It is the end of a year that has felt part survival guide, part fiction. A dense stagnant fog seemed to dare one to gain any real traction in 2016. Although not all doom and gloom. Our beautiful city saw an end to total control, by a local government that shamelessly looted her coffers. Adele continued to sing ‘Hello’ to us. We buoyed our spirits even further with bell sleeves and looser jeans. Ariana Huffington begged us to sleep more and Harper Lee left us with her final gift of ‘Go Set a Watchman’.
We have relished sharing snippets of who we are with you all this year. ‘Wonted’ can mean ‘sunk back into the quiet’, which is what we plan on doing for a few weeks, restoration is needed on all fronts.
We couldn’t think of a better way to end off our first year of blogging than a reminder of the power that is possible when we focus outwards and give of ourselves.
We recently had the honour of spending some time at ‘Dlala Nje’ a small community centre at the base of the iconic Ponte building. This grey tower that harbours the sunshine in its belly every afternoon. Over 60 children from surrounding streets crowd into this small, simple room. A bright mural offers much-needed cheer, excitable young boys jostle for a spot at the foosball table. Dlala Nje offers an invaluable safety net to vulnerable youth in the area. There is so much more that could be done here and the weight of the need in the area is overwhelming.
What strikes one more than the almost futuristic, sci-fi-like-contrast between wealth and poverty; is the joy that emanates from these children. Our collective future surely depends in part on fiercely protecting this next generation, in any way we can.
Donating your time is one of the most precious gifts you can give others and yourself. Organisations around the country will be putting in many long hours this festive season to get people through the holidays. Our visit to Dlala Nje was a stark reminder to us, to live in a state of gratitude. With empathy and awareness, not pity, let us all remember to not look away.
We will be back in 2017, hopefully, rested and definitely excited. Take a leaf from Ariana’s book and have a well-deserved nap, preferably in a hammock.
PHOTOS BY – DILLON DU PLESSIS