Kirsty Webster Kirsty: How one South African's charitable legacy lives on even though she is not here anymore!

1 Woman’s legacy. 4 Celebrity chefs. 67 Litres of soup. 67 Minutes. Local ad agency 99c presents the Winter Karma Kitchen this Mandela Day.


Cape Town, South Africa – As we enter the iciest part of the year, phrases like ‘It’s freeeezing!’ become the standard small talk in queues. We curse the weather as we dash from the office to our homes; occasionally sparing a thought for those who must endure the rain and bone-chilling temperatures without any protection from the bitter cold.

Then we snuggle up, layer up and bundle up, and continue on with our lives.

Twenty-six-year-old Kirsty Webster, who passed away in 2016, was one of those special souls who did more than simply ‘spare a thought.’ Every year in winter, Kirsty took it upon herself to collect warm clothes and blankets, before hitting the streets of Cape Town to personally hand over these packages to those in need.

When Kirsty passed away, her employer 99c – a Cape Town-headquartered advertising agency – continued her legacy through initiating an internal drive called ‘Winter Karma’, together with Kirsty’s parents Robin and Adele Webster.

However, with an estimated 4862 homeless people in greater Cape Town, the agency soon realised that it needed to extend the initiative beyond its walls.

“This year, we are calling on wider Cape Town to get involved by dropping off any unwanted warm clothing or blankets at the agency over the winter months, and we will do regular deliveries to local shelters and those in need,” says Andrew Brand, Group CEO at 99c.

This Mandela Day also sees the inception of the agency’s ‘99c Winter Karma Kitchen’; possibly the first ever soup kitchen to feature gourmet broth made the likes of Zola Nene, Peter Goffe-Wood, Matt Manning and Rikku Marais-Ó’Donnchü.

Sixty-seven litres of delicious Spicy Chorizo & Bean, Pumpkin & Parmesan and Roasted Potato, Leek & Ham soup will be whipped up by the four celebrity chefs in 67 minutes, before the vats are collected and delivered together with the clothing packages to various shelters within the area.

“For those who want to support Winter Karma but are not based in the city of Cape Town, we encourage you to get involved in local blanket drives or to help out at your nearest shelter.”

“We’re grateful to be able to play a role in keeping a much-loved staff member’s memory alive, through making a difference in someone else’s life. And that is the spirit of Winter Karma,” adds Brand.

How to get involved:

Drop off warm clothing and blankets at 99c (9th Floor Atlantic Centre, 16 Christiaan Barnard street, Foreshore, Cape Town) between 8 am – 5 pm on Monday – Friday, during July – September.

For more info, email or join the Facebook Group.

Sources: 99c | Winter Karma 
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Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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