Highway resident is ‘many to many’

2016-10-25 06:00
 PHOTO:BRENDAN BROMFIELD The Kidgell family (from left) Ashton, Dylan, Kelly and Addison with the loving Under an African Sky calendar.

PHOTO:BRENDAN BROMFIELD The Kidgell family (from left) Ashton, Dylan, Kelly and Addison with the loving Under an African Sky calendar.

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UPPER Highway resident Kelly-Ann Kidgell is a wife, mother of three, writer, PJ-pants extraordinaire and is well known on social media platforms for her charity work.

She is one of the six talented, animal loving Under an African Sky (UAAS) ambassadors chosen to endorse the 2017 Reflections of Africa calendar.

“Being an ambassador for Under an African Sky ties in beautifully with my life motto, ‘Be many to many’,’’ says Kidgell.

She believes that life is enriched if we spend a significant part of it helping others, be it humans or animals.

“Conservation of our beautiful wildlife starts with humans, and playing my small role in empowering such an incredible cause is a huge honour.”

Kidgell grew up in Hillcrest and after school completed a Bachelor of Commerce through Unisa. She then spent most of her twenties in the UK where she married Warren, also from Hillcrest, and the had their three boys – Dylan, Addison and Ashton.

“I never once considered settling in the UK. For me, home is when my feet are firmly on African soil and I feel privileged to be South African.’’

When the family relocated to South African in 2013, Kidgell had some items to sell and started a Facebook group called “Upper Highway Buy Swop and Sell”.

“It started as a forum to sell and swop to family and friends, but it escalated so fast and now has nearly 60 000 members,’’ says Kidgell.

“It is hard work, but being part of an incredible community, always willing to help with my charity work, is awe-inspiring.”

She and a friend recently founded a charity called “Feed, Play, Love” with the aim being to help those less fortunate.

Kidgell’s other claim to fame is her Facebook journal titled “Surviving the Runner Guy”. In March, on holiday in Cape Town for the Two Oceans Marathon, she realised just how much of their lives were consumed by running.

“On my phone I started typing some of the truths regarding being married to a long-distance runner and published it on fb.com/runnerwife just to save it somewhere.

“It was shared hundreds of times and future posts got overwhelming responses.’’

The posts are an overshare on life with a running addict and three busy boys, which according to Kidgell, is equal parts - entertaining, frustrating, rewarding and chaotic.

Within months Kidgell and Surviving the Runner Guy had thousands of fans, which led her to be invited to write for Runners World, and now there is a book in the pipeline.

“If I can convince people that being ordinary can be extraordinary, then I'm half way to achieving what I've set out to do.

“We place so much importance on what society sees as beautiful and perfect. I'm hoping to encourage readers to find the beauty we all possess within and realise that in being who we are, we are in fact ‘many to many’.”

The Reflections of Africa A2 wall calendar sells for R180, excluding postage, the CD-size desk calendar, comprising the same photographs, sells for R60.

To order your calendar, phone Dianne Reddy on 031 267 9700, email orders@underanafricansky.co.za or visit www.underanafricansky.co.za

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