Nelson Mandela (and so many more South African heroes) fought for the freedom of this country from the cruel grip of Apartheid. We have his spirit and generosity to thank for giving us a reminder to give back on his birthday every year, 18 July. This is a global call to action celebrating the idea that everyone has the power to make a difference. The Mandela Day campaign message is “Nelson Mandela fought for social justice for 67 years. We’re asking you to start with 67 minutes.”
At Pauli’s Food Co, we were so lucky to have two MBA students from IE University, Madrid, Spain, join us during July. We decided to cook a hearty meal for a small day care centre in Diepsloot, Johannesburg, with our dear friend, Owen from Diep Organics. Owen supplies many Early Childhood Developments Centres in Diepsloot with organic vegetables twice a week – to make sure that these children get the nutrients they need to learn and grow.
Our Pauli’s team cooked a beautiful mince stew, using our healthy Tomali (Tomato Relish) and Anytime Brinjals & Peppers, with rice and Chakalaka. While our team cooked, others of us played games with these young children. I felt so overwhelmed when we walked into their school – I thought that we could play soccer and do activities with skipping ropes – but when we entered their room – there were over 30 children in a tiny room with no outside area to play. Their space is so limited, yet they were so happy for us to be there – and their teachers were engaging and welcoming.
Mandela Day is a chance to give back to our communities and celebrate all that he achieved. And while there is still so much poverty and lack of infrastructure in South Africa – I am grateful to our amazing Pauli’s Team who are always so willing to cook healthy, beautiful food and share it with so many. Thank you Madiba, thank you to the amazing people of Pauli’s Food Co; to Owen at Diep Organics and to Vandita and Cara from IE University. You helped us make this day special to a group of young, inspired children – the future of South Africa.