LeadSA: Cape sommelier raises over R60k for Cyclone Idai victims

After Cyclone Idai tore through Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi it was described as one of the worst tropical storms ever to hit the southern hemisphere.

The scale of the devastation is enormous, especially in Mozambique where Idai made landfall.

600 People were killed in that country alone, among the 1.5 million affected.

The United Nations has appealed for $282-million to fund emergency assistance for the next three months.

Back home, a Cape sommelier and philanthropist launched his own initiative to help those people whose lives have been shattered.

Tongai Joseph Dhafana has a busy life as a sommelier at La Colombe in Constantia, but managed to raise over R60 000 within a short space of time.

After I heard about this natural disaster which happened in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe, I sat down and decided to do something because I couldn't actually just fold hands and watch.

Tongai Joseph Dhafana, Sommelier - La Colombe

Remembering he had some bottles of wine in reserve, Dhafana came up with the idea of organising a fundraising dinner, in partnership with Harald Bresselschmidt, owner of Cape Town's Aubergine Restaurant.

That was done in a week and I sponsored the wine and Harald sponsored the food, the premises in Gardens, and also the staff members who are also all from Zimbabwe.

Tongai Joseph Dhafana, Sommelier - La Colombe

We managed to raise about R54 700 which will all go towards the victims of Cyclone Idai.

Tongai Joseph Dhafana, Sommelier - La Colombe

Dhafana followed up with a Facebook auction of a magnum of a 2014 vintage which he sourced from friends, raising another R10 000.

A Zimbabwean himself, Dhafana is now set to travel to the country to buy food and building materials for families who were left homeless.

My home language is Shona and Idai means to love, but unfortunately this Idai wasn't loving at all.

Tongai Joseph Dhafana, Sommelier - La Colombe

I'm leaving in two weeks for Zimbabwe. I was given the names of a couple of families that were affected by Idai quite close to where I was born.

Tongai Joseph Dhafana, Sommelier - La Colombe

For more of this inspiring conversation, listen here:


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