Help uphold the ban on dog racing in South Africa

The South African Government have tabled a proposal in the Government Gazette to reintroduce Dog Racing (GOVERNMENT GAZETTE (23 MAY 2014) NO 37653: DRAFT NATIONAL GAMBLING NORMS AND STANDARDS – GREYHOUND RACING). 

Standing against this is a no brainer. The animals are treated horrendously and a lot of them die or are “exposed of” before they even reach the race course. Please make your voice heard and write to Dear Mr Nkoatse Ernest Mashamaite (Fax number: 012 394 2054 E-mail: NEMashamaite@thedti.gov.za) making your objections clear. 

Dog racing has been illegal since 1949 and this should be upheld.

For more info visit

https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/mr-nkoatse-ernest-mashamaite-department-of-trade-and-industry-uphold-the-ban-on-dog-racing-in-south-Africa 

. You can even make your objection on-line by simply filling in the petition form. Please react as soon as possible as the deadline for public feedback is looming.

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Ballet with a purpose – here’s a Mandela Day Idea

I don’t normally write more than one entry a day but this story is too good to have wait.

Visit http://mg.co.za/multimedia/2014-06-11-ballet-on-vilikazi-street to view a slideshow which features the good work being done by the Jo’burg Ballet Development Programme. The story of how art and a safe place to practice this art can enrich children is simple and yet incredibly moving.

If you’re looking for something to do for Mandela Day then be in touch with them. They are in need of a bus, descent sound equipment and the girls could surely do with some new ballet clothing. These are obvious basics but I am sure they need more. You can contact Lindsay McDonald who is the PR person for the company (lindsay@joburgballet.com). You can also visit lindsay@joburgballet.com for more information on this important project.

SA Grub – Bunny Chow

As it gets colder and colder all I can think about is curry. An Indian curry with big chunks of meat and either a reddish or yellowish creamy sauce. I want the aromatic flavours to warm me up and make me happy from the inside. Food can do that.

Indian food is very popular in South Africa so you can get it about anywhere. You can choose any curry your heart desires and it will be served up in mild, hot or very hot. Delicious. But now, let me tell you about a truly South African invention involving curry: The Bunny Chow.

Why this parcel of meaty goodness is called a Bunny Chow is a bit of a mystery but I’m happy to say  it’s got nothing to do with bunnies. It would appear as if the word Bunny could be derived from the Hindu word for vendor/merchant banyā and chow means food. But, yeah, that’s all I’ve got to offer on the subject.

What’s important is what a Bunny Chow consists of: A half loaf of bread filled with a Durban curry cooked with either meat or beans. It’s your food and your bowl all in one. It’s steamy and aromatic, delicious and easy to take-away with you. It’s surmised that the use of the bread as a ‘bowl’ came from the need for workers to house their curry in an easy to carry and cheap way. It also helps that the bread fills any stomach gaps.

I specified a Durban curry because that is where the dish originated from. However, do note that a Durban curry is something all on its own as well. The Indian people in Durban like their food hotter than hot. A true Durban curry will blow your socks off and have even put Indians from Indian to shame. I don’t know where this trend originated from either but when you order a Bunny (as they’re commonly referred to) in Durban as for mild. It’s a little less authentic but at least you won’t be grabbing for the nearest beaker of milk halfway through your first bite.

Each Indian family has their own secret recipes for their various curries and no one makes better curry than your own mom so there are variations to a good Bunny Chow but as I’m sure you’re keen to make one try the following link:

http://www.picknpay.co.za/recipe-search-results/authentic-bunny-chow

Enjoy the steaming goodness.

 

Bunny Chow goodness from the Easter Food Bazaar in Cape Town
Bunny Chow goodness

bunny chow 2

What are you doing this Mandela Day?

As you probably know 18 July is annual Mandela Day. In case you don’t know, Mandela Day is an internationally celebrated day where people commit to spending 67 minutes helping others/doing charity work and just generally making the world a better place.

The sceptics will say that nothing is achieved in 67 minutes and that every day should be Mandela day. They are right that every day should be spent considering others and doing what you can to help your fellow man or animals and environments in need. Small things every day will make a big difference. However, this event has proven that just 67 minutes of commitment by enough people can make a huge difference to those in need. Especially if those 67 minutes are done in shifts by several groups across a whole day.

Working together 67 minutes can clean a whole neighbourhood, build several wendy houses, fill thousands of food packages, rally enough people to donate a lot of food and clothing and have a lot of puppies and their kennels washed.  The key is to make your 67 minutes meaningful and to work hard during this time.  Murals will be painted, vegetables gardens planted, children played with, libraries set up. All by you committing just 67 minutes of your time.

Mandela Day helps the needy but it also rallies communities and makes you feel good about yourself and the guy shovelling dirt next to you. It allows us to reconsider what’s important in life and how a little can go a long way. Mandela day gives hope to the desperate and makes them realise that other people do care and that all is not lost. A lot of Mandela Day projects empower people and their communities and so the results can be seen years into the future.

So, find a project that works for you. You can either think of your own or you can visit http://www.mandeladay.com/ where organisations are listing their ideas and want lists and you can just slot in with what they’re doing.

I’m starting early this year and have already committed to donating blankets to  Twitter Blanket Drive Africa  (@TBDAfrica), Volunteered to Santa Shoebox (www.santashoebox.co.za, @santashoebox)  and aim to give out 67 cups of coffee to street vendors and car guards on Mandela Day because I appreciate that they’re standing out in the cold to make an honest living). It’s that simple really.

Get involved no matter where you are in the world.  

SA Grub – Malva pudding

As winter finally descends on South Africa we’re all reaching for “winter warmer” food. One of these dishes is Malva Pudding. Which is a bowl of warm steamy perfection that makes you salivate at the end of a meal as it’s served up generously for dessert.

Malva pudding stems from the Dutch but it’s part of our heritage now and I’m mighty glad it is. Malva is a warm spongy pudding dripping with a warm custardy sauce which you normally pour on just before serving. It is indulgence by it’s very nature; there is so much sugar and cream in this dish the sheer look of it makes your cholesterol panic.

It’s best served with actual custard or ice-cream, because the more happiness you consume the better. Eat it warm and eat is with pleasure and have a second helping if the serving dish hasn’t been scraped clean by the time you go back. We only live once after all

Malva is South African in it’s warmth, it’s flavour and it’s generosity. My recipe is a closely guarded secret but hit the search engines and make your own tonight. You will be all the happier for it