The year 2021 marks the 27th anniversary of Freedom Day in South Africa. Have you ever asked yourself what does freedom mean to you? Or how will you be celebrating it this year considering the heavy lockdown factor that we all faced worldwide in 2020?

A teenager by the name of Kola Cohen will be doing something unique for his Freedom Day this year.

Kola is a 19-year-old from Hout Bay, who will be taking part in the Freedom Paddle on April 27. Freedom Paddle is an event where people paddle from Cape Town to our historical Robben Island. This serves as a tribute to the late Nelson Mandela and other heroes who fought for South Africa’s freedom, which the day commemorates after all.

Kola is set to paddle a lengthy distance of 27km on a prone board, using only his arms and body strength. This year it’s not just about paddling to prove perseverance, but also one of love for his community.

“Paddling on a prone board is a tough physical challenge,” explains Kola. “But if I can help to raise support for the Hout Bay community, it will be worth it.”

Support Kola’s Paddle for Love and help provide 27,000 meals to those in…

Posted by Love in a Bowl on Monday, 12 April 2021 

Kola will be paddling to raise support for Love in a Bowl, a farming community that provides nutritious and organic vegetables to those in need in Hout Bay.

Love in a Bowl delivers a ‘community pot’ to 32 different creches, soup kitchens and Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) weekly in Hout Bay. This provides up to 27 meals for those who need it most and are struggling each day to get by.

Kola is trying to raise support for 1000 community pots, which will provide 27 000 meals for hungry community members in Hout Bay.

“We live in a beautiful country but there are a lot of problems,” explains Kola. “We all need to use our productive capacity, in whatever form it’s in, to make a positive difference in our community. That’s exactly what I’m trying to do.”

Kola first recognised how important Love in a Bowl’s work is after he volunteered with them back in 2019. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Kola saw how lockdown had an impact on the underprivileged and how many were struggling to get enough food to eat. So he decided to lend not only a hand, but all of himself.

“I was so impressed with the way that Love in a Bowl took the initiative to provide food for those in need and my time there really taught me the value of hard work. I dug the land, helped tend to the plants and worked in the community with everyone. And those vegetables made a big difference to a lot of people.”

Kola is a young athlete and understands how important healthy living is. Nutrients play a massive role in this. He went on to explain that the food you eat impacts your abilities to excel and promotes a healthy society too.

To prepare for the big day, Kola is undergoing strict training, which includes paddling 5km twice a day, every day, slowly building up to 16km and of course eating all of his organic vegetables from Love in a Bowl.

“I’m excited,”  exclaims Kola. “Initiatives like Love in a Bowl are the change we need to build a better society, and it’s an honour to be paddling to support them.”

Do an act of love this Freedom Day. Support Kola’s campaign and sponsor a Community Pot from Love in a Bowl that provides 27 meals to those in need.

Support Kola here:

Love in a Bowl works in partnership with the Courage Initiative to address the issue of extreme hunger and food security in Hout Bay. They provide roughly two tons of vegetables every week to more than 30 different feeding schemes. They also provide 42 full-time jobs and operate across seven local farms. To find out more about their important work, visit:

Picture: Facebook/@Love in a Bowl

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