How the Braai & Potjie Festival came about

Raising Funds for & Highlighting the Plight of Abused Women & Children

How did this Event Come About.

Abused Women:

My sister was abducted and held against her will over the 2008 christmas period in South Africa. During her ordeal she was locked away, abused, tormented and subjected to a number of other unspeakable actions. Her two daughters were unfortunate to witness a few of these incidents and are still suffering from it. Living in a few different countries across the continents, the family suddenly lost contact with her and could not trace her whereabouts. 

I launched a search on Facebook appealing to any one if they knew of her whereabouts. Police where notified and a number of organizations where contacted. I managed to trace the whereabouts of her alleged abductor after 10 days of searching. Thankfully, I still have a large network of friends in south Africa. We did not yet have evidence of her presence. Progress was careful and slow from then with all the authorities involved, so that we did not endanger her safety any further. Shortly after this we had her returned safely to her home. Charges were lodge with the Police in a number of cities and towns covering a distance of over a 1000km through the Eastern Cape and Western Cape, from Port Alfred to Cape Town. Restraining orders and restrictions were also Served.

However, her safety could still not be guaranteed from her alleged abductor. I then launched a search for organizations and safe houses where my sister could be safe. This proved to be very frustration and difficult. I learnt that there are not many organizations or safe houses available for women who have been abused in South Africa. The assistance and facilities was also very limited. Where they could be found, they were all struggling to find funds. I was amazed and shocked to see how big a problem abuse against women was and how little attention or funding it receives. 

My sister is struggling on, through counseling, recovering from her physical and internal wounds. Her two daughters are also struggling on. Family and friends are supporting her along the way and helping the three of them to cope. Drawn out legal costs, medical bills etc etc have placed an extra burden on her and also the family. She is surviving along with her two daughters, dealing with up and down cycles. 

But there are many women out there who are not so lucky. Some don't get found in time. Some get stuck in a cycle of abuse and can't get out. Most of them don't know where to turn to or where to find help or advice. Most of them never get help. The damage is still however there, sometimes visible, but mostly hidden. The abuse destroys so many lives directly and indirectly. If you think that every family includes women (who are the heart of the family), then you can see that abuse affects us all.

Homeless, Abused and Neglected Children:

Another plight, not far removed form abused women is that of Homeless, Abused and Neglected Children. Many homes get broken up sometimes as a result of abuse against women and sometimes for many other reasons, like Aids, Poverty, Child Abuse etc and the list is long. Sometimes these broken homes leave behind children with no where to go. In Africa there are not many organizations or places to go or to provide help for children in this predicament. A number of organizations that help women also help children and visa versa.

Braai'ng

I also love to get outdoors and Braai. I braai in snow, wind, hail and sun. I enjoy not just the cooking of food over a fire or hot coals, but also the socializing. Sitting around a relaxing fire with friends and family is a wonderful experience, no matter how often you do it. I Braai almost every week of the year, sometimes every day for a week or two. I grew up with this way of life and thought it would be great to introduce others to it. So I thought it would be a great opportunity to have a festival where I could achieve the two goals of Helping Abused Women 

The Festival

So I decided it was time to make a difference and help. I am one person, but I know I can make other people aware of the plight of "Abused Women in Africa" and "Less fortunate people in Africa", then those people can make others aware. Once the cycle has started and gets momentum it can reach everyone. I heard somewhere that every one in the world is just six contacts away from every other person in the world.

So if you are reading this, please make your friends aware and do what you can. Every little bit helps


I believe we can raise funds whilst having fun and enjoying ourselves. So at the Festival we intend to Celebrate, have fun and raise the funds in the Braai (BBQ) and Potjie Tradition and Theme. South Africa celebrates a national Braai day for Summer. So we hope to generate something similar in the UK.

This is a great opportunities to enjoy Summer time outdoors. The weather is warm and the days long. So we intend to make the most of it. It is a chance for the Stall/Stand exhibitors to utilize the opportunity to move summer stock to a captive Audience - the Event visitors. It is also an opportunity for Visitors to pick up great deals.

Braai’ing is a deep-rooted tradition in South Africa and Zimbabwe that cuts across all demographic groups. Braai’ing is a positive feature in most Southern Africans' lives - being the fun-loving, social and hospitable nation that we are. Cooking food on an open fire is also an international phenomenon, but to Braai is a truly unique South African and Zimbabwe past time.

We aim to make the Festival, one that ranks amongst the greats and promote excitement via innovation, creativity and grassroots involvement. We also want to create a Participative atmosphere for visitors.

We want all Southern Africans to be aware of the number of other people Braai’ing on the same day - and to increase the sense of active participation in a celebration of being South African. We want to encourage local English and Europeans to learn about and enjoy the tradition of Braai’ing etc.

We aim to Encourage people to have conversations and interact with friends, colleagues and neighbours about our diverse heritage while celebrating.

We want to Create awareness that foreign cultures have various national icons that define their unique personalities. Southern Africa has the Braai.

There is no political motive to the day. 

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