hours of running and walking, I can safely say Two Oceans Back to Back was a Mission Possible!

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Countdown to Two Oceans Marathon Back to Back Challenge


In just over 48 hours, I will be embarking on a 112km. Some have deemed it silly while others think it is outright insane. There have been moments when I have weighed these statements to find some reason not to go ahead with the challenge but the desire to see the millions of orphans in our country and continent by far supersedes what the body will have to endure for those long hours on Saturday 30 March 2013.
A certain numbness has come over me, something of a peace that surpasses all understanding. My back aches and my neck in knots but the race will be run.

I am thankful to the many individuals and organisations who have offered support right from the beginning. Newkidz on the Block for spurring on what started out as a mere concept. Radio Tygerberg, Hectic Nine9, Daily Voice, Runners' World and many more for helping us get word out about this initiative. If one child finds a loving family and home then this Mission Possible would be deemed a great success.

 While looking for inspiration, I found some in the words from Chariots of Fire said by one Eric Lydell;
"You came to see a race today. To see someone win. It happened to be me. But I want you to do more than just watch a race. I want you to take part in it. I want to compare faith to running in a race. It's hard. It requires concentration of will, energy of soul. You experience elation when the winner breaks the tape - especially if you've got a bet on it. But how long does that last? You go home. Maybe you're dinner's burnt. Maybe you haven't got a job. So who am I to say, "Believe, have faith," in the face of life's realities? I would like to give you something more permanent, but I can only point the way. I have no formula for winning the race. Everyone runs in her own way, or his own way. And where does the power come from, to see the race to its end? From within. Jesus said, "Behold, the Kingdom of God is within you. If with all your hearts, you truly seek me, you shall ever surely find me." If you commit yourself to the love of Christ, then that is how you run a straight race."

Eric Lydell

Friday, 22 March 2013


A eulogy for Chinua Achebe

When I heard that Chinua Achebe had passed on, fond memories of high school flooded back.
My mind reeled back to literature classes with a staunch teacher who viewed a slight mispronunciation or misuse of language as a grave injustice to mankind and disservice to literary greats such as William Shakespeare and Chinua Achebe. Reading through the novel, Things Fall Apart, gave birth to a deep love for African literature, while at the same time kindling a passion for the fight against social injustice. 
Chinua Achebe was a brother, friend, father above all teacher to many despite never having met him personally. Anyone who encourages critical thinking and engages audiences across the world with artistry genius that transcends generations is worthy of praise and honor.

His literary voice will echo in time, inspiring generations of writers, poets and revolutionaries from all walks of life. We may not have had the opportunity to thank him enough while he lived, but my hope is that the way we live our lives as the human race, may be befitting an honor to a life well lived. 

For my hero

When we said goodbye to him
The future seemed so bleak and dim
Our hopes and dreams momentarily shattered
Like lost sheep abroad were we all scattered
Each one engrossed and trapped in the realm of thought
So freshly made were memories from long ago brought

Another arrow has finally upon its mark landed
 His tenure as man of flesh and blood ended
Behind him he leaves both legacy and a legend
Within the books of history his name is embedded
Upon the tablets of our hearts forever engraved.

For years and years the arrow soared
To defend his own, like a lion he roared.
In the face of adversity always bold,
Held up his head and wore courage untold
Day and night the brave warrior our own battles fought
Optimism his fill, gave no room for negative thought.

As all stare and begrudge the mound of earth
All can but marvel and take a deep breath
For beneath the mound lays a great man
And every soul present, his greatest fan.

Though death has purposed to tear us apart
From our hearts he will never depart
For here lays an arrow found its target
And in glory he shall walk the red carpet.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Mission Possible Coast to Coast


Easter Weekend is set to be a thriller. While some hunt for eggs and feast on hot cross buns, we will be making friends with Cape Town's coastline and inner city in a race against time. The challenge has been made and with open arms, accepted. While the journey will be epic, trying and gruesome in many ways, the news-headlines and daily reports of crimes against vulnerable individuals spur us on to do whatever it takes to ensure no child grows up to be a victim or perpetrator of crime.
With nothing but willing hands and feet, the 112km journey will begin at 6:30, Saturday March 30. When the 56km official race ends for some, it will only be the beginning of yet another 56km lap for Mission Possible.


This Mission Possible will need all the support members of the community can give in the form of donations on the activist's page, moral support along the way as well as volunteers for upcoming projects conducted by Newkidz on the Block.
 This would not be Mission Possible without the human spirit that flows from the depths of you and I.

If you are an adrenaline junkie looking for a mission with a purpose or a cheerleader willing to spur us on from the sidelines, please drop a line on 0799390026 for more details. 

To make a donation or find out about Newkidz, please visit the page:

Thursday, 7 March 2013


Happy Women's Day


Because I am unbreakable
I know I am able
Because I am untouchable
I am more than capable
Because I am unshakable
I will not fall with the ruble
Because I am strong
I will acknowledge when I am wrong
Because I am invincible
I will live and let live
Because I am a mountain
I will withstand the pouring rain
Because I am a soaring eagle
I will see through the eye of a needle
Because I have the heart of a lion
I will stand firm like mount Zion
Because I have courage
I will start all over regardless of age
Because I have zeal
All the open wounds I will let heal
Because I am alive
I will embrace the gift that is life


Sweet smell of success


Once the dust settles from a great adventure one needs to calm down and take stock. The first edition of Mission Possible was a success, not in the sense of having the numbers but in that we all left feeling change was coming. Ascending up Lion’s Head were men, women and children who had one thing in mind, the vision of a better city, better lives and better homes for the underprivileged children we may never get to see face to face.

While sitting and waiting for people to arrive, a million thoughts were reeling through my head. Questions about whether anyone would turn up were put to rest when the first individual arrived. That was the greatest victory of all and had no one else turned up, the mission would still have been regarded as a success.

Though I thought I understood what Mission Possible was all about, Saturday 2 March brought about a whole new revelation. Success is not necessarily being the richest, smartest or most beautiful but it is doing what you can to the best of your ability and being able to sleep at night knowing you did all you possibly could. 
Furthermore, success is not simply a lack of failure but it is the ability to see a new opportunity at every turn. The first edition saw us gain ground towards our target. As we continue building our little Rome on Behalf of Newkidz on the Block, we hold our heads high not for pride’s sake but because we embrace life and the mandate placed upon each individual to live and let live.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013


The gloves need to come off


Perhaps one of the greatest blessing or curse of our generation is the ability to speak freely about anything and anyone…at least unless you give some political entity or law enforcement agent reason to retract or pay for your “sins”. “Social commentary”, while it is aimed at promoting responsible governance and citizenship, seems to promote sluggishness from all angles. Please do note, I say this with four fingers pointing back at me. I say sluggishness because it seems members of society find it easy to blame it on the government, on their neighbors, anyone in sight for what is going wrong in our communities. Politicians blame it on the opposition and gain political mileage by listing what Party X and So & So is doing wrong rather than what they have done right.
Many forums have opened up for society to air views, which in generations past was either a life threatening vocation or worse still unacceptable to challenge status quo. However, the increase of freedom of speech or  freedom of expression has become breeding ground for individuals to preach, teach, coach while many are not willing to do anything to contribute to the change we complain about. It is understandable that many at times, there seems to be little that can be done to change the attitude of politicians, criminals or the so called “racists” we so easily identify with eyes closed. As much as our hands may be tied due to our lack of influence, we certainly can make a difference starting with one small step, one individual and that is looking within ourselves.
When we remove the masks we wear on forums such as this one and return to our daily lives, the problems we attack each other over still remain. We still have to lock our doors, we still have to pay taxes to support the activities of those we seem to loathe, we still pay exorbitant prices for goods and services, and we still have to worry about criminals and perpetrators of abuse. Complain about them all we want, toyi-toyi we may till the cows come home but if we do not act we are simply wasting our time.
Changing a corrupt politician may not be the job of an individual, but an individual can certainly change the path a child may take by partaking in laying the right so he/she may be a better leader tomorrow. Getting rid of crime will not happen by flippantly throwing comments but by ensuring the right environment is created for children from a very young age. The rude store attendant or uncouth man or woman some may so despise, did not drop from the sky but was once an infant. Please do not get me wrong, I am in no way condoning wrong doing, neither am I discounting the fact that the outcome of each life is made up of a series of choices but I am simply saying that we as individuals can make a difference if we dedicate ourselves to being the change we want to see.
It may take years for significant social, economic and political transformation to occur and this is not to say we could have a society completely free of problems but if each individual were to play a part, it would make a world of difference. We all want a better city, country and continent, but what are we all willing to do, to see that become a reality? Hats off to those who are already making a difference, sincerely, I salute you!
While I am not qualified to tell others what they can or cannot do, it is my hope that we rise above being commentators and collectively be the authors of a positive story that will be evident for generations to come. Some of the nations of the world we so envy, are what they are today because men and women in generations past, were also willing to make sacrifices. Not the kind that involves blood and violence, but the kind that never made it into history books that shaped the thinking of the child who grew up to the envy of others whether on a small or large scale.

Friday, 15 February 2013

GivenGain Profile: suavolonte

GivenGain Profile: suavolonte

MISSION POSSIBLE - Lion's Head

So you thought it was impossible to have a thousand people go up Lion’s head in 3 hours?
Well think again because we are on a Mission Possible to change the plight of the children of our city through challenging but fun activities. Mission Possible is a concept coined to raise funds for Newkidz, an organization whose endeavor is to ensure safe and comfortable living environments for the children of our city. The activities will challenge individuals to push their bodies to the limit and do what is ordinarily perceived to be impossible. The first of many activities to come will be a hike up Lion’s head on the 2nd of March. This Mission Possible will require as many residents of Cape Town to ascend upon Lion’s Head on this Saturday morning to show the children of our city that all things are possible when we unite for a common cause.
Whether you prefer to run up the mountain, make as far up as you can or be a witness at the bottom, come one, come all! The journey up will be symbolic of your triumph so come prepared to celebrate personal and corporate victories.

We’re calling upon you to come and join us on the 2nd of March as the great cloud of witnesses shows the world of possibilities we can achieve.

As long as your heart beats, you have what it takes to take on this challenge. So bring a banner if you can, dress up if you please, invite a friend if you are able for you never know, you might just be a lucky winner.

Please make a donation towards Newkidz Projects by visiting the activist page:
http://www.givengain.com/activist/90569
Your contribution will make a difference beyond measure and automatically enters your name into the lucky draw!

Details:
When: Saturday 02 March 2013
Time: 07:00
Meeting Place: Base of Signal Hill Road
Duration: 3 hours
Contact: 0799390026, suavolonte@gmail.com

“A person with Ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, based from a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed.” Desmond Tutu

Sponsors: CADAC SA, UNISA &

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Still I rise


Maya Angelou, perhaps one of the most enduring figures in modern day art and civil rights wrote a beautiful piece exposing the heart of a woman perhaps aggravated by some form of injustice that violated her femininity. While the battle is not mine, yet the need to fight for others above myself compels me to continue pressing on against the odds. 
There is no doubt the plight of women and children should be on top of any agenda for if not, the future may very well be written off as a dismal one here and now. Rapists who plunder the very essence of what being a woman is, were once one mother's child. Criminals that hake people's heads off, once sucked on a thumb in the womb of some woman. The very victims who fall at their mercy, are or once were the little boy or girl of another.
Anene Booysen was a harmless young girl, yet because men who got their thinking corrupted at one point or another, she is no more. Many more men and women, stifling their cries in the dark, live with the scars of one form of injustice or another because a certain child grew up to be menace to society. While we cannot discount the fact that one can make choices regardless of upbringing and circumstances, should there not be room to at least try and ensure all children grow up in environments where their thinking is influenced for the good of society.
Those of old said, "it takes a community to raise a child" and "every child is everyone's child". While children are not raised on food alone, it takes setting examples and encouraging children to live beyond the limits and rise above circumstances. These may seem like the words of a dreamer but then again it doesn't cost much to dream but without a dream one surely has a great price to pay.

For Anene and every mother's child who's ever had to endure pain at the hands of another mother's child:


I rise when the darkness conceals my pain
At the hands of another who will nothing gain
When my inner being is overwhelmed with grief
And in the cold my all trembles like a leaf
I will rise 

I will rise when my childhood is my demise
And like an old river my womanhood  dies
When blame to me is imputed for being me
And the lie I have to live is so I can be
I will rise


Want to know why you are a hero? https://www.givengain.com/activist/90569/ 

Thursday, 24 January 2013

MISSION POSSIBLE


Where there is a will there is a way. Where paths are undefined, the onus lies upon the dreamer to create one. 
Perhaps the most heart breaking thing to behold is a defenseless child being a victim of circumstances or worse still to individuals who ought to be giving love and care. It is very easy to read news reports and sigh at the reality of children turning into criminals, children being abused, children being exploited or being deprived of a childhood they rightly deserve but it is also equally easy to say enough is enough and do something about it.
Children are indeed the future and well done to those investing in the future of their own children but remember, if we don't invest in the future of ALL children, we are defeating the purpose.
My call to all men and women of this city, this country, this continent and this world, is to put our hands together, if the dream of a better future is to become a reality.
Hats off to those who are already doing something to make a difference and for those who have not yet  joined the band wagon, now is the time to act.
In my own small way, I will be doing ALL that is morally permissible to ensure that the plight of underprivileged children does not remain bleak.
No man is an island, so please do join me, as I embark on this journey to take on extreme activities that challenge, body mind and soul to contribute towards OUR FUTURE.
 If you are not so much of an adrenaline junkie like me and don't like the idea of getting your hands dirty, you can still make a contribution by visiting my activist page https://www.givengain.com/activist/90569/ 

Monday, 14 January 2013

A Stitch In Time




Perhaps one of  the greatest malady that plagues many a man or a woman is the inability to bring to an end what he/she started.
Whether they be raging fires or simple conversations over a good old cup of tea. I do not boast of being immune to the “start things you can’t finish” syndrome for perhaps I need rehabilitation than most. New Year’s resolutions and lists, while they are a sufficient antidote for some, seem to further aggravate the symptoms of a soul that lacks the discipline to follow through on most things.
Being an individual who saw the end without envisioning the process, my efforts were often frustrated by unforeseen obstacles which I permitted to get the better of me. An evident pattern had formed in my somewhat short life and to change the pattern I endeavored for life is too short to live with regret. It took a mere piece of fabric to bring the moment of epiphany. A piece of fabric I had bought many moons ago with the intention of sewing a skirt. The reason for this was simply because I could never find the perfect fit, or if it was the perfect fit, it would be in the wrong fabric or the wrong print. The search for the fabric in itself was something of an “around the world in 80 stores” trip.
Once the fabric was safely at home, the willpower to begin the skirt making project was summoned through weeks of probing and pleading with the dressmaker hibernating within. One Sunday afternoon she surfaced and so began the measuring and cutting of fabric. It was to be a simple skirt yet one that I would love and feel comfortable in. I envisioned it and almost felt the soft fabric flowing as I “gracefully” walked on the sunny paths of one wine estate or some meadow I would discover.

Half way through “Project Skirt” despondency crept in. Once again unforeseen challenges resounded the need to abandon the mission. I had made a few stitches where I wasn't supposed to one too many times. The vision I had had, compared to the sight before me were worlds apart. A dismal failure was the entire project and like many of my attempted projects, I hung it in the cupboard with the “intention” to carry on when “I had time”. After weeks of seeing the unfinished product whenever I happened to wander into that corner of the cupboard, it occurred to me that not only was I staring at an unfinished skirt with mistakes I wasn't brave enough to correct but this was mere evidence of how I had dealt with many other areas of my life. While I could give every excuse as to why I didn't complete certain things I began, I challenged myself to give reasons why I should complete everything I started.
With this realization, I took out the skirt and began undoing the stitches that were made in the wrong places. The stitches left marks, evidence of mistakes I had made and at the end of it all, I realized the dream skirt could no longer be made using the same piece of fabric but it could be altered into a top. The vision was therefore altered and so to make a top I endeavored. Keeping in mind how the previous mistakes had occurred, I avoided losing focus while working at all costs. Not that I didn't make any mistakes but I was determined to correct each one before they piled up into a mound that could be unresolved. Back curved and eyelids heavy, I finally finished the top which adorns me as I write.
This simple yet important lesson helped me realize, that a stitch in time cannot be undone but it can certainly teach a valuable lesson if embraced. I can certainly make a new start and readjust my vision opposed to throwing in the towel completely. It took a simple piece of fabric to realize that sometimes visions may look great and wonderful but they are meaningless if one does not have a strategy and the discipline to follow through.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Ocean Basket Bay to Bay 2013


It's 4am and that detestable sound of the alarm signals  the dreaded approach of the simple yet difficult act of waking up. Waking up for me is like declaring a cease fire when one is seconds away from an ultimate and undisputed victory. After half an hour of snoozing my alarm, the thought of starting the year on the wrong foot eventually gives me enough reason to painfully pull down the covers and drag myself to the shower. Once the cold water preceding the warmth of our solar heated geyser hits my face, my body becomes more co-operative as I go through the small rites of a runner.
Only as I hit the N1 do I realize that ahead of me lies a 30km journey that could either be a painful experience or a pleasurable one depending on how the odds play out. The journey from the Northern Surbubs of Cape Town to the Atlantic Seaboard is without much activity at that time of any given Sunday morning. Drifting away in thought as I ponder upon the words of a Josh Groban song playing in the background, I am reminded again of the cliche that inside of me lies the power to do extraordinary things if I so choose. Not necessarily mount physical wings and soar the skies (though I wish I could) but the kind of power that makes one's spirit become so resilient that defeat ceases to exist in one's diction.
With the holiday weight and half-hearted  determination of a person who has been on a break for way to long, I make my way to the start. After moments of wandering around and running after anyone who looks like they know where they are going, I eventually get the courage to ask someone where the start for the 30km race is. 
I am quite chaffed when they ask me if I am a professional athlete from another country coming down specifically for the race. As they say, it is the little things that matter and this small maybe careless statement, mattered this morning. With this borrowed confidence booster I settle at the start, doing what I do best...think.
When the gun finally goes off, like every other athlete I set off with only one thing in mind, to finish the race regardless of how things unfold.
Along the way there are moments I feel like a cruise-liner, then there are also moments I feel like a deflating tube, doing everything possible to stay afloat or risk becoming debris at the bottom of what I call the "ocean of what ifs"

2 hours and 48 minutes later, I hobble my way across the finish line. Proud of myself for having finished what I started but longing to have done more. Every mile I ran, I realised that there was another who was lying in a hospital bed, hoping to have had enough strength to walk across the room to small the flowers that grow in the garden below. For every step I took, there was someone in the very moment, trying to salvage the remnants of a relationship that seemed to be in ruins. For every hill I climbed, another never got to see the view from the top because they were blinded by pain and anguish from one loss or another. For every wave that crushed against a rock in full view of my mind's eye, there were many who wandered aimlessly for life had ceased to have meaning. While crossing the line for me was something of a personal victory, it was a reminder that not only should I live more but let live and help live.

I suppose getting myself a Paul McCartney and Wings number from the 70s would be in good order.  
To all who did the Bay to Bay, hats off to you for a job well done! For those who would have wanted to but did not, may desire get the better of you so you may "Just do it!". For those who have no idea what I'm talking about, the Ocean Basket Bay to Bay may just very well be one of South Africa's best kept secrets waiting to be discovered by you!

Ocean Basket Bay to Bay

Friday, 4 January 2013

One For Burry Stander...Two for the love of the human spirit!

When I read the headline "Cycling champion Stander dies in road accident", my heart sank momentarily then rage took over. Not the kind of rage that makes one do irrational things but the kind that makes you realise that life is to short to wait until tomorrow next week or next year. I was infuriated to the point of putting myself through something of an inquisition. While Burry Stander would have wanted to live on, win more races and do what he loves best, yet in a careless moment on the part of the motorist, his family has lost a son, husband, brother... Some have lost a close friend, a source of inspiration and to sporting fanatics like myself, a hero.
Mourn we shall only for moment but a true champion like Burry deserves to be celebrated for a life well lived! He may be gone in the physical but the legend will live on. 
While we can ask why such things happen, my prayer is that each one who has love and respect for Burry, for cycling, for sport or for mankind, strangers and friends alike, may stand up and live every moment as if it were the last.
Death cannot erase the evidence of a life well lived. Neither can the grave conceal the living proof you left behind. To live you may have ceased, yet the legend will be forever engraved in time. In our hearts we'll hold you dear and in our thoughts where great names are mentioned yours will always be near!!! An arrow missing form a quiver of the living, yet your target you found and the mark will forever remain! RIP Burry!