Tuesday, July 28, 2015


Getting ready for all go! 1st August 2015!

Please copy and paste the link below into your browser and obtain a copy of my authorization to create awareness and fundraise for the Carel du Toit Centre, Cape Town -


Help is always needed. Please support me!

Friday, July 24, 2015


Someone asked me about the Freedom Challenge race across South Africa again the other day and in a nutshell, as hard as what the Freedom Challenge is, and as I speak from experience – (in the first quarter that is) it is a truly special race. It’s a hard race but special! You take what you want from it. You also learn and accept what it throws at you.

But the main question that was posed was what challenges I would face dealing with Deafness and doing the Freedom Challenge and does my deafness have impact on my ability to do it. Does it make it more difficult? Most of my life I have almost been in denial even though I was coping with deafness. Sounds strange but true. I tried to hide it from the world, through the school and work years. As a youngster, the stigma associated with Deaf was raw. As I got older and technology, information and education got better, so the stigma seemed to lessen but is still there for some of the uneducated on the subject. Deafness is the invisible impairment. You cannot see it. You can disguise it until you open your mouth to speak or as an example, miss the punch-line in a joke where everyone is laughing and you are not. 

There is no escaping Deafness. I hid my Deafness pretty well, so I thought I did but it came at a price. I hid the intervention that I received at an early age partly and then completely by denying it as I entered young adulthood. The price of not hearing properly came with the embarrassments, feeling left out, loneliness and just the general missing out on some of the fun things of life growing up. Yet, all the secretiveness and building walls were that of my own doing.

It took me many years until recently where I finally came to terms with my deafness for the first time with encouragement, better technology and intervention, and started opening up to others. Sadly, having taken all these years to accept things as they are, I had been hardwired to still feel my complexes and be the somewhat stern, somewhat shy, sometimes introverted individual I have become at times, yet I know I can unravel some of the cords over time if I allow myself to. I am also blessed to have supportive people close to me who share my dreams and passions.

My fundraising effort for Carel du Toit Centre, Cape Town is important to me. I want the kids that attend the Centre to have that early intervention! I want them to have their best shot at life! I want them to know that they are just as good and just as strong as anybody else! I want them to know that they can do and become anything they want! I want them to know that they are fully capable! And it is for that reason that I am trying to do fundraising for them to ensure with the help of others, we are doing our bit to ensure this will continue to happen!

Back to the answer to the question of being Deaf and doing the Freedom Challenge.
Does it become more difficult?

Yes and no!
It all depends what your perceptions are and what you perceive as hard and what is not. It also depends on whether you allow it to rule you or boost you. I think it does come with its own set of personal challenges and its own score of apprehensions, but I don’t allow it to define me. It’s merely a case of getting on with it.

Due to the nature of the event, the elements, the weather, and all else that is associated with such an event, especially in the winter season, I cannot make use of hearing aids that I use due to the fact that they are not conducive for this type of event. Not using them makes my world a whole lot quieter. Yes, I will not hear all birds sing, crickets chirp, frogs croak. I may not always hear nearby running streams in the dark. The Freedom Challenge is said to have predators roaming in some of the areas we transverse. If they are, I may not hear them sneaking around in the bush. When I am recuperating in the dead of night after a long day out and having to rise early hours of the morning to get going, I will not hear an alarm going off. If my mountain bike, say is making high pitch noises because of a potential component problem or if my tyre punctures and air is escaping, I will not hear this. Riding next to a fellow compatriot, conversation will be minimal if at all because of wind noise, even slight, while on the move and because I cannot hear all that would be spoken. There would and will be many more obstacles that I would be required to hear that I may not.

I have to rely on my sixth sense at times. I have to rely on my sense of sight, my sense of touch, my sense of smell and I also have to rely on whatever hearing I have left too. The rest is my intelligence and logic that comes into play. All through the years, this has become second nature for me and is nothing new.

I believe as human beings we are more adaptable than we think we are when it comes to challenges and it’s all just comes down to a matter of can and will...

Once again, this initiative must not be seen as me being Deaf and doing the Freedom Challenge but rather about me offering to be a tool to gather supporters and rally support to raise funds for the Carel du Toit Centre – Cape Town that teaches Deaf children.

Any donation, big or small, in ZAR or Dollars, Pounds or Euros does not matter...

All that matters is that any donation amount goes a long way to assisting the Carel du Toit Centre, Cape Town and the kids with Deafness that attend the Centre.

Press the RED Donate button Now!

Where my bike takes me. One of the training grounds....Out There.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


Even though I have started the process of making some noise already about my endeavours and that is mainly to start a fundraising initiative to raise funds for deaf kids with some early successes of commitments expressed from willing sponsors, the official start of my fundraising will start from 1 August 2015 and run through to the end of July 2016. BUT, nothing is stopping anyone from getting involved right away and I would absolutely relish this if it happened!

As a deaf individual myself I make no demands but I am always hopeful that over the next 12 months there will be positive outcomes for the Carel du Toit Centre in my endeavours to make a difference with the help of others.

Of course there is also the next 11 months of training, preparation, planning and then racing the Freedom Challenge race across South Africa. Just taking part in this phenomenal race and finishing will be my reward! Donors making donations towards the Carel du Toit Centre, Cape Town will ensure that they receive their reward and every little bit will be worthy towards the cause.

For anyone wanting to get involved, have questions, please ask! Visit the Carel du Toit Centre webpage, visit the GivenGain Foundation page, visit the Afrivence Facebook page or just inbox me too.
All the links are on this blog page!

Saturday, July 11, 2015


AFRIVENCE and plans to fund raise for Carel du Toit Centre in Cape Town has moved along smoothly with all authorisations, and secure donor’s site set up completed through the GivenGain Foundation, thanks also to the assistance of Ronnis Daniels and colleague, the media and marketing liaison for Carel du Toit Centre, Cape Town, South Africa. The official launch and completion dates for my fund raising have been concluded and are set from 1 August 2015 and to end 31 July 2016 even though donations can now be made with immediate effect.

In this particular blog, I would like to bring to attention some background of the Carel du Toit Centre, Cape Town and what they stand for and do.

The Carel du Toit Centre, Cape Town is the only facility of its kind in the Western Cape to offer deaf children an all-encompassing, structured pre-primary school environment with an early intervention programme and foundation phase. Since established in 1973, the Centre’s belief is that deaf children can learn to speak if a hearing impairment is detected early and there are no other complications.

The objective is for deaf children to become intellectually, socially and emotionally prepared for integration into a society of hearing people. From as early as two months of age when hearing loss is confirmed, the Centre enrols the family into a parent guidance programme where early intervention is undertaken to engage, encourage and empower parents to be a partner in teaching the deaf child to speak.

Fundraising is vital for the Centre’s services to be maintained and the Carel du Toit Trust is dependent on donations and sponsorship of goods to continue serving the needs of deaf children and thus minimise operational costs.

Supportive specialists and therapists such as audiologists, speech therapists, occupational therapists and physiotherapists, assist children to overcome various challenges and work closely with the teachers to facilitate progress in speech-language acquisition. Not all learners’ families are able to afford the financial costs of hearing technology, specialised schooling and therapeutic support and as with all school facilities; there are administration costs and building structures that also need maintenance.

The Carel du Toit Trust was established in 1988 to raise funds to financially support the Centre and supplement government funding. As a non-profit organisation, the Trust relies on the generosity of publics and corporates to raise the funds necessary to enable the Centre to operate optimally and ensure sustainability for future generations of deaf children. At the Centre, children’s fees are payable according to the family’s income and so there is an enormous need for donations and sponsorships for the Carel du Toit Centre to continue its effective work in teaching deaf children to speak.

Funding needs include:
School Fees and Transport Costs
Hearing Aid Consumables
Technological Repairs for Hearing Devices
Therapy Costs – Audiology, Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy
School Maintenance Costs

Should you wish to become involved and would like to make a donation, big or small (every cent helps!) the process is easy and secure as well as there are different ways to do so. All donations are paid and administered through the secure GivenGain Foundation online payment facility and are transfered directly into the Carel du Toit Centre's Trust account with your reference.

You can -

Click on the red “DONATE” icon on this page to be directed to the GivenGain Foundation secure payment site for donors and make your donations here. (Payments can be made from anywhere in the world and all that is needed is for you to select your currency that you pay in.)


Click on the “GIVENGAIN” icon on this page to be directed to the AFRIVENCE Activist page and click on the red “DONATE” button to be directed to the GivenGain Foundation secure payment site for donors and whereby donations can be made and concluded here.

Thursday, July 9, 2015


Well the 2015 edition of Freedom Challenge race across South Africa over and the dust settling, what an amazing time spent tracking the riders racing the 26 day cut-off from Pietermaritzburg to Paarl. The 2300km journey was incredible to watch when you think that these athletes braved very different conditions to last year. Sun, wind, rain, snow, mud and dust all thrown into the caldron. Athletes showing true grit and perseverance when the odds were stacked against them, and there were many of them!

One cannot ignore the courage and resilience of these brave souls. After all, who just picks up a mountain bike and just rides 2300km over unforgiving terrain? Not just anybody.

Madly enough, I guess I am one of those few who is willing to go out there and see how far we can push it, especially in the forth decade of my life. For some still not aware, the pull from 2014 and the task of unfinished business having gone in, borne some experience and still have the carrot left dangling has kept the embers glowing. The 2016 Freedom Challenge race across South Africa is still well on my cards.

Coupled with that ember, the fans are adding energy to that heat with me partnering with the Carel du Toit Centre in Cape Town. Having been in an on-off consultation with Carel du Toit Centre’s office the past month, the plans are taking shape and hope to be fully up and running by the 1 August 2015. I will be following that goal and dream to raise much needed funds for the school. Being Deaf, I have chosen to dedicate my months of training to come and arduous endeavour to help raise awareness and funds in support of deaf and hearing impaired children at the Carel du Toit Centre in Cape Town. The founding philosophy of the Centre is that early identification of hearing loss and early intervention, provided there are no other complications, will lead to hearing impaired children acquiring sufficient speech and language abilities to enter mainstream schools and adapt intellectually, socially and emotionally in a society of hearing people.

My goal is to raise ZAR 50,000 to make a meaningful impact in the lives of the children enrolled at the Centre. If I could get meaningful donations, this will help achieve this. (One can visit their web page and read up a little on the Carel du Toit Centre – click on the logo provided on this page)

Once all the formalities and final drafts are out the way, more information will be divulged on how one can get involved. I am hopeful in achieving good things.

The 240km, 24hour Trans Baviaans race is up in 5 weeks. In all honesty and no excuses but along with some family matters needing attention, the training has been rather off the mark to date. Yet, we (brother in-law & I) are still on and will be taking part baring anything that would hamper this. We may not race hard but end up riding to the finish. I guess there may be some beauty in just slowing down a little and adopt the quote ‘every once in a while, one needs to stop and smell the roses”....

More news to follow in a short while, so remember to pop back or alternatively you can add your name to the mailing list on this page for a notification when the next blog appears......


January 2018 - July 2018 And nearly seven months have passed........ I know I have had some personal request from readers/followers on w...