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(Robin-Lee Francke, ANA)

CAPE TOWN, April 24 (ANA) – Residents of Tafelsig in Mitchells Plain on the Cape Flats stood in awe when Springbok captain Siya Kolisi visited the area on Thursday…

Kolisi and his wife, Rachel, were there to meet local community worker Joanie Fredericks, who heads up the Tafelsig Mitchells Plain CAN network – a food-banking organisation that distributes food to the less fortunate.

Joanie feeds roughly 9,000 people in her community daily.

“I didn’t tell any one of my members about Siya’s visit, I wanted to surprise them. I told them we just needed to go over certain technicalities,” she said.

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Joanie says Kolisi came to her home.

“He (Siya) came to my house. Whenever important people come to our area they’re usually hosted in the community halls instead of the home, where the real impact can be seen.

“When the gate opened, I heard people screaming and crying. One woman was saying: ‘Oh, Siya, my captain’. It was a nice touch,” Joanie said.



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Last Thursday, Rachel spoke to @heart1049fm about the work of the Kolisi Foundation and she touched on a project that would see us help 2 wonderful individuals who, long before the lockdown, were feeding those less fortunate – Lungi who is providing food to hundreds of households across Joe Slovo and Gugulethu and Jonie who is doing the same in Mitchells Plain. @foodloversmarket heard the story and offered their support immediately, donating product that will together help Lungi and Jonie feed 300+ people each over the next 2 months. Today, the Kolisi Foundation had the honour of delivering that product directly to these incredible ladies and thank them personally for the difference that they have been making to the community silently. They don’t do this for praise, they do it because it’s in their nature to help others. For further information and if you want to help go to @kolisi_foundation #Eachonefeedone

A post shared by Siya Kolisi (@siya_kolisi_the_bear) on


Food parcels handed over

Kolisi and Rachel did not arrive empty-handed; they brought much-needed food, vegetables and fruit for Joanie to distribute in her feeding programme.

“To me, it was so cool to see him coming to our community. He is such a nice and humble person, a gentle giant. So much so I had to fetch him out of the street.

“There really is nothing fake about him or Rachel. They are genuine human beings.

“He had no desire for publicity or anything; just true humbleness is all I could see.

“One could see there really is something real about this couple,” Joanie said.

She was pleasantly surprised by something Rachel said next

“As we were standing and talking, Rachel shocked me and told me this donation will be done on a weekly basis for our programme. This will not just be during this lockdown period, but even after.

“I was surprised, I didn’t even ask for that, but I am so grateful to the Kolisis for opening up their hearts like this to us,” Joanie said.

Joanie said she feels content knowing her work for her community is seen.

“If one day I should contract Covid-19 and die because of it, I will go out happy because I know I died serving my community,” Joanie said.

Kolisi promised to visit again after lockdown

Speaking to Joanie and her team members, Kolisi promised to visit the area again after lockdown to meet some of the residents.

“We saw Auntie Joanie’s video; someone sent it to me via email. We watched it and knew we had to come to this community. I am grateful to all of you and happy we as a family can give back.

“Whatever we’re bringing now will come every single week.

“I will definitely come back (to the community) after lockdown is over.

“I just want to say thank you to Auntie Joanie. Now that I have seen and met you, I can see you’re a strong woman and appreciate you all. I just see women power here,” Kolisi said.

Rachel added: “Really it is such an honour, all of you are the heroes at the end of the day. You were doing this even before the virus.

“The Kolisi Foundation is here to help and here to stay. We just want to honour all of you; we’re going to help you in the long run.

“Well done to all of you.”

Author: ANA Newswire