Lowveld - April 2020

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GET<br />


IT<br />

LIVING<br />

DECOR<br />

feel<br />

good<br />

The<br />

Edition<br />

The scent<br />

of autumn<br />

FRESH<br />

New ways with<br />

edible flowers<br />

Plus!<br />

Our annual<br />

Let’s eat<br />


APRIL <strong>2020</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 />

• Wahl Lessing<br />

Sales<br />

Yulandi Jansma 081-458-6034<br />

yulandi@getitlowveld.co.za<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 />

APRIL <strong>2020</strong><br />

contents<br />

Why don’t you...<br />

04 Visit a wine show, rock out to Cutting Jade or<br />

go on an Easter egg hunt<br />

05 Books + wine = happiness<br />


06 We love nutty spreads, spiced gin and super smoothies<br />

Social<br />

08 Ramps-to-Runway owns the catwalk<br />

09 Be your own kind of beautiful<br />

10 The marvellous Milk Tart Challenge!<br />

people<br />

12 Sanctuary of promise<br />

16 Deconstructing survival skills<br />

BEAUTY<br />

18 <strong>April</strong> scents<br />


20 Big dreams for microgreens<br />

Art<br />

22 Coming home to roost with this year’s Chicken Challenge<br />

26 Concrete Creations<br />

Decor<br />

28 Living decor<br />

TRAVEL<br />

30 Exploring Kruger with a new app<br />

32 To wander the world<br />


36 - 43 Our revamped annual restaurant and eating guide<br />

Win<br />

06 A gorgeous Thule laptop backpack<br />

48 The new Clarins Double Serum is up for grabs!<br />


Karin Erasmus.<br />

Make-up by Isabel Franken.<br />

Photographed by Tanya Erasmus.<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> Get It <strong>Lowveld</strong> 03

A hot date!<br />

Pencil these events into your <strong>April</strong> 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 />

03<br />

Legendary South African rock<br />

‘n’ roll band, Cutting Jade,<br />

performs at The Pub in Mbombela at<br />

7pm. Tickets cost R100. Make sure you<br />

don’t miss out out on this fantastic<br />

show! Details: 013-755-4861.<br />

04<br />

It’s time to choose the<br />

province’s next queen.<br />

The glamorous Crowning Miss<br />

Mpumalanga <strong>2020</strong> takes place<br />

at AFM Communio Church in<br />

Mbombela at 6pm. Tickets are<br />

available through Computicket at<br />

R150 (general) and R450 (VIP). Details:<br />

Melanie Andrews on 013-752-3384.<br />

04<br />

Join us for Pro-Life Pet<br />

Rescue, Rehabilitation and<br />

Adoption Agency’s annual children’s<br />

Easter egg hunt and tambola. The<br />

Easter egg hunt starts at 11am sharp.<br />

Registration opens at 10:30am and<br />

is R25 per child. Tombola tickets<br />

cost R10 and every ticket wins a<br />

prize. Adults enter free of charge,<br />

but consider donating pet food or<br />

spoiling a rescued pet. Details:<br />

079-498-7971.<br />

10-13<br />

Welcome to the Oasis<br />

Water Easter 100<br />

Challenge - the most<br />

beautiful Easter 100 in South Africa. All<br />

routes lead out from and back to the<br />

hills around White River, so you can<br />

run as little or as much as you want.<br />

Sunday and Monday are child- and<br />

cyclist-friendly. Friday 20km, Saturday<br />

42km, Sunday Easter egg hunt 10km,<br />

Monday 28km. Ideal Comrades peak<br />

training, but all runners welcome.<br />

Hosted by Legogote Villagers Club.<br />

Tickets can be bought via www.<br />

entryrush.co.za.<br />

22<br />

One of our country’s greatest<br />

singers, songwriters and<br />

entertainers, Nataniël, returns to the<br />

Hervormde Kerk in Mbombela for<br />

a stellar performance. Tickets cost<br />

between R120 and R230 and can be<br />

bought at Unigrad College. The show<br />

begins at 6pm. Details: Riaan on<br />

082-559-1108.<br />

25<br />

It’s gin o’clock with the Hall &<br />

Bramley <strong>Lowveld</strong> Gin Fest.<br />

Held at Elmswood Park outside<br />

Mbombela, the fest begins at<br />

11am. Tickets are available via www.<br />

lowveldginfest.co.za. In addition<br />

to the opportunity to sip your way<br />

through some of South Africa’s (and<br />

the world’s) best and most innovative<br />

producers, a branded crystal gin glass,<br />

dedicated children’s play area and<br />

live entertainment are all included<br />

in the ticket. Make sure you don’t<br />

miss headline acts Goodluck and<br />

Spoegwolf - this year’s fest promises<br />

to be bigger and better! Details:<br />

076-674-5536.<br />

03-04<br />

Raise a glass to an annual<br />

<strong>Lowveld</strong> favourite - the<br />

Mpumalanga Wine Show.<br />

Held at Emnotweni in<br />

Mbombela from 5pm to<br />

9pm, tickets cost R200pp via<br />

Computicket or R220pp at<br />

the door. Ticket price includes<br />

unlimited tastings and a wine<br />

tasting glass. No entry to<br />

under 18s, babies and prams.<br />

Refreshments will be sold at the<br />

show. Details: 011-482-5936.<br />

25<br />

Get ready to laugh yourself<br />

silly with Skhumba Hlophe<br />

and the Big Banger Comedy tour.<br />

This funny man and his fellow<br />

comedians will have you in stitches.<br />

The show is 7pm for 8pm and is<br />

hosted at Emnotweni in Mbombela.<br />

Tickets are available via Computicket<br />

at R200pp.<br />

04 Get It <strong>Lowveld</strong> <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>

Book club<br />

Books + wine = happiness<br />

Livia has a secret. It’s about her daughter,<br />

Marnie, who’s one of the few people she<br />

loves who won’t be at her 40th birthday party.<br />

She’s waiting until after the party to share the<br />

secret with her husband, Adam. Adam has a<br />

secret, too. He’s arranged for their daughter<br />

to come home as a surprise guest. But he’s<br />

heard some devastating news. Should he tell<br />

Livia now, or let her enjoy her party first. A<br />

heartbreaking decision in The Dilemma by<br />

BA Paris. Harper Collins , R305.<br />

Eve Dallas and her talented team - along with gorgeous<br />

husband Rorke - are tasked with solving a particularly tricky<br />

mystery in JD Robb’s Golden in Death. Why would someone<br />

want to kill Kent Abner, a model doctor, husband, father and<br />

neighbour? He’s found dead in his town house, and then so<br />

is a second victim. Eve is racing against time to track a serial<br />

killer using a weapon that could wipe out half of Manhattan.<br />

Nail-biting stuff. Little Brown, R285.<br />

Grande Provence, the landmark Franschhoek heritage wine<br />

estate, has just launched its first Merlot. Wonderfully intense,<br />

Grande Provence Merlot 2018 has an earthy array of vibrant<br />

dark cherries and raspberries with hints of dark chocolate,<br />

cinnamon, cloves and orange peel. Soft, subtle and smooth,<br />

it’s wonderful with a herb-crusted lamb or rich meat dish.<br />

R170, and you can buy online at shop.grandeprovence.co.za.<br />

RM-VI190613NN<br />

Shop 69UG I’langa Mall<br />

Shop 73A Crossing Centre<br />

013 742 2267<br />


Wish list<br />

Spiced gin, nutty spreads & super smoothies<br />

Smooth operator<br />

Visit RAW at The Grove SUPERSPAR in Mbombela, a 100% fresh<br />

ingredients juice and smoothie bar. It offers customers a wide<br />

variety of smoothies, juices, infused waters, precut fruits and raw<br />

vegetables to go, ginger shots and some prepackaged juices<br />

that contain no preservatives. The bar comes with an added free<br />

service where any vegetables and fruits of your choice can be cut<br />

up as per your request. Details: 013-757-1116.<br />

Spread the love<br />

Try Ambassador Foods’ smooth and creamy cashew nut<br />

spread. It’s perfect as a dip, but also great for baking and<br />

delicious as a spread. No added salt, sugar or palm oil makes<br />

this the perfect treat. Make sure you also try its chocolate<br />

macadamia spread. Roasted macadamia nuts, ground to<br />

a smooth paste, mixed with melted vegan chocolate, and<br />

chopped macadamia pieces combine to make this the perfect<br />

sandwich spread, filling or dessert topping. Details:<br />

Ambassador Foods on 013-750-1599 or<br />

www.factoryshoponline.co.za.<br />

WIN!<br />

We are giving away one Thule<br />

backpack! To go into the draw,<br />

send your details to competitions@<br />

getitlowveld.co.za with Thule in<br />

the subject line, to reach us by<br />

noon on <strong>April</strong> 29. Good luck!<br />

Gear up!<br />

Thule makes it easy to bring the things you care for<br />

most safely, securely and in style with its protective<br />

laptop backpacks that include the Thule<br />

Achiever and the Thule Chronical collections.<br />

Designed for secure yet stylish protection for your<br />

precious laptop, tech accessories and all your other<br />

daily gear, the new laptop backpacks are perfect for<br />

modern daily life and can be taken from the campus,<br />

to the office and out and about in the city. Priced from<br />

R1 499 and available in a myriad of Thule colours such as<br />

Rooibos, Thule Blue, Deep Teal, Fennel and Dark Slate, Thule<br />

Achiever and Thule Chronical, these are available to purchase<br />

online via www.thulestore.co.za.<br />

06 Get It <strong>Lowveld</strong> <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>

Live the tiki life<br />

Inspired by the tropical exotica of 1950s’ island-style cocktail bars,<br />

this Copeland Tiki Gin has classic London Dry ingredients (think<br />

juniper, lemon peel, coriander) , but also has an exotic mix of<br />

cloves, cassia and ginger - often associated with spiced rums. The<br />

addition of tonka bean, rummy molasses and real pineapple adds<br />

a deliciousness that takes you to the beach bar... Think tiki cocktails<br />

like the mai tai and the Singapore sling. And what, exactly, is tiki?<br />

Created in the 1950s by cocktail legend Don the Beachcomber,<br />

when post-war Americans were looking for escapism. Hefty pours<br />

of rum and potent secret syrups made the tiki experience a heady<br />

world to get lost in. But tiki’s not just about rum. Many of the<br />

cocktails included gin... so hello, Copeland Tiki Gin. Besides cocktails,<br />

it's perfectly happy mixed with tonic and a signature pineapple<br />

garnish - a dried or fresh pineapple wheel, but other exotic pairings<br />

are encouraged. Fresh juice blends or ginger ale garnished with the<br />

vibrant, the colourful and the exotic. Edible flowers, mint sprigs,<br />

whole star anise and cinnamon quills. Sound appealing? Add to the<br />

experience with a bottle of Copeland Rum. Your drinks trolley, and<br />

your friends, will thank you. R395 a bottle. Details: copelandrum.com.<br />


Michaela Davel<br />

Own the catwalk<br />

Shequila Adams and Rodney Haywood<br />

Ramps-to-Runway recently held its annual opening at<br />

the beautiful La Villa Vita Boutique Hotel & Spa in<br />

Mbombela. The theme, “Art of Fashion”, was epitomised<br />

by the stunning models, and the fine dining experience<br />

ensured an elegant and exceptional affair.<br />

Nobo Mabaso and Titania Mabaso<br />

Tando Goba, Ilze van der Merwe<br />

and Manda Gomes<br />

Jessica Mellor, Keira Jacobs, Veronica<br />

da Vasconcelous and Melissa Ley<br />

08 Get It <strong>Lowveld</strong> <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>

Being<br />

BeYouTiful<br />

The Madame et Monsieur <strong>2020</strong> women’s event<br />

was recently hosted at Ikhwezi Game Lodge<br />

outside Mbombela. It focused on grooming<br />

guests to stand out and improve themselves,<br />

with different speakers emphasising the need<br />

for women to be their best. Esti Strydom, owner/<br />

president of Madame et Monsieur South Africa,<br />

said, “I decided on the topic for many reasons.<br />

So many women are in abusive relationships, no<br />

matter whether it is physical, emotional, mental<br />

or financial. We as women can so easily think<br />

we are not beautiful enough, or because we are<br />

made to feel that way. However, we as women<br />

must realise our worth and that all of us are<br />

beautiful in our own unique way.”<br />

Nomfundu Maluleka. Photos: Yvette Smith<br />

Youranda Pretorius<br />

and Karin de Lange<br />

Pamela Ntuli and Shirley Mabuza<br />

Mpho Sekoma and Esti Strydom<br />

Cornelia Voogt<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> Get It <strong>Lowveld</strong> 09

We love milk tart!<br />

The recent Milk Tart Challenge was a major success at<br />

Canary Walk Mall in Mbombela. This event was held in order<br />

to raise funds for old-age homes in the area. Members<br />

of the community showed their support by entering<br />

traditional milk tarts and those with a twist.<br />

A milk tart with a chilli twist<br />

Nihandri Lubbe, Vida Strydom, Errieda du Toit, Anneke<br />

van der Merwe, Zandre Hattingh and Pieter Malan<br />

Mariolise le Roux<br />

White River Care Buddies<br />

Hester Schoeman<br />

Daniel Stemmet<br />

10 Get It <strong>Lowveld</strong> <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>

Netta Fourie and Solange Soares<br />

Citybug and Canary Walk’s mascots<br />

Albert Gryvenstein and Callum Mac Pherson<br />

RM-027713NH<br />

Chris Enslin and Jan Strydom

Haven<br />


Growing up, the <strong>Lowveld</strong>’s<br />

Karin Erasmus wanted a farm<br />

more than anything else. She<br />

told her parents it would have<br />

to have lots and lots of dogs,<br />

plenty of space, and be<br />

in the Cape.<br />

Karin and Dino<br />

12 Get It <strong>Lowveld</strong> <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>


As she grew older, she though.<br />

realised that farms<br />

were not exclusive to<br />

the Cape, and also<br />

that having lots of<br />

dogs cost money.<br />

“My dad put his<br />

foot down and<br />

said I would have to start working to<br />

pay for the dogs if I wanted them at<br />

home,” she laughs. “He told me that<br />

our household wasn’t the Alberton<br />

SPCA, and he wasn’t going to pay<br />

for all the animals I took in anymore!<br />

Looking back, it was probably a good<br />

thing. I went and got a part-time job<br />

working at Edgars on Saturdays, and<br />

starting caring for them myself. It’s<br />

not cheap, let me tell you!” she says.<br />

This was the beginning of a lifelong<br />

path, one that has culminated in<br />

Pro-Life Pet Rescue, Rehabilitation<br />

and Adoption Agency a well-loved<br />

local haven for abused, abandoned<br />

and ill-treated animals.<br />

Over the years Karin continued to<br />

bring in animals, always saying they<br />

would stay “just for a short while”.<br />

Of course, it was hardly ever just for<br />

a short while! She volunteered at a<br />

rescue organisation for a spell, but felt<br />

that she wanted to do more than was<br />

possible there; her hands were tied.<br />

When her children had grown up<br />

and flown the coop, she decided the<br />

time had come to finally start her<br />

animal sanctuary, and started looking<br />

for just the right premises. “It was<br />

quite difficult,” she smiles. “You can’t<br />

be too close to the road, because of<br />

the animals, but then you can’t be<br />

too far from it, because then people<br />

won’t bother to come. Also, it can’t<br />

be in a built-up area, because the<br />

neighbours will complain about the<br />

noise. Obviously, we also needed a<br />

lot of space, which was important<br />

because I wanted to grow the<br />

sanctuary over time.”<br />

The perfect offer came along when<br />

someone suggested the land near<br />

Chimp Eden. It had a borehole,<br />

although not a pump, but the space<br />

was what was required to fulfil<br />

Karin’s dream; it was close enough<br />

to the road and not too far out of<br />

Mbombela, but also not in town.<br />

“I had a look at it, and jumped at<br />

the chance. It was a lot of work<br />

There was nothing here, and<br />

everything you see today we built<br />

from the ground up.<br />

“The public have been amazing;<br />

most of the camps are sponsored<br />

by people or corporations. For<br />

example, the ‘fat camp’ is where the<br />

dogs go who need to lose weight. It<br />

was sponsored by Nirvana Country<br />

House, and they have modelled it<br />

to resemble their lodge. There is a<br />

hanging chair and dog houses, with<br />

aloes strategically planted to make<br />

the camp look just like the stoep area<br />

of a game lodge.” As she explains<br />

this, Karin also tut-tuts at the dogs<br />

which come running to greet her.<br />

“Nee, jy’s nie te vet nie, nè? Kom<br />

hierso, Tjoppies,” she laughs, as he<br />

comes running over, fat bum and tail<br />

wagging furiously.<br />

Here these animals have a second<br />

chance at life. Some of them have<br />

come from the most appalling<br />

circumstances, but resilience,<br />

hope and a little help from decent<br />

The kitten camp<br />

River chilling in the Ouetehuis<br />

human beings have given them the<br />

opportunity to fight another day. “I<br />

laugh sometimes when people see a<br />

dog with three legs, or a cat with one<br />

eye. It’s immediately, ‘ag shame!’ and I<br />

always say, why shame? Look at him,<br />

he’s perfectly happy.<br />

“Animals don’t have that self-pity we<br />

have. They adapt and get on with<br />

it. I have 31 dogs at home, and the<br />

one with three legs is the one that<br />

runs the fastest! And none of the<br />

others look down on him or see him<br />

as any different, because he’s not. I<br />

don’t believe in killing an animal just<br />

because they are unwanted. Each<br />

soul deserves another chance and<br />

if we can give it to them, we will.<br />

Unfortunately, the truth is that they<br />

need to be marketed; they need to<br />

be in the public eye. If people don’t<br />

see them, they are forgotten.”<br />

The cat camp is a haven of swing<br />

beds, hammocks and cool, shady<br />

spots under the trees. These beautiful<br />

beasties twirl and swirl around you,<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> Get It <strong>Lowveld</strong> 13

Boss surveying his domain<br />

and it’s rather tempting to sit down<br />

and spend the afternoon cutting<br />

the chaff with them. “People often<br />

tell me they want a fluffy white cat<br />

when they get here, and leave with<br />

a tabby shorthair. And when I ask,<br />

and now, what happened to the<br />

fluffy white cat, they say, well, this<br />

one kind of chose me. And that’s the<br />

way it should be; all of these animals<br />

desperately need a good home.<br />

Mostly it’s the kittens and puppies<br />

that go first. And for every animal we<br />

rehome, there is a chance for another<br />

one.” Sadly, there are so many, and<br />

Pro-Life can only take in a certain<br />

amount. It is irresponsible and cruel<br />

not to sterilise your pets.<br />

There are millions of homeless,<br />

abandoned and abused animals out<br />

there. Why add to it? Shelters such<br />

as Pro-Life and the SPCA desperately<br />

need all the support they can get,<br />

because there are so many unwanted<br />

animals. This situation would be<br />

Hawaii Camp<br />

14 Get It <strong>Lowveld</strong> <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong><br />

dramatically reduced if everyone<br />

sterilised theirs. “Also, adopt, don’t<br />

shop. We do strict home tests, and<br />

all our animals that are adopted are<br />

sterilised and vaccinated, which is,<br />

overall, a considerable saving.”<br />

Karin bends to scoop up a dog<br />

who has been trying to attract her<br />

attention for a while. He wags his<br />

tail so hard, he almost wags himself<br />

out of her arms. She laughs and he<br />

whips round to give her cheek a few<br />

quick licks. “Look at the affection, the<br />

sheer joy of being alive. Animals are<br />

uncomplicated and giving. The only<br />

rule we have here is no swearing at<br />

each other. You can hear when they<br />

start to get cross about something.<br />

The tone of their bark changes, and<br />

that means they are swearing. That’s<br />

not allowed. We need to keep order!”<br />

She laughs, and all the dogs bark their<br />

agreement.<br />

This year, Karin plans on renovating<br />

some of the camps, and perhaps<br />

expanding at a later date. The upkeep<br />

is important, obviously, and the dogs<br />

are rotated so they have a change<br />

of scenery and meet new friends,<br />

so space really is of the essence.<br />

“We’d like to expand, but at the<br />

moment the main thing is making<br />

sure everything is still as it should<br />

be, fixing up here and there. General<br />

wear and tear means that things<br />

deteriorate and need replacing, or<br />

a new paint job is in order, which<br />

all costs money, not to mention<br />

our food and vet bills. We now have<br />

our clinic, but this is strictly for our<br />

animals. We don’t do sterilisations for<br />

the public.”<br />

These animals give of themselves<br />

over and over, and are so often<br />

discarded, as if they were worn out<br />

toys or old furniture. Yet they are<br />

often the most loyal member of a<br />

household. They certainly deserve<br />

every chance they can get at a good,<br />

loving home. Maybe it’s true that<br />

saving one animal won’t change the<br />

world, but it will certainly change the<br />

world for that animal, and at the end<br />

of the day, that’s a good start.<br />

Details<br />

To donate, contact 079-498-7971<br />

Pro-Life has a number of<br />

fundraisers throughout the<br />

year, and is always happy<br />

to take in any unwanted<br />

bits or bobs. You are<br />

welcome to come and<br />

walk the dogs or sit with<br />

the cats at any time. They<br />

love the company and the<br />

outing. You can also now<br />

take a dog along with you<br />

to parkrun, an initiative<br />

that has proven to be a<br />

great success with dogs<br />

and people alike.


Survival skills<br />

deconstructed<br />


It is no secret that the<br />

young adults of today, aka<br />

the Millenials and Gen Z,<br />

are becoming progressively<br />

less independent, more<br />

indulged and cossetted<br />

than before. In fact,<br />

self-sufficiency is not<br />

something you could<br />

ascribe to many of them<br />

in a hurry. How many can<br />

change a tyre, use basic<br />

navigation, know basic<br />

self-defence or can build<br />

and light a fire?<br />

EEven though<br />

we live in an<br />

information<br />

age with an<br />

abundance of<br />

data right at<br />

our fingertips,<br />

many young<br />

people lack the<br />

necessary skills<br />

to survive in a world full of difficult<br />

challenges. Sharon Kruger and Roux<br />

de Jager of Mbombela realised the<br />

need for guidance while raising their<br />

own kids and watching them tackle<br />

difficult situations.<br />

“The person who said there will be<br />

Sharon Kruger and Roux de Jager<br />

16 Get It <strong>Lowveld</strong> <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>

‘We decided that we won’t<br />

attract the necessary attention if<br />

we act as Sharon and Roux, so<br />

the Bat and the Cat were born’<br />

better intelligence once there is<br />

better information available, certainly<br />

got it wrong. In an hour we are now<br />

bombarded with the same amount<br />

of information that a 39-year-old<br />

gathered in his lifetime in the Middle<br />

Ages, yet the more we know, the<br />

more we don’t know,” says Roux. He<br />

and Sharon thought about the idea<br />

of presenting adult survival skills<br />

courses at the secondary schools<br />

in the area. After grasping that it<br />

would not be possible due to a lack<br />

of interest and a huge amount of<br />

red tape necessary for them to be<br />

allowed to work with the kids, they<br />

decided to tackle it in a different<br />

manner. Their own children are<br />

perfect examples of teenagers<br />

spending hours on YouTube, surfing<br />

the net or playing online games.<br />

“Roux and I realised that we still<br />

would be able to reach not only the<br />

teenagers, but a wider audience if<br />

we make use of videos and YouTube.<br />

In this way, we can share tips on<br />

surviving difficult situations and<br />

teach anyone who watches the<br />

videos these adult survival skills. We<br />

also decided that we won’t attract<br />

the necessary attention if we act<br />

as Sharon and Roux, so the Bat and<br />

the Cat were born. I love Catwoman<br />

and Roux likes Batman, so we got<br />

ourselves a Bat and a Cat costume<br />

and started making our own videos,”<br />

Sharon says.<br />

From there a whole new adventure<br />

started. They loaded a few<br />

informational videos on YouTube that<br />

varied from teaching people how<br />

to change a tyre and brake pads, to<br />

foraging for food making use of a<br />

shopping list, as well as various videos<br />

on relationship survival. Their channel<br />

soon blossomed into informational<br />

videos on various kinds of adventures<br />

like shark cage diving, self-defence<br />

videos and a meeting with a jackal<br />

buzzard. The Bat and the Cat have<br />

also visited local festivals like Innibos<br />

where Jason Goliath from Comedy<br />

Central spotted them and decided to<br />

feature them on his reality show.<br />

Their aim at the moment is to have<br />

fun and to share the information,<br />

knowledge and skills they have<br />

acquired over the years. They plan to<br />

do a lot more in the line of survival<br />

skills and plan on incorporating<br />

a number of professional people<br />

in the future, making use of a<br />

number of different platforms. The<br />

one thing that these two don’t<br />

want to do is merely exist, to go to<br />

work from Monday to Friday with<br />

no adventure or fun in their lives.<br />

They are constantly looking for<br />

new experiences and when the<br />

opportunity arises, they grab it and<br />

make sure to catch it on camera in<br />

order to share it with the world. Ask,<br />

believe and receive, is a motto that<br />

they both believe in firmly. Roux also<br />

likes to use the words of Theodore<br />

Roosevelt as an affirmation to inspire<br />

him every day: Do what you can, with<br />

what you have, wherever you are.<br />

Getting your message heard isn’t<br />

always easy, but the pair believe<br />

they have a winner with their<br />

unorthodox manner of getting their<br />

point across. Sharon laughs when<br />

she says that at first, it wasn’t easy<br />

to don a Catwoman mask and walk<br />

into a function hall filled with people.<br />

“But the more I do it, the easier it<br />

becomes. I turn into someone else,<br />

with a lot more confidence the<br />

moment I put on my mask. When we<br />

get back home and start to edit the<br />

videos, it’s almost like a painting, you<br />

can only judge it once you have the<br />

finished product. We are extremely<br />

proud of everything that we have<br />

done so far. The Bat and the Cat are<br />

here to stay.”<br />

Details<br />

Follow their YouTube channel:<br />

www.youtube.com/channel/<br />

UCmarSoxw3z07Hl3KDjQBy5w/featured<br />


Rugged and textured notes<br />

make this Guess 1981 fragrance<br />

a favourite choice for men.<br />

R649 from Truworths.<br />

Pepe Jeans Celebrate<br />

for Him exhibits sensual<br />

freshness by combining<br />

the aromatic potency of<br />

juniper and cardamom<br />

with subtle notes of gin.<br />

R799 from Truworths.<br />

And for her... a<br />

lovely Guess 1981<br />

too. R649 from<br />

Foschini.<br />

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

Bold, fresh and woody, the original Creed<br />

Aventus became a worldwide favourite... the<br />

new Aventus Cologne is bound to be as<br />

popular. From R4 599 at Edgars.<br />

The alluring Maxima<br />

fragrance is infused with<br />

notes of immortelle<br />

flower, nectarine and<br />

jasmine sambac. R450<br />

from www.my.avon.co.za.<br />

<strong>April</strong><br />

scents<br />

18 Get It <strong>Lowveld</strong> <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>

All bitter orange and juicy pear, with gardenias<br />

and cactus flowers, Coach Dreams is our new<br />

fave fruity, floral fragrance. From R805 at Clicks.<br />

The sophisticated Women’s<br />

Secret Rose Seduction has notes<br />

of orange blossom, apple and<br />

tangerine... gorgeous. R499 from<br />

foschiniforbeauty.co.za.<br />

Bergamot,<br />

pink pepper,<br />

orange flower,<br />

hibiscus and<br />

lily of the<br />

valley... all<br />

our favourite<br />

scents in<br />

one bottle.<br />

Abercrombie<br />

& Fitch First<br />

Instinct Sheer<br />

is a joy. R875<br />

from Dis-Chem.<br />

A gorgeous floral<br />

fragrance for <strong>April</strong>...<br />

we’re loving Berdoues<br />

Collection Grands Crus<br />

Péng Lái Eau De Parfum,<br />

R1 595 from Foschini.<br />

Sensual, intense<br />

(and the most<br />

gorg bottle)... we’re<br />

wearing Pepe Jeans<br />

Celebrate for Her<br />

which has lively notes<br />

of popcorn, black<br />

pepper and apple.<br />

R799 from Truworths..<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> Get It <strong>Lowveld</strong> 19

Spending his days tied to his desk,<br />

Jan-Hendrik du Plessis longed to get<br />

his hands dirty out in the sunshine.<br />

Intended as a hobby to offset his IT job, he<br />

started experimenting with microgreen<br />

production. But, quick to spot a gap in the<br />

market for this vibrant superfood, his wife,<br />

Melanie, turned his hobby into a business<br />

with budding results.<br />

20 Get It <strong>Lowveld</strong> <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong><br />

Big<br />



Text and photographer: LINDI BOTHA<br />

Energetic, with multiple job titles, Melanie does<br />

not shy away from a new challenge - or hard work.<br />

Besides assisting Jan-Hendrik in his IT business, graphic<br />

designing, content creation and fundraising for their<br />

church, she is also the mother of a two-year-old. Now<br />

she has added the title “farmer” to her repertoire, too.<br />

Regarding the latter title, she laughs. “As an Afrikaner,<br />

or Boer, I always grew up wondering what the concept<br />

of being a ‘boer’ was. I never thought I would be a real<br />

bona fide boer who farms. Now I am farming and it’s<br />

exciting. I’m not just a Boer in blood and heritage, I<br />

actually farm now, too!”<br />

The project started in 2018 when Jan-Hendrik started<br />

researching hobbies to do in their home town of Sabie,<br />

to offset long hours spent in front of a computer. After<br />

seeing a YouTube video on microgreen production, he<br />

decided to test it out. After the first six trays he planted<br />

had been a success, he started increasing production.<br />

At this stage Melanie sold and distributed honey<br />

sourced from local farmers. “But the honey supply<br />

dropped drastically in recent years, so when I realised<br />

that Jan-Hendrik’s ‘hobby’ was turning out to be a great<br />

success, I decided to load my car with microgreens<br />

and go looking for a market. I approached fine dining<br />

restaurants in the <strong>Lowveld</strong> and after receiving our first<br />

orders, Bumblebee Organics was officially on track.<br />

Today we supply around 10 restaurants and a few<br />

supermarkets in the area,” she smiles.<br />

Far from being just a garnish, microgreens are classified<br />

as a superfood and contain 40% more nutrition than<br />

vegetables. Benefits range from beet that promotes<br />

heart function, to radishes promoting digestion and<br />

weight loss, and sunflowers aiding cellular recovery to<br />

assist with reducing ageing. The colourful leaves pack<br />

a punch in terms of flavour and can be used in salads,<br />

as a tasty snack or added to a range of dishes to add

freshness and flavour.<br />

Since the microgreens are harvested<br />

at a young age after only a few days’<br />

growth, the crop obtains all of its<br />

nutrients from the seed and are<br />

harvested before they get to a<br />

point where they need a further<br />

boost. They also don’t require any<br />

fertilisers or pest control, resulting in<br />

an organic crop.<br />

Jan-Hendrik is responsible for the<br />

production and notes that the good<br />

thing about farming microgreens is<br />

that the cycle is quick, so you learn<br />

faster. “If you make a mistake this<br />

week, you can fix it next week, which<br />

makes it an ideal crop for first-time<br />

farmers like Melanie and I.”<br />

The microgreens are produced in<br />

a simple but effective greenhouse<br />

that Jan-Hendrik constructed<br />

adjacent to their house. The whole<br />

greenhouse is five metres in length<br />

and two-and-a-half metres wide.<br />

He explains that different microgreens<br />

require different temperatures<br />

for optimal growth, with sunflowers<br />

needing warmer temperatures. “The<br />

Sabie climate has worked out well for<br />

microgreen production. In summer<br />

it averages between 27°C and 32°C<br />

with high humidity.<br />

“Winter averages 17°C in the day with<br />

minimums as low as -1°C. We do get<br />

frost, but with the greenhouse we<br />

can close the sides so the frost does<br />

not affect the crop. They grow slower<br />

in winter so we shift our harvest on<br />

with about two days.”<br />

The microgreens are harvested and<br />

delivered to clients once a week, with<br />

Melanie handling the bulk of the sales<br />

and marketing. She says much of her<br />

and Jan-Hendriks’ time is spent trying<br />

different things out to see what works<br />

best. “Much of what we are doing is<br />

in test phase, and we have various<br />

different projects on the go to see<br />

how we can optimise production.”<br />

They are currently in the process<br />

of certifying the crop as organic, so<br />

that they can supply a wider range<br />

of supermarkets and reassure their<br />

customers that the microgreens are<br />

produced correctly.<br />

Melanie says, however, that for the<br />

market to grow, consumer education<br />

is needed on the benefits and uses<br />

of microgreens. “As Jan-Hendrik and<br />

I continue to dream, we are positive<br />

about the future of Bumblebee<br />

Organics, and with so many new<br />

plans, I believe we will go from<br />

strength to strength.”<br />

Details<br />

info@bumblebeeorganics.co.za<br />

Jan-Hendrik and Melanie du Plessis<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> Get It <strong>Lowveld</strong> 21

Chick on the wire - Len Verdorn<br />

Coming<br />

home to roost<br />

22 Get It <strong>Lowveld</strong> <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>

Famous for its quirky<br />

creations, the <strong>Lowveld</strong>’s<br />

annual Chicken Challenge<br />

really does put the funky<br />

into "funky chicken". Hip,<br />

trendy and wonderfully<br />

creative, these chickens<br />

are works of art.<br />


The initiative is now<br />

in its sixth year and is<br />

part of the fundraising<br />

effort in support of<br />

Hands at Work in<br />

Africa, a non-profit<br />

organisation based in<br />

Mbombela, that assists orphaned and<br />

vulnerable children in southern Africa.<br />

“In its founding year, 2014, the Chicken<br />

Challenge had 67 chickens on display,<br />

generating around R30 000. Since<br />

then, it has gone from strength to<br />

strength, with 101 chickens auctioned<br />

last year, raising R83 126 for Hands at<br />

Work in Africa,” says Reinette Fourie,<br />

Chicken Challenge founder and<br />

Mbombela-based artist.<br />

Reinette, who developed the<br />

challenge with Karin Daymond<br />

and Marlize Meyer, says its defining<br />

Thembi Nkosi<br />

moment is its professional<br />

online auction of the uniquely<br />

decorated chickens. All the<br />

proceeds are donated to Hands<br />

at Work in Africa. The 3D stylised<br />

The rough beast’s time has come - Peruda Florit and Reinette Fourie<br />

chicken-shaped canvas was inspired<br />

by Polish sculptor, Dariusz J Nowak,<br />

and provides the perfect vehicle for<br />

artistic expression and interpretation.<br />

The only people involved in the<br />

Chicken Challenge who are paid<br />

are the two crafters who make<br />

the canvases, Thembi Nkosi and<br />

Nhlanhla Mabunda. Other than that,<br />

it is organised and facilitated by<br />

volunteers and expenses are carried<br />

by donors and corporate sponsors.<br />

Both of these crafters were trained by<br />

Reinette, who studied graphic design<br />

but worked mostly in puppeteering<br />

and developing craft products.<br />

Nhlanhla started making chickens in<br />

2014 and Thembi joined him soon<br />

after. They have made about 800<br />

canvases to date.<br />

“Thembi excels as a master<br />

crafter and is now responsible for<br />

creating most of the canvases,”<br />

says Reinette. “She lives in Mpakeni,<br />

near Mbombela, and works for<br />

Siphamandla, a home-based care<br />

organisation, in the mornings. She<br />

creates the chicken canvases in the<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> Get It <strong>Lowveld</strong> 23

Hope springs eternal - Karen Krumm<br />

afternoons. She is skilled, meticulous<br />

and efficient - her creations now<br />

take her less than an hour to make,<br />

from start (tearing up egg boxes)<br />

to completion. Her equipment is<br />

modest - a table, wooden mortar<br />

and pestle (usually for maize) and a<br />

handful of ordinary kitchen utensils.<br />

She uses a coffee tin on an open fire<br />

to boil the Maizena corn flour glue.”<br />

Thembi has honed her skills over the<br />

years and has chicken canvas-making<br />

down to a fine art. “They are exquisite<br />

works in themselves - perfectly<br />

executed every time,” Reinette smiles.<br />

Shelter - Solinde du Plessis<br />

All the<br />

proceeds are<br />

donated to<br />

Hands at Work<br />

in Africa<br />

Hands at Work in Africa<br />

The organisation is active across<br />

eight African countries, in more than<br />

60 communities, serving villages and<br />

slums and helping the poorest of<br />

the poor.<br />

“Burdened by the effects of HIV and<br />

Aids, as well as extreme poverty and<br />

low or non-existent infrastructure,<br />

orphans and vulnerable children in<br />

these communities are in dire need<br />

of help,” says Reinette, whose focus<br />

for the past six years has been on<br />

raising funds for charity through<br />

Untitled - Danielle Janse van Rensburg<br />

Chicken dreams - Barry Wasserman<br />

24 Get It <strong>Lowveld</strong> <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>

artwork. “Hands at Work in Africa<br />

mobilises and equips local men<br />

and women in these communities<br />

to care for the most vulnerable<br />

children around them,” she adds.<br />

The organisation’s goal is to create<br />

locally owned life centres in these<br />

communities - places of refuge that<br />

leave a community strengthened<br />

and sustained for the future.<br />

How to participate<br />

Purchase your chicken canvas<br />

for R180 from Mopani Pharmacy<br />

(White River or Crossing Centre,<br />

Mbombela) or online at<br />

www.chickenchallenge.co.za.<br />

Transform it into a work of art<br />

and drop it off at either of the<br />

participating Mopani pharmacies<br />

by the submission date of May 15.<br />

Details<br />

Visit The Chicken Challenge and<br />

<strong>Lowveld</strong> Chicken Challenge on<br />

Facebook.<br />

Clothed in splendour<br />

- Carol Strydom<br />

The feathered friends<br />

- Kathy Jay<br />

Make sure that when<br />

this year’s online auction<br />

comes around, you<br />

are ready to bid on the<br />

perfect chicken to take<br />

home. It takes place<br />

from June 26 to July<br />

26, so pen the dates in<br />

your diary now. A select<br />

number of chickens<br />

will also be exhibited<br />

at White River Gallery,<br />

from July 11 to 26, and<br />

members of the public<br />

are invited to visit the<br />

gallery to see which<br />

chicken they want to<br />

bring home to roost.<br />

The Lord’s sunshine - Rachel Guthrie<br />

Past mile - Anneke Ritter<br />

Antipodean traveller - Tabita Sales<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> Get It <strong>Lowveld</strong> 25

C<br />

reative<br />

creations<br />

Text and photographer: MATTHYS FERREIRA<br />

The Concrete and Garden Creations' entrance is decorated<br />

with multiple award certificates, and once the sound<br />

of the many water features reaches your ears, your body<br />

rhythm slows down - as if on cue from nature herself.<br />

"We want to create a space - a sanctuary even - where<br />

people can really and truly, if they so wish, just slow down.<br />

This is our everyday experience. It has returned a wonderful<br />

sense of peace and softness to all of us who work here,"<br />

says owner Claudia Boshoff. “We love plants, people and to<br />

create beauty.”<br />

The idea for this award-winning enterprise came about<br />

after Claudia left the employ of the post office some years<br />

ago. Hubby Piet owned a brickmaking business in<br />

Barberton. Cement - bricks - pots? The can’t-sit-still Claudia<br />

had a light-bulb moment and, well, the rest is history.<br />

She started with making pots first. This was in 1998. In 2004<br />

they moved to Nelspruit, bought this land and started the<br />

business. They added the gift shop in 2006 and the nursery<br />

in 2008.<br />

It was a steep learning curve, though. But, says Claudia,<br />

“I have wonderful, knowledgeable, experienced and<br />

passionate-about-nature-and-plants staff, and if we are not<br />

planting, we are making friends. Yes, friends - many friends<br />

- Mbombela is still platteland, you know!”<br />

To stimulate and encourage creativity and learning, she<br />

presents her staff with themed garden challenges. These<br />

create powerful visual contrasts and delights as you<br />

browse your way through the garden centre. If you have<br />

an interest in DIY, up- and down-cycling, pot gardening<br />

and more, you may well be overstimulated when you<br />

reach the till point.<br />

“With budgets being tight, we want to supply quality<br />

products that will not cost you your grandmother. We will,<br />

however, not sell that which we are not prepared to use or<br />

suggest to our customers.<br />

“The awards that we have won thus far, confirm and<br />

illustrate our total commitment and passion for what we<br />

do. The economy is tough, so we will consolidate what we<br />

have and concentrate more on presenting workshops to<br />

empower people to become creative gardeners and doers<br />

of beautiful things.<br />

“We feed off good responses from our customers and this<br />

helps us to create delight. This environment creates<br />

mindfulness and we encourage people to design<br />

water-friendly gardens so as to stay close to nature. And<br />

besides - gardening heals and plants teach patience.”<br />

26 Get It <strong>Lowveld</strong> <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>

The whole family are now involved with the business. Piet is responsible for the<br />

concrete and pots department, Reinier for customer service and marketing, and<br />

daughter Vanessa for admin and then some.<br />

If you or your garden need some TLC and grounding, Claudia “No Brakes”<br />

Boshoff and her team will introduce you to a range of plants and more that will<br />

be good for your garden, wallet and soul.<br />

Also, watch this space because Get It and Concrete and Garden Creations are<br />

about to share some rewarding ideas and DIY projects with you over the<br />

coming months.<br />

Tel: 013-745-8386 or 082-375-4501<br />

CO1213NE<br />

The Concrete Creations team<br />

Some wise words from the staff:<br />

Joseph Nkuna<br />

“I have been a gardener from when I was little. The knowledge I have<br />

gained over many years has nurtured and matured this love, and I<br />

always encourage customers to care for nature and especially our<br />

indigenous plants. My favourite plant is the spekboom.”<br />

Daisy Mbokane<br />

“My mum worked in a nursery. I started working there during school<br />

holidays and progressed to full-time employment, and I have never<br />

regretted following this journey. I started with propagating cycads<br />

and seeds. Later I did landscaping. As a team, we have established a<br />

beautiful garden space that nourishes the soul.”<br />

We conclude with some food for thought on plants and humans by Mokokoma<br />

Mokhonoana: “Plants are more courageous than almost all human beings. An<br />

orange tree would rather die than produce lemons, whereas instead of dying,<br />

the average person would rather be someone they are not.”<br />



• Concrete products • Gift shop<br />

• Chalk paint / Stencils and workshops<br />

• Garden Centre: plants and garden<br />

décor • Tea garden and space for small<br />

functions, children’s parties, etc<br />

Open 7 days per week<br />

Monday to Friday: 07:00-16:30<br />

Saturday: 07:00-14:00<br />

Sundays and Public holidays : 08:00-13:00<br />

Entrance 25, R40 Barberton Road, Nelspruit<br />


Greendecor<br />

Rediscover the beauty and benefits of indoor<br />

plants. Plants are natural living decor, bringing<br />

a room to life, changing the mood, and adding<br />

colour and texture. They are also good for us, by<br />

cleaning the air and helping us to relax. Here’s<br />

how to use indoor plants to create a beautiful,<br />

tranquil space.<br />

Indoor elegance<br />

There is nothing more graceful<br />

or elegant than Phalaenopsis<br />

(moth orchid). Grow plants<br />

in glass containers to display<br />

the roots. Plants flower for up<br />

to three months and are easy to<br />

care for. They need strong, bright<br />

indirect light, and high humidity for<br />

the best growth and flowers. Drop<br />

two ice cubes on the top<br />

of the plant once a week;<br />

this will supply enough<br />

water. Alternatively, run water<br />

through the potting mix for one<br />

minute every three to 10 days,<br />

depending on the season.<br />

28 Get It <strong>Lowveld</strong> <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong><br />

Indestructible anthuriums<br />

You don’t need green fingers to keep<br />

anthuriums alive. They last indoors for many<br />

years, needing bright indirect light in a warm<br />

room. Let the soil dry out slightly between<br />

watering and don’t let the plant stand in water.<br />

There are large as well as dwarf varieties in<br />

a great colour range from dark red/black, to<br />

salmon, pink, yellow, shades of red and white as<br />

well as bicolours.

Good for beginners<br />

Sansevieria “golden futura” always looks<br />

elegant, doesn’t wilt, and doesn’t take<br />

up much space, which is why it has<br />

become such a popular indoor plant<br />

with interior designers. It is happy in a<br />

well-lit room or home office, and only<br />

needs watering when the potting mix<br />

feels dry.<br />

Peace in the home<br />

The peace lily (Spathiphyllum) not<br />

only removes certain household<br />

toxins but also filters unpleasant<br />

odours and produces clean<br />

oxygen. This compact, well-shaped<br />

plant fits into any decor style.<br />

Needing only low light to grow,<br />

it’s ideal for bathrooms, bedrooms<br />

and kitchens. Water once a week,<br />

and don’t overwater. It is sensitive<br />

to cold.<br />

The dark side<br />

ZZ plant (Zamioculcas)<br />

grows just about anywhere,<br />

including in areas of low light,<br />

although it does better in<br />

brighter light. It is also valued<br />

for its air-purifying qualities.<br />

Plants can survive an amazing<br />

amount of neglect, because<br />

they need very little water,<br />

especially if grown in low<br />

light. Let the soil dry out<br />

between watering. A spritz<br />

of water on the leaves helps<br />

with humidity and removes<br />

dust. Give them a liquid feed<br />

once in spring and again in<br />

summer.<br />

Trending trees<br />

Indoor trees are the hottest trend in<br />

interior scaping. Weeping fig (Ficus<br />

benjamina) is a popular indoor tree,<br />

growing up to 2m, with arching<br />

stems and glossy green leaves. Good<br />

for a light corner, on either side of<br />

a window, well-lit passage or patio.<br />

Plants need moderate watering,<br />

and liquid fertiliser once a month<br />

in summer. Spritz the leaves to<br />

keep them dust-free. Light green<br />

leaves indicate a lack of nutrition.<br />

Leaf drop may be caused by underor<br />

overwatering or a change in<br />

temperature.<br />

Tips for indoor plants<br />

• Don’t overwater. More plants<br />

die from overwatering than<br />

underwatering.<br />

• Keep plants away from direct<br />

sunlight. Most do well with bright,<br />

indirect light.<br />

• Keep plants out of draughts and<br />

away from heaters in winter.<br />

• Don’t let pots stand in water, as the<br />

roots will rot. Rather place the pot on<br />

a bed of pebbles, so that the water is<br />

away from the base.<br />

• Spritz or wipe the leaves every now<br />

and them to improve humidity and<br />

remove dust from the leaves.<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> Get It <strong>Lowveld</strong> 29

Mysterious sightings in Knysna. Exploring the Kruger<br />

National Park. We do live in a marvellous country.<br />

Of Otangs<br />

and Apps<br />

Compiled by KYM ARGO<br />

It’s like having a game ranger in your pocket...<br />

try the amazing KrugerExplorer App<br />

Regular readers know how much we love a bush escape... and we’ve<br />

just discovered the ultimate App for visitors to the Kruger National Park.<br />

KrugerExplorer contains a massive amount of info... it’s like having your own,<br />

private, very knowledgeable guide (with all the insider secrets guides seem<br />

to know) in your pocket. This field guide has hundreds of details you need...<br />

from animal profiles (did you know the civet is semi-dependent on water, so<br />

if you want to see one you need to look near a reliable water source?) to selfdrive<br />

routes (more than 70 of them, so you won’t hit the same dirt road twice),<br />

new accurate and up-to-date maps of the park and so much more. There’s<br />

info on mammals and birds, reptiles and<br />

invertebrates, on the flora and ecozones<br />

you’ll experience in the park. The routes<br />

include those for camps which are<br />

useful for overnight visitors, as well as<br />

routes more suitable for day visitors.<br />

With more than 400 high-res images,<br />

and 300 000 words of content, this<br />

App is perfect for using while in the<br />

reserve, as well as for planning before<br />

you leave home. It’s also marvellously<br />

educational... so great for kids. The<br />

App was created by Danny Broome<br />

and Charlotte Kirke, who are from<br />

the UK but have a love of Africa in<br />

general and the Kruger in particular.<br />

“We’re very conscious that part of<br />

the wonderful experience of the<br />

Kruger is escaping the bustle and<br />

stresses of life - and for many people<br />

this means being offline. Ensuring<br />

the App works completely offline<br />

once downloaded adds a 21st<br />

century polish to a Kruger visit,<br />

while not impacting the bush<br />

escape experience,” they say. The<br />

KrugerExplorer App is available<br />

for mobile and tablet devices and<br />

can be downloaded from the App<br />

Store and Google Play. Details:<br />

krugerexplorer.com.<br />

30 Get It <strong>Lowveld</strong> <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong><br />

“Otangs” in the<br />

Knysna forests<br />

Possibly best known for his work<br />

on African lions, environmentalist<br />

and independent wildlife researcher<br />

Gareth Patterson has spent more<br />

than quarter of a century working on<br />

the protection of our wildlife.<br />

He’s author of more than 10 books...<br />

including The Secret Elephants, a<br />

culmination of many years of research<br />

into the secretive Knysna elephants.<br />

The recently released Beyond the<br />

Secret Elephants continues this story,<br />

but also reveals his startling discovery<br />

of a much more mysterious being<br />

than the elephants - a relict hominoid<br />

known to the indigenous forest<br />

people as the Otang.<br />

The possible existence of relict<br />

hominoids is gaining momentum<br />

worldwide with ongoing research<br />

into Bigfoot in North America, the<br />

Yeti in the Himalayas and the Orang<br />

Pendek in Sumatra, and eminent<br />

conservationists and scientists -<br />

Dr Jane Goodall, Dr George Schaller<br />

and Prof Jeff Meldrum - have said<br />

they’re open-minded about their<br />

possible existence. Gareth has<br />

heard many accounts, which he’s<br />

documented in this new book... most<br />

of them, he says, were spontaneous<br />

and unprompted. Fascinating - an<br />

exceptional natural history book<br />

(also available as an e-book). Tracey<br />

McDonald Publishers, R270.




Four years ago, Get It<br />

visited Annel Strydom to<br />

find out more about the<br />

challenges of caring for<br />

a spina bifida child. We<br />

loved Annel’s positive<br />

spirit and can-do attitude,<br />

and when we found out<br />

how much further this<br />

feisty and inspirational<br />

family of four have come<br />

since then, we decided to<br />

catch up with them and<br />

find out for ourselves.<br />

Reuben, Annel, Tertius and Anika Strydom during their five-week sit<br />

in Mauritius<br />


Annel and her husband, Tertius,<br />

of Mbombela are just like any<br />

other family, but with a few small<br />

differences. Their first daughter, Anika,<br />

was born with undiagnosed spina<br />

bifida in 2010.<br />

“As a result, Anika has been to the<br />

operating theatre 28 times in her<br />

young life for back, foot and brain<br />

operations, and is a wheelchair<br />

user,” says Annel. Their second<br />

daughter, Esti, was born in 2012 with<br />

hypoplastic left-heart syndrome, and<br />

sadly only lived for 36 hours. In 2015<br />

the family was blessed with Reuben, a<br />

healthy, busy little boy.<br />

Life, as always, carries on, and in 2017,<br />

the Strydoms decided it was time for<br />

change. They sold their company,<br />

started online businesses (courses<br />

and products), and then, they hit the<br />

road. For nearly two years, this family<br />

32 Get It <strong>Lowveld</strong> <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong><br />

of four have been travelling - full-time<br />

- around the world. Their somewhat<br />

unusual nomadic way of life seems to<br />

fit this happy family perfectly. “Some<br />

doors in our lives closed and others<br />

opened,” smiles Annel, “enabling<br />

us to travel as a family and share<br />

testimony of Anika, living a full and<br />

happy life amid challenges,” she says.<br />

”My daughter has overcome so many<br />

obstacles and achieved so much<br />

more than what doctors prepared<br />

us for at birth. And that’s why we’re<br />

doing what we’re doing. We just<br />

knew that we had to share our story<br />

of hope with the rest of the world.<br />

“Tertius and I have always loved<br />

travelling, and to combine family life,<br />

ministry, work and school for this<br />

season of our lives was the perfect<br />

option, well, with one exception,<br />

budget! To travel, especially abroad,<br />

is expensive. So, we looked at several<br />

options and found a way to make it<br />

work. The answer to our predicament<br />

was house-sitting.”<br />

There are a number of different<br />

house-sitting websites where you<br />

register a profile and apply for<br />

advertised house-sits all over the<br />

world. The owners then work through<br />

all the applications and appoint a<br />

house-sitter to look after their home,<br />

and sometimes pets, while they are<br />

away on vacation or business trips.<br />

“It’s a win-win situation for both<br />

parties,” says Annel. “The owner can<br />

rest assured that everything at home<br />

is taken care of, while the housesitters<br />

can stay for free (sometimes it<br />

even includes the use of a car) while<br />

staying in someone’s house instead<br />

of a hotel room.” The family initially<br />

started with a three-month trip to

Europe. “We did house-sits in France<br />

and Belgium, which worked well for<br />

us, and after three months in Europe<br />

we didn’t feel that the time was right<br />

to settle down again. There were<br />

more places to go, more people to<br />

meet. Now, we’re at almost two years<br />

and counting!” she laughs.<br />

Up until quite recently, the Strydoms<br />

had house-sat in France, Belgium,<br />

Mauritius, Luxembourg, Ireland and<br />

in the United States of America (New<br />

York, New Hampshire, Rhode Island,<br />

Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia<br />

and Texas), and can’t wait to do a<br />

few in South Africa. “Every day is an<br />

adventure. When we stayed in France,<br />

‘We’ve met<br />

amazing folks<br />

along the way<br />

and made<br />

friends for life’<br />

Wandering the streets in France. Europe is still one of their most loved<br />

destinations, with Ireland being their favourite so far!<br />

we stayed next to a chateaux, which<br />

belongs to the winemakers in the<br />

area, for nine weeks and made friends<br />

with the owners. They invited us over<br />

to plant merlot vines with them, and<br />

we even helped to mix a new blend<br />

of wine!<br />

“People blessed us with homecooked<br />

dinners, local treats, toys,<br />

and even warm winter jackets for the<br />

kids when we had an unexpected<br />

snowstorm in Michigan.”<br />

Anika loves the wayfaring. An<br />

adventurous girl, she is always willing<br />

to try something new. She went<br />

kayaking on the Dordogne River,<br />

bum boarding and dog sledding in<br />

the South of France, snorkelled in the<br />

deep sea in Mauritius, experienced<br />

her first-ever wheelchair basketball<br />

match and sled hockey in America.<br />

She even attended school with<br />

newfound friends in Luxembourg<br />

and America.<br />

“Even though the places and usual<br />

tourist attractions like the Eiffel<br />

Tower, Disneyland Paris, the Statue<br />

<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> Get It <strong>Lowveld</strong> 33

Anika bundled up warmly<br />

An adventurous girl, Anika<br />

is always willing to try<br />

something new<br />

Disneyland was definitely one of the highlights for Anika<br />

of Liberty and Times Square in NYC and<br />

much more have been amazing, the best<br />

part of our travels have turned out to be<br />

more about the people, not so much the<br />

places. We’ve met amazing folks along the<br />

way and made friends for life. It amazes<br />

us how individuals all over the world are<br />

inherently kind.”<br />

The Strydoms share their story through<br />

play dates and dinners with locals,<br />

chats with people while queuing at the<br />

supermarket and having conversations<br />

with strangers on the subway or bus.<br />

They stick to the children’s tried-andtested<br />

routines as far as possible, and<br />

always take some of their special toys,<br />

pillowcases, books and soft toys with<br />

wherever they go. “We try to live a normal,<br />

day-to-day life. We work and do schooling<br />

on most days, and choose special days to<br />

go out and explore.”<br />

Tertius and Annel have also found a way<br />

to combine their skills and passions to<br />

create online courses about topics they<br />

love and have dealt with themselves.<br />

Topics they’ve covered include housesitting,<br />

reclaiming your joy after emotional<br />

trauma, travelling with confidence, and<br />

taking the trauma out of travel for young<br />

children.<br />

“Obviously, the journey does have its<br />

challenges too,” muses Annel. “Living out<br />

of suitcases limits the number of things<br />

we own at this stage, but that has made<br />

us realise that we don’t need that many<br />

things! It’s also challenging to work, play,<br />

homeschool and live in the same space...<br />

especially with a busy four-year-old.<br />

We’ve learnt to think twice before buying<br />

anything, as our South African currency is<br />

very weak against the Euro and US dollar.<br />

We’ve become much better at shopping<br />

for bargains than we used to be! Also,<br />

the language barrier can sometimes be<br />

problematic, especially in France - thank<br />

goodness for Google Translate.”<br />

The family have also had to learn to<br />

adapt their eating habits to the area<br />

they are in. “When you eat like the locals,<br />

you tend to spend less,” Annel says. “In<br />

France for instance, milk, yogurt, cheese,<br />

cold meats and cream were very cheap.<br />

In Ireland and some areas in the USA,<br />

we could afford red meat and in France<br />

and the USA chicken is much cheaper<br />

than in South Africa. We’ve made our<br />

own boerewors and we love to spoil the<br />

locals with milk tart, braaibroodjies, malva<br />

pudding and bobotie. The lamb, however,<br />

34 Get It <strong>Lowveld</strong> <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>

will have to wait till we’re home. And yes, home is still and<br />

always will be the <strong>Lowveld</strong>!<br />

“We really miss our friends and family. We make friends<br />

wherever we go, but always look forward to going home<br />

to the people we love. Luckily, we need to return to South<br />

Africa every three to six months to apply for and renew<br />

tourist visas, so we get to see the friends, family and<br />

grandparents whom we love and miss so much. We have a<br />

wonderful support network in Mbombela, which enables us<br />

to have alone time whenever we need it. While we’re abroad,<br />

we’re with each other and the kids 24/7. Even though we<br />

love spending time together as a family, I think all of us will<br />

appreciate a bit of a break from one another when we get<br />

back!” she laughs, but with a definite twinkle in her eye.<br />

“Obviously, we won’t be travelling nomads forever, and<br />

we’ll settle again. But we’re thankful for this adventure and<br />

the precious memories we’ll get to cherish forever. The<br />

journey has taught us so much about life, about what really<br />

is important, about one another, about adapting to change,<br />

about facing challenges, about choosing joy after emotional<br />

trauma, having faith, and making the best of your situation -<br />

every single day.”<br />

Details: Follow The Unconventional Family on Facebook.<br />

Annel and Anika also write children’s books about animal<br />

characters with special needs and challenges, called the<br />

Okey-Dokey Series. The books are available on Annel’s blog,<br />

Divinely Different, on Facebook.<br />

Many years ago in Mozambique. The couple have<br />

always had itchy feet.<br />


LET’S EAT <strong>2020</strong><br />

Let’s<br />

eat<br />

36 Get It <strong>Lowveld</strong> <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>

LET’S EAT <strong>2020</strong><br />

Beyond<br />

the boundaries of taste<br />

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<strong>2020</strong>/03/10 12:11:12 PM<br />

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<strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong> Get It <strong>Lowveld</strong> 37<br />

FE0113NE.indd 1 <strong>2020</strong>/03/10 12:19:05<br />


LET’S EAT <strong>2020</strong><br />


Chemicals, along with loads more.<br />

The famous little nut shop, so<br />

well-known to the local community<br />

and travellers from all around the<br />

country, is moving again.<br />

Ambassador Foods, a well-known<br />

business in White River that has<br />

supplied top-quality dried nut and fruit<br />

products to the South African retail<br />

market for the past 30 years, is now<br />

part of the Libstar group of companies.<br />

With a new sense of adventure, the<br />

renowned nut factory shop will<br />

integrate products from the group of<br />

companies, delivering a wider range<br />

of goods to its loyal factory shop<br />

customers.<br />

Consumers will have access to a<br />

much wider range of products, not<br />

just their favourite fruit, nuts and<br />

granolas. They will stock brands such<br />

as Lancewood, Cape Herb and Spice,<br />

Khoisan tea, Denny Mushrooms, Cari<br />

rusks, Montague’s famous condiments,<br />

household cleaning liquids from Chet<br />

According to Lorraine Kruger,<br />

Ambassador Foods’ key account<br />

manager, the new shop will be<br />

home to around 400 products, which<br />

come directly from the factories that<br />

manufacture them, and customers<br />

will be spoilt for choice when it comes<br />

to filling their baskets. Ambassadors<br />

wants to make sure that its loyal<br />

clients continue to experience an<br />

enjoyable shopping experience, just<br />

as they always have.<br />

The new shop will be open to the<br />

public on <strong>April</strong> 3, at Bahati Centre,<br />

on the corner of the R40/Sabie Road<br />

turn-off. Many of the new products<br />

will also be made available online<br />

(factoryshoponline.co.za).<br />

Ambassadors will continue to<br />

welcome bulk buying from restaurants<br />

and local businesses. Pop in and<br />

pay the shop a visit. You will be sure to<br />

come away with a full bag of goodies!<br />

RM-AM03113NE<br />

RM-AM03113NE<br />


LET’S EAT <strong>2020</strong><br />


River Grove Restaurant is the latest from the thriving Greenway Woods,<br />

which also boasts ATOWA as part of its stable. Conveniently situated,<br />

River Grove is attached to the hotel, and its spacious interior can<br />

accommodate up to 120 people, both inside and out. Outside seating<br />

is situated on the deck area and overlooks the beautiful gardens.<br />

While the menu has a fairly South African slant (you can order<br />

braaibroojies as a starter) and there are a number of traditional<br />

favourites, such as eisbein, grilled chicken and a variety of burgers,<br />

starters and salads, River Grove’s speciality is pizza, of which it sports<br />

quite a few variants.<br />

You can order the Bushveld; which includes<br />

riblets, pineapple chutney, sweet peppers and<br />

barbecue; or perhaps try the Inkhukhu; which<br />

consists of grilled chicken with peri peri, chorizo,<br />

peppers and tomato; and the GWW is butternut,<br />

grilled cheese and rocket. The Afrikana is a<br />

favourite, with boerewors, grilled onion, crushed<br />

tomato and mustard mayo.<br />

River Grove is open seven days a week, from<br />

breakfast to dinner, and locals are welcome!<br />


LET’S EAT <strong>2020</strong><br />

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LET’S EAT <strong>2020</strong><br />

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Spoil<br />

<strong>April</strong><br />

This month we’re all about looking more<br />

radiant, with firmer skin and fewer visible fine<br />

lines. Which is why we’re raving about the<br />

new Clarins Double Serum. This complete<br />

age-control concentrate includes a whopping<br />

21 active plant extracts - including new star<br />

ingredient turmeric, known for its exceptional<br />

anti-ageing properties. Formulated to help<br />

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signs of skin ageing... you’ll find your skin<br />

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To be in the draw, simply visit our Facebook<br />

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Entries close on <strong>April</strong> 24.<br />

48 Get It <strong>Lowveld</strong> <strong>April</strong> <strong>2020</strong>



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