What started with three friends using two small pots to cook meals for the underprivileged in Rylands on the day before Eid-al-Fitr in 1984 has grown to become a mass event which sees more than 300 volunteers joining hands.
Thirty-five years later non-profit organisation, Nakhlistan cooks for 85,000 people throughout the Western Cape and supplying the needy regardless of their faith.
Nakhlistan prepares the food and another organisation, Mustadafin Foundation arranges the distribution to areas like Atlantis, Hout Bay, Uitsig, Manenberg and other areas.
This year Eid-al-Fitr, which in Arabic means ‘festival of breaking the fast’, falls on June 5 and is celebrated by Muslims annually around the world highlighting the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.
Nakhlistan’s public relations officer Fatima Allie said that the pot quantities and sizes have grown over the years and they are currently at 169 pots each at 130 litres. Each pot feeds about 320 people.
ENC reported that volunteers gather at Callies Rugby Grounds near Athlone on the night before Eid and cook for about five hours over fires.
During Islam’s holiest month the Muslims fast for up to 30 days. Mustadafin foundation’s director Ghairunisa Johnstone-Cassiem says that this time of fasting reminds them that poor people have no choice when they are unable to eat.
Around twenty-seven kilograms of rice go into a pot along with masalas, garlic, ginger and salt. They then add potatoes, onions and chopped meat which they cook from 7pm on the night before.
Hungry communities are exited to receive a hearty meal every winter.