Cape Town – Rosaline “Poppie” van As, 63, of Laingsburg, will set foot on an airplane for the first time in her life and head to Italy to share stories about her life and her food.
The mother of seven, who owns a small roadside roosterkoek stand on the N1 in Laingsburg, was recently invited to Italy, and through a BackaBuddy fundraising campaign has nearly reached the target of R45 000 to make the trip possible.
Following an outpouring of support, organisers of the campaign have upped their target and plan to make a documentary about the life of the vibrant woman.
“I started my business from humble beginnings about nine years ago through the help of the late Piet Geldenhuys. He believed in my business from the day he bought my bread.
"At the time I was selling my homemade bread for R9.50 but he told me it was worth more,” Van As said.
“The reality has not yet sunk in but I am very excited about the trip. It will all probably start feeling real to me the day I set foot on that airplane,” she said.
Van As will travel from Cape Town to Bologna on September 25, with donations closing on September 15.
With a new fundraising target set for R100 000, Van As said that although she had featured in TV shows and newspaper articles before, she never had thought her story could become a documentary.
“I feel honoured, and extremely happy. I never thought that something as simple as roosterbrood would do what it is doing for me at the moment. It is like a dream come true.”
Van As said that after word got out she would be making a trip to Italy, she was inundated with well wishes and people flocking to her stand.
“My children talk about it every day and after hearing that my passport has been sorted, I cried non-stop for two days just thinking about what is happening. I am very blessed and can’t thank Engelbrecht enough for helping this dream come true I have every trust in them to look after me while going on this trip.”
Van As said her life motto was: “Uithou, aanhou, moed hou, mond hou en vorentoe kyk (Endure, persevere, keep the faith, be quiet and keep looking forward)."
To donate, visit: https://www.backabuddy.co.za/poppie-van-as