Fouzia’s seen the ’Plain’s good, bad and the ugly

Fouzia van der Fort

It has been an honour to serve the readers of Mitchell’s Plain.

My first memories of the area are of family visits to my mom’s only surviving uncle, Abdurahgiem Hermans, or “Ammie”, as we call him, who lives in Westridge.

He had a beautiful garden in front of his home, including roses and sunflowers.

Today, his house is fenced in, and there is no longer a garden.

As kids, we would play across the road from his house, in what you might call an unfinished park.

Little did I know I would end up writing for the flagship newspaper of Cape Community Newspapers – the Plainsman.

The only negative comment I got from my dad, on getting the job, was “daai gam koerant”.

In my almost nine years at the Plainsman, I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly of a resilient community, one that has shared its moments of great joy and sorrow with a reporter on the local knock-and-drop.

There have been the tragic stories along the way – the relentless “skop, skiet en donder”, the grandmother who has lost her granddaughter in a drive-by shooting – but there have also been moments of hope, inspiration and joy – my experience viewing the caves at Wolfgat Nature Reserve, the countless achievements of young and old, the food gardens, the competition winners and the solution finders.

For while Mitchell’s Plain has many problems, it also has many answers to those problems, and that’s because of the people who make up this community — the grandmother is still fighting for justice for her granddaughter, and pupils are pursuing higher education to prove all the naysayers wrong.

Mitchell’s Plain is a place where your neighbour is never far away if you need help.

It has been an honour for me to work for the Plainsman and to get to know you, my readers and contacts.

I have watched you grow, seen projects develop and dreams become reality. And you have also allowed me to grow into the journalist I am today, telling the best and worst of stories – because you spoke to me.