Lead SALead SA

LeadSA: Cape sommelier raises over R60k for Cyclone Idai victims

Written by: Paula Luckhoff

After Cyclone Idai tore through Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi it was described as one of the worst tropical storms ever to hit the southern hemisphere.

The scale of the devastation is enormous, especially in Mozambique where Idai made landfall.

600 People were killed in that country alone, among the 1.5 million affected.

The United Nations has appealed for $282-million to fund emergency assistance for the next three months.

Back home, a Cape sommelier and philanthropist launched his own initiative to help those people whose lives have been shattered.

Tongai Joseph Dhafana has a busy life as a sommelier at La Colombe in Constantia, but managed to raise over R60 000 within a short space of time.

After I heard about this natural disaster which happened in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, I sat down and decided to do something because I couldn't actually just fold hands and watch.

Tongai Joseph Dhafana, Sommelier - La Colombe

Remembering he had some bottles of wine in reserve, Dhafana came up with the idea of organising a fundraising dinner, in partnership with Harald Bresselschmidt, owner of Cape Town's Aubergine Restaurant.

That was done in a week and I sponsored the wine and Harald sponsored the food, the premises in Gardens, and also the staff members who are also all from Zimbabwe.

Tongai Joseph Dhafana, Sommelier - La Colombe

We managed to raise about R54 700 which will all go towards the victims of Cyclone Idai.

Tongai Joseph Dhafana, Sommelier - La Colombe

Dhafana followed up with a Facebook auction of a magnum of a 2014 vintage which he sourced from friends, raising another R10 000.

A Zimbabwean himself, Dhafana is now set to travel to the country to buy food and building materials for families who were left homeless.

My home language is Shona and Idai means to love, but unfortunately this Idai wasn't loving at all.

Tongai Joseph Dhafana, Sommelier - La Colombe

I'm leaving in two weeks for Zimbabwe. I was given the names of a couple of families that were affected by Idai quite close to where I was born.

Tongai Joseph Dhafana, Sommelier - La Colombe

For more of this inspiring conversation, listen here:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : LeadSA: Cape sommelier raises over R60k for Cyclone Idai victims




Read next from articles

Equipment, food supplies needed after break-in at Karoo community centre

Equipment, food supplies needed after break-in at Karoo community centre

Grassroot Hope in South Africa runs a number of life skills projects for the kids of Richmond. A robbery has 'cleaned them out'.
Read on...

'The love that goes into Santa Shoeboxes keeps blowing us away'

'The love that goes into Santa Shoeboxes keeps blowing us away'

Lead SA: CEO Debbie Zelezniak on the project that's distributed hundreds of thousands of gift boxes to children at Christmas.
Read on...

Dream Higher: Using rock climbing to help vulnerable youth

Dream Higher: Using rock climbing to help vulnerable youth

Lead SA: Margaux Rat talks about harnessing the sport to develop confidence in kids and young adults who've experienced trauma.
Read on...

#NotHopeless: Changing attitudes towards the homeless

#NotHopeless: Changing attitudes towards the homeless

LeadSA: Zulfah Boyce relates her journey with U-Turn, which supports the homeless with rehabilitation and skills training.
Read on...

'Mentoring young boys the most important thing we can do to stop GBV'

'Mentoring young boys the most important thing we can do to stop GBV'

Lead SA: Jaco van Schalkwyk talks about The Character Company's work to help boys with absent fathers.
Read on...

UCT student wins African literature short story award

UCT student wins African literature short story award

Lead SA: PhD candidate Resoketswe Manenzhe chats about her twin passions - writing and science.
Read on...