Actress inspires girls from her hometown

A Humansdorp-born celebrity returned to her hometown this month with an inspirational message for girl learners from a local high school.

Actress and singer Stephanie Baartman, who plays Bibi in the Kyknet soapie “Getroud met Rugby”, was at Humansdorp Senior Secondary to take part in Kouga Executive Mayor Horatio Hendricks’s Women’s Month programme.

Using song and drama, Baartman shared intimate details of her life journey with the more than 1 000 girls in attendance.

Her tale touched on challenges she had to overcome growing up, including typical temptations young people face when they first leave home and an unplanned pregnancy which led to an abusive marriage.

“Stephanie took a few wrong turns in her life, yet she found the courage and strength to get back on the right path and pursue her dreams,” the Mayor said.  

“No matter how bad a situation you find yourself in, there is always a way out. That was the message I wanted girl learners to hear this Women’s Month and Stephanie proved to be the perfect messenger.”

The girls were captivated by Baartman’s show and the hall’s roof just about lifted as they cheered her performance.    

As one learner put it: “Stephanie, your story took me many places today. It touched my heart in different places. I never thought things like that can happen to you. I thought you were just a happy woman and that everything is beautiful in your life because you always wear a smile. I just want to say thank you.”

Hendricks said that his office would be working with the school to put support measures in place for girls who need help negotiating difficult situations.

The programme concluded with each girl receiving a balloon, blowing all their troubles into it and releasing it into the air.

Stephanie Baartman (centre), with young fans Joslyn van Rooyen and Aviwe Silani at Humansdorp Senior Secondary.

It’s almost Calamari Time!

It is almost that time of year when the golfers, the bowlers and even the runners celebrate all that as is calamari with different sport events and of course what has fast become a hugely popular annual event…

The Calamari Festival

The annual Calamari Festival, organised by St Francis Tourism, will take place at the Village Green in St Francis Drive, St Francis Bay on Saturday 21 September 2019, from 11am to 5pm.

The Festival complements the long-standing Calamari Golf & Bowls Classics and building on the success of the inaugural event in 2017, the organisers promise the 2019 Festival, sponsored by Kouga Municipality, to be bigger and better.

What is a Calamari Festival without calamari on the programme?

2018 MKR (My Kitchen Rules) winners, Roxanne & Spoen Green, will do two demonstrations of their culinary skills across the day, as well as judging the hugely popular Calamari Cook Off Competition.

Home cooks and professionals are challenged to go head to head in a bid to be named Calamari King 2019.

Only 15 teams can take part in the cookoff, each creating their own Calamari dish using local calamari supplied by local fisheries and ingredients sponsored by Village Square SuperSpar. 

The title is currently held by Joe Fish Restaurant in Cape St Francis – can you beat them?  Entry fees for the Cook Off will be donated to NSRI Station 21.

A variety of craft beers, gin and wine will be available throughout the day alongside food trucks and market stalls, offering a wide variety of good quality products. 

A live music stage, showcasing some of the finest talents in the Eastern Cape will entertain festival goers throughout the day. Kids will love the play area with inflatable rocket and a mini train.

An exciting addition to this year’s festival is the 1st Calamari Wine Festival brought to you by Tops Village Square on Friday, 20 September from 3 – 8pm. Visitors will be able to taste wine from 20 different farms. Tickets of R150.00 is available at Tops Village Square and St Francis Tourism, this includes a complementary branded wine glass.

Whilst the main festival action happens on the 21st , the Calamari weekend also offers sporting action in many disciplines such as a golf, squash and bowls tournament, and the Nautical Half Marathon on Sunday 22 September. Evening entertainment is available in all local restaurants and venues throughout the weekend in both St Francis Bay and Cape St Francis.

For more information on the Calamari Festival, market, food stalls or Cook Off Entries please contact St Francis Tourism on (042) 294 0076 or Hantie van der Westhuizen on 083 294 2211 or  

To keep up to date with all the news and what  is happening over the weekend, please like our Facebook page all the info will be posted here.

Property Owner’s Association give feedback on fires

The St Francis Property Owners Association posted the following feedback on last Thursday’s devastating fires.

Our St Francis community has been subjected to yet another devastating fire that has destroyed 11 houses and damaged several others in Lyme Road North and Peter Road. Once again the fire was started by a senseless and careless act, as were our two previous fires in 2016 and 2018, resulting in unacceptable losses to some of our property owners. The SAPS, Municipality, security companies, the SFPO and community members are all cooperating to identify the perpetrators of this fire and bring them to justice.

The SFPO Association Committee and SFPO NPC Board offer our heartfelt sympathy and support to all those residents and property owners who have lost their homes, and in some cases their life history, in this fire…….it is heartbreaking.

We thank the Kouga Municipality’s fire services, the SF DVG (St Francis Disaster Volunteer Group), the SAPS, the Security companies and many individuals who found ways to help, for their effort in combatting the fire. We lost 11 houses, but this group saved many more houses for which we are very grateful.

We face an ongoing problem that many property owners ignore repeated requests and notifications to clear overgrown and alien bush from their properties across the whole of St Francis. We gave the Municipality a list of some 500 overgrown plots in St Francis two years ago. We have urged the Municipality to take the gloves off and take legal action. Clearly it is a massive challenge to do this on the scale required, but it needs to be done. We must find a way to mobilise the resources required to work with the Municipality to deal with this problem decisively and urgently, if we are going to reduce the threat of fires to St Francis.


Police recover bicycle stolen twice in 10 minutes

Following up on a bicycle stolen from a home in Kwagga Street, Jeffreys Bay on Monday, police after receiving a description of the suspected thief spotted him at a nearby garage.  When approached the suspect took flight abandoning the bicycle in his haste to escape into a nearby settlement.

Police followed the suspect into the township and were able to arrest him before returning to the garage to recover the stolen bicycle. On arriving at the garage they found the bicycle missing. Noticing tyre tracks in the sand nearby the scene followed the tracks which led them to a nearby shed where the were able to recover the bike and arrest another man for possession of stolen property.

The two culprits ,aged 20 and 26 appeared in Humansdorp  on suspicion of being in possession of stolen property, housebreaking and theft.

Eastern Cape Lilizela Tourism Awards

Several St Francis and Cape St Francis tourism entities are up for awards at the annual Lilizela Awards. 

The Eastern Cape’s provincial finalists for this year’s National Lilizela Tourism Awards were recently announced.  The winners will be announced at an award ceremony which will take place on 19 September in Mtatha.

The local establishments selected as provincial finalists include ..

The Chokka Trail that received two nominations in the Best Visitors Experience Category with one for Scenic Beauty and the other for Best Beach Experience, an award they have won on national level for three consecutive years.

It is remarkable to note that three of the accommodation establishments involved in the Chokka Trail are also provincial finalists this year – Duneridge Country House in the Country House Category, Cape St Francis’ Beach Break in the Self Catering Shared Accommodation Category and Brisan B&B on the Canals in the Bed & Breakfast Category.

The Baviaans Camino, another hiking trail from the Chokka Trail stables, is a finalist in the Best Visitors Experience:  Action and Adventure Category.

The Sands @ St Francis is a provincial finalist in the Guest House Category.

“The Eastern Cape Province displays a huge commitment towards responsible tourism that positively impacts the country’s economic growth. This is evident in the 225 entries received throughout the Province for this year and the subsequent 59 finalists who make up the pool of winners to be announced at the upcoming Provincial Lilizela Awards that are to take place on the 19th of September 2019, at Dan’s Country Lodge in Mthatha,” the Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency CEO, Mr Vuyani Dayimani said.  “As an Agency of the Department of Economic Development, Environmental affairs and Tourism (DEDEAT), charged with the mandate of improving and promoting the tourism sector of the province, we are extremely proud to work with such a dynamic industry of committed individuals and businesses. Congratulations and thank you to all tourism stakeholders for their immeasurable contribution to sustaining the tourism sector and helping to place the Eastern as a preferred destination of choice.”


Info supplied by Esti Stewart