I love birthdays.
I’m one of those people who insists on cake, balloons and presents (because, what’s a birthday without presents; come on) every year. I’m generally rather sparkly, but I always feel a little extra glittery on my special day.
But, it’s not just my birthday that makes my unicorn horn twirl: I also get feverishly excited when someone dear to me celebrates a birthday. So, imagine my excitement when my beloved Simbithi reached a special milestone this year: its 15th birthday!
When Simbithi was officially incorporated in 2004, I was in grade nine. (Whoops. Did I just give away my age?!) The first time I heard of the Estate, and saw it, was during my years as a journo for the North Coast Courier. There was an irrepressible buzz whenever anyone mentioned ‘Simbithi’: I visited many times, to interview people or attend conferences and events at the Country Club.
I never, in my wildest dreams, envisaged myself sitting at the SEEHOA offices one day, looking out at the Main Gate and writing an editor’s note for Simbithi Scene. If you had told me 15 years ago that I might get to play a part in the magical Simbithi story, I would have thought you were out of your tree.
Alas! Here we are: I’m writing an Ed’s note just two days after an epic birthday celebration, held over three days at our Guinea Fowl sports field. There was fun, there were games, there was a ridiculously gorgeous cake, and there was YOU. All of you. The grandparents, parents, children, aunties, uncles and friends who make up this phenomenal community. Seeing your faces light up at the sight of Winnie the Pooh during the screening of Christopher Robin, watching my colleagues huff through a game of cricket against the Dolphins, saying hello to those I have come to know by name…and, standing side by side singing Happy Birthday: my heart was moved. And, I realised, again; how special Simbithi is, and how fortunate we are to be part of it.
Happy Birthday, Simbithi. May your years ahead be sunny, bright and cheerful. May the pages of your story be filled with chapters of triumph over adversity, and the unique spirit of community you have so lovingly created.
Here’s to the next 15!