Resident encourages pop-up events

Local dance group Assassins Creed performed at Portland indoor sports and recreation centre.

The Portland Indoor Sports and Recreation centre was filled with more than 1 000 residents who came to enjoy a day of indoor soccer, table tennis and local entertainment at a community event held on Saturday July 16.

The event was organised by Portland resident Morne Press to entertaining local children.

Music boomed out of the hall as people from all over Mitchell’s Plain danced and sang along with local artists, and watched dance performances by groups from the community.

The children were served hot meals and the City also put up an obstacle course for younger children.

Mr Press started a community organisation called Giving Back about three years ago, and since then, has held three events for the children of Mitchell’s Plain.

“Myself and two friends, Antonio Esau and Chelsea Nicols, decided to create something for the children, and the turnout was good. We had a street soccer event and some music, and meals for the children, so we decided to do more.”

The second event, held in May this year, also attracted about 1 000 people.

Mr Press said his goal is to entertain the youth constructively and hopefully alleviate the emphasis on drugs and crime in the Mitchell’s Plain community.

But, ultimately, he would like more communities in Mitchell’s Plain to start hosting their own little events to make it one of the highlights of the area.

“My goal is to have many pop-up events like this one. I want the people to make this, theirs.”

Mr Press said Giving Back is sponsored by residents of his immediate community, and family members who are passionate about his cause. “I ask (residents) to each contribute a R5, or to buy things such as rolls, food or anything that will make the event possible. The food is often sponsored by local businesses.”

The total running costs of the event is about R5 000.

However, he said, funding and assistance are always problematic. “This event is so blessed that there is always enough, but we need more.”

He said he would like to establish a committee, and hopefully other people will follow. “All you need is some music, a ball or two, some nets, and the event will be successful.”

Some of the proceeds will be used to donate a food hamper to the survivors of last month’s the Eastridge blaze in which eight people, including children were killed, and a house destroyed (“Eight die in Eastridge blaze,” Plainsman, June 16).

The next event, which Mr Press is already planning as a result of demand from the community, will be a potjiekos competition, which will take place on Saturday October 1.

He said about 20 participants will pay R50 to enter the competition. There will be a judge and prizes for the winner, and the food will be donated to children on the day.

“I want to make it authentic for our people. People from Mitchell’s Plain like to make fire and braai, so it’s right up their alley.”

Anyone who would like to start their own events, or enquire, contribute or donate to Giving Back can contact Mr Press on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ GivingBack8/?fref=ts or Twitter at @givingback8.