Franschhoek Wine Valley

Tag Archive: Isabelo

  1. Now is the time

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    “In July 2003 I photographed former President Nelson Mandela for the first time. This was a special commission for the inauguration of The Mandela Rhodes Foundation and the sitting took place at The Rhodes Trust in Oxford, England. This was to be the start of my long association with the Foundation and President Mandela. During our session on that summer’s afternoon in Oxford Madiba, upon hearing that I was about to move to Cape Town, said to me

    ‘You must use your skills to improve the lives of others in South Africa’. 

    I have often thought about those words – never have they felt more appropriate than now”

    Marc Stanes
    Curator & Co-Founder: EBONY/CURATED

    There are over 150 Hotels, Guesthouses and B&Bs in Franschhoek`
    There are roughly 50 Wineries in Franschhoek
    There are over 70 Restaurants and Cafés
    There are over 25 Galleries and 70 Shops in Franschhoek

    Franschhoek has a special place in many of your hearts – it is one of the premier destinations in South Africa and survives on local and international visitors. Our businesses are staffed almost exclusively from the local community who have enjoyed increased employment and empowerment over the past 10 to 20 years whilst Franschhoek grew.

    Little did we realise that when we opened our business in this picturesque village 13 years ago that the local community would be facing such a catastrophic season in 2020 due to COVID-19.

    The current lockdown and lack of visitors has had an immediate and devastating impact on employment and this has in turn fuelled a major humanitarian crisis in Groendal and surrounding areas where most of Franschhoek’s workforce lives. Many families are now reliant on donations and food parcels which are being cooked and prepared by some of SA’s top chefs – Margot Janse, Chris Erasmus, Darren Badenhorst, Liam Tomlin and many others have all opened their hearts and their kitchens to help feed the hungry.

    This team is doing a tremendous job and local residents and businesses have been incredibly generous in their support by donating funds, produce, time, skills and assistance as far as possible under extremely difficult lockdown circumstances.

    But they need more…

    In order to help raise funds for this cause, our curator and co-founder, Marc Stanes, is donating one of the above-mentioned photographs of former President Nelson Mandela to be sold on silent auction. Other prints from this series hang in many public institutions including The Parliament of South Africa, The Mandela Rhodes Foundation and The University of Cape Town.

    This print is unique, image size is 60 x 60cm and will be signed and framed with museum glass and shipped FOC to any international or local destination. All proceeds will go directly to Isabelo, the charity set up by Margot Janse a number of years ago to help feed the community. Isabelo is now solely focusing on the COVID-19 Crisis.

    The print has a reserve of R40,000 – we hope to raise significantly more.

    To place your bid, kindly send an email to before Thursday, 30th April at 5pm. This will be a silent auction; the highest bid will win. We will publish the final result but we will not update individual bidders during the process.

    If you would prefer to make a donation directly to Isabelo, their banking details are on their website:

  2. Margot Janse takes Isabelo project to Brussels

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    Award-winning chef and Franschhoek local, Margot Janse’s passion for food and giving back to the community is a shining example to all through a project very close to her heart. Margot’s charity project, ‘Isabelo, Feeding Hungry Minds’, which she initiated in 2009, provides nutritious breakfasts on a daily basis to over 1300children across two primary schools in the Franschhoek Wine Valley, as well as protein-based lunches and breakfaststo 200 pre-school children. This equates to approximately 336 980 nutritious meals a year. Since its inception in 2009 Margot has managed to expand the project’s reach with the help of generous donors.

    On 16 February Margot will be heading to Brussels to raise funds for ‘Isabelo, Feeding Hungry Minds’, where three unique dinners will be prepared by acclaimed international chefs using unique South African ingredients. Margot will be joined by a team of 25 international chefs, from the World’s 50 Best Restaurant family, which include May Chow, Mauro Colagreco, Rodolfo Guzmán, Pía León, Virgilio Martínez, Alain Passard, Ana Roš and Heinz Reitbauer. The proceeds of these dinners will be donated to the charity. Chefs Alain Passard, Mauro Colagreco and Pascal Barbot have been given the challenge of cooking with the uniquely South African ingredient buchu. Known mostly for medicinal uses, this herb works beautifully with root vegetables, pumpkin or chocolate. Diners will also get the chance to try the pulpof the baobab tree, Baleni salt from a natural hot spring in Limpopo, sour figs, Honeybushtea as well as marula nuts.

    Read more about Margot’s amazing initiative

    For information on the Isabelo charity visit