Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all our readers!





bells time!

Dancing to

the sunrise

The story of

an Italian


It’s time for

our annual











Phone 013-754-1600

Lowveld Media

12 Stinkhout Crescent, Mbombela

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Mellissa Bushby 084-319-2101

Contributing Writers

Alita Steenkamp 083-695-5308

Liezel Lüneburg 083-287-2225

Lindi Botha 082-494-8005

Mia Louw 073-389-9761


Belinda Erasmus 082-567-0596

Mia Louw 073-389-9761

Tanya Erasmus 083-778-7725


Geraldine Reyneke • Andile Mthethwa


Jess Steyn • May Nel • Matthew Booth


Shannon Visagie 079-350-8280


National Group Editor and

National Sales

Kym Argo 082-785-9230

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Get It Lowveld is distributed free of charge.

For a full list of where to find a copy, phone

Monya Burger on 083-555-4992

Published by CTP Limited

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The judges’ decision is final. Prizes cannot be

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Why don’t you...

04 Indulge in a festive lunch, savour some bubbly, or visit

a Christmas market

05 Brilliant books for the holidays


06 Catch a tan, drink gin or help to save the planet


10 Ace-ing it!

12 Celebrating 50 shades of pink

13 A pawesome birthday party


14 Gin-spired! We speak to Tanya Cruse about gin o’clock

18 Vuyani Baloyi is making her mark

20 Theresa Prinsloo has music in her genes


22 When the stars come out to play


24 Our annual giveaway calendar


26 The rhythm of Rio

28 Summer in the Lowveld!

30 A festive feast


32 Mark the season with our Christmassy DIY


34 Dancing to the rising sun

36 Born in the heart


40 Italian passion


28 We’re all about wine!

48 We are giving away a hamper of the most

agréable French cult beauty products


Tanya Cruse.

Photographed by Lumé Reiter

December 2019 Get It Lowveld 03

A hot date!

Pencil these events into your December diary right now!

If you have a date for our diary, email the info at least a month in advance to


We’re so excited for

the Mpumalanga

Bubbly & Lifestyle Experience!

This champagne, MCC and wine

event at the Lowveld National

Botanical Garden brings a

new generation of trendsetters

together, connecting them to

the sophistication of lifestyle

products and to one another. The

theme is “Dress to Impress”. Tickets

can be bought online (www. or at the

gates which open at 11am. Make

sure to experience the bubbliest

event this season.


The Xela College Design

Show is one glittering event

not to be missed. Held at Emnotweni

in Mbombela from 6pm to 9pm, it

showcases the exceptional talent of

past and present students. Tickets

cost R100 and can be bought via



‘Tis the season to be jolly.

And we’re ever so jolly

about Little Karoo’s Christmas

market. This quaint coffee shop in

Mbombela offers visitors live music,

fabulous stalls, art, fresh produce,

tasty food and drinks. There is bound

to be something for everyone. The

event is from 3pm to 9pm. Details:


Join us for the sixth

Mpumalanga Gospel Music

Awards at AFM Communio Church

in Mbombela. Tickets cost R200

for general access and R450 for VIP.

They can be purchased through

Computicket. This prestigious event

starts at 6pm.


We just love the I Love Local

Market at the Lowveld

National Botanical Garden. This

country market, from 9am to 1pm,

encourages visitors to browse for

that something special from a wide

variety of local traders. You’ll find

scrumptious eats, gin tasting, fresh

veggies, herbs and plants, delicious

homemade products, leather and

woodwork, books, clothing and so

much more. Free entry to market

visitors. Details: Peta on 082-331-0712


08 25 28

It’s going to be a white

Christmas at eBundu Lodge

outside Mbombela! You’re invited

to a fabulous festive lunch at 12pm.

It costs R420 per person, and kids

aged between five and 12 pay R195.

Booking is essential. Details: 013-758-

1222 or


It’s the most wonderful time of the

year. Hotel Numbi in Hazyview is

offering a Christmas lunch, served

between 12pm and 2pm. Adults

pay R285 and kids aged between

six and 15 pay R95. Younger than

six eat free of charge. Don’t forget

to book. Details: 013-737-7301.

It’s time to get the party

started with the Ama 2000

Music Festival at KaNyamazane

Stadium. Book your tickets at

Computicket: R200 for general access

and R1 000 for VIP. Gates open at 3pm.

Cooler boxes are welcome - free entry

before 6pm, afterwards festivalgoers

pay R100. Details: 072-258-0623.

04 Get It Lowveld December 2019

Book club

A trio of brilliant books for the holidays

Joy of joys! A new Jojo Moyes, just in time for the

holidays. Inspired by a remarkable true story, the

book is described as “the unforgettable journey of

five extraordinary women living in extraordinary

and perilous times”. The Giver of Stars is the story

of Alice Wright, who leaves England for America,

only to discover that swapping suburbia for being

the wife of an American businessman and living in

the wild mountains of Kentucky isn’t, actually, the

answer to her prayers. Then she meets Margery

O’Hara, a woman who isn’t afraid of anything, and

a woman on a mission! The pair, along with three

others, join up and, ignoring obvious dangers and

loads of social disapproval, travel hundreds of miles a week to deliver books to

isolated families. When a body is found in the mountains, and one of the group

becomes a suspect, their new friendship is put to the test. The Giver of Stars is

unputdownable. Penguin, R270.

Ever since reading the marvellous Don’t Let’s Go to the

Dogs Tonight, we’ve pounced on any new Alexandra

Fuller with delight (unlike her mother, who thinks they’re

“dreadful”). Just released is Travel Light, Move Fast, a

tribute to Alexandra’s father, who died unexpectedly and

dramatically in Budapest. Read in equal parts of envy and

horror - her parents launched from one calamity to the

next, fuelled with gin and in a haze of cigarette smoke,

along with the children, a handful of dogs and a collection

of orange Le Creuset pots - the memoir jumps from present

to past. Alexandra tells of the lessons her father taught her,

about life, love, loss and tragedy. Lessons that led her to cope

with the loss of her father, of the fallout with her sister, and of

the final bereavement she reveals in the last chapter, when you may find yourself

holding the book further away than normal so as to distance yourself from the

grief she pours into the pages. Brilliantly written, heartbreaking, and often laughout-loud

funny. Not much more you need from a great read, really.

Profile Books, R300.

Also well worth reading...

If there was ever anyone as glam as the marvellous Jackie Kennedy Onassis, it was

her sister, Lee. One the most iconic women of her time, and the favourite of their

rakish father, she lived in the shadow of her older sister, their mother’s favourite.

Both had a keen eye for beauty in fashion, design, painting, music, dance,

sculpture, poetry, and both were talented artists. But they, although extremely

close, were hugely competitive and their relationship had rivalry and jealousy.

When Jackie died and her will was read, Lee discovered that cash bequests were

left to family, friends and staff, but nothing to her. “I have made no provision in this

my will for my sister, Lee B Radziwill, for whom I have great affection, because I have

already done so during my lifetime,’” it read. The Fabulous Bouvier Sisters by Sam

Kashner and Nancy Schoenberger, who had interviews with Lee, explores the

tragedy and glamour of these two fascinating women. HarperCollins, R310.


December 2019 Get It Lowveld 00

Wish list

Indulgent ice lollies and ambrosian gin

Forty winks?

When you’re all hyped up for the holiday

vibe, it’s often difficult to fall asleep. Say

hello to Duo Calm Soothing Sleep. One pill

before bedtime promotes healthy sleep by

regulating your circadian (day/night) rhythm.

R445 from

Let’s celebrate

We are super excited to be launching the

Jenna Clifford Celebratory Crackers in the

Lowveld! The gift of sharing with someone

special. It takes two to crack it, adds fun

with a bang along with the beauty of the

contents. Brenda and Jenna’s friendship

stems back to 15 years ago when Brenda’s

twins attended Summer’s (Jenna’s

daughter) birthday party. This “Cracker”

concept has been a dream of Jenna’s for

quite some time and we are thrilled to

bring these Celebration Crackers to the





ORDER your festive season or special occasion cracker with us.

Contact us on 011 523 6600 / Brenda Archdeacon on 082 820 9855

Summer loving

Conceptualised on Clifton 4th beach in 2014,

Granadilla is a swimwear, beach accessory and

summer-loving brand that embodies the energetic

spirit of Cape Town summers. Focusing mainly on

premium swim shorts for men, it now offers kiddies

shorts and women’s cozzies, too. All featuring

a locally inspired design, while staying on the

forefront of fashion, culture and most importantly

- a summer attitude. Available at A Brief Affair at

Casterbridge Lifestyle Centre, White River. Swim

shorts - long or short style: R790, kiddies shorts:

R590. Ladies cozzies also available.

Details: 013-750-1635

or 065-917-2064.

Endless summer days call for

the perfect drink

Bloedlemoen is the first blood orange gin

in the world. With the fruit locally sourced

in the Cape, this is contemporary, London

dry-style gin is distilled using 10 botanicals.

Now, just in time for endless summer

days, Bloedlemoen Gin has added a new

variant to its collection... Bloedlemoen

Amber, with the addition of a selection

of locally forged fynbos and honeybush.

Amber is warmer, sweeter and spicy, and

is excellent enjoyed neat, on the rocks or

with a cut of orange zest and a splash of

tonic. R399 a bottle.

06 Get It Lowveld December 2019

Fancy an orange lolly?

Makes 4 x 85ml ice lollies. Juice of 5-6 large

oranges (roughly 500ml); a squeeze of fresh

lime juice (Note: You will need 4 x 85ml ice lolly

moulds and flat lolly sticks). • Mix the fresh orange juice

with the squeeze of fresh lime juice, tasting and adjusting

to your liking. • Pour into lolly moulds until each one is 3/4

full. • Place moulds upright in the freezer for about an hour

before poking sticks into each mould. Freeze for a further 3 hours or

preferably overnight. • Remove moulds from freezer and briefly dip them

into hot water, then gently pull the lollies out and serve immediately.

Recipe from Jude’s Ice Cream & Desserts.


Hot days. Sultry nights. Sexy swimwear and

slip dresses. Which all, obviously, scream tan.

We’re massive fans of the Caribbeantan brand.

Think products that are good for you, good for

our planet, and cruelty-free! You’ll find them at

Dis-Chem and Clicks, select independent stores, as

well as online at

Zero just happened

Zero waste. Zero plastic.

Zero cruelty. We’re mad

about the new Zero Bar shampoo... a

proudly local product that’s concentrated, water-free, plasticfree

and cruelty-free. Designed to last through between 55

and 70 hair washes, outlasting most bottled shampoos, there

are four to choose from (called the four Bar Bros)... an Argean

bar, Jojoba, the Moringa bar and Wild Desert Melon. All four

have loads of nutrients, vitamins and minerals, and promise to

clean, enrich, moisturise, condition, shine, strengthen, nourish,

soothe and repair. Only available on line at the moment, they

cost R75 each, or R300 for a pack (all the same, or one of each).



Celebrate the holiday

season with Clarins

for a Christmas full of

enchanting surprises!

Immerse yourself in the magic of Christmas

at each step of this holiday season: a playful

moment, from preparation to celebration.



|Let’s prepare for a

playful Christmas!

It’s time to pamper yourself and

your loved ones with comforting care!

An iconic product to boost your youth

Double Serum

from R995* for 30ml





For more than

60 years, nature has

inspired our every

creation… Which

is why over 250


plant extracts infuse

our formulas.

Put the spring back into your skin

Extra-Firming Deluxe Collection

R2,150* | Valued at R2,820

Something for Dad...

Clarins Men Hydration Collection

R815* | Valued at R980

Discover more at and participating Clarins beauty counters.

For you. About you.

*Recommended Retail Selling Price



|Find the perfect gift!

The countdown has begun.

Your playful spirit is awake, ready to hunt

some memorable gifts for your family.



Let it Glow! Let it Glow!

Bright Plus Gift Set

R910* | Valued at R1,500

The gift of youthful skin

Multi-Active Collection

R830* | Valued at R1,330

Mommy’s kissing Santa Claus

if she gets this Holiday Beauty Cracker

R320* | Valued at R495



| Get ready to celebrate!

Christmas magic is alive! Complete your

look with the perfect make-up.

All eye want for Christmas

Wonder Perfect 4D Gift

R380* | Valued at R545

A must-have for kiss me lips

Beautiful Lips Collection

R600* | Valued at R680

The perfect cocktail to revitalise your skin

Eau Dynamisante

from R625* for 100ml


Matthew Gibbons and Marcus Wagner

Debby Gunn-Henderson and Christa Matthee

Samkelo Nkosi, Nomvuyo Mlimi and Vusi Masai


Package it!

The recent grand opening of ACE Retail in Riverside

Park, Mbombela was a night to remember. Bubbly

was handed out as guests eagerly anticipated

what was to come. ACE didn’t disappoint, offering

a whole new dimension to the Lowveld packaging


Nerine du Plessis, Pieter Geringer and Lisa-Marie Pretorius

Angelo and Lula Paschalides

Denzel and Phindiwe Sophie

10 Get It Lowveld December 2019

Eurika Mogane, Marchel Kruger, Pauline Moller and

Mariolise le Roux

Adelaide Mashego, Beate Dednam and Goitsi Tsolanku

Shades of pink

The CANSA Tea was back with a bang as this year’s

theme enticed hostesses to pull out all the stops

and celebrate love, light and survival, to coincide

with Jenna Clifford’s 60th birthday.

Jenna Clifford and Brenda Archdeacon

Ramphosi Shawe, Linda Mokoena

and Mandisa Mthembu

Carlien van der Walt, Juliana Sierra, Michelle Sierra

and Marilyn Terry

Megan Palmer with Brenda and Sarah Archdeacon

12 Get It Lowveld December 2019

Chene Sevenster and Dylan du Toit

Raine Guthrie

Werner and Lanthe Oosthuizen

Pawesome fun!

Great fun was had by all at Pro-Life Pet Rescue,

Rehabilitation and Adoption Agency’s eighth

birthday celebrations! Every year the event

attracts young and old, and this year saw the

addition of the Lowveld Market.

Abraham le Roux, Pieter Jansen van

Vuuren, Michael Benade and Hugo


Michelle Olckers

RM-SO41049NC RM-SO41049NC








& nails



For bookings

072 For bookings 380 0466


For 013 bookings

380 757 1014 0466




757 1014


013 757 1014

Dawie and Elize Annandale

Eric and Vanessa Strydom

Tanith Gebhardt



They say that dynamite comes in small packages, and after spending a little

time with Tanya Cruse, you may well have to concede the point. Petite and

soft-spoken, she packs a wallop of enthusiasm and determination into life

that is quite breathtaking and inspiring.

14 Get It Lowveld December 2019

Mother of two gorgeous boys, Carter and

Sloan, and wife to Hylton, she is also the

founder and owner of Dollie Gin Company,

a local brand of infused gin that is taking the

Lowveld by storm. Dollie first came about

because Tanya was asked to serve drinks at

a cricket match, the perfect place, obviously,

for G&Ts. This got her to thinking about the

endless possibilities gin presents, and she

started making Dollie, infused with a variety

of flavours, as a treat for thirsty friends and

family. Along with this, came the iconic

Dollie caravan, which Tanya later sold to

make way for a sleeker travelling companion - her well-stocked and expertly

renovated Land Rover, a well-known (and well-supported) fixture at many a

local event.

It doesn’t end there. The Landie went the way of the caravan, making way

for something far more glam and Tanya’s newest adventure, Gin & Co, which

recently opened its doors at Casterbridge Lifestyle Centre in White River. If ever

there was a place to while away the long and lazy Lowveld afternoons, this

is it. Gin & Co’s crisp and sleek lines have you thinking you are in an exclusive,

high-class club, until you sink into the plush slate-grey sofa and take your first

sip of an ice-cold gin, a Dollie perhaps, rooibos-infused, with a sprig of rosemary

and slice of grapefruit. The world and its troubles slip away in the aftermath of

fluorescent tonic bubbles, as they fizz and pop merrily, refreshing and relaxing

in turns. This is the life.

At the moment, Dollie Gin is infused

with flavour, not distilled, which is

partly why Gin & Co came about.

“While Gin & Co means the start of

actually fermenting the gin, along

with a few other tasty tipples, it’s

not only about just Dollie anymore,

that’s what the ‘& Co’ is all about,”

Tanya smiles.

A few months ago, she decided to

take over Rottcher Wineries after the

sad and untimely passing of Frank

Theron, her friend and mentor, and

the prospect, while frightening, is

also exhilarating. “Frank was the one

who initially helped me get started,”

she muses. “Initially, I worked in

conjunction with him, learning the

ways of the distillery. The dream

was to grow it, and expand the gin

side. After his death, I gave it much

thought and decided to carry on

alone, bring the vision to life. I spoke

to Frank’s family and they agreed that

I buy Rottcher Wineries and carry on

Carter, Tanya and Sloan Cruse

December 2019 Get It Lowveld 15


as we had planned. Rottcher Wineries

started off in 1959 and is a Lowveld

icon, so I have big shoes to fill.

“Some of Frank’s old stock is still left

and people clamour to get hold

of it before it’s all gone. One of the

batches of wooded citrus gin, made

in conjunction with smoked French

oak chips, is particularly scrumptious.

It was left in a little longer than usual

because Frank wanted to explain

part of the process to me, but we

were in the bush at the time. The

few days extra that he waited made

all the difference. It has a subtle,

almost burnt-caramel flavour coming


“Sadly, there is very little left, and

many of the recipes, especially for the

orange wines, are lost, so it really will

be a huge learning curve, starting

from scratch in a way. Certainly a

mammoth challenge but one I feel I

am able to do. Support from friends

and family has been amazing, and my

team, Angela, Hlobi, Melusi, Mduduzi

and Queen are a godsend, as much a

part of Gin & Co as I am. And it helps

that I love what I am doing.”

That is fortunate, because Gin & Co

keeps Tanya on her toes constantly.

“I never realised we would be as

busy as we are,” she says. “We have

plenty of people milling about the

centre who pop in for a gin tasting

or a cold, refreshing drink. Also, we

do everything ourselves here, from

bottling to labelling. The stock in the

The gorgeous Gin & Co

Dollie Gin

Melusi Nyoka and Hlobisile Ntila

16 Get It Lowveld December 2019

shop is steadily growing. We have

an excellent boutique wine and

champagne selection and a few of

the well-known local beers are also

available, and we intend on having

wine and gin on tap soon. We also

have a large variety of craft spirits.”

Indeed, the array of colours,

beautifully designed labels and

eclectic bottles, mixed with the

botanicals, fruits and spices on

display almost make you feel as if you

have wandered into a mysterious

perfume shop, an Aladdin’s cave of

pretty treasures filled with jars and

‘I love to


with the


flavours, mixing

the essence of

this with a hint

of that’

and loves a sprig of rosemary and slice of orange or grapefruit, blueberry with

pimento is deliciously enhanced by thyme and a handful of fresh figs, and the

strawberry with wild basil requires nothing more than fresh strawberries and

perhaps a sliver or two of cucumber,” says Tanya. “Gin is so versatile, it can be

savoury or sweet, and the mixer you choose also comes into play as yet another

element. The current favourite is peach lemonade, which flies out of the shop.

Everyone loves the pink tonic as well.”

For the tee-totallers there’s Tanya’s popular tonic cordial, handmade with fruit

and spices, and a much-loved favourite, Dollies Gin Jam, is something you really

want to get hold of. There is nothing quite like hot-buttered toast slathered in

this delightfully decadent blueberry and strawberry gin-infused preserve. Or

scones, with lashings of cream and a healthy dollop of jam, if that’s more your


While you would have thought the craft gin fad would have moved on by now,

it’s very clear it’s here to stay. It seems to grow and change, adapt and transform

constantly. Just when you think it’s all been done, a new deep blue or pretty

pink, beautifully bottled, high-end brand appears. Gin certainly has come a long

way since its early days of being known as “mother’s ruin”, and it’s certainly stood

the test of time.

So whether you like it with a sprig of seaweed and scatter of salt flakes, or

straight up, shaken not stirred, here’s to gin, and to Gin & Co. Tanya and her team

are simply fabulous, but fair warning - once you have walked in those doors,

you’ll find you may never want to leave.

bottles of exotic tastes and smells.

“Gin is a wonderful thing,” Tanya

says. “There is just so much you

can do with it, from adding flavour

combinations to the gin itself, not

to mention the accompaniments

which you garnish it with, from bay

leaves, peppercorns and rosemary,

to strawberries, blueberries and the

traditional cucumber. They are now

experimenting with tomato and sea

salt - imagine that combination!”

Yum. That sounds like something any

self-respecting gin lover would quaff

in a heartbeat. “I love to experiment

with the different flavours, mixing the

essence of this with a hint of that and

testing to see which flavours marry

well and which just don’t belong

together. For example, the Dollie

Rooibos is paired with lemongrass

Tanya and Hylton Cruse

December 2019 Get It Lowveld 17


her mark

Advocate Vulani Baloyi of Mbombela is a true inspiration.

We visit her to find out how she balances

her professional life and being a single mother.

18 Get It Lowveld December 2019

Vulani Baloyi

Text: Liezel Lüneburg. Photographer: TANYA ERASMUS

Vulani grew up in

the rural village of

Mhinga near Malamulele

in Limpopo,

and is extremely proud

of her Tsonga heritage.

She was raised by parents

Eric and Maria Baloyi, though her

mother sadly passed away when

she was 11 years old.

Vulani remembers her childhood

as a happy place where she was

raised in a caring environment by

not only loving parents, but also

an extended family. When listening

to her talking about family and

growing up, the real meaning of

“it takes a village to raise a child”

becomes clear.

She attended Kheto Nxumayo

Agricultural High School in

Siyandhani Village close to Giyani,

capital of the former Gazankulu.

“For some reason my father saw fit

to enrol me in an agricultural high

school. It was quite an experience,

but, I must add, no fun learning

how to slaughter animals!”

Her father (76), a retired policeman,

is a force to be reckoned with and

has made his own mark in the

history of South Africa. In 2018

the president, Cyril Ramaphosa,

awarded him the Order of

Ikhamanga for his contribution

to the development of boxing in

South Africa.

Vulani proudly tells how he has

not only trained numerous young

boxers through the years, but also

produced professional ones, such

as Cassius Baloyi, Isaac Hlatshwayo

and Jeffrey Mathebula. No wonder

he has raised a strong, independent

woman who is more than capable

of changing the world wherever

she goes.

After finishing matric, Vulani first

attended the University of Durban

Westville and later on the University

of Zululand where she obtained a

B.Juris degree. She is an academic at

heart, and also boasts both an LLB

degree and a master’s degree in law.

Her curriculum vitae is impressive,

and all her accomplishments and

qualifications are just too numerous

to include in one article, although

we cannot help but mention a

few. She holds a post-graduate

diploma in international law, which

she obtained as a full-time student

from the University of Melbourne

in Australia.

Vulani also boasts a vast knowledge

of land reform, environmental

law, indigenous law,

corporate governance, human

resources, contracts and financial


At present, she is director of legal

services at the Mpumalanga

Provincial Treasury. Vulani is quite

satisfied with what the department

‘I enjoyed

teaching and

establishing a

love of law in

students, and

would like to

return to it’

has accomplished. “My 11th year

with the department also marks

the 11th year in which we have

received a clean audit,” she says.

And we all know that this is no

easy feat, and something to be

really proud of!

Notwithstanding the successes

achieved by the provincial treasury,

there are still many challenges

faced by municipalities, and

according to Vulani, they are

working hard to streamline all

processes and expenditure.

Although she enjoys doing what

she does, she would like to return

to teaching when the occasion

presents itself. “From 2003 to 2006,

I worked as a senior lecturer and

coordinator at the Department

of Environmental, Management

and Mining Law at the University

of Limpopo’s School of Law,”

Vulani says. “I enjoyed teaching

and establishing a love of law in

students, and would like to return

to the world of academics, where I

fit in perfectly as a lifelong student


But she is not only making her

mark as a highly qualified legal

eagle. She is also a single mother

of Andile (23), a BCom intern, and

RJ (10), who she describes as

“the man of the house”. “It is

extremely important to raise

young men who are ready to

take their positions in life with full

responsibility,” she says.

“Men who do not take responsibility

are a huge challenge in

the modern world and in many

instances the problem lies with the

parents. Boys should know that

women play a very prominent role

on all levels of society and that

they need support.” According to

her, it is also important to teach

boys that household tasks are not

only the responsibility of women.

But how does Vulani balance a

very busy professional schedule on

the one hand and being a mother

on the other? “I try to keep my

professional worries and stress at

work while spending quality time

with my children when I am at

home.” This must not be easy, but

Vulani is an example of the fact

that this is indeed possible.

When asked whether she plans

to stay in South Africa despite the

present worries, Vulani is adamant

that she has a role to play in

combating the difficulties, not only

through sharing her knowledge,

but also through her involvement

in community work.


Vulani can be contacted at 333arj1@

Vulani is dressed by Daphney

Makhubela of Lady Billions,

067-007-8128 /

Make-up by Jessica of Effortless

Beauty, 079-114-1718

December 2019 Get It Lowveld 19




One thing is for sure: if music is embedded in your genes, sooner or later it will

catch up with you. Theresa Prinsloo still clearly remembers the day when the

beautiful old piano belonging to one of her ancestors, Rocco C de Villiers, arrived at

their house in Pretoria as part of her father’s inheritance.

Born a De Villiers, Theresa remembers

various excellent musicians in her

father’s extended family. Musicians

like Elise de Villiers, a world-renowned

violinist, and ML de Villiers, the

composer who wrote the music for

CJ Langenhoven’s “The Call of South

Africa” that is still part of our national


“I was only four years old, but I still

remember touching the white keys

of that piano and deciding there and

then that the only thing in life I would

like to do is to play the piano, and

that is what I still do today,” Theresa

says. “Later on, I also dreamt of playing

my own harp, but it still took quite a while before I learnt to master the harp

during my studies at the University of Pretoria.”

Theresa is well-known in Mbombela as a wonderful virtuoso pianist as well as

an excellent harpist and music teacher. She has a lot of musical students from

various schools in Mbombela and at this year’s eisteddfod, like previous years,

hers excelled. She and two of her students, playing a harp trio, bowled the

judges over and received 100% for their performance.

Although she always wanted to become a concert pianist, things didn’t go as

planned. She had quite an exciting life being an air hostess, flying to Paris very

often to study at a Parisian conservatory. Theresa was later married, but things

didn’t work out as planned and she divorced, after which she started teaching.

She then got promoted to a position of Inspector of Music, a job she really

loved, but eventually got tired of all the stress, and returned to teaching.

One day, while sitting in her office in Pretoria, she received a call from Gerrit

Haarhoff. Theresa had been at school with his sisters and so knew him. He

20 Get It Lowveld December 2019

asked her on a date, which was quite

a surprise, as she knew Gerrit was

practising medicine in Ireland. He told

her that he was returning to enrol his

daughter at the university, adding

that he had waited 29 years for the

opportunity to take her on a date.

The date went well, and the rest is

history. For a certain period, Gerrit

only saw her when he returned to

South Africa during holidays, but in

2011 he told her that he was moving

back to Mbombela and opening a

practice. Their relationship blossomed

and a few years ago they were


“Gerrit had to work hard to build

his own practice in Mbombela, but

people soon started to respect him.

When he started his research for his

book, Forgotten Tracks and Trails of the

Escarpment and the Lowveld, I loved

to go with him on all his searches. I

would pack a picnic basket, take a

bottle of wine and we drove for

many kilometres along the escarpment

to find the old transport

routes of more than 100 years ago.

It was quite an adventure and we

were delighted when the book was

published in 2018.

“When I moved to Mbombela, I

decided to continue teaching and

was quite excited by the wonderful

talent that I found here. I started

off with classes in the afternoon at

Laerskool Laeveld, and ever since I

have had a waiting list of pupils who

would like to come for piano and

harp classes. I enjoy every minute of

my work,” she says.

The moment that Theresa enters

a room, it is as if the whole place

comes alive. She is always dressed

beautifully and confesses that she

loves the beautiful things in life. The

children at Curro Nelspruit, where

she teaches music as an outdoor

activity, think she is quite funky. She

also loves to perform and often

gets a chance with events like the

Wakkerstroom Musical Festival, our

local Innibos National Arts Festival

or even small home concerts.

After chatting to Theresa, it is clear

why she lights up the darkest

day: she loves what she does, and

even a career as a concert pianist

wouldn’t have been as rewarding.

“The other day I read something

that the conductor Benjamin

Zander said,” Theresa says. ”‘I have

a definition of success. For me, it’s

very simple. It’s not about wealth

and fame and power. It’s about how

many shining eyes I have around

me.’ When I read these words,

I immediately realised that it is

exactly how I feel.

“When a student of mine is sitting

behind the piano or playing the

harp, and I see how his or her eyes

light up after I have made a positive

remark; it gives me tremendous

joy! It is wonderful to know that by

doing something, like playing the

piano or harp, or painting a picture,

I manage to brighten someone’s

day. That is a wonderful gift that I

will always treasure.”


Theresa Prinsloo

December 2019 Get It Lowveld 21

Sparkling eyes... we’re besotted with

this Clarins Eyeshadow... and admit

this season we’re wearing it day

and night. Because... holidays!

R355 from Mopani.

Silver or gold? One of each please! Essence Shine Last and Go gel varnish

in a sparkling silver (shade 28) or glam gold (shade 40), R29,95 each from

Dis-Chem. • Four AMAZING shimmery shades in this Sorbet Eye to Eye

Smoky Jo eyeshadow quad. R179,95 from Sorbet salons or

A touch of midnight blue always attracts

(the right kind of ) attention. Try NYX

Chromatic Lip Gloss in Midnight Chaos

(R179,99 from Clicks), and Mavala Crayon

Lumiere Eye Shadow in Bleu Saphir (R187

from Dis-Chem).

We’re wearing just one

fragrance this festive

season... and it’s Azzaro

Wanted Girl. A floral

oriental gourmand,

it’s massively desirable.

Available from Mopani.

Compiled by KYM ARGO. photographer: MEGAN BRETT

TheraVine Face Relaxant

Ampoules are great for reducing the

appearance of wrinkles, especially

those on the forehead and around

the eyes. Each ampoule contains

a ready-to-use dose. Simply twist,

squeeze, apply and bye-bye lines!

R872 from

22 Get It Lowveld December 2019

Perfect party-ready looks need great prep. We’re fans of this Vichy trio... Aqualia

Thermal Dynamic Hydration Pot Light Cream (R395), LiftActiv Supreme

Serum 10 (R575) and Mineral 89, a daily booster which fortifies and plumps

(R450). Available from Mopani.

Three of the six pretty party shades in NYX Ultimate Edit

eye palette, R240 from Clicks.

When the stars

come out to play

Midnight skies and twinkling stars... we’re in the mood to

party. And this festive season we’re going to shine!






in shade 60,

R79,95 from


Malva Mini Nail Colour in Austin... a lovely shiny silver. R87 from Dis-Chem and Woolworth. • Wrinkles. Firmness. Radiance.

Dark Circles. Puffiness. Tick, tick and tick. All sorted with Filorga NCEF-Reverse Eyes, a supreme, multi-correction eye cream

that really does work. Beautifully! R1 115 from Edgars and Clicks. • Exuviance Triple Microdermabrasion Face Polish really

is a game-changer in the realm of exfoliators... it’s by far one of the best we’ve ever tried. This face scrub polishes your skin to

a gorgeous, silky softness... pores and dark spots are visibly reduced. LOVE! R995 from • For gorgeous hair...

Biosense Spoil Super Powerful Oil, R280 from

December 2019 Get It Lowveld 23




Peppermint-scented scrub,

the perfect Christmas gift

Ingredients: • 1 cup sugar • 1/3 cup mineral oil

• 2 tsp corn syrup • 1/2 tsp peppermint extract

• 1 drop green or blue food colouring.

Directions: Mix the ingredients together,

adjusting peppermint oil to your liking. Decant

into a pretty jar, add a ribbon and voila!



To win a set each of Pasabahce glass

dinner plates, classic stemmed glasses

and elegant flute glasses from Valencia,

see the Get It Facebook page.

Prize only valid for this specific day.




To win a Heliocare SPF 50 spray from Nelspruit

Laser Clinic, see the Get It Facebook page.

Prize only valid for this specific day.

Photos are

for illustrator

purposes only


To win a R500 voucher towards a new

watch (R500 or more), visit the Get It

Facebook page. Prize only valid for this

specific day.




To win a back-and-neck massage, gel toes, and

cut and blow from Face to the Wind, see the

Get It Facebook page. Prize only valid

for this specific day.


10 DECEMBER 2019

To win a R1 000 Polo voucher from

Nevills, see the Get It Facebook page.

Prize only valid for this specific day.


13 DECEMBER 2019

14 DECEMBER 2019

To win a R500 voucher for a treatment of your choice at Sorbet The Grove,

see the Get It Facebook page. Prize must be redeemed before 31 January 2020.

Prize only valid for this specific day.


Do a secret gift exchange! Everyone makes

something small and personal, wraps it up

and puts it under the tree, with their name

on. Each person’s name gets written on a

piece of paper, which all get thrown in a

hat, and each family member picks one.

It is once again time for our fabulous festive giveaways! We have

10 awesome prizes up for grabs, for 10 days. To enter, find the

relevant post on our Facebook page - Get It Lowveld - on the day

that it is active, like it, tag a friend, and invite a friend to like our

page, and you’ll go into the daily draw. Winners will be announced

at the end of each day. Good luck!


To win a fragrance of your choice from

Mopani, see the Get It Facebook page.

Prize only valid for this specific day.



To win an Express Facial & Humankind

OPI Polish Pedicure from Bodycure, see

the Get It Facebook page.

Prize only valid for this specific day.



Bubbly margaritas for Christmas!

Ingredients: • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice • 1 cup silver tequila

• 1/2 cup orange liqueur • 1 bottle champagne (about 3 cups)

• Lime wedges, for rim • Salt, for rim.

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher and stir

well. Run lime wedges around the rim of each champagne

flute and dip the rims in coarse salt. Divide margaritas

between flutes and garnish with lime wedges.

Make a huge pot of popcorn and indulge in a

favourite Christmas movie classic marathon.

How The Grinch Stole Christmas, A Christmas

Carol, The Nightmare Before Christmas,

The Polar Express, Scrooge,

and You’ve Got Mail, to mention a few.

11 DECEMBER 2019


12 DECEMBER 2019


To win a full body massage from Je Ne

Sais Quoi, see the Get It Facebook page.

Prize only valid for this specific day.

To win a Greenway Woods

meal voucher for four people

to the value of R1 000,

including a bottle of wine,

see the Get It Facebook page.

Prize only valid for this

specific day.

15 DECEMBER 2019

In Iceland, the tradition known as

jólabókaflóð, phonetically pronounced

yo-la-bok-a-flot, encompasses the

exchange of books on Christmas Eve,

which everyone then spends the

evening reading. We think this is the

perfect run-up to Christmas Day!

16 DECEMBER 2019

“T’was the night before Christmas, when

all through the house, not a creature was

stirring, not even a mouse.”

- Clement Clarke Moore

The rhythm of


Text: Mellissa Bushby. Photographer: Belinda Erasmus

The annual Night of 1000 Stars is an event that Lowvelders clamour to be a part of.

Always glitzy and glamorous, it really is an evening of fun, food and festivity, with

the added bonus of being all about giving, as the event raises funds for Cansa.

The theme this year was Rio

Rhythms, and as always, the locals

really went to town. There were

exotic dancers, fire twirlers, feathers

and fabulous outfits, with bright

colours everywhere you looked. A

few improvisations were in order due

to the rainy and cold weather, but

quick thinking saw the party moved

from the traditional street to under a

roof, the walkway of which was lined

with burning braziers, taking the chill

off and giving the event a definite

exotic ambience. The music was true

26 Get It Lowveld December 2019

Rio; the sultry upbeat sounds of Vaya Con Dios among other things, perfectly

performed by Natascha C, creating a foot-stomping, hip-swaying vibe.

The main feature of the night, the food, was as spectacular as ever. The aim of

each restaurant is to feed their nominated table a starter, main and dessert,

and at the end of the evening the judges decide which of the restaurants

came out tops, not only regarding the courses but also overall. Tables are

beautifully decked out and each host takes care of their customers as if they

were in their signature restaurant.

This year’s winners

Starter: Orange | Main: Zest | Dessert: Doppio Zero | Overall: Doppio

Zero. We had a chat with the respective figureheads of these esteemed

establishments, and found out a little of what makes this event a mustdo

for these well-known local eateries every year.


Lee-Ann Heine von Zweel and her staff put their hearts into

everything, and it shows. They have participated in Night of

1000 Stars since its inception, cancer having impacted on the

lives of almost everyone in some way, making it a cause close

to Lee-Ann’s heart. Orange has a certain flair, and this comes

through in the dishes they prepare, although they do see the

event as an opportunity to try something a little new. The

food is created to fit in with the theme, and the entire team

get behind the effort to ensure creative, upmarket dishes are

offered to their guests. This year’s winning dish was a scrumptiously

tasty salmon roulade. The Orange team stuck to the

Rio theme to make it visually stunning, it was a bright, vibrant

taste experience. Lee-Ann believes that teamwork is what

puts Orange in the top three. “My team are always incredible

at pulling together and making each year memorable. We

truly have fun doing this, and it is near to all our hearts, which

makes it that much greater to take part,” she says.


GT Lundie and Zest are no strangers to the Lowveld

food scene. Zest has participated since 2007, and

having suffered the loss of his dad to cancer last

year, GT supports Cansa whenever possible. GT

and his team adapt their dishes to suit the subject;

it’s a great time to try new recipes and cuisine,

especially from different countries. Their main

consisted of a feijoada, vinagrete, coxinha/pork belly

with black bean stew, Brazilian vinaigrette salsa and

croquette - a classic Brazilian dish with a Zest twist.

They are no strangers to themed dinners. They have

a monthly wine tasting where guests get to pair a

variety of food and wines. GT believes the secret to

their success is in the consistency of their food, and

the fact that they keep abreast of current trends,

locally and abroad. “After all,” he says, “they say you

are only as good as your last meal.”

Doppio Zero

They are the new kid on the block, and despite never

having done a Night of 1000 Stars dinner before, they got

into the swing of things very quickly. Alistair Chawdwick,

manager at Doppio Zero, jumped at the chance to take

part for a number of reasons. Apart from it being for a

good cause (Doppio Zero does a fair amount of charity

work as a brand), being a part of the community is

imperative, as far as Alistair is concerned. The Doppio Zero

policy is one of no compromise when it comes to quality,

and a definite feather in their cap is that they cater for

everyone. They experimented in-house before deciding

on their dishes, and their menu was decided on after

careful consideration. Their winning dish was a cheesecake

with marshmallow fluff and berry compote, with a focus

on fresh ingredients, baked on the day of the event.

“We believe in guests, not customers,” says Alistair. “The

Doppio Zero policy is to reflect passion and innovation

through our food.”

December 2019 Get It Lowveld 27

Summertime drinks

Zesty grapefruit with just a hint of bitterness. This summer we’re

drinking the just-launched Fitch & Leeds grapefruit tonic. This coralhued

drink with a delicate fizz is perfect for those who’re avoiding

alcohol… a slice of grapefruit, a sprig of thyme, loads of ice and

you’ve a refreshing mocktail. For those who like a little merriment in

their glass, it’s also really great with premium vodka or tequila. And

it’s sensational for a crisp, refreshing G&T. Try it with Hope on Hopkins

African Botanical Gin, with a few muddled berries and mint. Bliss.

Lovely at lunchtime in the sun, fabulous for sundowners… it’s our

new fave! Around R55 for a six-pack of cans, R50 for a four-pack of glass

bottles. Details:

Fitch & Leedes grapefruit tonic cocktails

Six Dogs Karoo Gin


• Six Dogs Karoo Gin • Fitch & Leedes grapefruit tonic

• 1 red chilli • 1 lime • Tabasco • Simple syrup (optional).


In a cocktail shaker filled with ice combine: half a red chilli, juice of 1

lime, a splash of Tabasco, 1 part simple syrup and 1 part Six Dogs Karoo

Gin. Shake well and pour into a glass filled with ice. Top with Fitch &

Leedes grapefruit tonic and garnish with sliced red chillies.

28 Get It Lowveld December 2019

Low alcohol. Low calories. Great taste. What’s

not to love? This summer we’re being sensible.

We’re still celebrating everything summer has to

offer with lovely wines, but we’re choosing ones

with lighter alcohol levels and fewer calories.

Without, obviously, sacrificing quality or taste.

First on our list to try is the Robertson Winery

Light Cultivar Range, which is showing off

great new designs, too. With just around 9%

alcohol instead of the average 12 or 13%,

there’s a Sauvignon Blanc 2019, a Chenin Blanc

2019, a Pinotage Rosé and a Merlot. All around

R50 to R55. Details: We

have a hamper of the Robertson Winery Light

Cultivar Range, plus a lovely yoga mat, up for

grabs. Send your details to competitions@ with Robertson in the

subject line. Competition ends January 6, 2020.



The perfect time to kick back with a glass of bubbly,

scrummy wine or ice-cold cocktail and watch the

magnificent African sunset.


This season we’re loving and suggesting

the Kleine Zalze Méthode Cap Classique

Chardonnay Pinot Noir Vintage Brut

2013. This old-world style sparkling

wine is full-bodied. Drink it on its own

or with food... it pairs beautifully with

oysters, fresh pan-seared fish or a

cheese board. Around R225 a bottle

from good bottle stores.

Happy birthday!

Roodeberg celebrates

its 70th anniversary.

A true South African

original that’s stood the

test of time. It wasn’t

until 2004 that it became

readily available to us

here at home. For many

Roodeberg still conjures

up fond memories of

people, places and

occasions. Cheers!

This “little darling’’ charms with notes of watermelon,

papaya and strawberry

We’re having a little love affair with rosé wines at

the moment, and have fallen head over heels with

Gabriëlskloof’s Rosebud Rosé. This dry, light and deliciously

moreish Provençal-style rosé has equal amounts of Syrah

and Viognier, and is described as the “little darling” of

Gabriëlskloof’s estate range. It’s lovely to drink by itself, but

also pairs well with light dishes. Buy it online for around R80 a

bottle. Details:

We’re sweet on Skyline

Late Harvest

We’re fans of a semi-sweet wine... it’s

best chilled, topped with soda and

served with ice, it’s a classic match with

rich liver pâté or parfait, and is brilliant

with desserts... The just-released Skyline

Late Harvest is a delicious option...

Around R49,99 a bottle, and R134,99 for

the convenient three-litre bag-in-a-box.

Fancy winning a sweet prize? We’ve got

a Skyline hamper to give away... half a

dozen bottles of Skyline and a pair of

sunnies in an eye-catching shopping

bag. Send

your details to


getitlowveld. with

Skyline in the

subject line.


ends January 6,


December 2019 Get It Lowveld 29



If ever there was a time to drink, eat and be

merry, it’s now. And on the menu? A feast of

baked cheese, glazed ham and chocolate tart.

Baked cranberry


You’ll need: 100g frozen cranberries;

150g Staffords cranberry jelly;

1 tsp chilli flakes; one 250g wheel

of Camembert or Brie cheese; 50g

walnuts; 3 sprigs rosemary.

To make: Preheat oven to 180˚C. In a

small saucepan combine the frozen

cranberries, 100g Staffords cranberry

jelly and chilli flakes. Cook over low

heat until the cranberries are soft

and the sauce has thickened slightly,

about 5 minutes. Set aside.

On a baking tray, score the wheel

of cheese in a 2cm by 2cm pattern.

In the grooves insert the rosemary

leaves... do this evenly throughout

the wheel. Spread 50g of Staffords

cranberry jelly evenly over top of the

wheel. Tie a piece of kitchen twine

around the outside to prevent it

breaking apart too early. Sprinkle the

walnuts around it.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until it

has become soft in the middle. This

will vary depending on the age of

the cheese. Remove from oven and

place on a serving dish. Spoon over

some of the cranberry chilli sauce

and place the rest in a dish to serve

on the side. Sprinkle with toasted

walnuts and more fresh rosemary if


Serve immediately with crusty sliced

bread like sourdough or baguette.

30 Get It Lowveld December 2019

Honey mustard glazed ham

You’ll need: 3kg leg of ham, trimmed and skin

removed; 1 cup smooth orange marmalade;

quarter of a cup Staffords honey; half a cup

orange juice; 3 tbs Staffords Dijon mustard;

cloves for studding; sage for garnish.

To make: Preheat oven to 180˚C. In a

saucepan combine the marmalade, honey,

orange juice and mustard. Cook over low

heat until the glaze has thickened slightly -

around 5 to 7 minutes. Set aside but do not

allow to cool completely. If needed reheat

over low heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Score the

trimmed leg of ham into a 2cm diamond

pattern. Push a single clove Into the centre

of each diamond. Only stud the top of the

ham, or whichever side you’ll be presenting.

Place on a rack above a lined baking sheet.

Generously brush ham with glaze and place

on the lowest rack of the oven. Every 10

minutes remove it from the oven, rotate

and brush on more glaze. Repeat this until

the ham is golden brown, about 40 to 60

minutes, depending on the oven. If the top

begins to brown too quickly, loosely place

a piece of tinfoil over top. Once cooked,

remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.

Sprinkle with sea salt flakes and serve on a

large dish (sliced or whole) and garnish with

fresh sage.

Chocolate raspberry tart

You’ll need: Chocolate pastry - 170g cake flour; 50g icing sugar;

60ml cocoa powder; 2ml salt;100g cold butter, cubed; 1 egg yolk;

60ml water. Filling - 200g raspberries; 500ml cream; 60g caster

sugar; 100g Staffords milk choc disks; 150g Staffords dark choc

disks; 5ml Staffords vanilla extract with seeds; 3 eggs, lightly

whisked; 10ml cocoa powder, for dusting.

To make: For the chocolate pastry, sift the flour, cocoa powder

and icing sugar into a mixing bowl and add salt. Add cold butter

and work into the flour, using your fingertips, until mixture

resembles breadcrumbs. Beat egg yolk with water, add to the

flour mixture and mix until dough comes together. Turn out onto

a lightly floured surface and knead briefly until smooth. Wrap

in clingfilm and place in the fridge for 20 minutes. Then roll the

pastry out on a lightly flour-dusted surface and line a 25cm loosebottomed

tart tin. Chill in the fridge for 20 minutes. Preheat oven

to 190°C. Blind bake the pastry case for 12 to 15 minutes. Remove

from oven and allow to cool.

To make the filling, reduce the oven temperature to 160°C.

Reserve a third of the raspberries for decoration and use

remainder to line the baked tart case. Place the cream and sugar

in a pan and gently bring to the boil. Stir until sugar dissolves,

then remove from heat, add milk choc disks, dark choc disks and

vanilla extract with seeds and stir until smooth. Allow to cool for

5 minutes, then stir in the eggs. Transfer the tart case to a baking

sheet and pour chocolate filling over raspberries. Bake the tart

for 25 to 35 minutes, or until the filling is cooked but still slightly

wobbly in the middle. Allow to cool at room temperature until

set. Decorate with remaining raspberries and a dusting of cocoa

powder round the edges.

For more holiday recipes,


Festive cooking - hells bells, any cooking - is easier (and tastier) when you use the condiments, baking and specialty

products from the Staffords range. From baking to braaiing, going fancy or keeping it simple, there’s a Staffords product

that will add a little extra punch. You’ll find them at your local supermarket.

December 2019 Get It Lowveld 31



Text: Lindi Botha. Photographer: Matthys Ferreira

To ring in the cheer

this festive season,

BUCO has created

two DIY projects

that can be crafted

at home during the

holidays. Gather the

family, host a craft

day and add some

extra festive glee to

your home.

Christmas tree

While nothing quite makes a

statement like a ceiling-high fir tree,

this no-fuss, modern creation adds

extra sparkle to an entrance hall,

office reception or a small apartment

limited on space.

You will need

• 2x pine cleats cut to 80cm in length

for the sides • 1x pine cleat cut 45cm

in length for the base • Laminated

pine cut to 77cm in length by 12cm

wide and 2cm thick for the foot

piece • 2x dowel sticks cut to the

following lengths: 6cm, 13cm, 24cm

and 34cm • 10x 14mm cup hooks

• Fast-set wood glue • 5 wood screws.

32 Get It Lowveld December 2019

1. Cut the wood to size, making sure

the ends are cut at an angle to fit

together to form a triangle.

2. Drill holes where the dowel sticks

fit in to the sides of the tree.

3. Sand the wood with a sand block.

4. Put the dowel sticks in place with

glue on the one side and fit the other

side onto the dowel sticks, followed

by the base. All planks must be glued

first and allowed to dry.

5. Screw the planks together to keep

it secure.

6. Glue the triangle to the foot piece.

Once dry, screw the foot piece in to


7. Screw the cup hooks into the

dowel sticks where you want to hang

your decorations. If you struggle to

screw them in, make a small indent

with a drill.

8. Hang your decorations.

As an alternative to a festive wreath,

this Christmas sign can brighten

up your front door, mantelpiece or

and open spot where some cheer is


You will need

• 2x laminated pine cut 20cm wide

and 50cm in length, with the top

corners cut off. • Vinyl stickers with

Merry Christmas wording. These can

be printed at any printing store in

Mbombela. Be sure to take the cut

planks in to match the size. • Sisal

rope of 1m in length, cut in half.

• Christmas ribbon. • Sanding block.

• Paint or wood stain of your choice if

you are colouring the wood.

How to

1. Once the wood is cut, drill a hole in

the top of the two pieces to thread

through the rope. 2. Sand with the

sand block. 3. If you are colouring

the wood, paint or stain it with wood

stain and allow to dry. 4. Stick on the

stickers. 5. Thread through the sisal

rope. 6. Tie the Christmas ribbon at

the top into a neat bow.

BUCO has collaborated with Get It to bring you a creative project each month. All

items can be bought in store and assistants are on hand to cut any wood to size. Like

its Facebook page, BUCO Nelspruit, to stay up to date with craft workshops offered in

store. These make for crafty end-year functions, team building, kitchen teas or a lady’s

day out.



Boogie away THE


At first glance, Secret Sunrise seems like

a medley of dance, aerobics and yoga,

but it’s so much more. Kerri Dunshea

and Tash Cope tell us why you should be

dancing with them at their next event.

Kerri Dunshea

34 Get It Lowveld December 2019

Text and photographer: Mia Louw

A group of people has gathered

at the Pear Orchard picnic

site in Kaapsehoop. It is the

second day of the Kaapsehoop

Wild Horse Festival, and Secret

Sunrise Lowveld joins in on the

family fun. Fifteen participants

are given wireless headsets,

before the facilitators, Tash and

Kerri, lead them through an

hour of breathing, movement,

meditation, mindfulness,

stretching and dance.

Through the headphones, the

first few songs ease the group

into a comfortable rhythm, as

Kerri starts facilitating. “Take a

minute to feel the grass under

your feet and the sunshine on

your skin,” she says in a soothing

tone. “Practice the attitude of

gratitude.” People from all walks

of life are encouraged to dress

up in fun, comfortable clothes

and celebrate the sunrise.

Starting off with smooth jazzy

tunes by The Kiffness, Too

Blessed To Be Stressed, the

song choices often reflect the

ethos of the event. The playlist

moves on to some more upbeat

golden oldies by Roxette,

slowly increasing the pace to

trancy tunes. As a herd of wild

horses gathers at the weir to

drink, Billy Idol’s “Mony Mony”

booms through the headsets.

Kerri gallops from side to side,

singing “Pony Pony” instead.

Secret Sunrise was born under

the African sky. “It started in

Zambia, probably about eight

years ago. The idea came from a team

building event. No one wanted to get

out of bed after a night of partying,

so the organisers started playing

vibey music really loudly. All of a

sudden everyone woke up and came

out of their tents,” Tash explains.

They started doing it more often,

but the sound became a problem

- that is when they incorporated

the earphones. “That changed the

dimension as well. It is more private.”

‘Take a minute

to feel the

grass under

your feet and

the sunshine

on your skin’

It has become a global community

and platform which follows sunrises

(and sunsets), while celebrating life

through movement, connection

and music.

Today you can attend a Secret Sunrise

in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban,

the Eastern Cape, the Garden Route,

in the Lowveld and abroad. Tash and

Kerri started Secret Sunrise Lowveld

in May 2018. “We kicked it off at the

Uplands Festival. I literally just came

from my training that day,” Kerri

Kerri Dunshea high fives a participant while Tash Cope looks on the session

explains. “You have to go through facilitation training to be an instructor. It’s all

about the methodology we incorporate - what to say and what not to say.”

Currently, at least one event per month is hosted, but they are aiming to

increase it. “We had loads in September. It was spring and it doesn't rain - I

wanted to use this time of the year to organise as many as possible.” It costs

R100 per session, which lasts an hour and the group usually varies between

20 and 35 people. “Every time it is a great party, no matter who comes or how

many people join,” Tash adds.

Using wireless headsets also means the events can be hosted outside in nature,

in tranquil spaces, without disturbing anyone else who might be enjoying a

picnic. “This one is right up there, under the top three,” she smiles, referring to

her best-loved locations in the Lowveld. “And Bundu Lodge was amazing, the

view is incredible.” The Lowveld National Botanical Garden is another one of

her favourite spots, and the Soccer Ball reservoir in Mbombela has a gorgeous

view. “I went there and cleaned up the area the day before. When it is clean, it is


Tash and Kerri usually plan the events two months in advance and those eager

The dancing starts at 8am in Kaapsehoop

to join can keep an eye on their

Facebook and Instagram pages for

dates and locations. They also do

special events, like birthday parties,

corporate events and team building.

“I’ve even had a 15-minute icebreaker

at a Women’s Day event,” Tash shares.

They also do outreach events.

“I recently was at the E3 Youth

Development Hub,” she explains. “It

was aimed at teenagers and young

adults trying to find work. They were

going through a skills development

process, doing a creative thinking

workshop. I just helped them keep

the creative juices flowing - this helps

you to lose inhibitions.”

If you are a spectator at Secret

Sunrise and can’t hear the beats, it

can be a rather comical sight. People

seemingly dancing to no music.

Earlier this year there was a viral

video on social media, with the title:

“Neighbours are having a silent disco

BBQ”. It shows three men in a tiny

backyard with headsets on, filmed

from their neighbour’s window as

they dance to their heart’s content

while braaiing. “Everyone tagged me

in that post and said: this is what you

look like,” Tash giggles.

They are also planning on launching

Sunrise Yoga events, where they

will offer a full hour of yoga with

headsets. Kerri is a yoga teacher

and artist, while Tash does financial

advice. “But I’ve always loved dancing.

I did ballet, ballroom and pole

dancing - you name it.” As someone

who is aware of the everyday

stresses of our modern lives, Tash

praises Secret Sunrise for its positive

influence in dealing with stress.

“I used to get upset if I didn’t get

eight hours of sleep. It would ruin my

entire day, but now I’m at peace with

the world. It influences your thinking

patterns - accepting realities for what

they are and not trying to change

them,” she smiles. “This morning I

arrived here very tired - not lus for

it - but once you’ve done it, you feel

like a new person. You can deal with

anything the day presents.”


Contact Tash on 072-530-9795

or visit Secret Sunrise Lowveld on


December 2019 Get It Lowveld 35

Katy and Benjamin, Rafi, (back) Jasmine, Anastasia and Yolande Muller

36 Get It Lowveld December 2019

o B rn


in the

Katy Muller was only 12 years old when, after viewing a documentary

about orphans in Africa, promptly announced to her mother that one day

she was going to go to Africa, adopt those children and care for them.

She couldn’t have foreseen that this declaration would indeed materialise,

leading her to leave her home in the UK and settle with four adopted

children outside White River.


There is no denying that Katy’s

greatest joy is derived from seeing

kids happy. With two biological

children, Jasmine (11) and Benjamin

(one year and eight months) and

four adopted ones, Yolande (20),

and siblings Anastasia (23), Rafi (26)

and Silvestre (29), Katy could have

adopted schools more had she been

given the chance.

“As a child I watched the TV

programme The Waltons and they

had a big family. I always knew that

was what I wanted and dreamt of

having at least 10 kids of my own

when I was grown up,” she laughs.

The plight of children has been near

to Katy’s heart from a young age, as

she spent her school holidays helping

out at a playgroup her mother ran for

handicapped kids.

Answering a call to service, Katy

studied to be a nurse, specialising

in special needs children. “While

I was studying I saw the news

about the Romanian war and all

the children who had ended up in

orphanages - mostly handicapped.

The government was supposed to

look after them, but they didn’t and

the children were in a terrible state.

People were flocking there to help

and I went as well.

“The orphanage I worked in in

Romania was horrific. The plight of

the lost and forgotten children really

moved me and that’s when I realised

that adoption was the way to go.

That country made me realise how

fortunate I had been growing up and

how much need there was out there

to give back and give children a good

home who didn’t have one. It really

cemented the idea that adoption can

help those in need.”

From Romania Katy moved on to

Brazil and worked with street kids to

try and rehabilitate them. While she

was there, she read about the floods

in Mozambique and the dire state in

which the children in the orphanages

were. “I sobbed my eyes out and just

knew I had to go and help. So I ended

up at an orphanage with around 500

children, with no baby house so all

the children were just wandering

around. I was only supposed to be

there for six weeks to help out, but

as it turned out, I met my children

and ended up staying 17 years,” Katy

states with a smile.

She relates how one little girl stole

her heart. “Anastasia was three years

old and she had the most beautiful

big eyes. Visitors to the orphanage

would come and go, pick her up for

a while and then put her down and

she would be left wandering around

December 2019 Get It Lowveld 37

Tedes Matola, and Anastasia, Yolande, Emile and Benjamin, Katy, Jasmine,

Rafi and Silvestre Muller. Tedes, who although was not officially adopted,

is very much part of the family.

looking rather bereft. So I decided

to take her in and start caring for her

and just love her like a mum would.

“About a week later another little girl

appeared at my door looking for her

sister. That was Rafi and I took her in

as well. Then a month later they told

me they had a brother, Silvestre! I just

shook my head because I had already

fallen in love with the two little girls

and now there was a brother too. So

in he came as well and we were like

a family.”

Katy soon met the children’s dad,

who regularly came to visit them at

the orphanage. Their mom had died

of malaria and their father was too

old to care for them, and so he took

them to the orphanage. He and Katy

became good friends, and when the

time came, he gave her his blessing

to adopt the three siblings.

“Not long after, a man showed up on

my doorstep saying that he heard I

took in children. He then asked me

to take care of his granddaughter,

Yolande, as her parents had died. She

was such a darling I couldn’t help but

love her instantly.”

At that stage Katy was still single,

and with four kids in tow, she took

another courageous step to leave

the orphanage where she had been

working and set up another in Matola

where there was a need for one. “I

left with all four the children, which

was a miracle in itself because it was

unheard of for a missionary to leave

with any children. But it was just the

38 Get It Lowveld December 2019

way God’s plan worked and I was

soon able to complete the adoption

process for all of them.”

Shortly after Katy met her soon-to-be

husband, Emile, at church. “I told him I

come as a package with four children

and he said no problem. I said, you

must be joking - you don’t know

what that really means! But he was

adamant and it wasn’t long before we

got married.

Adoption is all

about saying

‘I want you,

I love you, I

choose you’

“We were then blessed with a child of

our own, Jasmine. Unfortunately she

has learning difficulties so we had to

move to South Africa to get her into

a better school where she could be

taught in English. We settled down

outside White River three years ago.

I then had Benjamin, bringing our

family to eight.”

Katy muses about her “rainbow”

family, with her being British, her

husband South African, four of

the children Mozambican and the

other two something in-between.

But through the joy there are also

challenges, not the least being the

transracial nature of their family.

“When you walk through the mall

with all the children in tow, you

attract a lot of stares. Everyone wants

to know who the kids are and why

you have them. Sometimes you

get a good reaction, sometimes

not. But I see more and more

transracial families and it has become

increasingly normal, which helps.”

She notes that as an adoptive parent,

it can be an emotional journey as

you often wonder if your children

are reacting a certain way because

of how you brought them up or

whether it is part of their DNA and

has nothing to do with you. “You

wonder when they act out if it is

because they don’t love you as

much because you are not their

biological mother or because they

are being normal, difficult teenagers.

But ultimately whether they are your

adopted kids or biological, you have

challenges to face and so do they.

You go through ups and downs just

as you would with your biological

children. That’s life.

“But I always tell them that while

they weren’t born in my tummy, they

were born in my heart. Adoption is all

about saying ‘I want you, I love you, I

choose you’. It is just as profound as

spending nine months in the womb.

And my dream for them is to see

them do well in life and have the

same opportunities as anyone else.”




Putting Low’s

Creek on the map

Little remains of the Italian heritage of Low’s Creek and the community of settlers

that coloured the landscape with fruit and vegetable farming in the 1900s to

1980s. But Giovanna Secco, one of the last remaining Italian settlers, has upheld

her family’s passion for farming, turning Low’s Creek into a hub of papaya and

macadamia production.

Text and photographer: Lindi Botha

Bfor life.

orn in Australia of Italian descent,

Giovanna has stayed true to her roots,

placing family above everything and

carving out an existence through

hard work, perseverance and a lust

Spending most of her childhood in Australia,

the family was cast back to Italy for a brief time

to care for her grandmother when she fell ill.

En route back to Australia, family responsibility

guided them to South Africa when Giovanna’s

aunt passed away, leaving a thriving farm that

needed to be taken care of before the family

could return home. They started working on

Kudu Farm in Low’s Creek on January 1, 1970.

Considering the volatility of the era, the family

was warned not to invest too much into the

country, as the outlook was not positive. “But my

aunt wanted the legacy of her family and the

farm to carry on, so we just continued with the

papayas and vegetables being cultivated.”

Giovanna’s father started planting mangoes, and

she recalls asking him why he is planting fruit

that the family would not be there to harvest in

five years’ time. “He said, ‘Don’t worry, if we are

not here someone else will be here to pick the

mangoes.’ And we are still picking them! We don’t

plant commercially anymore, but we have kept

a few that my father planted and they are not

going anywhere.” After four years Giovanna and

her brother, Dennis, were plunged even further

into the farming business when her father took

a step back and handed over the reins. Then in

1993, Dennis made the move back to Australia

with his family, but continued commuting to

The Catholic church at Tonetti still stands today

40 Get It Lowveld December 2019

and from South Africa. Giovanna

remained to ensure the upkeep of

the farm would continue and grow.

Looking back at her flight into

farming, she laughs. “It’s not that I

had an interest in it. It was more like

being thrown into the ocean and told

to swim or you will drown. It wasn’t

a choice!” But Giovanna admits that

her success is personality-driven as

well. “You can put me in the middle

of Russia and I will survive. I just enjoy

the moment and don’t complain

about where I am.

“My dad was an extremely positive,

determined person. He had a major

influence on me. My mother died

when we were very young so we

were brought up by my dad and my

aunts. They also had a big impact on

my life because they were all very

strong, positive women. They taught

us never to give up.”

Her son, Walter, chimes in that

Giovanna, even at her age, is a

steadfast, determined worker. “If there

is work to be done, my mom is right

there in the field with the workers. It’s

very much a feet-on-the-ground work

ethic.” He joined the business 11 years

ago and Giovanna is grateful for the

knowledge, experience and energy

he brings to the farm. Both of Walter’s

siblings, Ivan and Antonietta, are also

involved in the business, continuing

with the farm’s family-driven legacy.

Giovanna muses that Italian families

are very integrated and form closeknit

communities, hence the Italian

village that grew in the valley from

Low’s Creek to Kaapmuiden in the

early 1900s.

“There were various families that

came from Italy to settle here.

One family would come over and

send word that there were job

opportunities, great weather and

good soil. Bit by bit one family

member would sponsor the next to

come down. They would buy farms

together and once they were on their

feet, would buy their own.

“One of the more well-known families,

the Tonettis, built a sawmill, a railway

line and a church at Tonetti, just off

the Low’s Creek road. The church is

still standing today and many of the

families are buried in the churchyard.”

Giovanna mentions how back

in the day, every evening was

an opportunity for the Italian

community to get together and let

their hair down. “Those days all the

houses were built along the railway

line, so each evening all the families

would walk along the railway to one

of the houses to play cards. The next

night they would go to the next

home in line and so it would carry on.”

Sadly, most of the families moved

on and Giovanna is one of the last

left of the original Italian descendants.

Having used the opportunity to

buy farms as they came up for sale,

she and the family have not only

been able to expand the papaya

production, but pioneered the

macadamia nut industry in

Low’s Creek.

‘If there is

work to be

done, my mom

is right there in

the field with

the workers.

It’s very much

a feet-on-theground



With the first macadamia trees

planted in 1998, she admits that the

whole process was trial and error

as no localised information was

available at the time. “We were told

macadamias wouldn’t work in Low’s

Creek as the climate is not conducive.

But it is similar to areas in Australia

where production is very successful.

“So with a few back and forth trips

between South Africa and Australia,

Giovanna Secco

Sign to Tonetti, just off the Low’s

Creek road

we got our orchards going with help

of agronomists to guide us.” Nearly

a decade later, production was at

a level where Giovanna could set

up their own processing factory,

Ivory Macadamias. “We believe in

adding value. By processing our own

products it gave us a much better

depth of understanding about the

nuts, the different varieties, markets

and our own problems from a

December 2019 Get It Lowveld 41

production point of view.

“When you send your nuts to another

factory and you get a report back

that details quality issues with yours,

it’s easy to say, 'But that can’t be; my

nuts are the best'. But by processing

ourselves we can understand what

the problems are firsthand and work

towards improving our harvest. It’s a

lot more work, but that’s just how we

like to operate,” she smiles.

With a great concern for offering

quality nuts, Giovanna took the

decision to market macs under

the Ivory Macadamias label locally.

They are one of the few producers

who do so, as 98% of the nuts

are exported. “I find the quality of

macadamia nuts sold locally are often

of such bad quality it is tantamount

to selling rotten tomatoes! But in

approaching the supermarkets we

were told the price was too high

to stock better quality. The prices

are high, but consumers need to

understand what quality macadamias

taste like - otherwise they will never

Kudu Farms stretches over much of Low’s Creek,

as it has expanded over the years

be willing to pay for a quality nut. The bad quality being sold is promoting a

self-destructive local industry, giving macadamias a bad name. So we decided

sell our own nuts locally so that there is good quality available. We supply the

nougat industry, and make macadamia paste, oil and roasted nuts.”

While Giovanna’s stopover in South Africa in 1970 became a lifelong

commitment, much of her family is still based in Australia. Asked why she has

not considered completing the journey back down under, she answers, “My

dad lived and worked in so many different countries and he always said South

Africa is heaven on earth. You can go wherever you like - there will be difficulties

everywhere, but all things considered South Africa is still paradise. And when it

comes to rugby I shout for SA!”


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Lowveld wishes all our readers a very merry Christmas!




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