Volla and Linda du Plessis
Volla and Linda du Plessis of Bultfontein, founded a community festival,The Boertjiekontreifees, which generates much needed income for the Bultfontein and the surrounding area. They received the 2009 Inyathelo Award for Community Philanthropy.
“We’re very humbled to have been given this accolade,” says Volla. “We work as a team and have an amazing committee that we work with to ensure that the Boertjiekontreifees can happen each year.”
The Boertjiekontreifees is held annually in Bultfontein. It showcases everything from tractors and agricultural instruments to Hackney horses, concerts by leading artists and celebrities such as Kurt Darren, Juanita du Plessis, DJ Ossewa, Patricia and Supersterre, Lianie May, Elizma Theron, Izak Davel, Andries Vermeulen, Charl Smit, Ollie die Nar, Niekie van den Berg to bulletjie rugby played by the youth in the community.
In a short period, the festival has grown to become the third largest in the province attracting not only the local community, but also bringing tourists to the area.
Through the du Plessis couple’s direction, over 60 farmers in the area were inspired to raise thousands of funds, prior to the Boertjiekontreifees, in order to erect much needed buildings for the festival, and to supply soccer teams from the areas’ disadvantaged communities with clothes, fuel and food so that they are able to participate in the festival.
Over the past 20 years, the couple has contributed immensely to their community financially and with their time by:
- Donating the use of their property for fund-raising functions for churches, schools and various Non Profit Organisations (NPO) in the area, with all costs incurred being carried by them.
- Donating various raffles for items such as free meals at their restaurant, to schools and NPO’s to assist in their fund-raising efforts.
- Raising funds for churches to help with building costs.
- Donating money in order to build the Vollassaal (Volla Community Hall).
- Organising functions for disadvantaged people in their areas using their own funds.
- Organising fund-raising activities whenever a need in the community arises.
- Transferring their knowledge of entrepreneurial skills to the youth.
- Paying the fees charged by artists and celebrities for the Boertjiekontreifees upfront out of their own pockets, which has often put a financial strain on the pair’s finances.
- Helping to build a giving culture within the Bultfontein community.
- Creating opportunities for the unemployed in the region.
- Donating tickets to soccer games and including transport and food for their workers.
- Donating tons of mielies and a vehicle to Bultfontein School.
- Donating 50 gifts to the judges of the drum majorette competition that was held in the area (Chantal: do you mean they gave the judges gifts or that they gave the gifts for the judges to give away – it’s a little ambiguous – hope you mean the latter)
- Donating the use of their farm for films which are used to train the farmers in the area
- Donating their time to and speaking on behalf of the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA)
Says Volla: “Charity begins at home. That includes your community. If everyone adopted a cause within their community, imagine what a difference we could make!” Volla and Linda are described as a dedicated and inspirational couple by all who have been touched by their self-less work. Their philanthropic efforts have created a sense of community in the area and have improved the community’s financial status.