Skip to main content

Water Angels . 2019

Norbert and I had been on a short visit to Abalimi Bezekhaya and we were nearly on our way back to Cape Town, when Norbert asked me: “Should we have a look to some gardens?” I loved the idea: “Oh great. Can we have a look to Moya we Khaya. I have been working there in 2014 and at that time I saw the first idea – the big vision of Moya – by Christina Kaba. I was deeply impressed by her pioneering spirit. That time it was nearly a desert and I could not believe that it would ever be a garden.” Meanwhile it is January 2019 and I have never seen the garden again. “Let’s go there”, I said.

In Khayelitsha we had to make a few turns, but then a huge garden came in sight. When we arrived a lot of ladies were welcoming us. While walking around together with Christina, she talked about their big water problem. To be honest, we did not know that and nobody had told us before. Although they were working very hard with 14 ladies, during that dry summer they didn’t have much chance to grow anything. The soil in the Cape Flats is sandy and not fertile. The groundwater is deep, especially at that time during the water crisis. It was the worst and most unfertile farmland that was given to the black people at Apartheid times and that hasn’t changed until today. “We have some money in our Climate Ticket Donation Fund. To use it for a well point pump would be very appropriate, so that you can continue growing vegetables.” Norbert and I were thinking loud. What a merry lighting up face Christina showed! “You think so?” she asked. “Yes, we think so!”  “Ayeayeaye – you are our water angels!” She rushed to the other ladies – and immediately they began to dance and to sing. I will never forget that moment of joy!

Birgit Jakobs

Working my whole life as an architect I was always thinking: in my next life I will be a garden architect. I have a great passion for gardens. The Aachen-Cape Town Partnership Support Club (Förderverein) made the contact to Abalimi Bezekhaya for me to go on a 3 months “leave” from my job, to work in their gardens and to clear up my mind. Working there deepened my understanding how hard people are trying to survive in the townships and – to be honest – how arrogant we take our European standards for granted.