It’s one of our favourite times of the year when we can spend time with friends and loved ones, share a great meal, celebrate and exchange Christmas gifts or just relax and unwind. We asked members of The Constantia Village community how they’ll be spending this festive or holiday season. However you choose to celebrate, we wish you well over the season.
SERGE MUSA, Car Guard, The Constantia Village
“I will probably be working over the Festive Season,” confides Serge Musa, albeit with a broad smile. “If there is an opportunity to work, I must take it!” Serge, a Burundi national who has been living in Cape Town for two years since he fled his war-torn home country, says Christmas in Burundi is all about family. “We go to church and then have a big celebration with lots of lovely dishes. I miss my home a lot, especially my daughter, Samiah, who is three years old.”
Serge says he last saw Samiah when she was one. He hopes to return to Burundi for a visit in 2021 when he will have saved enough money to pay for the trip. His Cape Town Christmas, when he eventually manages to get a few days’ off, will be spent celebrating with his “brothers”.
“I live in Wittebome near Wynberg and I will be celebrating with my fellow countrymen from Burundi and also those from Tanzania and Zambia. We will do something together as a community.”
MADENEYAH GAIKA, Shopper, The Constantia Village
For Madeneyah Gaika from Constantia, this is a happy time, spent with friends and family. “There are lots of parties with our friends and family, lots of braais around the pool and lovely get-togethers,” she says. “It’s very relaxing … it’s time to chill, to unwind and catch up with people who mean a lot of us.”
Madeneyah, her daughter Zariah (2) and her husband Jonathan also see it as a time to bond, and to do special things together, as a family. “It’s our family time … a lot of our activities will centre on Zariah, and we’ll be going to the beach, doing strawberry picking and visiting places such as The Giraffe House Wildlife Awareness Centre near Stellenbosch,” says explains.
The young family might also fit in a trip to Sun City in the New Year, she adds. “We’re just going to have a lovely summer holiday.”
PETER GILDER, Owner, Peter Gilder Jewellery
“This is a very busy period for any retailer” says jeweller Peter Gilder. “It’s not really a holiday time for us because the hours are long: it’s what my farming friends call harvest time!” Still, Christmas is a special time in the Gilder family. “It’s very much a family affair, and my wife, Caja, and my two children, their spouses and my two grandchildren all sit down to a big lunch on Christmas day – and eat far too much,” he laughs. “It is 100 percent traditional, with roast turkey and gammon and Christmas pudding, which I love. There’s always a bottle of sparkling wine open, too …”
The Gilders relax around the pool and unwind. “We all lead such busy lives, but over the Festive Season, especially on December 25 and 26, our whole family comes together to celebrate. What is also lovely for me, as a retail jeweller in Constantia, is to see the children of friends and clients, who live overseas, come home to their families. It feeds into the Christmas spirit …”
After the Christmas celebrations are over, the Gilders go Greyton where they spend New Year at their holiday home. “This has been our ritual for nine years now,” says Peter.
YONELE NDEVU, Senior Security Guard, The Constantia Village
It will be work as usual on 25 and 26 December at The Constantia Village for Yonele Ndevu. The senior security guard says he’ll miss his family over Christmas as they’ll all be in the Eastern Cape celebrating with loved ones in their hometown, Ngcobo. In fact, he hasn’t been home for Christmas for three years as he’d had to work. “I really do miss my family over Christmas,” he confides. “There are a lot of traditional ceremonies that take place at home at this time, so there’s a lot going on, and it special simply having time to relax and meet up with everyone.”
But all is not lost. He is looking forward to spending time with his girlfriend, Afikile, and their three-year-old daughter, Phinda, on 27 December. “We’ll do something special, like go to Century City and the Waterfront,” he says with a smile. “Then Afikile will prepare a special meal for us, with stamp mealies and grilled meat. You know I’m a Xhosa guy, we love our meat! And then later, I’ll get to relax with my friends and share a couple of beers with them.”
HEIDI MULLER, Front Shop Manager, Constantia Pharmacy
Heidi Muller doesn’t get much time off over the Festive Season. A stalwart at Constantia Pharmacy, where she has worked for 17 years, Heidi prefers to take a mid-year break in July when business is quieter. But she still spends downtime with family and friends over the holiday period.
“Christmas Eve is an important time for my close-knit family: my father Axel, sister Carmen and I get together and share a special meal,” she says. The table is laden with roast lamb and all the trimmings, she says. “We don’t exchange gifts – we’ve moved on from that! – but it is all about being together and appreciating one another. My mother passed away nine years ago, and when you experience that kind of loss, it makes you value your family and your friends.”
Heidi meets up with six friends on New Year’s Day (“we call ourselves the Secret Seven”) and they do something that is community-orientated. “We usually do the big beach clean-up on Muizenberg Beach every year and have already taken part in the Santa Shoebox drive,” she says.