07 October 2007

R10 book bargain leads to fortune

Greer Salt of Stellenbosch bought the first Harry Potter novel at a bargain bookshop 10 years ago for R10. The same book was recently put up for auction and was expected to fetch at least US$20 000. The rare edition of JK Rowling's Harry Potter And the Philosopher's Stone, published in 1997, is believed to be one of only 300 copies of the first printing of the first book in the series.

Helping rape survivors

Janine Rowley grew up in Pretoria and later spent 20 years in Italy where she graced the runways in Versace and Armani creations. She was discovered by a photographer on the island of Ischia while working as an au pair. This glamorous sounding life story has a dark side. Janine is a rape survivor, not once but five times. She was molested as a child, gang raped in Miami by four men when she was 20 years old, and by a man she dated at the age of 25. Eleven years ago she returned to South Africa, where she now runs Women Against Rape (WAR). Janine makes up about 70 care packages each week, which she distributes at police stations in Sunnyside, Silverton, Pretoria West, Laudium, Eersterust and Mamelodi. She also distributes at the Pretoria Academic Hospital. Some packages are sent to Soshanguve and Umkomaas. The packages contain soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, face cloth, hand cream, shampoo, underwear, candy and a small teddy bear. These packages are mostly funded from her own limited funds, and from sales from bead work that she creates with Salome Mojela and the street children from the Ithumeleng Centre in Pretoria. Each package costs between R80 and R100. Janine would like to open a home where broken people can be healed again, and she wants to distribute more care packages. To support WAR (a registered non-profit organisation) email Janine at war@womanagainstrape.co.za

Pilot to help build hospices

British pilot and philanthropist Robert Vallier is flying a Cessna 182 to 30 disadvantaged South African communities in 30 days, to establish help centres for vulnerable women and children, and hospices for people with HIV/AIDS. He is also donating computers and textbooks to schools. Robert started the Unity Flight for South Africa Foundation (Ufosa) after leaving a career in the music industry. He obtained his commercial pilot's licence five years ago. He visited South Africa in the early 1990s. His latest visit is to gather information which he will take to Ufosa‘s board of trustees. He will use donations from the UK, the US and South Africa to either buy or lease land on which to build the centres and hospices.

Be a real Survivor South Africa-style

Survivor South Africa is a popular TV reality show here and is filmed in a remote location somewhere in the world. However, South Africa itself offers more challenges than the jungles of Borneo or any other isolated island. Here a a few suggestions for a real Survivor South Africa, shot on location in South Africa...

Challenge 1 - All contestants to run through Pretoria, shouting “Bulls suck!” ­ Anyone who survives goes to the next round.

Challenge 2 - Remaining contestants to find their way through Durban, using only newly renamed streets. ­ All who find the final destination, continue to the next round.

Challenge 3 - Rewire the Koeberg power station outside Cape Town. ­ Survivors go to the next round.

Challenge 4 - Get decent medical treatment at any government hospital in South Africa. ­ If you pull through you advance to the next round.

Challenge 5 - Park at any off-ramp one evening in Johannesburg, for an hour. ­ Survive that and you must be bullet proof.

Challenge 6 - Spend a weekend in Pofadder. ­ Anyone who survives, goes to the next round.

Challenge 7 - Drive your choice of Coin or Fidelity Guards vehicle down any highway and if you make it, go on.

Challenge 8 - Apply for an ID book at the Department of Home Affairs. ­ Survive that ordeal and you deserve a reward.

Challenge 9 - Catch a taxi ride in Johannesburg or Durban, or a bus from East London through Transkei via the Kei Cuttings. ­ If you reach your destination in one piece, you’re mentally and physically tough. Go on.

Challenge 10 - Coach the Springboks or Bafana. ­ Go to the next round if you survive.

Final challenge - On behalf of Butane Khompela (chairman of theParliamentary Sports Committee), final survivors must go and confiscate Os du Randt’s or Bakkies Botha’s passports, and tell them they play international rugby. If you survive that, you truly deserve to hold the title: Winner of Survivor SA!

Queens' College old boys in RWC 2007

Italy’s South African-born rugby lock, Carlo Antonio del Fava, was on 1 July 1981. He qualifies for Italy through his Italian father. He matriculated from Queen's College in 1999 where he played first-team rugby and water-polo. He was selected for the Natal Sharks but suffered a suspension before he moved overseas. His first game in Italian colours was against Wales in the 2004 Six Nations. Carlo descends from Lelio del Fava who immigrated to South Africa in 1907 from Lucca. He worked for the railways, building the line between East London and Mthatha. He settled in Mthatha where he farmed. Carlo was born in Mthatha and later moved to Durban.

The USA's South African-born rugby hooker, Owen Lentz, was born on 24 January 1980. He matriculated from Queen's College in 1998 where he played first-team rugby and water-polo. He played rugby for South Africa U21, and for Border and Eastern Province in the Currie Cup. He played his first game for the USA in 2006 against Ireland. His father, also Owen Lentz, runs a trading store at Cofimvaba, and his grandfather Lennie owned the Gonubie Hotel until his death in 2007.