“I love the way my country can exasperate me one minute and leave me with tears of joy and pride five minutes later. Because when it counts, South Africans know how to pull together – I’ve seen it over and over again.” Verashni Pillay
by Steuart Pennington
“Looking at your socks Sir, you need some of these” said the rather enthusiastic minder of the ‘Sexy Socks’ stall at the Oranjezicht Farm Market, now located at the Waterfront promenade just below the 2010 World Cup Soccer Stadium.
“How so?” I enquired looking down at my rather drab footwear.
“Well first, everything we do is made out of recycled material, our socks are made out of bamboo, and for every pair you buy we give a pair to an underprivileged kid”.
Sexy Socks has a Social Mission “To provide every child in South Africa with a pair of socks to wear to school. For every pair of Sexy Socks bought, we’ll give a pair of school socks to a child in one of South Africa’s township schools. That is what Sexy Socks is all about – warm toes all round. ”
“R150.00 a pair, R425.00 for three”.
I bought three pairs.
Shortly thereafter we had lunch at Willoughby’s, when I received the bill there was space for:
“What’s the Apple-a-Day-Foundation?” I enquired.
“It’s an initiative we support to ensure that young underprivileged kids get better nutrition when they attend school, it’s hard to learn when you are hungry”, was the waitresses reply.
I read the pamphlet:
They walk to school
With broken shoes.
No pens, no books,
A life they didn’t choose.
Day in, day out,
Year after year.
Living in fear.
It’s time for change,
Let’s show that we care.
We have the means,
We just need to share.
And just like that
Apple-A-Day was founded.
To help learners in need,
And keep us grounded.
Your donations will go
To near and far away places.
Stationery, books, uniforms and kits,
Will bring smiles to their faces.
I was moved, I gave a small donation.
Driving back to Cape Town International I saw homeless people on the pavements, I saw an ugly poster on the ravages of gang violence, I saw a vitriolic political headline, I saw the shanty town right next to the highway.
I felt the oppressive anxiety of our social challenges.
But I felt a much stronger sense of hope.
South Africans care, ubuntu is alive and well.