Our Journey of Resilience, Transformation, and Purpose

The Crucible of 2008

Our journey began during the tumultuous period of the 2008 financial crisis, a time that tested our resilience in profound ways. At that point, our lives were already filled with the challenges of raising three school-going children who were navigating their own growing pains. To add to the complexity of our situation, we were faced with the heartbreaking task of retrenching three of our staff, all of whom were women. It was an incredibly difficult decision that weighed heavily on our hearts.

As we reflect on those trying days, we vividly recall the heart-wrenching moment when our home’s contents were repossessed, leaving the bewildered expressions on our daughters’ faces etched in our memory. The loss of our home, cars, and the disorienting move to a neighbourhood where we had no familial ties or friends within a 50-kilometer radius left us feeling utterly adrift. It was a pivotal moment that forced us to reevaluate our lives and chart a new course forward.

A Lifestyle Transformed

By then, both of us were grappling with the physical toll of our lifestyle. We were grossly overweight, heavily reliant on medication, leading sedentary lives with minimal daily exercise, working irregular hours, constantly sleep-deprived, and perpetually stressed about mounting bills. Our lives had spiralled into chaos. Our eating habits had similarly transformed. We had gone from dining out three times a week and indulging in daily takeout, predominantly consuming cheap, high-carb foods.

Our beverage of choice was no longer water, but fizzy drinks. Our pantries were stocked with chips, chocolates, biscuits, sweets, and anything that came with a special offer at the store. Home-cooked meals had become a rarity, replaced by convenience foods that required nothing more than an oven or microwave.

The Unexpected Introduction to Minimalism

This challenging phase in our lives also became the catalyst for our introduction to the art of minimalism, a philosophy that was thrust upon us, so to speak. We often humorously remark that we had minimalism forced upon us. The constraints of our financial situation compelled us to make significant lifestyle adjustments, its basically the hippy lifestyle if you ask me.

We could no longer afford medical aid, which meant we had to forgo routine dentist appointments for our children and doctor visits when they fell ill. It was a difficult conversation to have with our kids, explaining that we could no longer indulge in the luxuries they had grown accustomed to.

A Journey to Sustainability

During this period, we realized that our children had never experienced the neighborhoods where Aurbon and I had grown up—places like Manenberg, Hanover Park. Our budget constraints even extended to basics like bread, butter,   and peanut butter. As we navigated these challenges, we embarked on a journey of sustainability. We immersed ourselves in research, scouring thrift shops and bric-a-brac stands for books that could help us on our journey. This forced simplicity became the foundation upon which we would build a new way of life.

The Turning Point

It was during this tumultuous period that we embarked on a transformative journey. We were compelled to make every cent count, learning to stretch a meager budget of R3000 over an entire month. Gradually, we had to eliminate the foods we could no longer afford, with red meat being the first to go due to its expense.

As we navigated this challenging transition, something remarkable began to unfold. We found ourselves becoming fitter, healthier, and more energized. The excess weight began to melt away, replaced by a newfound lightness in our spirits. Laughter returned to our lives, replacing the constant irritability that had once defined our days. This was the turning point that ignited our quest for knowledge, a journey that continues to this very day.


Our Multifaceted Journey

As a husband and wife team, we seamlessly transition between our roles as CEO and MD during work hours, but our journey extends far beyond the professional realm. We are the architects of a blended family, navigating the intricate dynamics of co-parenting, particularly during the tumultuous years of puberty. Our entrepreneurial spirit drives us forward as pioneers in the field of social entrepreneurship, where business and purpose converge.

A Connection to Ancestral Roots

Our journey of daily self-care practices has led us to a profound exploration of our ancestral roots. In delving deeper into these practices, we’ve embarked on a captivating journey of discovery—one that reconnects us with the First Nation, the Indigenous people of this land. As descendants of the Original Indigenous People, we find ourselves immersed in the rich tapestry of our heritage, uncovering the wisdom of our ancestors—the Bushmen, Khoi, San, Hottentot, and those who have come to be known as “Coloureds” over the years, despite the changing labels. This ongoing exploration is a beautiful unfolding, one that fuels our determination to strive for sovereignty. Our quest to reclaim our language, cultural traditions, and spiritual beliefs is not just a personal endeavour; it’s a collective journey that is only just beginning. It’s a journey of reconnection and a celebration of the diverse and resilient roots from which we’ve sprung.

Our Mission: Beyond Profit

Our mission extends beyond profit margins; it’s deeply rooted in personal health, family well-being, and community prosperity. We understand that the health of an individual is intrinsically connected to the health of their family and, by extension, their community. This interconnectedness forms the cornerstone of our vision at Roots and Raw—to foster not only personal growth but also to cultivate family and community health and well-being. We believe that our journey is not just our own but a shared path to inspire and uplift those around us, leaving a lasting legacy of positive change.

Join Us in Our Journey

Our story is a testament to the power of resilience and adaptation. It’s a story of learning to thrive in the face of adversity, embracing minimalism not by choice, but by necessity. It’s a journey of transformation and self-discovery that has shaped the essence of Roots and Raw, inspiring us to share our experiences, knowledge, and passion with the world. This is our story—a story of authenticity, impact, and an unwavering commitment to living a more conscious and purposeful life. Join us in this remarkable journey, and together, let’s make a positive change in the world.