Lowveld - Dec 2019

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all our readers!

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all our readers!


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GET<br />


IT<br />

Gin-gle<br />

bells time!<br />

Dancing to<br />

the sunrise<br />

The story of<br />

an Italian<br />

farm<br />

It’s time for<br />

our annual<br />

festive<br />

giveaways!<br />



ISSUE<br />


DECEMBER <strong>2019</strong>


GET IT<br />

Editorial<br />

Phone 013-754-1600<br />

<strong>Lowveld</strong> Media<br />

12 Stinkhout Crescent, Mbombela<br />

Facebook Get It <strong>Lowveld</strong><br />

Instagram Get It <strong>Lowveld</strong><br />

Website getitmagazine.co.za/lowveld/<br />

Editor<br />

Mellissa Bushby<br />

mellissa@getitlowveld.co.za 084-319-2101<br />

Contributing Writers<br />

Alita Steenkamp 083-695-5308<br />

Liezel Lüneburg 083-287-2225<br />

Lindi Botha 082-494-8005<br />

Mia Louw 073-389-9761<br />

Photographers<br />

Belinda Erasmus 082-567-0596<br />

Mia Louw 073-389-9761<br />

Tanya Erasmus 083-778-7725<br />

Layout<br />

Geraldine Reyneke • Andile Mthethwa<br />

Subeditors<br />

Jess Steyn • May Nel • Matthew Booth<br />

Sales<br />

Shannon Visagie<br />

shannon@getitlowveld.co.za 079-350-8280<br />


National Group Editor and<br />

National Sales<br />

Kym Argo<br />

kyma@caxton.co.za 082-785-9230<br />

Facebook and Instagram:<br />

Get It National Magazines<br />

Distribution<br />

Get It <strong>Lowveld</strong> is distributed free of charge.<br />

For a full list of where to find a copy, phone<br />

Monya Burger on 083-555-4992<br />

Published by CTP Limited<br />

Competition rules<br />

The judges’ decision is final. Prizes cannot be<br />

transferred or redeemed for cash. Competitions<br />

are not open to the sponsors or Caxton<br />

employees or their families. Get It Magazine<br />

reserves the right to publish the names of<br />

winners, who will be contacted telephonically<br />

and need to collect their prizes from Caxton<br />

Northern branch within 10 days or they will be<br />

forfeited. Prizewinners names are published on<br />

our Facebook page monthly.<br />

DECEMBER <strong>2019</strong><br />

contents<br />

Why don’t you...<br />

04 Indulge in a festive lunch, savour some bubbly, or visit<br />

a Christmas market<br />

05 Brilliant books for the holidays<br />


06 Catch a tan, drink gin or help to save the planet<br />

Social<br />

10 Ace-ing it!<br />

12 Celebrating 50 shades of pink<br />

13 A pawesome birthday party<br />

people<br />

14 Gin-spired! We speak to Tanya Cruse about gin o’clock<br />

18 Vuyani Baloyi is making her mark<br />

20 Theresa Prinsloo has music in her genes<br />


22 When the stars come out to play<br />


24 Our annual giveaway calendar<br />

FOOD & DRINK<br />

26 The rhythm of Rio<br />

28 Summer in the <strong>Lowveld</strong>!<br />

30 A festive feast<br />

Art<br />

32 Mark the season with our Christmassy DIY<br />

community<br />

34 Dancing to the rising sun<br />

36 Born in the heart<br />

TRAVEL<br />

40 Italian passion<br />

Win<br />

28 We’re all about wine!<br />

48 We are giving away a hamper of the most<br />

agréable French cult beauty products<br />


Tanya Cruse.<br />

Photographed by Lumé Reiter<br />

<strong>Dec</strong>ember <strong>2019</strong> Get It <strong>Lowveld</strong> 03

A hot date!<br />

Pencil these events into your <strong>Dec</strong>ember diary right now!<br />

If you have a date for our diary, email the info at least a month in advance to jess@lowvelder.co.za<br />

30-1<br />

We’re so excited for<br />

the Mpumalanga<br />

Bubbly & Lifestyle Experience!<br />

This champagne, MCC and wine<br />

event at the <strong>Lowveld</strong> National<br />

Botanical Garden brings a<br />

new generation of trendsetters<br />

together, connecting them to<br />

the sophistication of lifestyle<br />

products and to one another. The<br />

theme is “Dress to Impress”. Tickets<br />

can be bought online (www.<br />

mpumalangamcc.co.za) or at the<br />

gates which open at 11am. Make<br />

sure to experience the bubbliest<br />

event this season.<br />

03<br />

The Xela College Design<br />

Show is one glittering event<br />

not to be missed. Held at Emnotweni<br />

in Mbombela from 6pm to 9pm, it<br />

showcases the exceptional talent of<br />

past and present students. Tickets<br />

cost R100 and can be bought via<br />

Quicket.<br />

06<br />

‘Tis the season to be jolly.<br />

And we’re ever so jolly<br />

about Little Karoo’s Christmas<br />

market. This quaint coffee shop in<br />

Mbombela offers visitors live music,<br />

fabulous stalls, art, fresh produce,<br />

tasty food and drinks. There is bound<br />

to be something for everyone. The<br />

event is from 3pm to 9pm. Details:<br />

082-887-0560.<br />

Join us for the sixth<br />

Mpumalanga Gospel Music<br />

Awards at AFM Communio Church<br />

in Mbombela. Tickets cost R200<br />

for general access and R450 for VIP.<br />

They can be purchased through<br />

Computicket. This prestigious event<br />

starts at 6pm.<br />

14<br />

We just love the I Love Local<br />

Market at the <strong>Lowveld</strong><br />

National Botanical Garden. This<br />

country market, from 9am to 1pm,<br />

encourages visitors to browse for<br />

that something special from a wide<br />

variety of local traders. You’ll find<br />

scrumptious eats, gin tasting, fresh<br />

veggies, herbs and plants, delicious<br />

homemade products, leather and<br />

woodwork, books, clothing and so<br />

much more. Free entry to market<br />

visitors. Details: Peta on 082-331-0712<br />

or bluepomfood@gmail.com.<br />

08 25 28<br />

It’s going to be a white<br />

Christmas at eBundu Lodge<br />

outside Mbombela! You’re invited<br />

to a fabulous festive lunch at 12pm.<br />

It costs R420 per person, and kids<br />

aged between five and 12 pay R195.<br />

Booking is essential. Details: 013-758-<br />

1222 or banqueting@ebundu.co.za.<br />

25<br />

It’s the most wonderful time of the<br />

year. Hotel Numbi in Hazyview is<br />

offering a Christmas lunch, served<br />

between 12pm and 2pm. Adults<br />

pay R285 and kids aged between<br />

six and 15 pay R95. Younger than<br />

six eat free of charge. Don’t forget<br />

to book. Details: 013-737-7301.<br />

It’s time to get the party<br />

started with the Ama 2000<br />

Music Festival at KaNyamazane<br />

Stadium. Book your tickets at<br />

Computicket: R200 for general access<br />

and R1 000 for VIP. Gates open at 3pm.<br />

Cooler boxes are welcome - free entry<br />

before 6pm, afterwards festivalgoers<br />

pay R100. Details: 072-258-0623.<br />

04 Get It <strong>Lowveld</strong> <strong>Dec</strong>ember <strong>2019</strong>

Book club<br />

A trio of brilliant books for the holidays<br />

Joy of joys! A new Jojo Moyes, just in time for the<br />

holidays. Inspired by a remarkable true story, the<br />

book is described as “the unforgettable journey of<br />

five extraordinary women living in extraordinary<br />

and perilous times”. The Giver of Stars is the story<br />

of Alice Wright, who leaves England for America,<br />

only to discover that swapping suburbia for being<br />

the wife of an American businessman and living in<br />

the wild mountains of Kentucky isn’t, actually, the<br />

answer to her prayers. Then she meets Margery<br />

O’Hara, a woman who isn’t afraid of anything, and<br />

a woman on a mission! The pair, along with three<br />

others, join up and, ignoring obvious dangers and<br />

loads of social disapproval, travel hundreds of miles a week to deliver books to<br />

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

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

unputdownable. Penguin, R270.<br />

Ever since reading the marvellous Don’t Let’s Go to the<br />

Dogs Tonight, we’ve pounced on any new Alexandra<br />

Fuller with delight (unlike her mother, who thinks they’re<br />

“dreadful”). Just released is Travel Light, Move Fast, a<br />

tribute to Alexandra’s father, who died unexpectedly and<br />

dramatically in Budapest. Read in equal parts of envy and<br />

horror - her parents launched from one calamity to the<br />

next, fuelled with gin and in a haze of cigarette smoke,<br />

along with the children, a handful of dogs and a collection<br />

of orange Le Creuset pots - the memoir jumps from present<br />

to past. Alexandra tells of the lessons her father taught her,<br />

about life, love, loss and tragedy. Lessons that led her to cope<br />

with the loss of her father, of the fallout with her sister, and of<br />

the final bereavement she reveals in the last chapter, when you may find yourself<br />

holding the book further away than normal so as to distance yourself from the<br />

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

funny. Not much more you need from a great read, really.<br />

Profile Books, R300.<br />

Also well worth reading...<br />

If there was ever anyone as glam as the marvellous Jackie Kennedy Onassis, it was<br />

her sister, Lee. One the most iconic women of her time, and the favourite of their<br />

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

Both had a keen eye for beauty in fashion, design, painting, music, dance,<br />

sculpture, poetry, and both were talented artists. But they, although extremely<br />

close, were hugely competitive and their relationship had rivalry and jealousy.<br />

When Jackie died and her will was read, Lee discovered that cash bequests were<br />

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

my will for my sister, Lee B Radziwill, for whom I have great affection, because I have<br />

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

Kashner and Nancy Schoenberger, who had interviews with Lee, explores the<br />

tragedy and glamour of these two fascinating women. HarperCollins, R310.<br />

RI421649NC<br />

<strong>Dec</strong>ember <strong>2019</strong> Get It <strong>Lowveld</strong> 00

Wish list<br />

Indulgent ice lollies and ambrosian gin<br />

Forty winks?<br />

When you’re all hyped up for the holiday<br />

vibe, it’s often difficult to fall asleep. Say<br />

hello to Duo Calm Soothing Sleep. One pill<br />

before bedtime promotes healthy sleep by<br />

regulating your circadian (day/night) rhythm.<br />

R445 from fusionlabsonline.com.<br />

Let’s celebrate<br />

We are super excited to be launching the<br />

Jenna Clifford Celebratory Crackers in the<br />

<strong>Lowveld</strong>! The gift of sharing with someone<br />

special. It takes two to crack it, adds fun<br />

with a bang along with the beauty of the<br />

contents. Brenda and Jenna’s friendship<br />

stems back to 15 years ago when Brenda’s<br />

twins attended Summer’s (Jenna’s<br />

daughter) birthday party. This “Cracker”<br />

concept has been a dream of Jenna’s for<br />

quite some time and we are thrilled to<br />

bring these Celebration Crackers to the<br />

<strong>Lowveld</strong>.<br />

Let’s<br />

get<br />

Cracking!<br />

ORDER your festive season or special occasion cracker with us.<br />

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

Summer loving<br />

Conceptualised on Clifton 4th beach in 2014,<br />

Granadilla is a swimwear, beach accessory and<br />

summer-loving brand that embodies the energetic<br />

spirit of Cape Town summers. Focusing mainly on<br />

premium swim shorts for men, it now offers kiddies<br />

shorts and women’s cozzies, too. All featuring<br />

a locally inspired design, while staying on the<br />

forefront of fashion, culture and most importantly<br />

- a summer attitude. Available at A Brief Affair at<br />

Casterbridge Lifestyle Centre, White River. Swim<br />

shorts - long or short style: R790, kiddies shorts:<br />

R590. Ladies cozzies also available.<br />

Details: 013-750-1635<br />

or 065-917-2064.<br />

www.JennaClifford.com<br />

Endless summer days call for<br />

the perfect drink<br />

Bloedlemoen is the first blood orange gin<br />

in the world. With the fruit locally sourced<br />

in the Cape, this is contemporary, London<br />

dry-style gin is distilled using 10 botanicals.<br />

Now, just in time for endless summer<br />

days, Bloedlemoen Gin has added a new<br />

variant to its collection... Bloedlemoen<br />

Amber, with the addition of a selection<br />

of locally forged fynbos and honeybush.<br />

Amber is warmer, sweeter and spicy, and<br />

is excellent enjoyed neat, on the rocks or<br />

with a cut of orange zest and a splash of<br />

tonic. R399 a bottle.<br />

06 Get It <strong>Lowveld</strong> <strong>Dec</strong>ember <strong>2019</strong>

Fancy an orange lolly?<br />

Makes 4 x 85ml ice lollies. Juice of 5-6 large<br />

oranges (roughly 500ml); a squeeze of fresh<br />

lime juice (Note: You will need 4 x 85ml ice lolly<br />

moulds and flat lolly sticks). • Mix the fresh orange juice<br />

with the squeeze of fresh lime juice, tasting and adjusting<br />

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

full. • Place moulds upright in the freezer for about an hour<br />

before poking sticks into each mould. Freeze for a further 3 hours or<br />

preferably overnight. • Remove moulds from freezer and briefly dip them<br />

into hot water, then gently pull the lollies out and serve immediately.<br />

Recipe from Jude’s Ice Cream & Desserts.<br />

Sun-kissed<br />

Hot days. Sultry nights. Sexy swimwear and<br />

slip dresses. Which all, obviously, scream tan.<br />

We’re massive fans of the Caribbeantan brand.<br />

Think products that are good for you, good for<br />

our planet, and cruelty-free! You’ll find them at<br />

Dis-Chem and Clicks, select independent stores, as<br />

well as online at www.caribbeantan.online.<br />

Zero just happened<br />

Zero waste. Zero plastic.<br />

Zero cruelty. We’re mad<br />

about the new Zero Bar shampoo... a<br />

proudly local product that’s concentrated, water-free, plasticfree<br />

and cruelty-free. Designed to last through between 55<br />

and 70 hair washes, outlasting most bottled shampoos, there<br />

are four to choose from (called the four Bar Bros)... an Argean<br />

bar, Jojoba, the Moringa bar and Wild Desert Melon. All four<br />

have loads of nutrients, vitamins and minerals, and promise to<br />

clean, enrich, moisturise, condition, shine, strengthen, nourish,<br />

soothe and repair. Only available on line at the moment, they<br />

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

Details: zerobar.co.za.<br />


Celebrate the holiday<br />

season with Clarins<br />

for a Christmas full of<br />

enchanting surprises!<br />

Immerse yourself in the magic of Christmas<br />

at each step of this holiday season: a playful<br />

moment, from preparation to celebration.<br />

STEP<br />

1<br />

|Let’s prepare for a<br />

playful Christmas!<br />

It’s time to pamper yourself and<br />

your loved ones with comforting care!<br />

An iconic product to boost your youth<br />

Double Serum<br />

from R995* for 30ml<br />

Online<br />

exclusive<br />

So<br />

Clarins!<br />

For more than<br />

60 years, nature has<br />

inspired our every<br />

creation… Which<br />

is why over 250<br />

responsibly-sourced<br />

plant extracts infuse<br />

our formulas.<br />

Put the spring back into your skin<br />

Extra-Firming Deluxe Collection<br />

R2,150* | Valued at R2,820<br />

Something for Dad...<br />

Clarins Men Hydration Collection<br />

R815* | Valued at R980<br />

Discover more at clarins.co.za and participating Clarins beauty counters.<br />

For you. About you.<br />

*Recommended Retail Selling Price

STEP<br />

2<br />

|Find the perfect gift!<br />

The countdown has begun.<br />

Your playful spirit is awake, ready to hunt<br />

some memorable gifts for your family.<br />

Online<br />

exclusive<br />

Let it Glow! Let it Glow!<br />

Bright Plus Gift Set<br />

R910* | Valued at R1,500<br />

The gift of youthful skin<br />

Multi-Active Collection<br />

R830* | Valued at R1,330<br />

Mommy’s kissing Santa Claus<br />

if she gets this Holiday Beauty Cracker<br />

R320* | Valued at R495<br />

STEP<br />

3<br />

| Get ready to celebrate!<br />

Christmas magic is alive! Complete your<br />

look with the perfect make-up.<br />

All eye want for Christmas<br />

Wonder Perfect 4D Gift<br />

R380* | Valued at R545<br />

A must-have for kiss me lips<br />

Beautiful Lips Collection<br />

R600* | Valued at R680<br />

The perfect cocktail to revitalise your skin<br />

Eau Dynamisante<br />

from R625* for 100ml<br />


Matthew Gibbons and Marcus Wagner<br />

Debby Gunn-Henderson and Christa Matthee<br />

Samkelo Nkosi, Nomvuyo Mlimi and Vusi Masai<br />

Cheers!<br />

Package it!<br />

The recent grand opening of ACE Retail in Riverside<br />

Park, Mbombela was a night to remember. Bubbly<br />

was handed out as guests eagerly anticipated<br />

what was to come. ACE didn’t disappoint, offering<br />

a whole new dimension to the <strong>Lowveld</strong> packaging<br />

scene.<br />

Nerine du Plessis, Pieter Geringer and Lisa-Marie Pretorius<br />

Angelo and Lula Paschalides<br />

Denzel and Phindiwe Sophie<br />

10 Get It <strong>Lowveld</strong> <strong>Dec</strong>ember <strong>2019</strong>

Eurika Mogane, Marchel Kruger, Pauline Moller and<br />

Mariolise le Roux<br />

Adelaide Mashego, Beate Dednam and Goitsi Tsolanku<br />

Shades of pink<br />

The CANSA Tea was back with a bang as this year’s<br />

theme enticed hostesses to pull out all the stops<br />

and celebrate love, light and survival, to coincide<br />

with Jenna Clifford’s 60th birthday.<br />

Jenna Clifford and Brenda Archdeacon<br />

Ramphosi Shawe, Linda Mokoena<br />

and Mandisa Mthembu<br />

Carlien van der Walt, Juliana Sierra, Michelle Sierra<br />

and Marilyn Terry<br />

Megan Palmer with Brenda and Sarah Archdeacon<br />

12 Get It <strong>Lowveld</strong> <strong>Dec</strong>ember <strong>2019</strong>

Chene Sevenster and Dylan du Toit<br />

Raine Guthrie<br />

Werner and Lanthe Oosthuizen<br />

Pawesome fun!<br />

Great fun was had by all at Pro-Life Pet Rescue,<br />

Rehabilitation and Adoption Agency’s eighth<br />

birthday celebrations! Every year the event<br />

attracts young and old, and this year saw the<br />

addition of the <strong>Lowveld</strong> Market.<br />

Abraham le Roux, Pieter Jansen van<br />

Vuuren, Michael Benade and Hugo<br />

Pienaar<br />

Michelle Olckers<br />

RM-SO41049NC RM-SO41049NC<br />

facials<br />

massages<br />

facials<br />

massages<br />

waxes<br />

waxes<br />

nails<br />

& nails<br />

more<br />

more<br />

For bookings<br />

072 For bookings 380 0466<br />

072<br />

For 013 bookings<br />

380 757 1014 0466<br />

072<br />

013<br />

380<br />

757 1014<br />

0466<br />

013 757 1014<br />

Dawie and Elize Annandale<br />

Eric and Vanessa Strydom<br />

Tanith Gebhardt

GIN-GLE<br />

ALL THE WAY!<br />

They say that dynamite comes in small packages, and after spending a little<br />

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

soft-spoken, she packs a wallop of enthusiasm and determination into life<br />

that is quite breathtaking and inspiring.<br />

14 Get It <strong>Lowveld</strong> <strong>Dec</strong>ember <strong>2019</strong>

Mother of two gorgeous boys, Carter and<br />

Sloan, and wife to Hylton, she is also the<br />

founder and owner of Dollie Gin Company,<br />

a local brand of infused gin that is taking the<br />

<strong>Lowveld</strong> by storm. Dollie first came about<br />

because Tanya was asked to serve drinks at<br />

a cricket match, the perfect place, obviously,<br />

for G&Ts. This got her to thinking about the<br />

endless possibilities gin presents, and she<br />

started making Dollie, infused with a variety<br />

of flavours, as a treat for thirsty friends and<br />

family. Along with this, came the iconic<br />

Dollie caravan, which Tanya later sold to<br />

make way for a sleeker travelling companion - her well-stocked and expertly<br />

renovated Land Rover, a well-known (and well-supported) fixture at many a<br />

local event.<br />

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

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

recently opened its doors at Casterbridge Lifestyle Centre in White River. If ever<br />

there was a place to while away the long and lazy <strong>Lowveld</strong> afternoons, this<br />

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

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

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

and slice of grapefruit. The world and its troubles slip away in the aftermath of<br />

fluorescent tonic bubbles, as they fizz and pop merrily, refreshing and relaxing<br />

in turns. This is the life.<br />

At the moment, Dollie Gin is infused<br />

with flavour, not distilled, which is<br />

partly why Gin & Co came about.<br />

“While Gin & Co means the start of<br />

actually fermenting the gin, along<br />

with a few other tasty tipples, it’s<br />

not only about just Dollie anymore,<br />

that’s what the ‘& Co’ is all about,”<br />

Tanya smiles.<br />

A few months ago, she decided to<br />

take over Rottcher Wineries after the<br />

sad and untimely passing of Frank<br />

Theron, her friend and mentor, and<br />

the prospect, while frightening, is<br />

also exhilarating. “Frank was the one<br />

who initially helped me get started,”<br />

she muses. “Initially, I worked in<br />

conjunction with him, learning the<br />

ways of the distillery. The dream<br />

was to grow it, and expand the gin<br />

side. After his death, I gave it much<br />

thought and decided to carry on<br />

alone, bring the vision to life. I spoke<br />

to Frank’s family and they agreed that<br />

I buy Rottcher Wineries and carry on<br />

Carter, Tanya and Sloan Cruse<br />

<strong>Dec</strong>ember <strong>2019</strong> Get It <strong>Lowveld</strong> 15

Text: MELLISSA BUSHBY. Photographer: LUMÉ REITER<br />

as we had planned. Rottcher Wineries<br />

started off in 1959 and is a <strong>Lowveld</strong><br />

icon, so I have big shoes to fill.<br />

“Some of Frank’s old stock is still left<br />

and people clamour to get hold<br />

of it before it’s all gone. One of the<br />

batches of wooded citrus gin, made<br />

in conjunction with smoked French<br />

oak chips, is particularly scrumptious.<br />

It was left in a little longer than usual<br />

because Frank wanted to explain<br />

part of the process to me, but we<br />

were in the bush at the time. The<br />

few days extra that he waited made<br />

all the difference. It has a subtle,<br />

almost burnt-caramel flavour coming<br />

through.<br />

“Sadly, there is very little left, and<br />

many of the recipes, especially for the<br />

orange wines, are lost, so it really will<br />

be a huge learning curve, starting<br />

from scratch in a way. Certainly a<br />

mammoth challenge but one I feel I<br />

am able to do. Support from friends<br />

and family has been amazing, and my<br />

team, Angela, Hlobi, Melusi, Mduduzi<br />

and Queen are a godsend, as much a<br />

part of Gin & Co as I am. And it helps<br />

that I love what I am doing.”<br />

That is fortunate, because Gin & Co<br />

keeps Tanya on her toes constantly.<br />

“I never realised we would be as<br />

busy as we are,” she says. “We have<br />

plenty of people milling about the<br />

centre who pop in for a gin tasting<br />

or a cold, refreshing drink. Also, we<br />

do everything ourselves here, from<br />

bottling to labelling. The stock in the<br />

The gorgeous Gin & Co<br />

Dollie Gin<br />

Melusi Nyoka and Hlobisile Ntila<br />

16 Get It <strong>Lowveld</strong> <strong>Dec</strong>ember <strong>2019</strong>

shop is steadily growing. We have<br />

an excellent boutique wine and<br />

champagne selection and a few of<br />

the well-known local beers are also<br />

available, and we intend on having<br />

wine and gin on tap soon. We also<br />

have a large variety of craft spirits.”<br />

Indeed, the array of colours,<br />

beautifully designed labels and<br />

eclectic bottles, mixed with the<br />

botanicals, fruits and spices on<br />

display almost make you feel as if you<br />

have wandered into a mysterious<br />

perfume shop, an Aladdin’s cave of<br />

pretty treasures filled with jars and<br />

‘I love to<br />

experiment<br />

with the<br />

different<br />

flavours, mixing<br />

the essence of<br />

this with a hint<br />

of that’<br />

and loves a sprig of rosemary and slice of orange or grapefruit, blueberry with<br />

pimento is deliciously enhanced by thyme and a handful of fresh figs, and the<br />

strawberry with wild basil requires nothing more than fresh strawberries and<br />

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

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

element. The current favourite is peach lemonade, which flies out of the shop.<br />

Everyone loves the pink tonic as well.”<br />

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

and spices, and a much-loved favourite, Dollies Gin Jam, is something you really<br />

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

this delightfully decadent blueberry and strawberry gin-infused preserve. Or<br />

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

thing.<br />

While you would have thought the craft gin fad would have moved on by now,<br />

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

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

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

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

the test of time.<br />

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

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

are simply fabulous, but fair warning - once you have walked in those doors,<br />

you’ll find you may never want to leave.<br />

bottles of exotic tastes and smells.<br />

“Gin is a wonderful thing,” Tanya<br />

says. “There is just so much you<br />

can do with it, from adding flavour<br />

combinations to the gin itself, not<br />

to mention the accompaniments<br />

which you garnish it with, from bay<br />

leaves, peppercorns and rosemary,<br />

to strawberries, blueberries and the<br />

traditional cucumber. They are now<br />

experimenting with tomato and sea<br />

salt - imagine that combination!”<br />

Yum. That sounds like something any<br />

self-respecting gin lover would quaff<br />

in a heartbeat. “I love to experiment<br />

with the different flavours, mixing the<br />

essence of this with a hint of that and<br />

testing to see which flavours marry<br />

well and which just don’t belong<br />

together. For example, the Dollie<br />

Rooibos is paired with lemongrass<br />

Tanya and Hylton Cruse<br />

<strong>Dec</strong>ember <strong>2019</strong> Get It <strong>Lowveld</strong> 17

Making<br />

her mark<br />

Advocate Vulani Baloyi of Mbombela is a true inspiration.<br />

We visit her to find out how she balances<br />

her professional life and being a single mother.<br />

18 Get It <strong>Lowveld</strong> <strong>Dec</strong>ember <strong>2019</strong><br />

Vulani Baloyi

Text: Liezel Lüneburg. Photographer: TANYA ERASMUS<br />

Vulani grew up in<br />

the rural village of<br />

Mhinga near Malamulele<br />

in Limpopo,<br />

and is extremely proud<br />

of her Tsonga heritage.<br />

She was raised by parents<br />

Eric and Maria Baloyi, though her<br />

mother sadly passed away when<br />

she was 11 years old.<br />

Vulani remembers her childhood<br />

as a happy place where she was<br />

raised in a caring environment by<br />

not only loving parents, but also<br />

an extended family. When listening<br />

to her talking about family and<br />

growing up, the real meaning of<br />

“it takes a village to raise a child”<br />

becomes clear.<br />

She attended Kheto Nxumayo<br />

Agricultural High School in<br />

Siyandhani Village close to Giyani,<br />

capital of the former Gazankulu.<br />

“For some reason my father saw fit<br />

to enrol me in an agricultural high<br />

school. It was quite an experience,<br />

but, I must add, no fun learning<br />

how to slaughter animals!”<br />

Her father (76), a retired policeman,<br />

is a force to be reckoned with and<br />

has made his own mark in the<br />

history of South Africa. In 2018<br />

the president, Cyril Ramaphosa,<br />

awarded him the Order of<br />

Ikhamanga for his contribution<br />

to the development of boxing in<br />

South Africa.<br />

Vulani proudly tells how he has<br />

not only trained numerous young<br />

boxers through the years, but also<br />

produced professional ones, such<br />

as Cassius Baloyi, Isaac Hlatshwayo<br />

and Jeffrey Mathebula. No wonder<br />

he has raised a strong, independent<br />

woman who is more than capable<br />

of changing the world wherever<br />

she goes.<br />

After finishing matric, Vulani first<br />

attended the University of Durban<br />

Westville and later on the University<br />

of Zululand where she obtained a<br />

B.Juris degree. She is an academic at<br />

heart, and also boasts both an LLB<br />

degree and a master’s degree in law.<br />

Her curriculum vitae is impressive,<br />

and all her accomplishments and<br />

qualifications are just too numerous<br />

to include in one article, although<br />

we cannot help but mention a<br />

few. She holds a post-graduate<br />

diploma in international law, which<br />

she obtained as a full-time student<br />

from the University of Melbourne<br />

in Australia.<br />

Vulani also boasts a vast knowledge<br />

of land reform, environmental<br />

law, indigenous law,<br />

corporate governance, human<br />

resources, contracts and financial<br />

management.<br />

At present, she is director of legal<br />

services at the Mpumalanga<br />

Provincial Treasury. Vulani is quite<br />

satisfied with what the department<br />

‘I enjoyed<br />

teaching and<br />

establishing a<br />

love of law in<br />

students, and<br />

would like to<br />

return to it’<br />

has accomplished. “My 11th year<br />

with the department also marks<br />

the 11th year in which we have<br />

received a clean audit,” she says.<br />

And we all know that this is no<br />

easy feat, and something to be<br />

really proud of!<br />

Notwithstanding the successes<br />

achieved by the provincial treasury,<br />

there are still many challenges<br />

faced by municipalities, and<br />

according to Vulani, they are<br />

working hard to streamline all<br />

processes and expenditure.<br />

Although she enjoys doing what<br />

she does, she would like to return<br />

to teaching when the occasion<br />

presents itself. “From 2003 to 2006,<br />

I worked as a senior lecturer and<br />

coordinator at the Department<br />

of Environmental, Management<br />

and Mining Law at the University<br />

of Limpopo’s School of Law,”<br />

Vulani says. “I enjoyed teaching<br />

and establishing a love of law in<br />

students, and would like to return<br />

to the world of academics, where I<br />

fit in perfectly as a lifelong student<br />

myself.”<br />

But she is not only making her<br />

mark as a highly qualified legal<br />

eagle. She is also a single mother<br />

of Andile (23), a BCom intern, and<br />

RJ (10), who she describes as<br />

“the man of the house”. “It is<br />

extremely important to raise<br />

young men who are ready to<br />

take their positions in life with full<br />

responsibility,” she says.<br />

“Men who do not take responsibility<br />

are a huge challenge in<br />

the modern world and in many<br />

instances the problem lies with the<br />

parents. Boys should know that<br />

women play a very prominent role<br />

on all levels of society and that<br />

they need support.” According to<br />

her, it is also important to teach<br />

boys that household tasks are not<br />

only the responsibility of women.<br />

But how does Vulani balance a<br />

very busy professional schedule on<br />

the one hand and being a mother<br />

on the other? “I try to keep my<br />

professional worries and stress at<br />

work while spending quality time<br />

with my children when I am at<br />

home.” This must not be easy, but<br />

Vulani is an example of the fact<br />

that this is indeed possible.<br />

When asked whether she plans<br />

to stay in South Africa despite the<br />

present worries, Vulani is adamant<br />

that she has a role to play in<br />

combating the difficulties, not only<br />

through sharing her knowledge,<br />

but also through her involvement<br />

in community work.<br />

Details<br />

Vulani can be contacted at 333arj1@<br />

gmail.com<br />

Vulani is dressed by Daphney<br />

Makhubela of Lady Billions,<br />

067-007-8128 /d@ladybillions.com<br />

Make-up by Jessica of Effortless<br />

Beauty, 079-114-1718<br />

<strong>Dec</strong>ember <strong>2019</strong> Get It <strong>Lowveld</strong> 19

Text: ALITA STEENKAMP. Photographer: TANYA ERASMUS<br />

MUSIC IN<br />


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

catch up with you. Theresa Prinsloo still clearly remembers the day when the<br />

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

their house in Pretoria as part of her father’s inheritance.<br />

Born a De Villiers, Theresa remembers<br />

various excellent musicians in her<br />

father’s extended family. Musicians<br />

like Elise de Villiers, a world-renowned<br />

violinist, and ML de Villiers, the<br />

composer who wrote the music for<br />

CJ Langenhoven’s “The Call of South<br />

Africa” that is still part of our national<br />

anthem.<br />

“I was only four years old, but I still<br />

remember touching the white keys<br />

of that piano and deciding there and<br />

then that the only thing in life I would<br />

like to do is to play the piano, and<br />

that is what I still do today,” Theresa<br />

says. “Later on, I also dreamt of playing<br />

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

during my studies at the University of Pretoria.”<br />

Theresa is well-known in Mbombela as a wonderful virtuoso pianist as well as<br />

an excellent harpist and music teacher. She has a lot of musical students from<br />

various schools in Mbombela and at this year’s eisteddfod, like previous years,<br />

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

judges over and received 100% for their performance.<br />

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

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

often to study at a Parisian conservatory. Theresa was later married, but things<br />

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

She then got promoted to a position of Inspector of Music, a job she really<br />

loved, but eventually got tired of all the stress, and returned to teaching.<br />

One day, while sitting in her office in Pretoria, she received a call from Gerrit<br />

Haarhoff. Theresa had been at school with his sisters and so knew him. He<br />

20 Get It <strong>Lowveld</strong> <strong>Dec</strong>ember <strong>2019</strong>

asked her on a date, which was quite<br />

a surprise, as she knew Gerrit was<br />

practising medicine in Ireland. He told<br />

her that he was returning to enrol his<br />

daughter at the university, adding<br />

that he had waited 29 years for the<br />

opportunity to take her on a date.<br />

The date went well, and the rest is<br />

history. For a certain period, Gerrit<br />

only saw her when he returned to<br />

South Africa during holidays, but in<br />

2011 he told her that he was moving<br />

back to Mbombela and opening a<br />

practice. Their relationship blossomed<br />

and a few years ago they were<br />

married.<br />

“Gerrit had to work hard to build<br />

his own practice in Mbombela, but<br />

people soon started to respect him.<br />

When he started his research for his<br />

book, Forgotten Tracks and Trails of the<br />

Escarpment and the <strong>Lowveld</strong>, I loved<br />

to go with him on all his searches. I<br />

would pack a picnic basket, take a<br />

bottle of wine and we drove for<br />

many kilometres along the escarpment<br />

to find the old transport<br />

routes of more than 100 years ago.<br />

It was quite an adventure and we<br />

were delighted when the book was<br />

published in 2018.<br />

“When I moved to Mbombela, I<br />

decided to continue teaching and<br />

was quite excited by the wonderful<br />

talent that I found here. I started<br />

off with classes in the afternoon at<br />

Laerskool Laeveld, and ever since I<br />

have had a waiting list of pupils who<br />

would like to come for piano and<br />

harp classes. I enjoy every minute of<br />

my work,” she says.<br />

The moment that Theresa enters<br />

a room, it is as if the whole place<br />

comes alive. She is always dressed<br />

beautifully and confesses that she<br />

loves the beautiful things in life. The<br />

children at Curro Nelspruit, where<br />

she teaches music as an outdoor<br />

activity, think she is quite funky. She<br />

also loves to perform and often<br />

gets a chance with events like the<br />

Wakkerstroom Musical Festival, our<br />

local Innibos National Arts Festival<br />

or even small home concerts.<br />

After chatting to Theresa, it is clear<br />

why she lights up the darkest<br />

day: she loves what she does, and<br />

even a career as a concert pianist<br />

wouldn’t have been as rewarding.<br />

“The other day I read something<br />

that the conductor Benjamin<br />

Zander said,” Theresa says. ”‘I have<br />

a definition of success. For me, it’s<br />

very simple. It’s not about wealth<br />

and fame and power. It’s about how<br />

many shining eyes I have around<br />

me.’ When I read these words,<br />

I immediately realised that it is<br />

exactly how I feel.<br />

“When a student of mine is sitting<br />

behind the piano or playing the<br />

harp, and I see how his or her eyes<br />

light up after I have made a positive<br />

remark; it gives me tremendous<br />

joy! It is wonderful to know that by<br />

doing something, like playing the<br />

piano or harp, or painting a picture,<br />

I manage to brighten someone’s<br />

day. That is a wonderful gift that I<br />

will always treasure.”<br />

RM-VA027749NC<br />

Theresa Prinsloo<br />

<strong>Dec</strong>ember <strong>2019</strong> Get It <strong>Lowveld</strong> 21

Sparkling eyes... we’re besotted with<br />

this Clarins Eyeshadow... and admit<br />

this season we’re wearing it day<br />

and night. Because... holidays!<br />

R355 from Mopani.<br />

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

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

Dis-Chem. • Four AMAZING shimmery shades in this Sorbet Eye to Eye<br />

Smoky Jo eyeshadow quad. R179,95 from Sorbet salons or sorbet.co.za.<br />

A touch of midnight blue always attracts<br />

(the right kind of ) attention. Try NYX<br />

Chromatic Lip Gloss in Midnight Chaos<br />

(R179,99 from Clicks), and Mavala Crayon<br />

Lumiere Eye Shadow in Bleu Saphir (R187<br />

from Dis-Chem).<br />

We’re wearing just one<br />

fragrance this festive<br />

season... and it’s Azzaro<br />

Wanted Girl. A floral<br />

oriental gourmand,<br />

it’s massively desirable.<br />

Available from Mopani.<br />

Compiled by KYM ARGO. photographer: MEGAN BRETT<br />

TheraVine Face Relaxant<br />

Ampoules are great for reducing the<br />

appearance of wrinkles, especially<br />

those on the forehead and around<br />

the eyes. Each ampoule contains<br />

a ready-to-use dose. Simply twist,<br />

squeeze, apply and bye-bye lines!<br />

R872 from theravine.co.za.<br />

22 Get It <strong>Lowveld</strong> <strong>Dec</strong>ember <strong>2019</strong><br />

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

Thermal Dynamic Hydration Pot Light Cream (R395), LiftActiv Supreme<br />

Serum 10 (R575) and Mineral 89, a daily booster which fortifies and plumps<br />

(R450). Available from Mopani.

Three of the six pretty party shades in NYX Ultimate Edit<br />

eye palette, R240 from Clicks.<br />

When the stars<br />

come out to play<br />

Midnight skies and twinkling stars... we’re in the mood to<br />

party. And this festive season we’re going to shine!<br />

Catrice<br />

Precious<br />

Pigments<br />

Loose<br />

Eyeshadow<br />

in shade 60,<br />

R79,95 from<br />

Dis-Chem.<br />

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

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

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

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<br />

a gorgeous, silky softness... pores and dark spots are visibly reduced. LOVE! R995 from dermastore.co.za. • For gorgeous hair...<br />

Biosense Spoil Super Powerful Oil, R280 from splush.co.za/brand/biosense.<br />

<strong>Dec</strong>ember <strong>2019</strong> Get It <strong>Lowveld</strong> 23



1 DECEMBER <strong>2019</strong><br />

Peppermint-scented scrub,<br />

the perfect Christmas gift<br />

Ingredients: • 1 cup sugar • 1/3 cup mineral oil<br />

• 2 tsp corn syrup • 1/2 tsp peppermint extract<br />

• 1 drop green or blue food colouring.<br />

Directions: Mix the ingredients together,<br />

adjusting peppermint oil to your liking. <strong>Dec</strong>ant<br />

into a pretty jar, add a ribbon and voila!<br />

WIN!<br />

2 DECEMBER <strong>2019</strong><br />

To win a set each of Pasabahce glass<br />

dinner plates, classic stemmed glasses<br />

and elegant flute glasses from Valencia,<br />

see the Get It Facebook page.<br />

Prize only valid for this specific day.<br />

5 DECEMBER <strong>2019</strong><br />

WIN!<br />

6 DECEMBER <strong>2019</strong><br />

To win a Heliocare SPF 50 spray from Nelspruit<br />

Laser Clinic, see the Get It Facebook page.<br />

Prize only valid for this specific day.<br />

Photos are<br />

for illustrator<br />

purposes only<br />

NE011940R<br />

To win a R500 voucher towards a new<br />

watch (R500 or more), visit the Get It<br />

Facebook page. Prize only valid for this<br />

specific day.<br />

NE011940R<br />

WIN!<br />

9 DECEMBER <strong>2019</strong><br />

To win a back-and-neck massage, gel toes, and<br />

cut and blow from Face to the Wind, see the<br />

Get It Facebook page. Prize only valid<br />

for this specific day.<br />

WIN!<br />

10 DECEMBER <strong>2019</strong><br />

To win a R1 000 Polo voucher from<br />

Nevills, see the Get It Facebook page.<br />

Prize only valid for this specific day.<br />

WIN!<br />

13 DECEMBER <strong>2019</strong><br />

14 DECEMBER <strong>2019</strong><br />

To win a R500 voucher for a treatment of your choice at Sorbet The Grove,<br />

see the Get It Facebook page. Prize must be redeemed before 31 January 2020.<br />

Prize only valid for this specific day.<br />

WIN!<br />

Do a secret gift exchange! Everyone makes<br />

something small and personal, wraps it up<br />

and puts it under the tree, with their name<br />

on. Each person’s name gets written on a<br />

piece of paper, which all get thrown in a<br />

hat, and each family member picks one.

It is once again time for our fabulous festive giveaways! We have<br />

10 awesome prizes up for grabs, for 10 days. To enter, find the<br />

relevant post on our Facebook page - Get It <strong>Lowveld</strong> - on the day<br />

that it is active, like it, tag a friend, and invite a friend to like our<br />

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

at the end of each day. Good luck!<br />

3 DECEMBER <strong>2019</strong><br />

To win a fragrance of your choice from<br />

Mopani, see the Get It Facebook page.<br />

Prize only valid for this specific day.<br />

WIN!<br />

4 DECEMBER <strong>2019</strong><br />

To win an Express Facial & Humankind<br />

OPI Polish Pedicure from Bodycure, see<br />

the Get It Facebook page.<br />

Prize only valid for this specific day.<br />

WIN!<br />

7 DECEMBER <strong>2019</strong> 8 DECEMBER <strong>2019</strong><br />

Bubbly margaritas for Christmas!<br />

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

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

• Lime wedges, for rim • Salt, for rim.<br />

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher and stir<br />

well. Run lime wedges around the rim of each champagne<br />

flute and dip the rims in coarse salt. Divide margaritas<br />

between flutes and garnish with lime wedges.<br />

Make a huge pot of popcorn and indulge in a<br />

favourite Christmas movie classic marathon.<br />

How The Grinch Stole Christmas, A Christmas<br />

Carol, The Nightmare Before Christmas,<br />

The Polar Express, Scrooge,<br />

and You’ve Got Mail, to mention a few.<br />

11 DECEMBER <strong>2019</strong><br />

WIN!<br />

12 DECEMBER <strong>2019</strong><br />

WIN!<br />

To win a full body massage from Je Ne<br />

Sais Quoi, see the Get It Facebook page.<br />

Prize only valid for this specific day.<br />

To win a Greenway Woods<br />

meal voucher for four people<br />

to the value of R1 000,<br />

including a bottle of wine,<br />

see the Get It Facebook page.<br />

Prize only valid for this<br />

specific day.<br />

15 DECEMBER <strong>2019</strong><br />

In Iceland, the tradition known as<br />

jólabókaflóð, phonetically pronounced<br />

yo-la-bok-a-flot, encompasses the<br />

exchange of books on Christmas Eve,<br />

which everyone then spends the<br />

evening reading. We think this is the<br />

perfect run-up to Christmas Day!<br />

16 DECEMBER <strong>2019</strong><br />

“T’was the night before Christmas, when<br />

all through the house, not a creature was<br />

stirring, not even a mouse.”<br />

- Clement Clarke Moore

The rhythm of<br />

Rio!<br />

Text: Mellissa Bushby. Photographer: Belinda Erasmus<br />

The annual Night of 1000 Stars is an event that <strong>Lowveld</strong>ers clamour to be a part of.<br />

Always glitzy and glamorous, it really is an evening of fun, food and festivity, with<br />

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

The theme this year was Rio<br />

Rhythms, and as always, the locals<br />

really went to town. There were<br />

exotic dancers, fire twirlers, feathers<br />

and fabulous outfits, with bright<br />

colours everywhere you looked. A<br />

few improvisations were in order due<br />

to the rainy and cold weather, but<br />

quick thinking saw the party moved<br />

from the traditional street to under a<br />

roof, the walkway of which was lined<br />

with burning braziers, taking the chill<br />

off and giving the event a definite<br />

exotic ambience. The music was true<br />

26 Get It <strong>Lowveld</strong> <strong>Dec</strong>ember <strong>2019</strong><br />

Rio; the sultry upbeat sounds of Vaya Con Dios among other things, perfectly<br />

performed by Natascha C, creating a foot-stomping, hip-swaying vibe.<br />

The main feature of the night, the food, was as spectacular as ever. The aim of<br />

each restaurant is to feed their nominated table a starter, main and dessert,<br />

and at the end of the evening the judges decide which of the restaurants<br />

came out tops, not only regarding the courses but also overall. Tables are<br />

beautifully decked out and each host takes care of their customers as if they<br />

were in their signature restaurant.<br />

This year’s winners<br />

Starter: Orange | Main: Zest | Dessert: Doppio Zero | Overall: Doppio<br />

Zero. We had a chat with the respective figureheads of these esteemed<br />

establishments, and found out a little of what makes this event a mustdo<br />

for these well-known local eateries every year.

Orange<br />

Lee-Ann Heine von Zweel and her staff put their hearts into<br />

everything, and it shows. They have participated in Night of<br />

1000 Stars since its inception, cancer having impacted on the<br />

lives of almost everyone in some way, making it a cause close<br />

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

through in the dishes they prepare, although they do see the<br />

event as an opportunity to try something a little new. The<br />

food is created to fit in with the theme, and the entire team<br />

get behind the effort to ensure creative, upmarket dishes are<br />

offered to their guests. This year’s winning dish was a scrumptiously<br />

tasty salmon roulade. The Orange team stuck to the<br />

Rio theme to make it visually stunning, it was a bright, vibrant<br />

taste experience. Lee-Ann believes that teamwork is what<br />

puts Orange in the top three. “My team are always incredible<br />

at pulling together and making each year memorable. We<br />

truly have fun doing this, and it is near to all our hearts, which<br />

makes it that much greater to take part,” she says.<br />

Zest<br />

GT Lundie and Zest are no strangers to the <strong>Lowveld</strong><br />

food scene. Zest has participated since 2007, and<br />

having suffered the loss of his dad to cancer last<br />

year, GT supports Cansa whenever possible. GT<br />

and his team adapt their dishes to suit the subject;<br />

it’s a great time to try new recipes and cuisine,<br />

especially from different countries. Their main<br />

consisted of a feijoada, vinagrete, coxinha/pork belly<br />

with black bean stew, Brazilian vinaigrette salsa and<br />

croquette - a classic Brazilian dish with a Zest twist.<br />

They are no strangers to themed dinners. They have<br />

a monthly wine tasting where guests get to pair a<br />

variety of food and wines. GT believes the secret to<br />

their success is in the consistency of their food, and<br />

the fact that they keep abreast of current trends,<br />

locally and abroad. “After all,” he says, “they say you<br />

are only as good as your last meal.”<br />

Doppio Zero<br />

They are the new kid on the block, and despite never<br />

having done a Night of 1000 Stars dinner before, they got<br />

into the swing of things very quickly. Alistair Chawdwick,<br />

manager at Doppio Zero, jumped at the chance to take<br />

part for a number of reasons. Apart from it being for a<br />

good cause (Doppio Zero does a fair amount of charity<br />

work as a brand), being a part of the community is<br />

imperative, as far as Alistair is concerned. The Doppio Zero<br />

policy is one of no compromise when it comes to quality,<br />

and a definite feather in their cap is that they cater for<br />

everyone. They experimented in-house before deciding<br />

on their dishes, and their menu was decided on after<br />

careful consideration. Their winning dish was a cheesecake<br />

with marshmallow fluff and berry compote, with a focus<br />

on fresh ingredients, baked on the day of the event.<br />

“We believe in guests, not customers,” says Alistair. “The<br />

Doppio Zero policy is to reflect passion and innovation<br />

through our food.”<br />

<strong>Dec</strong>ember <strong>2019</strong> Get It <strong>Lowveld</strong> 27

Summertime drinks<br />

Zesty grapefruit with just a hint of bitterness. This summer we’re<br />

drinking the just-launched Fitch & Leeds grapefruit tonic. This coralhued<br />

drink with a delicate fizz is perfect for those who’re avoiding<br />

alcohol… a slice of grapefruit, a sprig of thyme, loads of ice and<br />

you’ve a refreshing mocktail. For those who like a little merriment in<br />

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

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

African Botanical Gin, with a few muddled berries and mint. Bliss.<br />

Lovely at lunchtime in the sun, fabulous for sundowners… it’s our<br />

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

bottles. Details: fitchleedes.co.za.<br />

Fitch & Leedes grapefruit tonic cocktails<br />

Six Dogs Karoo Gin<br />

Ingredients<br />

• Six Dogs Karoo Gin • Fitch & Leedes grapefruit tonic<br />

• 1 red chilli • 1 lime • Tabasco • Simple syrup (optional).<br />

Method<br />

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

lime, a splash of Tabasco, 1 part simple syrup and 1 part Six Dogs Karoo<br />

Gin. Shake well and pour into a glass filled with ice. Top with Fitch &<br />

Leedes grapefruit tonic and garnish with sliced red chillies.<br />

28 Get It <strong>Lowveld</strong> <strong>Dec</strong>ember <strong>2019</strong><br />

Low alcohol. Low calories. Great taste. What’s<br />

not to love? This summer we’re being sensible.<br />

We’re still celebrating everything summer has to<br />

offer with lovely wines, but we’re choosing ones<br />

with lighter alcohol levels and fewer calories.<br />

Without, obviously, sacrificing quality or taste.<br />

First on our list to try is the Robertson Winery<br />

Light Cultivar Range, which is showing off<br />

great new designs, too. With just around 9%<br />

alcohol instead of the average 12 or 13%,<br />

there’s a Sauvignon Blanc <strong>2019</strong>, a Chenin Blanc<br />

<strong>2019</strong>, a Pinotage Rosé and a Merlot. All around<br />

R50 to R55. Details: robertsonwinery.co.za. We<br />

have a hamper of the Robertson Winery Light<br />

Cultivar Range, plus a lovely yoga mat, up for<br />

grabs. Send your details to competitions@<br />

getitlowveld.co.za with Robertson in the<br />

subject line. Competition ends January 6, 2020.

SUMMER<br />


The perfect time to kick back with a glass of bubbly,<br />

scrummy wine or ice-cold cocktail and watch the<br />

magnificent African sunset.<br />

Cheers!<br />

This season we’re loving and suggesting<br />

the Kleine Zalze Méthode Cap Classique<br />

Chardonnay Pinot Noir Vintage Brut<br />

2013. This old-world style sparkling<br />

wine is full-bodied. Drink it on its own<br />

or with food... it pairs beautifully with<br />

oysters, fresh pan-seared fish or a<br />

cheese board. Around R225 a bottle<br />

from good bottle stores.<br />

Happy birthday!<br />

Roodeberg celebrates<br />

its 70th anniversary.<br />

A true South African<br />

original that’s stood the<br />

test of time. It wasn’t<br />

until 2004 that it became<br />

readily available to us<br />

here at home. For many<br />

Roodeberg still conjures<br />

up fond memories of<br />

people, places and<br />

occasions. Cheers!<br />

This “little darling’’ charms with notes of watermelon,<br />

papaya and strawberry<br />

We’re having a little love affair with rosé wines at<br />

the moment, and have fallen head over heels with<br />

Gabriëlskloof’s Rosebud Rosé. This dry, light and deliciously<br />

moreish Provençal-style rosé has equal amounts of Syrah<br />

and Viognier, and is described as the “little darling” of<br />

Gabriëlskloof’s estate range. It’s lovely to drink by itself, but<br />

also pairs well with light dishes. Buy it online for around R80 a<br />

bottle. Details: www.gabrielskloof.co.za.<br />

We’re sweet on Skyline<br />

Late Harvest<br />

We’re fans of a semi-sweet wine... it’s<br />

best chilled, topped with soda and<br />

served with ice, it’s a classic match with<br />

rich liver pâté or parfait, and is brilliant<br />

with desserts... The just-released Skyline<br />

Late Harvest is a delicious option...<br />

Around R49,99 a bottle, and R134,99 for<br />

the convenient three-litre bag-in-a-box.<br />

Fancy winning a sweet prize? We’ve got<br />

a Skyline hamper to give away... half a<br />

dozen bottles of Skyline and a pair of<br />

sunnies in an eye-catching shopping<br />

bag. Send<br />

your details to<br />

competitions@<br />

getitlowveld.<br />

co.za with<br />

Skyline in the<br />

subject line.<br />

Competition<br />

ends January 6,<br />

2020.<br />

<strong>Dec</strong>ember <strong>2019</strong> Get It <strong>Lowveld</strong> 29

Festive<br />

feast<br />

If ever there was a time to drink, eat and be<br />

merry, it’s now. And on the menu? A feast of<br />

baked cheese, glazed ham and chocolate tart.<br />

Baked cranberry<br />

Camembert<br />

You’ll need: 100g frozen cranberries;<br />

150g Staffords cranberry jelly;<br />

1 tsp chilli flakes; one 250g wheel<br />

of Camembert or Brie cheese; 50g<br />

walnuts; 3 sprigs rosemary.<br />

To make: Preheat oven to 180˚C. In a<br />

small saucepan combine the frozen<br />

cranberries, 100g Staffords cranberry<br />

jelly and chilli flakes. Cook over low<br />

heat until the cranberries are soft<br />

and the sauce has thickened slightly,<br />

about 5 minutes. Set aside.<br />

On a baking tray, score the wheel<br />

of cheese in a 2cm by 2cm pattern.<br />

In the grooves insert the rosemary<br />

leaves... do this evenly throughout<br />

the wheel. Spread 50g of Staffords<br />

cranberry jelly evenly over top of the<br />

wheel. Tie a piece of kitchen twine<br />

around the outside to prevent it<br />

breaking apart too early. Sprinkle the<br />

walnuts around it.<br />

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until it<br />

has become soft in the middle. This<br />

will vary depending on the age of<br />

the cheese. Remove from oven and<br />

place on a serving dish. Spoon over<br />

some of the cranberry chilli sauce<br />

and place the rest in a dish to serve<br />

on the side. Sprinkle with toasted<br />

walnuts and more fresh rosemary if<br />

desired.<br />

Serve immediately with crusty sliced<br />

bread like sourdough or baguette.<br />

30 Get It <strong>Lowveld</strong> <strong>Dec</strong>ember <strong>2019</strong>

Honey mustard glazed ham<br />

You’ll need: 3kg leg of ham, trimmed and skin<br />

removed; 1 cup smooth orange marmalade;<br />

quarter of a cup Staffords honey; half a cup<br />

orange juice; 3 tbs Staffords Dijon mustard;<br />

cloves for studding; sage for garnish.<br />

To make: Preheat oven to 180˚C. In a<br />

saucepan combine the marmalade, honey,<br />

orange juice and mustard. Cook over low<br />

heat until the glaze has thickened slightly -<br />

around 5 to 7 minutes. Set aside but do not<br />

allow to cool completely. If needed reheat<br />

over low heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Score the<br />

trimmed leg of ham into a 2cm diamond<br />

pattern. Push a single clove Into the centre<br />

of each diamond. Only stud the top of the<br />

ham, or whichever side you’ll be presenting.<br />

Place on a rack above a lined baking sheet.<br />

Generously brush ham with glaze and place<br />

on the lowest rack of the oven. Every 10<br />

minutes remove it from the oven, rotate<br />

and brush on more glaze. Repeat this until<br />

the ham is golden brown, about 40 to 60<br />

minutes, depending on the oven. If the top<br />

begins to brown too quickly, loosely place<br />

a piece of tinfoil over top. Once cooked,<br />

remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.<br />

Sprinkle with sea salt flakes and serve on a<br />

large dish (sliced or whole) and garnish with<br />

fresh sage.<br />

Chocolate raspberry tart<br />

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

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

60ml water. Filling - 200g raspberries; 500ml cream; 60g caster<br />

sugar; 100g Staffords milk choc disks; 150g Staffords dark choc<br />

disks; 5ml Staffords vanilla extract with seeds; 3 eggs, lightly<br />

whisked; 10ml cocoa powder, for dusting.<br />

To make: For the chocolate pastry, sift the flour, cocoa powder<br />

and icing sugar into a mixing bowl and add salt. Add cold butter<br />

and work into the flour, using your fingertips, until mixture<br />

resembles breadcrumbs. Beat egg yolk with water, add to the<br />

flour mixture and mix until dough comes together. Turn out onto<br />

a lightly floured surface and knead briefly until smooth. Wrap<br />

in clingfilm and place in the fridge for 20 minutes. Then roll the<br />

pastry out on a lightly flour-dusted surface and line a 25cm loosebottomed<br />

tart tin. Chill in the fridge for 20 minutes. Preheat oven<br />

to 190°C. Blind bake the pastry case for 12 to 15 minutes. Remove<br />

from oven and allow to cool.<br />

To make the filling, reduce the oven temperature to 160°C.<br />

Reserve a third of the raspberries for decoration and use<br />

remainder to line the baked tart case. Place the cream and sugar<br />

in a pan and gently bring to the boil. Stir until sugar dissolves,<br />

then remove from heat, add milk choc disks, dark choc disks and<br />

vanilla extract with seeds and stir until smooth. Allow to cool for<br />

5 minutes, then stir in the eggs. Transfer the tart case to a baking<br />

sheet and pour chocolate filling over raspberries. Bake the tart<br />

for 25 to 35 minutes, or until the filling is cooked but still slightly<br />

wobbly in the middle. Allow to cool at room temperature until<br />

set. <strong>Dec</strong>orate with remaining raspberries and a dusting of cocoa<br />

powder round the edges.<br />

For more holiday recipes,<br />

visit getitmagazine.co.za<br />

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

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

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

<strong>Dec</strong>ember <strong>2019</strong> Get It <strong>Lowveld</strong> 31

MARK THE<br />

SEASON<br />

Text: Lindi Botha. Photographer: Matthys Ferreira<br />

To ring in the cheer<br />

this festive season,<br />

BUCO has created<br />

two DIY projects<br />

that can be crafted<br />

at home during the<br />

holidays. Gather the<br />

family, host a craft<br />

day and add some<br />

extra festive glee to<br />

your home.<br />

Christmas tree<br />

While nothing quite makes a<br />

statement like a ceiling-high fir tree,<br />

this no-fuss, modern creation adds<br />

extra sparkle to an entrance hall,<br />

office reception or a small apartment<br />

limited on space.<br />

You will need<br />

• 2x pine cleats cut to 80cm in length<br />

for the sides • 1x pine cleat cut 45cm<br />

in length for the base • Laminated<br />

pine cut to 77cm in length by 12cm<br />

wide and 2cm thick for the foot<br />

piece • 2x dowel sticks cut to the<br />

following lengths: 6cm, 13cm, 24cm<br />

and 34cm • 10x 14mm cup hooks<br />

• Fast-set wood glue • 5 wood screws.<br />

32 Get It <strong>Lowveld</strong> <strong>Dec</strong>ember <strong>2019</strong>

1. Cut the wood to size, making sure<br />

the ends are cut at an angle to fit<br />

together to form a triangle.<br />

2. Drill holes where the dowel sticks<br />

fit in to the sides of the tree.<br />

3. Sand the wood with a sand block.<br />

4. Put the dowel sticks in place with<br />

glue on the one side and fit the other<br />

side onto the dowel sticks, followed<br />

by the base. All planks must be glued<br />

first and allowed to dry.<br />

5. Screw the planks together to keep<br />

it secure.<br />

6. Glue the triangle to the foot piece.<br />

Once dry, screw the foot piece in to<br />

secure.<br />

7. Screw the cup hooks into the<br />

dowel sticks where you want to hang<br />

your decorations. If you struggle to<br />

screw them in, make a small indent<br />

with a drill.<br />

8. Hang your decorations.<br />

As an alternative to a festive wreath,<br />

this Christmas sign can brighten<br />

up your front door, mantelpiece or<br />

and open spot where some cheer is<br />

needed.<br />

You will need<br />

• 2x laminated pine cut 20cm wide<br />

and 50cm in length, with the top<br />

corners cut off. • Vinyl stickers with<br />

Merry Christmas wording. These can<br />

be printed at any printing store in<br />

Mbombela. Be sure to take the cut<br />

planks in to match the size. • Sisal<br />

rope of 1m in length, cut in half.<br />

• Christmas ribbon. • Sanding block.<br />

• Paint or wood stain of your choice if<br />

you are colouring the wood.<br />

How to<br />

1. Once the wood is cut, drill a hole in<br />

the top of the two pieces to thread<br />

through the rope. 2. Sand with the<br />

sand block. 3. If you are colouring<br />

the wood, paint or stain it with wood<br />

stain and allow to dry. 4. Stick on the<br />

stickers. 5. Thread through the sisal<br />

rope. 6. Tie the Christmas ribbon at<br />

the top into a neat bow.<br />

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

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

its Facebook page, BUCO Nelspruit, to stay up to date with craft workshops offered in<br />

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

day out.<br />



Boogie away THE<br />

BLUES<br />

At first glance, Secret Sunrise seems like<br />

a medley of dance, aerobics and yoga,<br />

but it’s so much more. Kerri Dunshea<br />

and Tash Cope tell us why you should be<br />

dancing with them at their next event.<br />

Kerri Dunshea<br />

34 Get It <strong>Lowveld</strong> <strong>Dec</strong>ember <strong>2019</strong><br />

Text and photographer: Mia Louw<br />

A group of people has gathered<br />

at the Pear Orchard picnic<br />

site in Kaapsehoop. It is the<br />

second day of the Kaapsehoop<br />

Wild Horse Festival, and Secret<br />

Sunrise <strong>Lowveld</strong> joins in on the<br />

family fun. Fifteen participants<br />

are given wireless headsets,<br />

before the facilitators, Tash and<br />

Kerri, lead them through an<br />

hour of breathing, movement,<br />

meditation, mindfulness,<br />

stretching and dance.<br />

Through the headphones, the<br />

first few songs ease the group<br />

into a comfortable rhythm, as<br />

Kerri starts facilitating. “Take a<br />

minute to feel the grass under<br />

your feet and the sunshine on<br />

your skin,” she says in a soothing<br />

tone. “Practice the attitude of<br />

gratitude.” People from all walks<br />

of life are encouraged to dress<br />

up in fun, comfortable clothes<br />

and celebrate the sunrise.<br />

Starting off with smooth jazzy<br />

tunes by The Kiffness, Too<br />

Blessed To Be Stressed, the<br />

song choices often reflect the<br />

ethos of the event. The playlist<br />

moves on to some more upbeat<br />

golden oldies by Roxette,<br />

slowly increasing the pace to<br />

trancy tunes. As a herd of wild<br />

horses gathers at the weir to<br />

drink, Billy Idol’s “Mony Mony”<br />

booms through the headsets.<br />

Kerri gallops from side to side,<br />

singing “Pony Pony” instead.<br />

Secret Sunrise was born under<br />

the African sky. “It started in<br />

Zambia, probably about eight<br />

years ago. The idea came from a team<br />

building event. No one wanted to get<br />

out of bed after a night of partying,<br />

so the organisers started playing<br />

vibey music really loudly. All of a<br />

sudden everyone woke up and came<br />

out of their tents,” Tash explains.<br />

They started doing it more often,<br />

but the sound became a problem<br />

- that is when they incorporated<br />

the earphones. “That changed the<br />

dimension as well. It is more private.”<br />

‘Take a minute<br />

to feel the<br />

grass under<br />

your feet and<br />

the sunshine<br />

on your skin’<br />

It has become a global community<br />

and platform which follows sunrises<br />

(and sunsets), while celebrating life<br />

through movement, connection<br />

and music.<br />

Today you can attend a Secret Sunrise<br />

in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban,<br />

the Eastern Cape, the Garden Route,<br />

in the <strong>Lowveld</strong> and abroad. Tash and<br />

Kerri started Secret Sunrise <strong>Lowveld</strong><br />

in May 2018. “We kicked it off at the<br />

Uplands Festival. I literally just came<br />

from my training that day,” Kerri

Kerri Dunshea high fives a participant while Tash Cope looks on the session<br />

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

about the methodology we incorporate - what to say and what not to say.”<br />

Currently, at least one event per month is hosted, but they are aiming to<br />

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

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

R100 per session, which lasts an hour and the group usually varies between<br />

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

many people join,” Tash adds.<br />

Using wireless headsets also means the events can be hosted outside in nature,<br />

in tranquil spaces, without disturbing anyone else who might be enjoying a<br />

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

her best-loved locations in the <strong>Lowveld</strong>. “And Bundu Lodge was amazing, the<br />

view is incredible.” The <strong>Lowveld</strong> National Botanical Garden is another one of<br />

her favourite spots, and the Soccer Ball reservoir in Mbombela has a gorgeous<br />

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

fantastic.”<br />

Tash and Kerri usually plan the events two months in advance and those eager<br />

The dancing starts at 8am in Kaapsehoop<br />

to join can keep an eye on their<br />

Facebook and Instagram pages for<br />

dates and locations. They also do<br />

special events, like birthday parties,<br />

corporate events and team building.<br />

“I’ve even had a 15-minute icebreaker<br />

at a Women’s Day event,” Tash shares.<br />

They also do outreach events.<br />

“I recently was at the E3 Youth<br />

Development Hub,” she explains. “It<br />

was aimed at teenagers and young<br />

adults trying to find work. They were<br />

going through a skills development<br />

process, doing a creative thinking<br />

workshop. I just helped them keep<br />

the creative juices flowing - this helps<br />

you to lose inhibitions.”<br />

If you are a spectator at Secret<br />

Sunrise and can’t hear the beats, it<br />

can be a rather comical sight. People<br />

seemingly dancing to no music.<br />

Earlier this year there was a viral<br />

video on social media, with the title:<br />

“Neighbours are having a silent disco<br />

BBQ”. It shows three men in a tiny<br />

backyard with headsets on, filmed<br />

from their neighbour’s window as<br />

they dance to their heart’s content<br />

while braaiing. “Everyone tagged me<br />

in that post and said: this is what you<br />

look like,” Tash giggles.<br />

They are also planning on launching<br />

Sunrise Yoga events, where they<br />

will offer a full hour of yoga with<br />

headsets. Kerri is a yoga teacher<br />

and artist, while Tash does financial<br />

advice. “But I’ve always loved dancing.<br />

I did ballet, ballroom and pole<br />

dancing - you name it.” As someone<br />

who is aware of the everyday<br />

stresses of our modern lives, Tash<br />

praises Secret Sunrise for its positive<br />

influence in dealing with stress.<br />

“I used to get upset if I didn’t get<br />

eight hours of sleep. It would ruin my<br />

entire day, but now I’m at peace with<br />

the world. It influences your thinking<br />

patterns - accepting realities for what<br />

they are and not trying to change<br />

them,” she smiles. “This morning I<br />

arrived here very tired - not lus for<br />

it - but once you’ve done it, you feel<br />

like a new person. You can deal with<br />

anything the day presents.”<br />

Details<br />

Contact Tash on 072-530-9795<br />

or visit Secret Sunrise <strong>Lowveld</strong> on<br />

Facebook<br />

<strong>Dec</strong>ember <strong>2019</strong> Get It <strong>Lowveld</strong> 35

Katy and Benjamin, Rafi, (back) Jasmine, Anastasia and Yolande Muller<br />

36 Get It <strong>Lowveld</strong> <strong>Dec</strong>ember <strong>2019</strong>

o B rn<br />

heart<br />

in the<br />

Katy Muller was only 12 years old when, after viewing a documentary<br />

about orphans in Africa, promptly announced to her mother that one day<br />

she was going to go to Africa, adopt those children and care for them.<br />

She couldn’t have foreseen that this declaration would indeed materialise,<br />

leading her to leave her home in the UK and settle with four adopted<br />

children outside White River.<br />

Text: LIndI BOTHA<br />

There is no denying that Katy’s<br />

greatest joy is derived from seeing<br />

kids happy. With two biological<br />

children, Jasmine (11) and Benjamin<br />

(one year and eight months) and<br />

four adopted ones, Yolande (20),<br />

and siblings Anastasia (23), Rafi (26)<br />

and Silvestre (29), Katy could have<br />

adopted schools more had she been<br />

given the chance.<br />

“As a child I watched the TV<br />

programme The Waltons and they<br />

had a big family. I always knew that<br />

was what I wanted and dreamt of<br />

having at least 10 kids of my own<br />

when I was grown up,” she laughs.<br />

The plight of children has been near<br />

to Katy’s heart from a young age, as<br />

she spent her school holidays helping<br />

out at a playgroup her mother ran for<br />

handicapped kids.<br />

Answering a call to service, Katy<br />

studied to be a nurse, specialising<br />

in special needs children. “While<br />

I was studying I saw the news<br />

about the Romanian war and all<br />

the children who had ended up in<br />

orphanages - mostly handicapped.<br />

The government was supposed to<br />

look after them, but they didn’t and<br />

the children were in a terrible state.<br />

People were flocking there to help<br />

and I went as well.<br />

“The orphanage I worked in in<br />

Romania was horrific. The plight of<br />

the lost and forgotten children really<br />

moved me and that’s when I realised<br />

that adoption was the way to go.<br />

That country made me realise how<br />

fortunate I had been growing up and<br />

how much need there was out there<br />

to give back and give children a good<br />

home who didn’t have one. It really<br />

cemented the idea that adoption can<br />

help those in need.”<br />

From Romania Katy moved on to<br />

Brazil and worked with street kids to<br />

try and rehabilitate them. While she<br />

was there, she read about the floods<br />

in Mozambique and the dire state in<br />

which the children in the orphanages<br />

were. “I sobbed my eyes out and just<br />

knew I had to go and help. So I ended<br />

up at an orphanage with around 500<br />

children, with no baby house so all<br />

the children were just wandering<br />

around. I was only supposed to be<br />

there for six weeks to help out, but<br />

as it turned out, I met my children<br />

and ended up staying 17 years,” Katy<br />

states with a smile.<br />

She relates how one little girl stole<br />

her heart. “Anastasia was three years<br />

old and she had the most beautiful<br />

big eyes. Visitors to the orphanage<br />

would come and go, pick her up for<br />

a while and then put her down and<br />

she would be left wandering around<br />

<strong>Dec</strong>ember <strong>2019</strong> Get It <strong>Lowveld</strong> 37

Tedes Matola, and Anastasia, Yolande, Emile and Benjamin, Katy, Jasmine,<br />

Rafi and Silvestre Muller. Tedes, who although was not officially adopted,<br />

is very much part of the family.<br />

looking rather bereft. So I decided<br />

to take her in and start caring for her<br />

and just love her like a mum would.<br />

“About a week later another little girl<br />

appeared at my door looking for her<br />

sister. That was Rafi and I took her in<br />

as well. Then a month later they told<br />

me they had a brother, Silvestre! I just<br />

shook my head because I had already<br />

fallen in love with the two little girls<br />

and now there was a brother too. So<br />

in he came as well and we were like<br />

a family.”<br />

Katy soon met the children’s dad,<br />

who regularly came to visit them at<br />

the orphanage. Their mom had died<br />

of malaria and their father was too<br />

old to care for them, and so he took<br />

them to the orphanage. He and Katy<br />

became good friends, and when the<br />

time came, he gave her his blessing<br />

to adopt the three siblings.<br />

“Not long after, a man showed up on<br />

my doorstep saying that he heard I<br />

took in children. He then asked me<br />

to take care of his granddaughter,<br />

Yolande, as her parents had died. She<br />

was such a darling I couldn’t help but<br />

love her instantly.”<br />

At that stage Katy was still single,<br />

and with four kids in tow, she took<br />

another courageous step to leave<br />

the orphanage where she had been<br />

working and set up another in Matola<br />

where there was a need for one. “I<br />

left with all four the children, which<br />

was a miracle in itself because it was<br />

unheard of for a missionary to leave<br />

with any children. But it was just the<br />

38 Get It <strong>Lowveld</strong> <strong>Dec</strong>ember <strong>2019</strong><br />

way God’s plan worked and I was<br />

soon able to complete the adoption<br />

process for all of them.”<br />

Shortly after Katy met her soon-to-be<br />

husband, Emile, at church. “I told him I<br />

come as a package with four children<br />

and he said no problem. I said, you<br />

must be joking - you don’t know<br />

what that really means! But he was<br />

adamant and it wasn’t long before we<br />

got married.<br />

Adoption is all<br />

about saying<br />

‘I want you,<br />

I love you, I<br />

choose you’<br />

“We were then blessed with a child of<br />

our own, Jasmine. Unfortunately she<br />

has learning difficulties so we had to<br />

move to South Africa to get her into<br />

a better school where she could be<br />

taught in English. We settled down<br />

outside White River three years ago.<br />

I then had Benjamin, bringing our<br />

family to eight.”<br />

Katy muses about her “rainbow”<br />

family, with her being British, her<br />

husband South African, four of<br />

the children Mozambican and the<br />

other two something in-between.<br />

But through the joy there are also<br />

challenges, not the least being the<br />

transracial nature of their family.<br />

“When you walk through the mall<br />

with all the children in tow, you<br />

attract a lot of stares. Everyone wants<br />

to know who the kids are and why<br />

you have them. Sometimes you<br />

get a good reaction, sometimes<br />

not. But I see more and more<br />

transracial families and it has become<br />

increasingly normal, which helps.”<br />

She notes that as an adoptive parent,<br />

it can be an emotional journey as<br />

you often wonder if your children<br />

are reacting a certain way because<br />

of how you brought them up or<br />

whether it is part of their DNA and<br />

has nothing to do with you. “You<br />

wonder when they act out if it is<br />

because they don’t love you as<br />

much because you are not their<br />

biological mother or because they<br />

are being normal, difficult teenagers.<br />

But ultimately whether they are your<br />

adopted kids or biological, you have<br />

challenges to face and so do they.<br />

You go through ups and downs just<br />

as you would with your biological<br />

children. That’s life.<br />

“But I always tell them that while<br />

they weren’t born in my tummy, they<br />

were born in my heart. Adoption is all<br />

about saying ‘I want you, I love you, I<br />

choose you’. It is just as profound as<br />

spending nine months in the womb.<br />

And my dream for them is to see<br />

them do well in life and have the<br />

same opportunities as anyone else.”




Putting Low’s<br />

Creek on the map<br />

Little remains of the Italian heritage of Low’s Creek and the community of settlers<br />

that coloured the landscape with fruit and vegetable farming in the 1900s to<br />

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

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

macadamia production.<br />

Text and photographer: Lindi Botha<br />

Bfor life.<br />

orn in Australia of Italian descent,<br />

Giovanna has stayed true to her roots,<br />

placing family above everything and<br />

carving out an existence through<br />

hard work, perseverance and a lust<br />

Spending most of her childhood in Australia,<br />

the family was cast back to Italy for a brief time<br />

to care for her grandmother when she fell ill.<br />

En route back to Australia, family responsibility<br />

guided them to South Africa when Giovanna’s<br />

aunt passed away, leaving a thriving farm that<br />

needed to be taken care of before the family<br />

could return home. They started working on<br />

Kudu Farm in Low’s Creek on January 1, 1970.<br />

Considering the volatility of the era, the family<br />

was warned not to invest too much into the<br />

country, as the outlook was not positive. “But my<br />

aunt wanted the legacy of her family and the<br />

farm to carry on, so we just continued with the<br />

papayas and vegetables being cultivated.”<br />

Giovanna’s father started planting mangoes, and<br />

she recalls asking him why he is planting fruit<br />

that the family would not be there to harvest in<br />

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

not here someone else will be here to pick the<br />

mangoes.’ And we are still picking them! We don’t<br />

plant commercially anymore, but we have kept<br />

a few that my father planted and they are not<br />

going anywhere.” After four years Giovanna and<br />

her brother, Dennis, were plunged even further<br />

into the farming business when her father took<br />

a step back and handed over the reins. Then in<br />

1993, Dennis made the move back to Australia<br />

with his family, but continued commuting to<br />

The Catholic church at Tonetti still stands today<br />

40 Get It <strong>Lowveld</strong> <strong>Dec</strong>ember <strong>2019</strong>

and from South Africa. Giovanna<br />

remained to ensure the upkeep of<br />

the farm would continue and grow.<br />

Looking back at her flight into<br />

farming, she laughs. “It’s not that I<br />

had an interest in it. It was more like<br />

being thrown into the ocean and told<br />

to swim or you will drown. It wasn’t<br />

a choice!” But Giovanna admits that<br />

her success is personality-driven as<br />

well. “You can put me in the middle<br />

of Russia and I will survive. I just enjoy<br />

the moment and don’t complain<br />

about where I am.<br />

“My dad was an extremely positive,<br />

determined person. He had a major<br />

influence on me. My mother died<br />

when we were very young so we<br />

were brought up by my dad and my<br />

aunts. They also had a big impact on<br />

my life because they were all very<br />

strong, positive women. They taught<br />

us never to give up.”<br />

Her son, Walter, chimes in that<br />

Giovanna, even at her age, is a<br />

steadfast, determined worker. “If there<br />

is work to be done, my mom is right<br />

there in the field with the workers. It’s<br />

very much a feet-on-the-ground work<br />

ethic.” He joined the business 11 years<br />

ago and Giovanna is grateful for the<br />

knowledge, experience and energy<br />

he brings to the farm. Both of Walter’s<br />

siblings, Ivan and Antonietta, are also<br />

involved in the business, continuing<br />

with the farm’s family-driven legacy.<br />

Giovanna muses that Italian families<br />

are very integrated and form closeknit<br />

communities, hence the Italian<br />

village that grew in the valley from<br />

Low’s Creek to Kaapmuiden in the<br />

early 1900s.<br />

“There were various families that<br />

came from Italy to settle here.<br />

One family would come over and<br />

send word that there were job<br />

opportunities, great weather and<br />

good soil. Bit by bit one family<br />

member would sponsor the next to<br />

come down. They would buy farms<br />

together and once they were on their<br />

feet, would buy their own.<br />

“One of the more well-known families,<br />

the Tonettis, built a sawmill, a railway<br />

line and a church at Tonetti, just off<br />

the Low’s Creek road. The church is<br />

still standing today and many of the<br />

families are buried in the churchyard.”<br />

Giovanna mentions how back<br />

in the day, every evening was<br />

an opportunity for the Italian<br />

community to get together and let<br />

their hair down. “Those days all the<br />

houses were built along the railway<br />

line, so each evening all the families<br />

would walk along the railway to one<br />

of the houses to play cards. The next<br />

night they would go to the next<br />

home in line and so it would carry on.”<br />

Sadly, most of the families moved<br />

on and Giovanna is one of the last<br />

left of the original Italian descendants.<br />

Having used the opportunity to<br />

buy farms as they came up for sale,<br />

she and the family have not only<br />

been able to expand the papaya<br />

production, but pioneered the<br />

macadamia nut industry in<br />

Low’s Creek.<br />

‘If there is<br />

work to be<br />

done, my mom<br />

is right there in<br />

the field with<br />

the workers.<br />

It’s very much<br />

a feet-on-theground<br />

work<br />

ethic’<br />

With the first macadamia trees<br />

planted in 1998, she admits that the<br />

whole process was trial and error<br />

as no localised information was<br />

available at the time. “We were told<br />

macadamias wouldn’t work in Low’s<br />

Creek as the climate is not conducive.<br />

But it is similar to areas in Australia<br />

where production is very successful.<br />

“So with a few back and forth trips<br />

between South Africa and Australia,<br />

Giovanna Secco<br />

Sign to Tonetti, just off the Low’s<br />

Creek road<br />

we got our orchards going with help<br />

of agronomists to guide us.” Nearly<br />

a decade later, production was at<br />

a level where Giovanna could set<br />

up their own processing factory,<br />

Ivory Macadamias. “We believe in<br />

adding value. By processing our own<br />

products it gave us a much better<br />

depth of understanding about the<br />

nuts, the different varieties, markets<br />

and our own problems from a<br />

<strong>Dec</strong>ember <strong>2019</strong> Get It <strong>Lowveld</strong> 41

production point of view.<br />

“When you send your nuts to another<br />

factory and you get a report back<br />

that details quality issues with yours,<br />

it’s easy to say, 'But that can’t be; my<br />

nuts are the best'. But by processing<br />

ourselves we can understand what<br />

the problems are firsthand and work<br />

towards improving our harvest. It’s a<br />

lot more work, but that’s just how we<br />

like to operate,” she smiles.<br />

With a great concern for offering<br />

quality nuts, Giovanna took the<br />

decision to market macs under<br />

the Ivory Macadamias label locally.<br />

They are one of the few producers<br />

who do so, as 98% of the nuts<br />

are exported. “I find the quality of<br />

macadamia nuts sold locally are often<br />

of such bad quality it is tantamount<br />

to selling rotten tomatoes! But in<br />

approaching the supermarkets we<br />

were told the price was too high<br />

to stock better quality. The prices<br />

are high, but consumers need to<br />

understand what quality macadamias<br />

taste like - otherwise they will never<br />

Kudu Farms stretches over much of Low’s Creek,<br />

as it has expanded over the years<br />

be willing to pay for a quality nut. The bad quality being sold is promoting a<br />

self-destructive local industry, giving macadamias a bad name. So we decided<br />

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

nougat industry, and make macadamia paste, oil and roasted nuts.”<br />

While Giovanna’s stopover in South Africa in 1970 became a lifelong<br />

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

not considered completing the journey back down under, she answers, “My<br />

dad lived and worked in so many different countries and he always said South<br />

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

everywhere, but all things considered South Africa is still paradise. And when it<br />

comes to rugby I shout for SA!”<br />


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48 Get It <strong>Lowveld</strong> <strong>Dec</strong>ember <strong>2019</strong>


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