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Mandela Day draws key figures

In celebration of Mandela Day Zelda la Grange, the Hemel-en-Aarde Brewery, the Brewers Soup Collective and the Kolisi Foundation joined forces to make it a memorable one.

La Grange, former private secretary to late former President Nelson Mandela, saw a great need in the Overstrand after the Covid-19 pandemic hit. What’s more, she said, it came after the region was hit hard by the 2018 unrest, which it was still recovering from.

La Grange decided to reach out to help wherever possible and got many people involved in the project. The project coincided with her 50th birthday, which she dedicated to the memory of Madiba, roping in as many people as she could to help fund 27 000 cups of soup, the number significant for the 27 years Mandela had spent in jail.

On Saturday 18 July this became a reality. The Kolisi Foundation, founded by Springbok rugby captain Siya Kolisi and his wife, Rachel, donated about 300 food parcels, which would feed a family of six for an entire month. The food parcels were packed with essentials, from tinned food, oil, fruits, rice and much more for families in need.

At the gathering at Shofar Church in Hermanus, Kolisi said he hoped for a future where everyone would be taken care of, and no more food packages would need to be distributed.

The proceedings then moved on to the Hemel-en-Aarde Brewery, where good deeds for Mandela Day were underway. Since Wednesday 15 July it had been all-hands-on-deck at the brewery. People were preparing the vegetables for soup, cooking, pumping into flow bins, for delivery to communities in the Overstrand. The brewery wrapped it all up on Sunday 19 July.

Owner Marc de Maudave said it felt great to give back to the community, providing 33 000 nutritious soup meals produced from approximately 6,5 tons of vegetables, with bread donated by Blue Ribbon. “All the community kitchens were sincerely grateful for the donations,” he said. “There were happy faces all round.”

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