Chef by trade, hero by choice

2016-11-08 06:00
The gogos enjoying the meal prepared by Bianca Ivankovic.  Photo: supplied

The gogos enjoying the meal prepared by Bianca Ivankovic. Photo: supplied

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KLOOF resident Bianca Ivankovic is a chef by trade and community hero by choice. She runs a small feeding scheme at the EsiBusisweni Crèche and Orphanage in the KwaNyuswa Valley.

Ivankovic started the scheme in March when Christopher Thuli took her to the orphanage.

“He does wonders walking door to door in the Upper Highway area collecting things for the children. Being a chef, I have been wanting to get some sort of feeding programme going for a while.
“When I told Christopher I had a feeding scheme in mind, he assured me this was the best place for me to run it from.”

Ivankovic said that there are over 20 gogos and some mkhulus that go to EsiBusisweni every Sunday afternoon to enjoy a freshly cooked meal, and sometimes a desert, and juice.

“We also have a number of gogos who bring containers for the elderly folk who are unable to make the trek to the children’s home, so we dish up food for them to take back to these gogos’ or mkhulus’ homes.
“I try and make enough so that the children in the home can eat the same meal.

“I prepare all the meals at my home in Kloof and take them to the home. The food I cook is meat-free and I try to make it as wholesome as possible.
“When I receive donations of eggs and canned or dry goods and there is enough to cook with, plus some left over, I share this out among the gogos and mkhulus for them to take home.”

She said after the meals are finished, “Gogoma”, who runs EsiBusisweni, leads everyone in song and dance.

“I was inspired by Gogoma from the moment I met her and every single time I go to EsiBusisweni. She has given the children she cares for everything she has. Her life is dedicated to each one of them.

“They all live in her three-bedroom house and there are two new rooms outside that her husband is nearly finished completing that will provide a more room for everyone.
“She showers them all with caring, guidance, cuddles and an infinite amount of love and ensures they are all cared and provided for.”

She said it is an absolute joy to cook for the wonderful people as they are delightful to be around and have so much gratitude for just simple a meal.

Ivankovic is always looking for community members to help with the dishing up of the lunches or to entertain the gogos.

“Frances Ridl has been a wonderful help at the lunches and prepared one of the most memorable lunches this year.

“Something the gogos have shown a great interest in and are very excited about is the cooking classes I will be running for them.”

The classes will run over six weeks and will teach gogos how to cook tasty and healthy meat-free meals, using basic ingredients they probably are already are cooking with and can hopefully afford to buy.
The classes will include recipes such as spaghetti with a lentil ragout, bean curry, spinach dumplings and gravy, etc.

“While once-off donations are truly appreciated. We are trying to find a source or sources that can provide regular, monthly donations that will help grow our community project,” she concluded.

If anyone or an organisation would like to donate food towards the lunches or cooking classes, it would be greatly appreciated.
To donate contact Bianca on 073 290 9816.

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