SA celebs discuss what Easter means to them while unpacking their long weekend plans

Juan De Jongh alongside his wife, Simone and kids. Picture: SUPPLIED

Juan De Jongh alongside his wife, Simone and kids. Picture: SUPPLIED

Published Mar 27, 2024


As South Africans, we're gearing up for the long-awaited Easter break – a time filled with the comforting scents of hot cross buns, the tang of pickle fish, and the joy of family reunions.

Our local celebs are no exception to the Easter fever, each with their own unique way of embracing the holiday traditions. From treasured family gatherings to personal reflections, they share their Easter stories with us.

Juan De Jongh alongside his wife and kids.

Juan De Jongh

Retired Springbok Centre Juan De Jongh has always stressed the importance of family in his life. Together with his beautiful wife of 7 years, Simone De Jongh, they have two adorable children.

For De Jongh, family time during Easter is non-negotiable. Being a Christian, he finds it crucial to reflect on the true meaning of the holiday – the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

"It's a special time for us," De Jongh explained. "We use it to gather with our families and bond. We want our kids to enjoy themselves too.“

De Jongh's daughter, Emily, was born overseas, so she's experienced Easter in the UK. However, now in South Africa, both Emily and his son, Blake, are beginning to understand the deeper meaning behind the holiday, and De Jongh is thrilled to see them embracing and enjoying Easter in their own way.

De Jongh elaborated on the significance of imparting these values to his children. "While we delight in the playful traditions of Easter, such as egg hunts, it's equally imperative for our children to grasp the profound significance," he explained.

Jeremy Loops. Picture: INSTAGRAM

Jeremy Loops

South African singer and songwriter Jeremy Loops revealed his plans for the upcoming Easter holiday, emphasizing his deep-rooted connection to family and friends during this time of year.

"For me, Easter has always been about family and friends," Loops shared. "I don't have any specific traditions for the holiday, except for one – I'm always at the Reforest Festival."

Loops elaborated on the unique nature of the Reforest Festival, describing it as an "artistry planting festival" where participants come together to give back to the earth by planting trees.

“We give back to the earth and we plant trees with lots of people and we make music under the stars and it’s just a beautiful way to spend Easter together,” Loops added.

The Reforest Festival, held at Bodhi Khaya Nature Retreat in the picturesque Overberg region, promises an enriching experience for attendees of all ages. From interactive art installations to wellness activities and informative workshops, there's something for everyone to enjoy.

As the festival enters its 12th year, it continues to foster connections between people, art, music, and nature, epitomizing the true spirit of community and environmental stewardship.

Sivuyile Ngesi, South African actor and comedian. Picture: INSTAGRAM

Siv Ngesi

Ngesi, known for his outspoken nature on various topics, recently shared his thoughts on what Easter means to him.

Despite not being particularly fond of holidays in general, he expressed a special sentiment towards Easter, reminiscing about the cherished memories of his late mother.

“So I’m not the biggest fan of holidays, but there’s something about Easter... the hot cross buns put in the microwave with some butter, or the pickled fish, my mother made the most amazing pickle fish,” said Ngesi, remembering his late mother.

As he fondly recalled his mother's culinary skills, Ngesi became nostalgic, describing her pickled fish as nothing short of magical.

“My mother had the most magical way of making pickle fish and I’ve never tasted anything like my mother’s pickled fish,” the South African actor and comedian added.

For him, Easter is about reminiscing and remembering his mother, “It’s a difficult time without my mother but her memories live on,” the South African comedian and actor admitted.

Monique Rockman. Picture: INSTAGRAM

Monique Rockman

Safta-nominated actress Monique Rockman, renowned for her captivating roles in popular series like “Suidooster”, “Die Spreeus”and “Binnelanders”, as well as the eco-horror film, “Gaia”, shares her heartfelt Easter traditions and plans for the upcoming holiday.

Reflecting on the significance of Easter, Rockman acknowledged the importance of gratitude and faith around this time.

"It is a time for reflection, being thankful and celebrating our faith. I feel it personally also as a new beginning, second chances,“ she said.

Recalling her childhood traditions, the “Summertide” actress reminisced about attending church services every Good Friday and Easter Sunday, followed by the labour-intensive task of peeling onions for pickled fish, which is always worth it in the end by the way.

"It's peeling A LOT of onions for the pickled fish, breakfast with hot cross buns and Easter egg hunts. Family gathering together, it was always special,“ she added.

This year, Rockman's Easter celebrations will be an intimate affair spent with her son and husband away from Cape Town.

“This year it will just be me my son and husband spending quality time together, out of cape town.. Just being together being thankful for each other and a break away from the busy world before work starts again next Tuesday!”