16 May 2018 Read: 59
Months ago, the idea struck me like a lighting bolt: although I don’t have the means (financially) to contribute to causes that are close to my heart, I can use my hands to DO something to be able to! This is where my plan began: to use these hands to play the piano all night and with the sponsorships of businesses in the area with hearts for non-profit organisations, we can all contribute.
My heart lies with the animals and the obvious choice for an organisation serving mostly, but not only, our domestic strays and stricken furry ones, was the Letaba SPCA. Always having had great admiration and appreciation for the work Ms Louise Joubert did at SanWild Wildlife Sanctuary, I approached her too. Both Ms Ellie Potgieter, chairlady of the SPCA, and SanWild’s foster-mom, Louise Joubert, were enthused by my suggestion and I got busy with the paper work.
When I had the wording ready and sent an email to abovementioned dames, I learned that sadly Ms Joubert had been in an accident the night before and had passed on. Expressing condolences with her loved ones and seeking their advice regarding my project, I got the go-ahead to keep SanWild in the plan.
The piano marathon now has an added motive: to bring honour to the legendary Louise Joubert – who had devoted her life to the injured, neglected, left-behind, traumatised wild creatures who crossed her life path. Her talk was straight and backed by her walk and such people inevitably make enemies along the way, but her focus remained on those that mattered to her: a vast collection of adopted needy ones from nature, whom she served through decades with constant care and deep devotion.
When one makes such a choice in life, you set yourself up for heartache, where success with many is life-balanced out with the loss of some. She mourned her losses through the years, but the poaching of her “blue-eyed boy”, fondly named Big Boy, was possibly the most brutal blow of all, having fought many fierce battles to get him under her care and protection at Sanwild.
Like all poaching, it was a senseless killing of yet another one of this highly endangered species, but this was intensely personal to Louise – so shortly before her own life came to an abrupt end in an accident not far from the wildlife sanctuary. And so, the life of the care-taker, who is now at last care-free, will be celebrated during this musical vigil. In conclusion, the event is for funds for these two worthy causes, celebrating the life and mourning the loss of Louise Joubert and creating awareness for the plight of our natural and threatened animal-life.
The venue will be open to the public all night long, where anyone can pass through, have coffee or tea, admire the wildlife art work of some exceptional local artists and also pay homage the labour of love of some exceptional individuals.
— Bobbi Gerber