PEOPLE OF THE POINT: GERHARD ERASMUS
Meet this months People of the Point, Gerhard Erasmus. He has been part of Edit Microsystems for 6 ½ years and introduces blind people and people with low vision to technology and assistive devices to aid them with everyday life. He is also blind and makes extensive use of their technology. In South Africa, only 3% of blind people are employed and he is one of them.
What is your favourite part of your job?
I enjoy the training and support component most. It is very rewarding to know that unnecessary hurdles are removed by technology and services that is on offer. Having the opportunity to share my knowledge and the uniqueness of these devices with other blind and low vision persons all over Africa is a privilege.
Tell us something interesting about yourself
I attended Pioneer School for the Blind in Worcester. With the use of technology and the skills I acquired I was able to attend Tygerberg High School from the age of 16. I graduated from this mainstream school in 1999. Technology and assistive devices opened doors and introduced me to new opportunities. Today I use various cutting-edge solutions, including a Braille tablet and screen reading software to access online information sources. I read and write e-mails; surf the web and can perform most tasks my peers are able to perform on a computer.
I also make use of public transport between Durbanville and Sea Point. I am one of the first people to arrive at work and pride myself to always know of the latest developments.
What is your favourite hobby/ thing to do and why?
I love playing my guitar. I might not be good, but I do find it very relaxing. My wife is also teaching me how to bake. I enjoy the time we spend together in the kitchen; learning a new skill.
What is the coolest/ scariest/ craziest thing you have ever done?
Put money in Bitcoin.
Would you rather always be 10 minutes late or always be 20 minutes early?
I would prefer to be 20 minutes early and therefore start my journeys early too. I hate being rushed. Very few things in life are as important as they might seem. There is no reason to rush.
Would you rather be able to teleport anywhere or be able to read minds?
Well, since I’m blind, I’d have to vote for teleportation since self-driving cars aren’t developing fast enough! Mind reading would come in handy when I try to sell a product to a client. It will be good to know if I’m wasting somebody’s time when I am busy with a sales call.
Pizza, I’m not a wood-fire snob and therefore love all pizzas. I would eat it every day if I could.
Favourite movie/ TV show?
TV Show: Scrubs. It is the greatest television depiction of friendship of all time.
Movie: Casino or anything about the Mob. Casino’s only crime was that it was released after Goodfellas.
Favourite place to visit/ go on holiday?
Anywhere where my wife is.
Tulips. I like the shape and the texture of the leaves.
That’s all from Gerhard, have a great Movember and remember to enter this months competition, we would love to see your moustaches!
If you want to see someone specific as our next People Of The Point click here to nominate them.
Until next time, keep cool and remember that every drop counts!
The Point Team x
Remember, Remember the month of Movember!
It’s hard to believe that Movember (which is celebrated in the month of November) is almost 20 years old!
Painter’s brush, toothbrush, chevron, walrus, pyramid, pencil, lampshade, imperial, and that’s just the start of it, but what do these seemingly random things have in common? They’re all moustache types, and pretty soon you’re going to see a whole more of them because it’s Movember time! In honour of the yearly event, we’re looking at its origins and why it’s such a worthy cause to get behind – even if you can’t grow a mighty mo!
It all started in 2003 when “two mates from Melbourne, Australia (Travis Garone and Luke Slattery) were having a quiet beer at the Gypsy Bar in Fitzroy when their conversation turned to recurring fashion trends. The moustache, a fixture in past decades, was nowhere to be seen in recent trends. They joked about bringing it back.” Since then it has grown with each passing year and is now a worldwide phenomenon with over 5 million active Mo Bros and Mo Sistas (yip, ladies, you can get involved too!).
As fun (and funny) as it can be, the concept has always been rooted in raising awareness about men’s health issues.
“The two friends decided to talk their mates into growing a Mo. Inspired by a friend’s mother who was fundraising for breast cancer, they decided to make the campaign about men’s health and prostate cancer.”
And what started as a playful challenge has become a formidable force of change in the lives of many men. For example, their research found that on average men across the world die six years younger than women, and for reasons that are largely preventable. Why does this happen? There’s no simple answer, but a lot of it has to do with the simplest thing: communication.
“70% of men say their friends can rely on them for support, but only 48% say that they rely on their friends. In other words: we’re here for our friends but worried about asking for help for ourselves. Reaching out is crucial.”
It’s also about awareness and knowing when to start asking the right questions.
“At 50, talk to your doctor about prostate cancer and whether it’s right for you to have a PSA test. If you are of African or Caribbean descent or have a father or brother with prostate cancer, you should be having this conversation at 45. Know your numbers, know your risk, talk to your doctor.”
Similarly, men have to embrace their bodies and get to “know thy nuts” as the Movember team puts it.
“Get to know what’s normal for your testicles. Give them a check regularly and go to the doctor if something doesn’t feel right.”
There’s also something you can do every day to improve your health and decrease your chances of falling ill – move. And then move some more. Try to add more activity to your day. Here are a few things you can try to get you up on your feet without having to change too much.
- Take a walking meeting
- Park further away from the office
- Get off the bus a stop or two earlier
- Instead of the lift, take the stairs
- Cycle to work instead of driving
Men’s health and wellness often gets dismissed or simply ignored, which is exactly why Movember is so effective – it’s pretty hard to ignore 5 million moustaches passing you every day!
If you haven’t already signed up to join the challenge you can do so at movember. But more importantly, even if you don’t sign up, make some time to talk to a friend, you never know how much he, or you, might need it.
Till next month,
The Point Team x
Image credit: https://za.movember.com/
Our Top Winning Winter Activities for the Whole Family
Are you looking for engaging ways to entertain the kids during the winter months? Finding something to do in a hurry can be quite tricky and many kids’ workshops, shows and specials don’t carry on beyond the school holidays. So we’ve compiled a quick list of tried and tested outings that are open for business throughout the colder months.
Feel The Rush
Rush indoor Trampoline Park in Claremont gives kids (and adults) the chance to let off some steam even when its raining cats and dogs outside. Rush features around 1700 square meters of the wall to wall interconnected trampolines, including dodge-ball courts, an 18000 cube foam pit, hydraulic slam dunk basketball hoops, battle beam and best of all a 4-meter high-Performance Wall. Rush also features a wavy lane and fidget ladder at selected parks. Rush accommodates non-participating guests with free WIFI, imported coffee, healthy snacks and cake bar while your family and friends enjoy the more energetic facilities that Rush has to offer. www.rushsa.co.za
Other reliable go-to locations:
The Two Ocean Aquarium at the V&A Waterfront https://www.aquarium.co.za
Amazing new location – City Rock now in Paarden Eiland. A climbing paradise for young and old alike. www.cityrock.co.za
The Planetarium (IZIKO Digital Dome), CBD
Go Up, Up and Away
Explore the natural beauty and grace of Table Mountain with your children during the Cableway Kidz Season, when two kids ride for free with an adult who has purchased a Kidz season adult return ticket online or from the Lower Cable Station. This offer runs from 27 April to 24 September 2018, 7 days a week (excluding the Cableway’s annual maintenance period 23 July – 5 August 2018). www.tablemountain.net
Go Tobogganing at Cool Runnings in Durbanville
Ride a pony or a camel or hold a snake at Imhoff Farm in Kommetjie
Eikelaan Farm is a family-friendly farm hideaway that welcomes children of all ages. Kids are encouraged to participate in (or observe) daily activities on the farm. Walk or cycle around, feed the animals or simply enjoy the freedom of country life. Eikelaan offers affordable and comfortable accommodation for families just 10 minutes from Tulbagh. To learn more check out www.eikelaan.com
Hermanus is always a great place to head out to either on a day trip or for a weekend visit. You may even spot a whale or two.
Elgin – Old Mac Daddy’s old refurbished Airstream trailers are quirky and cool. There is a dam on the property, several wine farms nearby and two jungle gyms, a pool and a kids’ entertainment room on the property. Babysitters can be arranged. A must-see for a weekend escape with a difference. www.oldmacdaddy.co.za
Don’t let cold weather stop you and the kids from getting out and about. You’d be amazed how much there is to see and do in and around the Mother City during winter. There are loads of new adventures to be enjoyed. So be sure to explore more.
Till next month,
The Point Team x
Dr Reena Cotton saves Khayelitsha Animal Clinic
Sea Point Veterinarian contributes to Khayelitsha Animal Clinic to prevent it from shutting doors
The well known and loved Dr Reena Cotton from Vetpoint in Sea Point donates financially and launches a video to encourage support of the Mdzananda Animal Clinic in Khayelitsha after losing its largest funder.
“I have a very special passion for welfare and I have been associated with Mdzananda and supporting them for at least 15 to 18 years,” says Dr Reena Cotton, “But when I heard that they had lost their largest funder and were considering closing their doors I knew that I had to step in and make a difference.”
Dr Reena Cotton, a loved and well-known veterinarian in the Sea Point community opened her practice, Vetpoint, nearly 15 years ago. Being a private veterinary clinic treating small animals including dogs, cats, birds, rabbits and the like, she has always had a heart for welfare organizations and tried to assist wherever possible.
“Since before I opened Vetpoint and was working as a veterinarian at another practice, I have been supporting the Mdzananda Animal Clinic in Khayelitsha in a non-financial capacity. I support Mdzananda because it does a wonderful job in a community which might not otherwise have access to pet care. They go out to the community educating people on looking after animals and they do a wonderful job sterilizing and treating animals,” says Dr Cotton.
Dr Cotton supports various welfare organisations by participating in sterilisation drives, collecting donations and offering treatment to welfare organisations when they are in need.
“When I heard that Mdzananda had lost their largest funder I was worried. They told me about a campaign that they were launching, to try raise enough funds to cover their deficit and I immediately wanted to be a part of it. I decided to do so by signing up as a Paw Member.”
Mdzananda received news from their largest funder that, due to the economic state of Europe and budget cuts, this organisation would be withdrawing their funding. This financial year the donation from the international funder was reduced by 1.4 million Rand. The donation will reduce further in 2018 and then full extraction can be expected in 2019 where a 2.2 million Rand yearly donation will be withdrawn.
“Of course losing our largest funder is extremely scary, especially since they were covering around 65% of our monthly expenses,” says Marcelle du Plessis, Fundraising and Communications Manager of Mdzananda. “Even though it is a very big knock, we are still extremely grateful for the vast number of years that this organisation was able to support us.”
Though the thought of closing their doors had crossed their minds, the team at Mdzananda is positive that the public will stand together to support them in this difficult time.
Even though we have lost such a large amount of funding, the number of pets needing our help keeps increasing. As a result, we actually need more funding this year in comparison to previous financial years,” says du Plessis. “We want to stay proactive and as a result, we have launched our largest campaign yet called “Become a #PawMember.”
Taking their funding loss as well as their increased funding need into consideration they need 3000 new Paw Members to sign up, each donating R100 per month.
“To date, four weeks after our campaign launch, we have had 280 new Paw Member sign-ups. Even though this number is fantastic, it is a long way from the 3000 we require,” says du Plessis.
It was during this time that Dr Reena Cotton from Sea Point signed up as a Paw Member. A video was filmed showing Dr Cotton’s commitment to the cause and encouraging members of her community to sign up too.
“We created a video to express my commitment visually as I want to encourage more people to sign up. We can all spare one meal out per month and instead donate R100 to Mdzananda,” says Dr Cotton.
Dr Cotton’s video can be seen on the Mdzananda Animal Clinic ’s youtube channel (https://youtu.be/_z7hYeIAkKo). If you would like to become one of the 3000 Paw Members you can sign up at www.mdzanandasecure.co.za or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Mdzananda Animal Clinic (www.mdzananda.co.za)
The Mdzananda Animal Clinic is a permanent, veterinary council registered, NPO animal clinic in Khayelitsha, a township just outside of Cape Town, South Africa, home to 400 000 people (2011 census) and their pets. The clinic serves an average of 700 animals per month through consultations, hospitalization, general and orthopaedic surgeries, continuous sterilizations, mobile clinics and an animal ambulance. Mdzananda has a strong focus on community empowerment and education to ensure responsible pet ownership into the future.
Press Release issues on 20/04/2018 by Mdzananda Animal Clinic in Khayelitsha.
For any further information please contact Marcelle du Plessis, email@example.com, 082 357 7613 or Dr Reena Cotton, 021 434 8831 or 083 306 1959.