Tag Archives: cape town

Failing our women & two super sisters who are fighting for them

I have some pretty amazing friends, as I mentioned before. Today, I want to push Marelise Van Der Merwe in the spotlights. Why? Because she – together with her sister Amelie – is determined to save the Saartjie Baartman Centre (SBC) in Cape Town from forced closure. How? By raising a R100.000 in ten days – R500 at a time.

What is so special about the SBC? The center – situated in Manenberg, an area ravaged by violence, gang warfare, drugs, and poverty – is very simply the only option for many women and their children to escape the chronic physical, mental, emotional and sexual abuse. It is therefore the only chance to rebuild their lives. It is either that, or sleeping on the streets, or staying with their abusers. It is the horrid truth.

This center is now being threatened with closure after the Lotto has failed to pay out (other NGOs and charities are facing similar circumstances). The organisation’s immediate needs are R100.000 to get through the next couple of months. The money needs to come in before the end of May. No money = closure = 20 to 30 women and their children (all traumatized by the abuse they suffered) will be forced onto the streets or back in abusive households. Simple.

Marelise and Amelie are determined to prevent this from happening and are on a mission to raise R100.000 in the next ten days or so – R500 at a time. How? They need 20 people a day to pledge R50 (47 euro / 59 US dollar). So far, Cape Town’s two newest super heroes seem to be on track (check !!!)

One of the latest people who donated, was my own mother (Marijke Mannak) by the way. She donated R500 (well, the equivalent in euros as she lives in The Netherlands) and knowing her, she is busy spreading the word RIGHT NOW!

How can you help? First of all: spread the word. The more people know about this, the better. Secondly, make a donation. R500 is ideal, more is even better but less is fine too.

The account details are: ABSA / savings / 9156133936. Please use the reference ‘BAARTMAN’ and send proof of payment to Those who prefer to donate straight to the center, use the following details  but please don’t forget to let The Super Sisters know about your pledge so they can track the donations and post updates)

The Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children
First National Bank 201509
Current account 62028179415

I have written a press release about, which can be found here. Please download it, use it, and send in on to everyone you know! Let’s not fail these women!


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Earth Hour 2012 in Cape Town

Yesterday was earth hour, which was a good excuse for me to fiddle around with my camera. Despite the fact the streets lights were on, most people living in apartment blocks in my area did switch off their lights.

As a result, Cape Town was treated to some an awesome starry sky. A couple of pictures later, taken from my balcon, I decided to stitch two of them them together – something I had never done before.

The result is not perfect but I am quite happy with the result. What do you think?

Earth hour 2012 in Cape Town, South Africa.

Earth hour 2012 in Cape Town, South Africa. Table MOuntain, Devil's Peak and the City Bowl. Copyright: Miriam Mannak (ALL RIGHTS RESERVED)


Posted by on April 1, 2012 in Randomness in Pictures, The World of Mir


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My Last Cape-Argus-Cycle-Race-Virgin Days

Me surviving Chapman's Peak drive (trust me, it is steep where I came from!)

NINETY KILOMETERS PEOPLE! That is the distance I cycled yesterday, as part of my Cape Argus Cycle Race training. NINETY KILOMETERS! Over mountains and shit, from Cape Town’s city center all the way to Kommetjie and back – over Chapman’s Peak and through Noordhoek. Excluding four stops – one when Cycle Buddy Illie fell, one for a much-needed caffeine injection, one in Kommetjie, and a final loo break – we did it in 4 hours and 27 minutes. Yay! Click here for the link to our route 🙂

I must say that I am rather proud of myself, but also equally tired. But the legs are fine, and so are the shoulders, back, neck and ass. The only thing that feels a bit ‘funny’ is my left pinky *raises eyebrow*. It feels numb-ish.

Anyway, I think I am ready for the race >>> BRING IT ON!


Posted by on March 5, 2012 in The World of Mir


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“Bon Jovi Has To Die. On a Bed of Roses. In a Hurry”

“Can Bon Jovi die now? On his bed of roses, in a fucking hurry?”, mumbled my lovely friend Joanne a.k.a my Lonely Hearts Club partner yesterday eve prior shoving a piece of overpriced sea bass – or what ever the title of her fish – in her mouth. I laughed (a bit sourly, but I laughed): “Yes, Bon Jovi has got to die. Quick-sticks.”

Despite the fact that Valentine’s Day is nothing but one big commercial bullshit operation De Luxe, meant to keep the retail industry afloat instead of filling little hearts with love and affection, we both felt a bit miffed. Miffed because of being single at the age of 30+, miffed because of the disappointments with the opposite sex so far, and that that bumping into a decent guy who sticks around no matter seems to be more tricky than finding an honest politician.

Oh, to fill you in: Mr Insignificant Other shortly after m return from Australia to Cape Town decided to stay in Down Under for a couple of years instead of a couple of months – officially canning the plans we had for the future (marriage, kids, and eventually finding a house with a superb attic for me to write my stuff).

He made that decision without consulting or involving me while we are technically living together. Awesome. He told me about his new plans over the email. Awesome, part 2.

It is the 4th time he has changed his mind with regards to ‘us’ (I count 3 break ups from his side since we started dating half way through 2010). And I am done now – despite the fact that I do happen to love him. Fact of the matter is that I have ran out of ambition and energy to persuade him to believe in us and to come back to SA.

He after all changes his mind more often than I change my panties. I am too old and too young at the same time to sit around and wait until the midlife crisis subsides and until he changes his mind regarding his ‘Down Under decision’ and ‘us’ once more (which is likely to happen, looking at the past). I know from experience that he eventually will have a change of heart again. And again.

It has been difficult, of course. Hey, up until recently I thought he was The One as he made me believe that we were meant to be together forever and beyond.

Last year’s Valentines Day (we were broken up / break-up number 3) he rocked up with roses, begging me to take him back and swearing he had changed and promising that he would not rest until he had me back. I was adamant: No more of this shit. One month later, however, I got tired of his chasing me and decided to give it another go. I loved him, what can I say?

Everything seemed to fall into place and we were Happy as Larry. This convinced me that we were truly meant to be together, simply because we managed to overcome all the bullshit.

In the end, I think that he loved ‘the idea of me’ instead of ‘me’. Otherwise you would not be so cruel and clueless. If you truly love someone, you don’t nilly-willy change our mind like that and don’t move from “I want to have our baby” to “I never want to go that route”. I could be wrong.

What ever the deal is: some things are not meant to be – no matter how hard you try, how many grenades you catch and how much you bend over backwards. We live, we learn, and all that jazz.


Posted by on February 15, 2012 in The World of Mir


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Yesterday the African National Congress shoved a big fat middle finger in the face of democracy and all of those who died, bled, cried, fought and suffered for a free country with among other things a free press Look, I am not going to talk much about yesterday. By now pretty much everything has been said about the day that will go down in history as “Black Tuesday”. I have written two blogs about it, which you will find here and here. Here are some pictures though, to show you what went down in Cape Town yesterday. Enjoy. PS: If you for some reason like my pictures and want to use them for something, please don’t be a douche by ripping them off my blog. It would make you a thief as these are my images. So please ask first. 


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The ANC giveth, the ANC taketh it away

I woke up with an uneasy feeling in my stomach this morning. On November 22 1995, South Africa was celebrating the first draft of South Africa’s new constitution. A constitution incorporating rights like media freedom. Sixteen years later, it is Black Tuesday. This afternoon the South African Parliament will cast their votes for the Protection of Information Bill (POIB).

An “all thumbs up verdict” would mean a first step towards the dismantling of the precious democracy so many people fought and died for.

What a way to celebrate such memorable occasion.

The more I think about it, the more angry I get. In the process, a couple of tears have bitten the dust since my alarm clock went off at voetsek o’clock (I tend to do that when angry).

I have not done any work today. I just can’t put my head to it. The thought that these so-called freedom fighters of the ANC intend to bulldozer one of the four pillars of democracy – media freedom and access to information – makes me sick to my stomach.

What did not help, was a story in Beeld. The report stated that MPs will be forced to vote along party lines and that their votes will be checked. In other words, it is not only media freedom that will be given a firm kick in the groin.

The freedom to choose is facing a similar destiny. May I note that this practice is very common in dictatorships like Zimbabwe and ex-dictatorships such as Libya?

“Why should I bother, as I am not a journalist?” you ask. If you by now do not know how the Protection of Information Bill will affect you as a member of society, you must have been hibernating for the past two years.

Read this while you are at it. Steven Friedman sums it up rather well.


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World Design Capital 2014 goes to Cape Town!

Since very very early this morning, Cape Town – my adopted home town – has been calling itself the World Design Capital 2014! Awesome! Well, I think it is – he he. I am not really a design fundi to tell you the truth. I however think this new victory could be good news for South Africa’s Mother City.

This World Design Capital 201 thing will apparently “result in a year-long programme of design-focused events that will see design used for social, economic and cultural transformation.” It seems Cape Town’s bid for the title was based on creating an inclusive city by using design in its urban development plans. So yes: If this title is set to improve Cape Town’s layout, city feel, and urban design while making the city more inclusive and the city centre more lively at night: Great! Well done Cape Town!

Now let’s hope our beloved Table Mountain will be voted as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World! Haven’t you voted yet in this international competition? Then do so NOW! From today onwards, you have just 16 days and a few hours to cast your vote for Table Mountain!


Posted by on October 26, 2011 in Stuff that Happens in the News


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