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MosselbayonTheline | First With The News

WOW, and THIS is why everybody wants to live here . . . 


While we humans moan and groan about the cold and wind, nature flaunts its beauty all around - regardless of the weather and people's feeble toil and turmoil .. . 

Keen local photographers Riaan Human, Pamela Taylor and Magda Hopley captured the whales, the birds and beauty . . . and Riaan so eloquently sums it up:


 This morning at The Point, Mossel Bay

Early morning and dawn is breaking grey
With storm clouds on the Eastern horizon 
blocking the colouring rays of the rising sun
A cool westerly breeze stirs the incoming tide
As it smashes against the rugged rocky shore
All is well at the Point


A Southern Right whale waves its tail at the flock
of cape cormorants drawing lines in the sky
An African Black Oyster Catcher hunts out on the rocks
And a few Cape fur seals play loops in the surf 
As a pod of bottle-nosed dolphins glides past
All is well at the Point


 A Southern Right whale waves its tail at the flock
of cape cormorants drawing lines in the sky


This is where we gather every morning if we can
Some come for coffee or to check out the surf 
And walkers and runners or some just for chat
We breathe the fresh air and gaze out at the sea
The view costs you nothing the beauty’s for free
All is well at the Point



An African Black Oyster Catcher hunts out on the rocks


A Southern Right whale waves its tail at the flock
of cape cormorants drawing lines in the sky


The view costs you nothing the beauty’s for free
All is well at the Point


 When the sun sets the sky and see alight . . .

All is well at the Point



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The tale of Peet's Pot is a feel-good story about the power of a noble vision . . . and what happens when great minds think alike towards a Bigger Picture . . .  From scrap metal to SOUL of festivals where food for body, mind and soul are brewed . . .  


Once upon a time, a seasoned nature conservation project manager spotted a huge, curiously-shaped metal object dumped on a scrap yard near his tool shed on a Free State farmland. He had no idea what it was or where it came from, but the shape of the metal strangely reminded him of an outsized 3-legged pot similar to those in cannibal cartoons.
On the spur of the moment, he asked his surprised construction foreman, Daan de Wet, to have the huge structure moved to the tool shed . . . 

A vision of a mammoth pot - the biggest in the world - brewing over coals to feed thousands of hungry people, flashed before his eyes . . . and a dream was born.


Peet Groenewald (67) comes from solid Free State soil where the slogan " 'n boer maak 'n plan" is a way of life and on that sunny day in 1995 a plan immediately materialized in his mind.
Having worked all over the Free State as quality controller/ project manager to design and develop infrastructures for nature conservation reserves, office and camp sites as well as chalets and abattoirs, Peet had all the technical skills, tools, experience and innovative ideas to make his dream come true.
With the help of Daan, his eldery retired father, Groenie Groenewald, and two workers, Petrus Gogela and Jackson Lesopi, they started building his dream pot in a shed on the Caledon Nature Reserve near Wepener. Although they only worked one week per month, they constructed the gigantic steel pot with all its intricate and unique mechanisms and megafters, made from scrap metal and vehicle and motor bike parts, within 6 months.

Stirring a broth in a pot that can hold soup for 6 000 people or 4 antelope (eland) or 15 sheep at a time, is no small feat and thus road scraper blades were ingeniously fitted to a sling - if you turn the sling, the blades rotate, stirring the ingredients in the pot.
"We used different parts of a vehicle and a motorbike to create a mechanism to rotate the blades in the pot at the exact ratio," Peet said.


"We started by the end of 1995 and in May 1996 the pot was completed and ready for its inaugural Wildspotjiekos Festival launched by the then Free State Department of Agriculture and Environmental Affairs on 8 May 1996. The final product weighed 2,3 ton and measured approximately 2 metre in diameter with a depth of 0,880 metre and a capacity of 2117 litre. It can hold 2 067 kg of food for 6 201 people, but it's too difficult to stir those quantities and thus I prefer to cook for only 2 000 to 3 000 people," he said.


Peet's Pot caused quite a stir and was immediately dubbed the Africa Pot. Its inaugural function at the Rusfontein Reserve near Bloemfontein was a major event featuring the then Free State Premier Patrick Lekota and MEC: Agriculture and Environmental Affairs Cas Human as host and guest speakers. It was both a community project to provide food for 2 000 underprivileged children from Botshabelo and an attempt to set a new Guinness World Record for the biggest pot of its kind in the world.

The Africa Pot - also called Amapotopoto - received wide media coverage at the time: 



Peet had to figure out recipes for his massive invention all by himself and eventually appointed a chef to assist him. Although the specifics of his recipes are a secret, the ingredients of his first wildspotjie in Amapotopoto included four Eland, 40 bags of potatoes and onions respectively, 10 kg  salt, black pepper and other spices, 10 boxes of tomatoes and 24 bottles of wine! More than 3 371 children and their families were fed at this occasion.
Preparing potjiekos-food for 2 000 to 4 000 people at a time is no small feat and voluntary helpers had to get an early start . . .   

Peet's pot became an instant novelty at official provincial events in the Free State. During a promotion for the SA Potato Board, 6 000 potatoes were cooked and preparing potjiekos/stew for 4 000 people at a time became an exciting and rewarding challenge at special functions.
However, to clean and transport the pot was a major issue where fork lifts, cranes and chains were part and parcel of the job. Around 2006, after ten huge potjiekos-festivals and two failed attempts to have the pot approved by Guinness World Records, Peet grew tired of the rigmarole and the pot stayed stagnant in the shed where rust and dust soon took its toll.

In March 2016 Peet and his wife Miranda relocated and retired in Mossel Bay . . . and the rusty pot became a distant memory and headed for the scrap yard. 

Mossel Bay Soul Festival soul foto

In 2017, Peet mentioned his Africa Pot and his plans to sell it as scrap metal to lMossel Bay businness man Geo Engelbrecht. Geo recognised the potential of the pot and immediately made plans to introduce Peet to local go-getter business woman Marika Thomatos, owner of Munro Manor Guest House.


It was a match made in heaven. Both being idealistic innovators who think, dream and operate in Top Gear, Marika, as vice-chairperson of Mossel Bay Tourism, was instantly intrigued by this biggest pot in the world and its potential as a tourist magnet. 



Another challenge was born . . . to restore Peet's neglegted pot to its former grandeur and to give it a new life as the central theme of a major annual winter festival in Mossel Bay.
A committee of stakeholders from applicable sectors was appointed and after some brainstorming and wordplay, the name Soul Festival was chosen. The rationale was that SOUL incorporates and personifies all the warm heart-felt senses of a winter fest - food, drink, music, charity, shows and lively discussions - showcasing Mossel Bay's best creatures and features of which seafood (sole) is paramount.


It was hard work and planning in record time: The pot had to be brought from Bloemfontein and Cobra Transport graciously sponsored its transport and storage, while Swift Engineering sandblasted it on the Cobra site. Albertinia Furniture Removals brough enough wood to keep the pot boiling. But first it had to be repainted, derusted and cleaned properly . . . and ingredients for enough soup to feed 3 000 festgoers and underprivileged people had to be found.



Mossel Bay stood together again . . . and enough food, drinks and meat to feed an army poured in! Last weekend the dream finally materialized when the Africa Pot found its new home as the SOUL of Mossel Bay's first Soul Festival !



THANK YOU to the following sponsors: Albertinia Furniture Removals, Swift Engineering, Cobra Transport, Knysna Meat Wholesalers, Golden Harvest, Pioneer Foods, Het Deegmeisje, Crown National, Helderberg Super Fix, H&U Vleishandel, Munro Manor Gastehuis, Louis Triegaardt, Egoli Functions.  
Well done, Mossel Bay! Well done, Peet & Marika! You DID it!

  For all the news and photos about Mossel Bay's First SOUL Festival, click on: 
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O, my SIEL . . .  Ons weet Mosselbaai gaan GROOT met alles wat hy aanpak, maar as twee groot geeste boonop saamspan om die grootste potjiekospot in die wêreld van die Vrystaat af Mosselbaai toe te bring vir 'n BIELIE van 'n fees, kry jy 'n POT vol pret en plesier . . . maar ook HARDE werk agter die skerms . . . . 


Peet Groenewald en Marika Thomatos doen niks op klein skaal nie - dis gaan GROOT of gaan huis toe . . . en toe dié twee mekaar verlede jaar iewers in Mosselbaai raakkuier en begin gesels, was die saadjie vir 'n GROOT partytjie rondom 'n GROOT pot klaar geplant . . .

Peet, 'n natuurbewaarder wie se hande vir niks verkeerd staan nie, wou sy pot wat hy in 1996 eiehandig ontwerp en met sy pa en konstruksievoorman se hulp gebou het, in Mosselbaai kry . . . Toe Marika, bekende sakevrou en onder-voorsitter van Mosselbaai Toerismeburo hoor Peet se pot is die grootste van sy soort in die wêreld en dat hy 'n wêreldrekord daarmee wou opstel, was sy vuur en vlam. Daai pot wil sy sien en hy moet Mosselbaai toe kom . . .

Peet se pot is 'n mooi storie van twee groot geeste met 'n visie wat ons later stuk-stuk met foto's sal vertel . . . hoe 'n stoere, geroeste Vrystaatse pot nou 'n nuwe lewe in Mosselbaai gekry het. Ná maande se gesukkel, gespook en beplanning, is dié pot vanoggend op sy ereplek as die SIEL van die naweek se Soul Festival "geplant" by Santos-strand . . waar hy onder meer sop vir 3 000 mense uit sy boeppens-maag gaan skink . . . 

Volg hieronder die fotostories op ons FB-blad van hoe die fees ontvou het tot bo-op die voorblad van Die Burger!

Omdat daar te veel foto's is om op die webblad te plaas, het ons elke feesdag se hoogtepunte in fotostories op ons FB-blad geplaas - klik net op die onderskeie datums se skakels om elke dag se hoogtepunte te sien. 

July 11 at 6:40 PM







Die tafels is gedek, die tente is opgeslaan, die hout is gepak en die Feesvure is brandgesteek vir Mosselbaai se eerste SOUL Festival . . . alles en nog wat die siel verkwik . . . musiek, kos, konsert, boekbesprekings, praatjies met koskenners en bekendes, wyn en bier, flieks, talentkompetisies en vele meer - kom kyk, proe en geniet!

Die foto's vertel die storie . . . Kyk dit hier: https://web.facebook.com/mosselbayontheline/posts/2188842268013695



Mosselbaai se eerste SOUL FESTIVAL om die dorp se warm SIEL in die hartjie van die winter ten toon te stel, het nóg 'n unieke jaarlikse instelling afgeskop . . .

Die SIEL van die fees - die grootste driebeenpot in die wêreld - het gekóók en geprut en lekker voedsame sop vir minstens 3 000 mense opgedis - van wie 2 000 gratis vir hulpbehoewendes was.

Selfs die wolke het die naweek oopgetrek en die mense het van Vrydagmiddag af stuk-stuk kom kyk wat broei weer in die Baai. Daar is gekoffie, gebier, gewyn, gesmul, gekuier en geluister na interessante kos- en drankpraatjies en boekbesprekings, terwyl die onderskeie musikante by die verskillende lokale opgetree het.

Plaaslike besighede en stalletjie-eienaars het hul beste produkte uitgestal en restaurante het spesiale aanbiedinge aangebied . . . en boonop was toegang en vervoer tussen die onderskeie lokale gratis!

Omdat die naweek se feestelikhede feitlik al die restaurante van Mosselbaai tot by Glentana, asook 'n strandstap na die wrak op Glentana-strand ingesluit het, is dit onmoontlik om te bepaal hoeveel mense al die onderskeie feestelikhede bygewoon het, maar dat dit 'n GOEIE afskop vir 'n jaarlikse "warm" winterfees was, is nie te betwyfel nie . . .

MOOI so Mosselbaai . . . dit is/was 'n mooi gedagte en die harde werk en beplanning het beslis baie vrugte (en sielskos) afgewerp!
Kyk hier na al die feesfoto's: https://web.facebook.com/mosselbayontheline/posts/2192670787630843



17Julie 2018: 

Daar gaan draai en swaai Peet se Pot toe van Bloemfontein af Mosselbaai toe en tot bo-op die voorblad van Die Burger . . . en hopelik ook binnekort tot in die Guinness Wêreldrekordboek!

Net toe ons dink ons het nou ALLES oor die pot en die fees gesê en gewys, stroom daar nog feesfoto's in . . . en is DIT nie waaroor die SOUL Festival eintlik gegaan het nie . . . ? Een witkopseuntjie hieronder het sleeptongetjie en al kom soebat: "Tannie, ek wil ôk van jou thoppies hê."


Toe sy Ma hom probeer keer en herinner dat hy nie van sop hou nie, laat weet hy van daai pot se sop SAL hy hou . . . en hy slurp-drink toe sommer TWEE bekersvol op! 

Dit was Saterdagoggend omtrent 'n gewoel en gewerskaf om 1 000 blikbekers vol sop en brood binne rekord-tyd aan die toustaners te verkoop teen R10 elk . . . voordat die res van die sop aan sowat 2 000 behoeftiges in die gemeenskap uitgedeel is. En te oordeel aan die gesiggies was dié sop 'n wenresep teen die koel weer! 
Hieronder is nog feesfoto's wat na die organiseerders gestuur is . . . en rol ook af na ons vorige plasings om alles van die pot en die fees te sien en te lees!

Só het Die Burger vandag oor Mosselbaai se feespot berig:

Mosselbaai mik vir wêreldrekord met hul pot

’n Reuse-driebeenpot wat gereken word as die grootste in sy soort ter wêreld, is die naweek gebruik om meer as 3 000 koppies sop te kook wat gratis uitgedeel is op die eerste Soul-fees in Mosselbaai.
Die pot is 2 m wyd en weeg 2,5 ton. Die sop is Saterdag gekook. Die bestanddele het onder meer bestaan uit 400 kg vleis, 100 kg aartappels, 50 kg wortels, 30 kg uie en 75 kg soppoeier.

Dit sal by Guinness World Records aangemeld word as die wêreld se grootste Afrika-driebeenpot (nr. 760), sê Marika Thomatos, eienaar van die Munro Manor-gastehuis in Mosselbaai.

Die pot is ’n ruk gelede van Bloemfontein na Mosselbaai gebring. Thomatos het Peet Groenewald, wat die pot gemaak het, by haar gastehuis ontmoet. “Hy het my vertel van die pot wat hy in 1996 gemaak het. Hy wou die pot later vir skrootmetaal gebruik, maar ek het gedink nee, so ’n pot kan nie verlore gaan nie. Ek het die pot by hom gekoop en die Mosselbaai-munisipaliteit daarvan vertel,” sê sy.

“Dit is hoe die fees tot stand gekom het met die pot as trekpleister.”
’n Vurkhyser is onder meer gebruik om die swaar pot te vervoer deur dit op ’n vragmotor van die Cobravervoermaatskappy
te laai. Die pot is vooraf deur Swift Engineering skoongemaak.

Meer as 400 kg hout om die sop te kook, is deur Albertinia Vervoer verskaf.
Volgens Thomatos het hulle Saterdag om 05:00 begin om die
sop te maak. “Ek was senuagtig dat iets verkeerd kon gaan,
maar alles het baie goed afgeloop,” sê sy.

Onder andere 300 deelnemers aan ’n sokkertoernooi in
Kwanonqaba het sop gekry, asook verskeie liefdadigheidsorganisasies. Volgens haar is die pot waarskynlik die grootste ter wêreld. “Ons het gaan kyk en
navraag gedoen, maar het nêrens so ’n groot pot gesien nie.
Guinness World Records het ook nie ’n afdeling vir so ’n pot nie, so die pot gaan moontlik die eerste rekord wees.”

Volgens haar sal die fees aanstaande jaar uitgebrei word. Foto’s en video’s van die bedrywighede by die pot wat op die Facebookblad MosselbayonTheline verskyn het, is meer as 31 000 gekyk.
Thomatos het die borge, die Mosselbaai-munisipaliteit en die werkers by Munro Manor bedank vir hul hulp.

Só het ene Frazer Georgio Barry oor die Soul Festival op sy FB-blad geskryf:

#MosselbaaiSoulfest, dit was dydelik om julle wonderlike multicultural event te kon experience! Lang Vrou, Baie dankie vir julle Mocca geure wat die kultuur so mooi saam laat groei. Clay en Karin, julle mag nie ophou om hierdie movement te laat groei nie. Dit was inderdaad n voorreg om julle te kon ontmoet en om saam met julle te kon skouers skuur.. Ons hoop dat alle plaaslike owerhede Mosselbaai se voorbeeld sal volg deur die belangrikheid van nasiebou, deur kuns en kultuur finansieel te ondersteun. Moenie die krag van kuns en kultuur vergeet nie! Sien julle Baie beslis weer!

Kyk nog feesfoto's hier: https://web.facebook.com/mosselbayontheline/posts/2192919897605932

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