Earlier this week Masicorp was pleased to host Will Bennett, James Williams, and Chris Norqual – three of the five founding members of American clothing company, SOMB, (SHIRT OFF MY BACK). The four letter word, SOMB, is an abbreviation for the widely-used expression in pop culture, “shirt off my back.” Based in Los Angeles the company describe their product lines as, “an eclectic mix of t-shirts, tank tops and hoodies inspired by California’s relaxed street style.” Since their formation in 2010, SOMB attire has become popular with celebrities worldwide including Desperate Housewives actress, Eva Longoria (right) and the London Wasps rugby team (below).
SOMB is a fashion company with a conscience and for every article of clothing they sell in the United States they provide a school uniform to a child in Africa. Will and James initially contacted us with a view to including Ukhanyo Primary School among the many schools they work with in Zimbabwe, Kenya and South Africa. Unfortunately at the time the school year had just begun and most children were already fitted out in their new uniforms. However, we are not far away from the Cape winter, which is a time when children find their uniforms are not warm enough for the cold and damp conditions. SOMB therefore kindly agreed to fund the provision of school track suits to each child and we arranged for the first batch of fifty to be made ready for this week.
This has also been good news for the Sewing Café – another of Masicorp’s projects in the township. The ladies have been awarded the contract to produce the tracksuits and proudly showed off the freshly prepared garments to Will, James, and Chris on their arrival. Over at the school we later saw several children already proudly wearing their tracksuits after the first batch was delivered earlier in the morning. With the continued support of SOMB and the hard work of the ladies of the Sewing Café every child will be wearing warm clothing over their uniforms this winter. This is a great initiative, not just for the children but also the Sewing Café who have picked up a significant amount of work through the project.
It was just left for the children to show off their football and basketball skills to Will, James, and Chris who were kept on their toes by some skilful and enthusiastic footwork from the youngsters. All of SOMB’s founders are keen sportsmen and first met over a game of hockey so it was the perfect end to an action packed morning. We cannot thank SOMB enough for their generous financial support, which has made a real difference in Masiphumelele. It was a pleasure to host Will, James, and Chris and we look forward to seeing them again in the future.
Every year in March the Cape Peninsula hosts the Cape Argus Pick ‘n Pay Cycle Tour. The 109 kilometre cycle race from the CBD around the peninsula and back into the city via Chapmans Peak features 35 000 cyclists and is the world’s largest individually timed cycle race. Among the many riders who took part this year everyone at Masicorp is extremely grateful to Chris Ritchie and Geoff Kendall who rode to raise funds for Masicorp projects. Indeed all the riders deserve praise for competing on an extremely windy day across the city – for a full review of the race and more pictures please click HERE
Chris is the son of Masicorp’s Al Ritchie, who does an excellent job of managing our seedlings program. Chris has specifically raised funds to support the early childhood development initiatives that the program supports. A resident of London, he has been practicing for the race with a 20 km commute into the city each day and several longer rides in the countryside at weekends. Although he just missed his target finish time we are very grateful to Chris for his efforts.
Geoff Kendall was riding the race with his brother Gary, who moved to Cape Town in 2011. On their first Argus race they were proud to finish despite being overtaken by a man on a unicycle and a pantomime cow on a tandem. This time around they did the race on fold up bicycles that raised more than a few laughs when they cycled past Masiphumelele. Geoff and Gary kept us up to speed with their efforts via twitter and we also thank them very much.
Both riders have a just giving charity page and although they currently have raised a significant sum please note that the website will accept donations for three months after the event. Please consider supporting both riders if you can.
See Chris’s page HERE
And Geoff & Gary’s page HERE