Meet Sonja Kruse, The Ubuntu Girl
In 2004, Sonja Kruse began dreaming about traveling through South Africa, her motherland, with minimal supplies. With news headlines reporting crime daily, her dream appeared to be a cruel joke. However, her dream did not leave Sonja for almost 5 years…. Sonja finally took to the road carrying ONLY R100, a backpack, a camera and a phone!
With the deep-seated belief that
“I am because we are”
– the spirit of Ubuntu, she set off from the outskirts of East London in October 2009. For over 351 days, Sonja traveled across South Africa by foot and by thumb (hitch-hiking). She experienced South Africa’s warmth, hospitality and togetherness.
We are supporting Sonja’s fundraising campaign, an initiative to self-publish her book. Sonja has captured the stories of 150 families, in 114 towns, 9 provinces, across 16 cultures: //www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-ubuntu-girl
Celebrating Women’s Month this August, we are hosting three Food and Chatter storytelling dinners with Sonja.
Retracing her journey across South Africa, our first dinner took place at Vandiars Restaurant where our host, Invin Vandiar, treated us to authentic Durban (Sonja’s hometown!) delicacies. Sonja began the evening with mesmerizing stories of meals shared with local families, while we tasted homemade brinjal (aubergine) fritters, mince samosas, and masala chicken wings. Through photos and anecdotes, we re-lived Sonja’s experience for the next 20 minutes. A family-style feast was served with vegetarian bunny chow, butter chicken curry, lamb curry and many more dishes! Invin sweetened our evening with a heartwarming dessert: Sooji, a wheat semolina pudding infused with nutmeg, cardamom, cinnamon and spices.
We had an incredible evening, meeting new people (over 25 guests) and shared our unique stories of South Africa with each other.
In Sonja’s own words:
“Thank you, from my heart to yours. A story is only as good as the audience allows it to be. And you were generous. It was also great, in turn, to hear some of your stories.”
Invin: “Thank you for the taste of KZN, your hospitality and the essence of you in the food.”
Intrigued? There will be two more storytelling dinners with Sonja in August 2013, come join us at our next Food and Chatter experience!
See you soon!