TSiBA Eden Appreciation Lunch

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On Friday 14th October Karatara’s Protea Hall was a busy hive of activity as TSiBA Eden hosted its third annual Appreciation Lunch. Co-hosted by TSiBA Eden Management and the 2011 SRC, the event brought droves of mentors, sponsors, partners and allies together for an afternoon of celebration and sharing.
The event was opened with a prayer from HCBA student, Zwa Hlengwa followed by community leader Lwayipi Sam with a serving of the very sort of wit, wisdom and worship that makes him so beloved by all. Campus director, Sandy Ueckermann opened the Appreciations with an emotive speech honouring those who have supported and developed TSiBA Eden since its earliest days and called Lwayipi Sam back up to the stage to receive a very special dedication. For his tireless efforts in promoting our cause and his life-long dedication to enriching the lives of his community, our new educational outreach programme’s premises will be named The Lwayipi Sam Community Ignition Centre. The signage was presented to Oom Sam who was visibly moved and lost for words. Next to be honoured was the brainchild and pioneer of the original Eden campus, Steve Carver who, true to form bounded in breathlessly after the ceremony and enthusiastically received his dedication. The Steve Carver Garden of Eden has fittingly been named after the maverick entrepreneur who planted the seeds of progress and education in our community. The third special mention was to Gia Whitehead, one of our 3 TSiBA directors whose quiet ingenuity, determination and passion draw funding into our organization ensuring a future for our vision and mission. A large framed photograph of her Eden family was presented to her to take back to the Cape Town campus.
Mandla Ntlemeza took to the stage next with his darkly beautiful rap poem, “Fast Awake”, which addresses the issue of HIV/Aids and the choices we make within our relationships. Mandla, whose poem earned him 4th place in the regional heat of the, “Lover Plus Another”, national poetry competition received a standing ovation from the audience.
Next came the turn of the SRC led by Sibabalwe (Spokes) Mvelo, SRC Spokesperson and treasurer who amused the crowd with his warm observations and tales of his plight as the only lonely vegetarian on a deeply carnivorous campus.
Thembeka Gola and Lloyd Tese’s two man performance about Paying it Forward charmed the audience. “If ever you need a helping hand, try looking at the end of your arms. You’ll find two. One’s for helping yourself and one’s for helping others!”
Thomas Mart had the crowd in stitches with his talk about the Practical Business Programme and his foxy rendition of the TSiBA Eden switch board greeting and last but not least, Candy Gadebe gave us her account of student life on campus and her job as the Hostel Affairs Representative, “My job is to keep the male students on thaaaaaat side of the partition and the female students on thaaaaat side!”. Exhausting work, Candy but no one else could do the job with such good humour.
Gia and Tracey from the sustainability division of TSiBA took to the floor next with a remarkable presentation which sought to demonstrate the true value of what TSiBA is accomplishing. Even those of us who work here daily were pretty humbled to see it laid out with such clarity. These members of the TSiBA Fund certainly put the Power into Power Point! With representatives like them on our side, TSiBA Education has to be indestructible.
With the business part of the event over it was time for feasting and the Kitchen Business under the guiding hand of mentor, Ian Perryman did us proud. Tables creaked under trays of goodies and champagne flowed. Practical Business students flitted in and out, refilling glasses and whisking out trays of delectable finger food and guests mingled with staff and SRC hosts. Tours led visitors around campus and new volunteers who plan to join our existing mentoring team next year met, bonded and got a taste of campus culture.
The event eased to a close by mid-afternoon and everyone left with happy memories and very satisfied appetites feeling thoroughly appreciated for their efforts in 2011.
Many thanks to all those involved for making it such a resounding success!

Written by Suzi Cinderey


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