Wavescape Surf Film Festival

Saturday afternoon we loaded up in Ant’s bakkie and headed with the boys to Camp’s Bay for a swim and movie night on the beach. It was a first for me and so much fun riding in the back of a truck on a main highway and then at the beach digging to form sunken sand sofas to relax and enjoy the open air cinema that is part of the annual Wavescape Surf Film Festival. On Clifton 4th Beach, after finding our place up front near the big screen and once nestled cozy in our newly dug-out sand chairs, with packed sandwiches and fruit in hand (thanks to Shani!), the boys sat back and relaxed, eyes fixed on the pro surfers in the films who go and travel the world  giving their lives to chasing waves. Film after film,  you could see how the boys found inspiration to dream big and chase their passions. And by the end, despite it being late into the night, Asi and Toufie just wanted to jump in the water and surf.
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But soon after the last short film, the crowd cleared up, and we, too, packed our things to get back home. Then came my personal favorite part of the weekend, just sitting in the back of the bakkie with the boys. As the wind out picked up, we tried to keep warm with only one blanket to go around. The ride home was entertaining to say the least. I learned Temba is great at storytelling and has quite the imagination. Whymph will bust out into song with lyrics he’ll come up with on the spot. Asi and Abel I found out share my love for sardines. Phila remains adamant on his views of pumpkin pie (I still have 2 weeks to convince him). And the rest of the ride just felt like I was hanging out with my little brothers! When we dropped off the boys at their home in Steenburg, they were keen to point out to me the nearby corner shop that serves Gatsby. It’s apparently a local favorite dish and a must try while in South Africa. It’s going to happen!!

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Besides all I learned from the boys riding in the bakkie Saturday, a sweet highlight from my second week here and something that became very apparent to me was the huge heart of the man behind MBC. In these 5 years, Ant Scholte has done much more for these boys than simply introducing them to a love for surfing. He invests his heart and his time for them. He provides an outlet for these boys, where they can come feel safe, unthreatened, and carefree–just as kids should be. I see it so clearly. I see it when he gives of his weekends to rest and instead chooses to spend it with the boys. I see it when he stays back to carry their bags, boogie boards, and wetsuits when they forget. He instills values by example, tells them the hard things, and encourages them to pursue the important things. The sacrifice this man makes for these boys is humbling and inspiring! And as the boys would say, “GO MBC!!”

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Ocean Driven: The Chris Bertish Story with MBC

One of the most valuable things in MBC that we try to teach the amazing kids we work with is the ability for them to have the belief that they can be whatever they wish to be and their dreams need not be dreams. We’re always searching for new ways to inspire them alongside the local community, so when legendary big wave surfer offered tickets to the kids for the African premiere of his film, Ocean Driven, at the Galileo Open Air Cinema in Kirstenbosch, we knew the kids had to go along.

Normally at MBC we use our bus to get around and for these sort of events, however, recently it was vandalised and parts stolen. As a result, we had to use our only other method of transport to get to the gardens – Ant’s Bakkie. Squeezing seven kids and myself into the bakkie to get to Kirstenbosch from Muizenberg was a slight issue, though everybody was brimming with excitement on a picture perfect night. With the sun hanging low, the gardens had come to life in a way the kids nor myself had ever seen. Being my first and many of their first times in the botanical gardens and having heard many raving reviews of their outstanding beauty, none of us were quite as prepared for the vibrancy of the flora and their overpowering yet ultimately soothing scent.

Drinking the fresh water from Table Mountain

Drinking the fresh water from Table Mountain

Having taken our seats, everyone’s urge to explore took over as Ant led us off into the enchanted gardens. It’s appropriate to say the kids were astounded with the trails. Learning about the Cape’s past through nature; drinking the fresh water off Table Mountain; racing around the paths and Boonslang Walkway and also chasing some ducks – their enjoyment could be felt from a mile away.

With everyone’s mind in total peace from our brief exploration of the gardens, we made our way back to the cinema. Generously, Chris had given the kids perfect seats right at the front for brilliant viewing of the film with blankets (that proved to be utterly essential) and free popcorn – the best part. As everyone settled down for the film, Chris had a quick photo with the kids and made a small speech before the main event, telling us his story and how the movie was made for the kids. This had us all in awe at how this seemingly normal man had pulled through so much to achieve his goals; however, these sentiments were only exacerbated following the film.

Explorers getting a better view

Explorers getting a better view

The story told by Chris and his friends and family in the film was truly inspiring, especially for the kids. For the up-and-coming next generation of South African surfing, seeing how a local like themselves had achieved so much had evidently stirred all of their thoughts (and most of the audience included). Whilst the applause for the great cinematography rang on, Chris had a few more words to say and questions to answer for the audience. Mainly aiming them at the kids, he spoke of his own hardships on a more personal level than in the movie. Listening attentively, one message stuck very clearly in the kids minds from Chris: ‘Dream it. See it. Believe it. Achieve it.”

On our journey home, loaded into the bakkie once more but with the cover pulled over to keep the wind from getting to us and making us resemble of a tin of sardines, it was clear how much of an impact the night had on the kids. Frequently repeating the saying, they had all been motivated beyond belief by the film and rightly so. The kids of MBC are a truly special bunch, capable of achieving whatever they set out to do, and hopefully this will help them see so.

To the kids: Dream it. See it. Believe it. Achieve it. It’s only up to you, live out your dreams!

MBC meets Chris Bertish


Awesome seats right at the front


Beautiful Table Mountain and the Gardens


Flying above the trees


Movie Night with MBC

MBC’s motto is “Respect for nature, self and others”, one of the ways MBC promotes the expression of these characteristics among the boys is with the Star Chart program. The Star Chart allows the volunteers to award a star to each child who attends MBC activities and displays good sportsmanship; cooperation; effort; teamwork, and in general, good behaviour. Stars can be taken away for behaviours such as fighting, swearing and poor attitudes.

This past Friday we had the opportunity to take 4 of the kids who achieved the most stars to the cinema to watch the latest installment of The Amazing Spider-Man!! Phila, Themba, Siya, and Frankie were the boys who displayed the most consistent behaviour and had earned the most stars this past month. We picked the boys up at 8:30 and could tell they were excited and ready to go, wearing “special” clothes, accessorized with bright smiles! Phila was decked out in his fresh digs and stylish hat, adorned with a newly pierced ear!! (We soon found out it was only magnetic)

Themba, Siya, Frankie and Phila!

Themba, Siya, Frankie and Phila!

Just from observing the kids the moment they got into the van to when we finally took our seats at the theatre, we could tell how happy they were to be out on a Friday night watching a movie with Ant, Maddy, and all of the volunteers of MBC. We all had a really fun night and it was a well deserved treat for the boys and all they’ve accomplished over the past few weeks!



-Pria and Alisha (Canada)

Movie time!

Last Tuesday we took the kids from Muizenberg Beach Club to watch a movie at the cinema in Claremont!

In the afternoon we picked the kids up as usual, but due to the bad waves we went to the St James tidal pool and had a swim instead of surfing as we normally do on Tuesdays. After having fun in the water for a couple of hours, it was time to head back with the kids. We picked them up again later on in the afternoon and drove to the mall in Claremont. The drive there was everything but calm and quiet…  The guys were, as expected, very enthusiastic for our little trip and could not sit still for one second! They were practically jumping up and down in the back seats, filled with excitement for what was yet to come.

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Just arrived at the mall, feeling excited!

Once we arrived, we bought the kids some much appreciated popcorn and drinks, and sat down to watch the movie. The film chosen was RoboCop, about a cop who’s in a terrible accident and ends up wearing a robot suit instead of arms and legs. The half human / half robot continues working as a cop, fighting bad guys and trying to keep the town safe whilst driving around on his motorcycle. It did not come as a surprise that the guys really enjoyed the movie, especially the action bits. Although it might have been a little bit late for some of them (Yamkela fell asleep halfway into the film), the evening was overall a big success. The guys were buzzing on the way home, talking about their favourite parts of the film.

Me, Sia, Frankie and Anton heading up to the cinema.

Me, Sia, Frankie and Anton heading up to the cinema.

It was so much fun to do something different with the kids – hopefully we get to do something like this again soon!

/Freddie, volunteer from Sweden

MBC Reward Night

The end of the month means that we do something extra fun with the kids who earned the most stars on the MBC star chart for their achievements and good behaviour. As usual we did some cool surfing with all the kids on Thursday afternoon. I’d been surfing already this day but wanted to go out again because it’s such a great time in the water, everyone encouraging everyone else. Feeling satisfied after a good session, we went up to get ready for the star chart evening. This time Phila, Godfrey, Siminkiwe and Yamkela were the ones getting to spend the evening with us volunteers. We went off to the Blue Route Shopping Mall to grab some dinner and watch a film. The guys were just as excited as we were. The surfing really builds up one’s appetite so the chicken or beef burger we got to choose from at Spur was perfect. It was nice to sit down with everyone and have a casual chat. We had some movies to choose from at the cinema. It ended up with Maddy taking the younger kids to the movie ‘Khumba’ in 3D while the rest of us watched ‘Redemption’. The ‘Khumba’ movie finished before our movie so Maddy was sweet to buy the kids some ice cream and let them into the shopping mall’s playground. When we all met up again everyone was still energetic even though it was a long day. I feel very lucky to get to spend such an evening with this cool group – thanks, MBC!

The MBC guys getting ready to surf!

The MBC guys getting ready to surf!

Charlotte, Swedish volunteer

Hitting Home – my last day in Africa

“Legends don’t die… they evolve” – The Wolverine 

waden+wolverineIt was the end of the second star chart at MBC and with the competition being so tight that Ant had to buy more stars 4 of the boys enjoyed their winnings. Returning champions Asi and Phila enjoyed their second trip to the cinema while for Godfrey and Wayden it was a whole new experience.

And it was a whole new experience for me too. Growing up fairly comfortably in the UK in a world of Orange Wednesdays and weekend trips with my parents, the cinema was always a fun afternoon but I went to enjoy the movie. For the boys every part of the evening bought its own enjoyment. Wayden made it his personal mission to ue Ant’s entire phone memory by having a photo taken in front of every movie poster, whilst for me the best bit was seeing Godfrey’s face as the “Universal Pictures” music blared in. That one image of pure joy, albeit mixed with a shade of fear, was one of my stand out moments in South Africa. It was a perfect reminder that some things that I have taken for granted all my life are not available to the MBC members and that even the smallest things can have a big impact. A fitting way to end my time in Africa once again I would like to thank MBC for truly making it the trip of a life time.


Boys of Steel

Asi and Phila at the cinema“You just have to decide what kind of man you want to grow up to be, Clark. Whoever that man is, he’s going to change the world” Jonathan Kent, Father of Superman, Man of Steel

At Muizenberg Beach Club, the objective is not only to give its members amazing opportunities but also to teach them a valuable set of life skills.

Our most recent endeavour was to get the kids to commit and persevere with MBC and their goals. Our solution was the star chart. The idea is that each child would get a star for every session they attended and extra for good behaviour – sometimes stars are even taken away for bad behaviour. The child with the most stars at the end of the month gets a surprise ‘reward’.

Yesterday evening was the much anticipated reward night. The winner and the runner-up, Asi and Phila, were taken out for burgers.

It was particularly fitting for Asi, who pipped Phila to the top spot by one star which he had earned for sharing his chocolate with another boy who had none… And thus ended up in Spur for their ‘buy one get one free burger’ night. That little piece of chocolate he gave away earned him two massive burger meals!

I wonder how the other boy felt, what he thought when Asi gave him his chocolate. I’d like to think it will inspire him to copy Asi’s altruistic behaviour in the future, especially in an environment where it is more common to grab and fight over scarce treats.

What really strikes me is what a humble guy Asi is. It was almost as though he thought he didn’t deserve his reward. When Ant revealed the surprise part of the evening – to watch Man of Steel at the cinema – he almost walked away in disbelief! That tells me his act of kindness really came from his heart.

Asi recently confided that he’d like to be a police man or a fire fighter when he’s older and you can tell from his loyal and kind nature, he excels tremendously in helping others.

We often talk at MBC about role models, someone the boys can look up to and learn from. I believe they have a role model amongst themselves. It may not be a pro surfer or a celebrity but it is someone they can actually relate to – one of their own.

When the evening was over, Ant received an SMS from Phila reading “Wow!!! I had the time of my life, it was awesome! The stars are worth fighting for”. His gratefulness made the evening a million times worth it’s value and I’m sure whoever they grow up to be, they will always remember MBC and their reward to see Superman.