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Eat Your Heart Out

by Mahala High Five Brigade / Images by Samora Chapman / 04.03.2014

Heading down to the local Spur for a steak is not really such a big deal, right? We, the fortunate haves, can generally find the money at any stage of the monthly salary cycle from boom to bust to boom again, to drop a few of those expendable Randelas on a plate of sizzling meat and potatoes. I mean this is the Spur right? Not La Petite Ferme in Franschoek. Now imagine you’re a street kid. Orphaned. Alone. If you’re lucky or incredibly industrious you might be able to scratch together about R20 bucks a day with your sad story and robot face on the street corner, hustling a few bob parking or washing cars. The Spur experience is so far out of the range of what’s possible for you, it’s like a trip to space on Virgin Galactic for us moneyed wankers. And yet that smell of the barbecue’d meat and those crispy fried onion rings, cruelly, does not discriminate. The smell wafts around there for everyone. For former street kids, the very act of just being able to just walk into a Spur, as a guest, to know that you’re not about to be turned on your heel and marched out the door by a burly manager before your presence offends the paying customers, is a very big deal. It’s a sign that you’ve somehow made the leap across the practically insurmountable divisions of our society. Like some kind of socio-economic Grand Canyon jumping Evel Knievel, your trajectory is upwards and that if you keep doing what you’re doing, working and surfing hard, staying positive, thinking clearly, then maybe, just maybe the world could possibly be your oyster…

And with that intention in mind Mahala and Spur recently got together to treat the Surfers Not Street Children crew to a banquet fit for kings. This is Burger Faces 3!

Surfers Not Street Children is an organisation that fights for global awareness of street children and their plight. The team of advocates, made up of real survivors of street life, travel the world telling their stories, giving hope to other kids from similar backgrounds and raising money for charities that serve street children.

The members of SNRC live together in a ‘surf house’ in the inner city of Durban. The house is situated about half a kilometre from the Durban beachfront, where the team go surfing almost every day. The young men all went through a rehabilitation programme at Umthombo, which draws kids off the streets by introducing them to the ‘sport of kings’, because invariably surfing gives much better kicks than the ills of the alleyways.

These young men are now building their livelihoods around the ocean as lifeguards, surf instructors or working in the surf industry; using their unique life experiences to be global advocates for street children.

And we just wanted to big them up with plates of bottomless ribs, chips, onion rings and bubblegum milkshakes.

Eat ya heart out…

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All Images © Samora Chapman

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