Mandela Day is internationally recognised and is celebrated every 18 July, our former late president’s birthday. People are encouraged to devote 67 minutes of their time to help others and/or support their local community. The symbolism of the 67 minutes is one minute for every year our Tata Madiba spent fighting for the rights of humanity.
Our Mother City is known for her beautiful, yet temperamental weather. Capetonians are more accustomed to the heat rather than the cold; however over the last few years Cape Town has experienced snow. The iconic Table Mountain was covered by a powdery, white blanket of snow. Many braved the cold and made their way to the top, to experience these unusual icy conditions.
As the 20th of June made its annual appearance, so did the Winter Solstice. The longest night of 2014 is an evening that the people living on the streets of Cape Town dread – without food, warmth and shelter this night feels even longer.
Cape Town has provided me with 22 years of happiness, so I have decided that now it’s my time to give back to the Mother City. On this wintery Friday I had the privilege of providing Chicken Breyani, coffee and blankets to 1500 homeless people, to help prepare them for the long night ahead.
Volunteers gathered on the Grand Parade and gave their time and energy to bring smiles to the homeless community who were very grateful. I spent time with many of them; their positive outlook on life, despite having so little, is inspiring. After everyone ate, the volunteers and the less fortunate broke out into dance, in celebration of an incredible evening. Giving back to the community for a mere 2 hours on a Friday, was the most rewarding experience; I am looking forward to being a part of this cause for many years to come.
Matt O’ Sullivan, a friend of mine, enjoyed the experience just as much as I did and posted the most amazing status on Facebook: “Spent the evening feeding Cape Town’s hungry, cold and homeless. What an incredible energy transfer. Nothing like the smiles, happiness and pure warmth I felt while offering my energy. Left smiling ear to ear. Going to be doing a lot more of this. All it takes is the right mind-set and willingness to help during the tough times. Still a lot more to be done out there. “If everyone helps their neighbour, who will need help?” – I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Thank you to the volunteers, as well as, the organisers from Pick ‘n Pay and Mustadafin Foundation for providing their time, food and blankets. A special mention must be given to Lead SA, for giving Capetonians the opportunity to get involved with such a great cause.
There are so many incredible initiatives in Cape Town, needing willing volunteers. People of Cape Town: I urge you to give back to the Cape Town Community – you have nothing to lose and everything to gain! Another perfect activity to add to your #CPTBucketList.
I knew that one of my first posts on #CPTBucketList would have to inspire my fellow Capetonians to climb Lions Head. When I saw that @CityOfCapeTown posted that there will be an InstaWalk on Monday, 16 June – I knew that it was the perfect opportunity!
A few brave members of Cape Town’s Instagramming community met at the foot of Lions Head on a cold, misty morning on Youth Day. Shortly after 7am we started the 2195 ft. journey, leading us 669 meters above sea level with the hopes seeing sunrise through the clouds at 7:49.
We made our way up the fairly steep dirt track; luckily we were still able to see the beautiful city lights through the thick mist. The track later turns into a narrow trail which circles around the mountainside before the rocky section which is a steeper climb to the top. Around half way up there is an option to climb the rock face using chains and handles or to take the contour route around. After 45 minutes of brisk walking and many #InstaMoments later we reached the top of Lions Head.
With smiles on our faces, we had reached the summit – it is hard for all Capetonians not to have a patriotic moment with having a 360 degree view of the entire peninsula, with views of Cape Town CBD, Table Bay and the Atlantic Seaboard horizon extending as far as the eye can see. Submerged in the mist, the sunrise made a late but an impressive appearance, peeking is way through the heavy clouds with the rays of sunrise cast over the Mother City.
In true Capetonian fashion, selfies were taken, friends were made and views were captured. My choice of weapon for mass production is without a doubt a GoPro, Hero 3. Watch the time-lapse taken below of the mist passing over clouded Table Mountain taken by Craig Rhodes-Harrison.
We then made our way down, caution had to be observed due to the slippery rocks but otherwise the descent was an easy 30 minutes to the bottom. Due to the fog bank clearing, we were able to see breathtaking views of the Twelve Apostles; Camps Bay; Sea Point and Robben Island.
I strongly encourage the people of Cape Town to get involved in the next #LionsHeadWalk hosted by @CityOfCapeTown. I urge you to add climbing Lions Head to your #CPTBucketList – you won’t be disappointed!