Braai Guy's perspective on Load Shedding

Load shedding and the braai

So, how many times a week is it ok to have a braai? In our case, we probably braai more often than most South African families! Our circle of friends also enjoys a good braai (very often). So it does come as a bit of a surprise to me that our neighbours have maybe had 2 braai’s over the last 7 years, despite the fact that they have a beautiful braai area with all the bells and whisltes.

Let me explain where I am going with this:

As a child I remember having regular braais during the week and especially on weekends. It is no wonder that I could braai my own chop & wors at the tender age of about 6. These times were absolutely lovely family bonding time and “catching up with friends” times.  This was also the time when Eskom had enough power to supply the whole world and Jan van Riebeeck was still a hero, if it wasn’t for him we would still live in the dark ages. Oh wait, we are!!

This brings me to the point of the article; Load shedding and the braai. You see, we are adaptable creatures, so instead of complaining and throwing tantrums (and I did at some point), let’s rather embrace the issue of load shedding and give the new management of Eskom a break and time to fix this huge problem we are facing. Just this week they confirmed the Medupi station is operational.

Yes, sure there are other issues like crime, traffic and just the absolute frustration of sitting without power and surely we cannot go on like this, especially in a country like ours. I am not shying away from that, but in every negative situation one should always see the positive.

When I look at my social updates during load shedding it gives me so much pleasure to see how many people are returning to the fire for dinner – photos of stunning fires, meat sizzling, families sitting together and kids playing board games with a candle, whilst the adults are talking away –  we call that family time; remember that? The time before TV, cell phones, tablets and other electronic distractions.

In my personal view; I think we should start thinking that Eskom has a family strategy. A strategy where they are trying to get families closer again, by giving us quality time and conversation. It really doesn’t bother me anymore when there is load shedding. In these frustrating and difficult times we have to have a positive mind-set and embrace the situation to benefit you, it’s not all bad!

“Come rain or shine” echoes in my mind when I think about the real South African man when it comes to a braai. My most recent braaing in pouring rain took place in December with a friend, my son standing next to me, holding the umbrella in the pouring rain. It was fun and we all had a good laugh about it. A memory I will always cherish.

Nothing comes close to lighting a fire. The smell of the smoke, the smell and sound when the meat goes on. It doesn’t matter where you light up the fire, it’s fantastic!

So next time you have load shedding, make sure you have the equipment ready; firelighters, matches, lamps, meat, drinks, family and humour – embrace the opportunity to light that fire!

PS: you can find the load shedding schedule here for your convenience.

The Braai Guy