‘You doing Mo’vember Spies?’
The pressure from a colleague had increased dramatically come month end October. I’d run out of excuses, I couldn’t avoid him, he sits near the door to the office and my only escape. ‘ARGH! Alright, but I get to choose my charity.’ After much debate the dice was cast, the razor figuratively sharpened and the man-scaping began!
Man must choose ones face foliage wisely, too little top lip tickler and one could be accused of not showing commitment, worse, likened to at least two of history’s nastiest, perish the thought! Too much and well then you are either trying to show support for your favourite furry road rider (I’d be a @danfromnam fan) or you best buy some check shirts and prepare for an Instagram onslaught with your next flat white.
So what better choice of face lace than that supreme old rocker, the Handlebar Moustache? Everyone from Wyatt Earp to Ian Fraser Kilmister (aka Lemmy) knows that this is THE ‘tache to command respect! Aside from the obvious perks that embracing such a powerful symbol of MAN can bring, like staring down nerds on the bus for a seat or terrifying hipsters into fashion panic, my ‘tache has a cause, a real reason for being, it’s a ‘tache to change the world, or at least leave an impact bigger than the rash it seems to give me and the constant sneezing, this ‘tache is a #qhubeka ‘tache!
‘Qhubeka’, the Nguni word meaning ‘to carry on’, ‘to progress’, ‘to move forward’. This charity sits right square in my heart as something that is fixing a problem in the simplest way, fixing many problems actually. Started in 2005 and having already distributed 51000 bicycles Qhubeka seeks to positively change communities by giving people in rural areas the ability to enjoy so much of what we take for granted. Right to education, healthcare, entrepreneurial vision, independence and yes folks even recreation.
Can you remember getting your first bike? Or can you remember walking to school? I remember both, my school was 1.5km away, it felt like an expedition, enthusiasm waned when I realised that this particular negotiation for independence had gone a little too well and that 1.5km was pretty darn far! Mercifully the folks took pity, along came ‘Mamba’ my lime green trail trashing Raleigh Strika, a total game changer, it was completely and utterly AWESOME!
Now no one will say walking to school is a bad thing, hell it’s great, but can you imagine proudly storming off on your first day of school by settling into a 6km walk? You will do it on the way home and you will do it from grades 0 – 12 for as long as you can, along rural farm roads and veld track before the sun is up and through any weather, there is no other way, no train, no taxi and certainly no parent that isn’t working who can walk with you. This is the fate of over half a million South African children.
It may seem simple, but to me it’s huge. Bicycles bring so much value to someones life, it’s not simply the independence it gives people it’s a tool. It’s a way to support communities that are struggling to keep the kids in school, the parents working, the small businesses running and everyone healthy at the same time, and not just from all that pedalling, nursing house calls can actually happen!
I’m appealing to you, my cycling mates to support this cause. I know you may be out-charitied for the year, I appreciate chucking your card details into yet another payment system fills you with cynical doubt but I can assure you your donations will be making an immense positive impact on whole communities. If you can forgo 1x inner tube and park those dollars in my donation fund I will personally….erm… give you tips on never needing them again (shhhhh go tubeless).
Mahatma Gandhi once said ‘You must be the change you wish to see in the world’, clever chap that. So come on chicks’n’dudes, support your ‘Mo bro and this damn fine cause, effect some change with a bicycle. I’ll pop a wheelie in your honour or perform other dubious cycling acts to fufill my 2 x Buffalo Bikes purchase, hit me!