South Africa: Surf Youth Programme Shifts Focus to Feeding the Hungry in Lockdown


South African surfers have been portrayed in a one-dimensional light during the Covid-19 pandemic. On the ground in Strandfontein, on the Cape Flats, the reality is far more inspiring.

Every morning at 5, Kaltoema Samodien gets up in the dark, brushes her teeth and washes her face. She prays, facing northeast, before having a cup of tea. Then she starts to cook.

Using an enormous steel pot, she mixes 10kg of maize meal and water that she brings to the boil on a gas cooker, using a wooden ladle to stir. It takes on average two hours to make the "pap porridge" that will go towards feeding 500 residents in her community of Strandfontein, many of them young children.

"The children depend on the porridge," says Samodien as she stirs, adding, "If I get tired, then I get my husband to stir the pot for me. It's a blessing for us to do it."

Elders from Masincedane dish out the morning meal to residents from funding from 9 Miles Project. (Photo: Alan van Gysen)

When the porridge is ready, husband Ederies stands out front in the sandy courtyard, cups his hands, and bellows "Pap! Pap! Pap!" as neighbours queue up...

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