AfrikaBurn 2023: 24 to 30 April

SKOP IV: Week 2

Words and photos: Lindsay Cessford

We are a week into the build and I can’t believe how much progress we have made. This
is mainly due to the amazing team that we have working for us. From day one each and
everyone of them has come in with a strong work attitude and are excited about what they
are building and the opportunity to learn new skills. Already this isn’t just a job to them,
especially not to the younger members of the crew – they’re passionate about what they are doing and are loving the experience.

Kosie and Benny, the older members of the crew have worked with Nathan before. They are experienced in carpentry and have worked on three of Nathan’s builds in the past. And then there is Cookie, Kosie’s wife who keeps everyone in order. There’s no time for slacking when she’s around.
The new crew consist of Fabian, Ratawin and Jerome; a group of close friends who come as a package and work well as a team. We also have Werner and then our newest member of the team Stacie, our only girl, but what a girl. She’s great, a real can-do attitude,
hardworking and always smiling. She just loves the work, blisters and all. The boys have
really accepted her, teaching her new skills and helping her develop and grow.
So please let me introduce you to our crew:

Kosie is 45 and is born and bred in Sutherland. You will always find him in the sawmill as
his favourite part of the job is cutting wood. He is very passionate about carpentry and
spends his spare time teaching woodwork skills to the local people of Sutherland.
Benny is is 53 and has spent his whole life in Sutherland. He loves everything about the
work here with Nathan. He is great at heights and he is the first one up the scaffolding in the morning. If we ever want to find Benny we just look up. When asked what he likes to do in his spare time his answer was “working, I just like to work” He loves being a handyman and doing odd jobs around the house and for other people.

Werner is 30, probably our quietest crew member. A real gentle soul and also from
Sutherland. He loves working with power tools, is great with heights, and is always up at the top of the scaffolding with Benny. In his spare time he plays rugby and loves reggae music.

Fabian is 27. He was born and raised in Sutherland. It’s his first time working with Nathan and he is like a duck to water. When asked what his favourite part of the job was, he replied “everything, I just love everything” said with the biggest smile. He loves his music and listens to reggae and dancehall. You will always hear him before you see as he is always banging out a few good reggae beats on his phone.

Jerome is 28. Also born and raised in Sutherland. He has known Fabian and Ratawin most of his life. Jerome loves working with all the power tools and being with his “brothers”. He also loves reggae and dancehall.

Ratawin is 22 and the baby of our group. Another Sutherland boy. He loves to climb and he often just climbs to the top of the scaffolding to take a quick selfie. His favourite part so far has been learning how to use all the power tools. He is so excited about working on this
project and in his own words “can’t wait to use the skills I’m learning to do my own things”.

Stacie is 28 and our only girl and the only one who didn’t grow up here. Originating from
Ceres, 250 km from Sutherland. She just loves the new skills she is learning and looks
happiest when she has a drill in her hands. She is also a working mum and in her spare time she loves spending time looking after her 2 year old little girl called Acesha.
Oh and let’s not forget Chuck, Nathan’s right hand man. The Canadian who lives in a bus in the forest, I kid you not. This guy is real lumberjack. His favourite colour is plaid and he has a very impressive beard.
As you can see from the photos, the build is coming along in leaps and bounds. We are well
ahead of schedule, so much so we are considering arriving on site at Tankwa earlier than
planned. This is when the real work starts. Although we have been building here, a lot of the current work we have been doing is to ensure that all of the calculations and measurements are correct. So far everything has been more or less spot on, so we are ready to move onto the next phase and this is where the fun begins. As I said in my first post, this is so much more than just a big wooden ball…
If anyone is interested in investing in the project or getting involved with the next phase of
the build and working with us at Tankwa please drop me a mail on [email protected]

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