I am completely in love with all the mass boekas and street boekas taking place in Cape Town now during the month of Ramadaan.
To think it only started last year when the people of Bo-Kaap hosted what they then called a protest boeka against gentrification.
It is amazing how the government can stimulate something good by doing something bad.
We, Capetonians always manage to see the positive.
For example, with the road march on a Tweede Nuwe Jaar, our forefathers jolled in the streets to celebrate their one day of freedom.
And today, we still celebrate it, albeit under very different circumstances, thank goodness.
It started out as a protest and now it has spread all over the Cape Flats as others have taken up the call to unite their communities and take back their streets.
What is amazing to me is the massive amount of people who attend these street boekas.
I have seen numbers from 3000 up to 6000, which is a huge amount of people to feed.
Now, the needy could always just go to their local mosque to get something to eat at iftar.
And while the mass boekas have a lot to do with feeding the poor, it has also become a beacon of hope for people living in gang-infested, crime-ridden communities, as decent people take over their own streets, even if it’s just for a day.
Such a blessing to have spent Iftaar with the community of Kalksteenfontein at their Mass Street Boeka. A trend that has quickly caught on in Cape Town and one that will surely be around for a long time. Family, friends, neighbours and strangers all coming together in the spirit pic.twitter.com/FGVCKBG4Fk— iCare Children's Foundation (@icarecf) May 25, 2019
The criminals have not been bothering anyone at iftar and in fact, I’m certain that they too found themselves sitting at the boeka table, and taking a barakat home.
The sharing of food and drink has brought together nations for ages and I believe it is the key to strengthening our communities and eventually winning the fight against gangsterism, drug abuse and other crimes.
Another striking aspect of the mass boekas is that everyone is welcome.
People from all walks of life and religions are invited and no one is made to feel like an outsider.
Initiatives like these have been posted on social media and I see no problem with this as it is obviously inspiring other communities to do the same.
It is also good to see the people behind these sterling ideas, even if it’s just to salute them for taking the lead in their areas.
These are the people who are paying for these mass events out of their own pockets or who approach businesses and other sponsors to assist.
It is they who go and speak to the gangsters and say, kyk, ons gaan in Manenberg Laan boeka, soe hou vas met julle geskietery.
I’m happy to say mense have been getting home safe after the boekas.
It is clear that the Almighty will guide and protect us if we are busy doing good.
I said it last year and I will say it again: may all these mass boekas grow into bigger events, reaching more and more people and become part of our lives even outside the month of Ramadaan.
I know during the month of pwasa people love to give even more, but just imagine being able to host mass events like this once or twice a month in our communities.
So I am asking, please do not let them die as soon as Ramadaan ends.
With that said, the pwasa is drawing to a close, so let us use these last days and nights to continue to strive for good, may you be blessed with Lailatul Qadr (the Night of Power), the night found in the last 10 days of the fast, and that is said to be better than a 1000 months of worshipping the Almighty..
When I speak to you next, it will have been Labarang, so let me wish you an Eid Mubarak, baie slamat to you and your loved ones, and hope you will have a fabulous day, inshallah ameen.