Former Proteas captain Faf du Plessis. Picture credit: Michael Sherman (ANA)
Former Proteas captain Faf du Plessis. Picture credit: Michael Sherman (ANA)

Faf du Plessis deals with Covid-19 anxiety by helping the poor in Lavender Hill

By Stuart Hess Time of article published May 4, 2020

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JOHANNESBURG - Faf du Plessis has acknowledged the personal anxiety which arose as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, and that he found solace in helping those less fortunate.

Du Plessis said Monday that the government mandated lockdown has provided plenty of time for reflection, not just about his cricket career, but the broader challenges facing society in the midst of an unprecedented time in human history.

“Yes, you have periods of anxiety; there’s fear of the future, we don't know what's going on or when we will play again,” said South Africa's former Test captain, who has been at home with wife Imarie and daughter Amelie. The couple are expecting their second child, also a girl, in August.

“Everyone can go through different emotions,” said Du Plessis. “I’m grateful, that’s the first thing, gratitude, because the country is going through a really tough time.”

“There’s the emotion of being stuck indoors all the time, just feeling like you need to get out, that you’re stuck in a cocoon, in your own mind. Sportsmen are no different to anyone else. For me it’s about remaining positive, I’m putting a lot of energy into that. I’m not reading too much news or negative stuff. There’s a lot of panic. I’m about allowing positivity and not negativity into my world.”

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#repost . @imagesbyimari As a mom I carried this message around heavily in my heart. Faf and I raised funds on Instagram over and beyond what we could imagine. For every generous donor who helped feed our 172 people target, I would like to let you know that we were able to do that. BUT we could also reach the goal of stocking the pantry of Philisa Abafazi with 3/4 of the ingredients required to provide warm meals to 1500 for 2 weeks. This week will see the following delivery to their cooking efforts. Huge thank you to @kfcsouthafrica and @hopeworldwidesouthafrica for helping us source this donation. Best birthday every! 500 L water 50 kg pasta 20kg sugar 700 tins of baked beans 50 kg green split peas 100kg red split lentils 100kg soup mix 10 L cooking oil 800g curry powder 800g turmeric 800 tins of pilchards 10kg salt 50kg rice For anyone who still want to contribute. Philisa Abafazi Bethu Women's Centre First National Bank 6242 704 1570 🎥 @thehumansnarrative

A post shared by Faf du plessis (@fafdup) on

Du Plessis said seeing long lines of fellow citizens waiting to collect food parcels was heartbreaking, providing him with perspective about how the majority of fellow South Africans lived. “Along with being grateful for what I have, there was a huge movement in my heart regarding people who don’t have.”

“It’s the first time I’ve had it so close to my heart. I’ve always looked at charities, helping people and you sit on the outside feeling sorry, but you never really get stuck in and get involved. I had a huge urgency to get involved, it started initially by lifting and glorifying people who are serving, helping, feeding other people, doing amazing things - just saying ‘well done’ to them. Then it grew organically to help on a more personal level; financial is one way, but we felt we had to get stuck in and do a bit more.”

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#Repost @imagesbyimari with @make_repost ・・・ Inexplicable gratitude is running down my face. My tears are all I have in this moment. A week ago we felt a calling to help by doing more than making a donation. We shared a video that broke our hearts. I prayed for someone to be sent out way to help on that day. Just an hour later @fafdup got a message from a wonderful man we know. He lives in the centre of all the riots we shared on our stories. Rioting interrupted their community effort to provide 172 people with hot meals and it wasn’t possible to continue. We really didn’t know where to begin to help, but we asked and then the floodgates started opening. In 24 hours we raised R17200 to feed those families. We were elated at this victory. But in the days that followed we faced another silent battle to responsibly carry the goodness donated to those in need of an urgent breakthrough. Logistics. Our wholesalers were inundated and food stock outages were an issue. To multiply the seed in our hands by finding the best price and value, whilst abiding by our President’s urge to be responsible was a challenge. After struggling to find the solution for days, the right person walked into our lives and sourced everything we needed. A story started by an Instagram post, funded by individuals around the world, moved into action with the help of @hopeworldwidesouthafrica and @makro_sa and collected by our contact in the community will reach the homes of families waiting for comfort this evening. If I had to summarize this experience in one word it would be - MERCY. We don’t take anyone’s kindness for granted. It is mercy. 🙏

A post shared by Faf du plessis (@fafdup) on

Du Plessis and his wife were contacted via instagram about a charity - philisaabafazi.org - providing assistance in one of Cape Town’s poorest communities, Lavender Hill. “They needed to feed 175 families for a month, there was hardly any income, we worked out that it would cost R17 000 to feed 175 families for a month, and we felt it was a realistic goal to achieve,” said Du Plessis.

“We put it on social media and we were amazed to see the incredible generosity of people, inside and outside South Africa. We raised that money within a day and half. There was extra, it got to a point, where we had R25 000 extra. With the help of KFC, through their charities, we bought food from Makro at a very good price - so the money went further - and with the extra R25000 we are busy with now, buying more food which we will give to another charity that is feeding 1 500 kids.

“It breaks my heart to see little kids standing in line waiting for food,” said Du Plessis. “I’m a father. I would do absolutely everything for my daughter and seeing that made me want to help them. I want to make sure all the children are fed. I feel connected to this cause I’ll keep doing as much as I can to feed as many people.”

@shockerhess
The Star

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