We have reached the time of year where everybody’s minds and bodies have retreated for vacation. As we silently count down the final days remaining till Christmas, our women vineyard team have been hard at work. Usually our Worker of the Month competition signals out the most hardworking member of the men and women’s’ team, but this month we felt it was only compelling to give credit where its due, and reward the entire team for their committed performance during these lazy days.
The team consists of Ilena Bambela, Anneline Van Wyk, and Raynodene Roelf. Ilena is a beautiful isiXhosa woman who carries her years well, spending after hours in her garden, producing big healthy vegetables for her family, always accompanied by her warming bright smile. Anneline, a woman from a difficult past, has now flourished into a hardworking woman. Anneline is quite diverse in her skills set, often assisting in other jobs besides vineyard work, such as being a good housekeeper for visitors of the Ayama Rockhouse. Raynodene, known to all of us as “Dinki”, is an all-rounder when it comes to jobs on the farm, assisting both in the vineyard and housekeeping of the Ayama Rockhouse. Not only known for her quick retorts, but also her ability to tackle any job assigned with diligence and passion.
All 3 women are actively involved in hand-labelling of our various wine ranges and can probably perfectly label in their sleep- capsules and packaging included…
I decided to do this interview a little different and interview the women as a unit. Here is what they had to say:
1.) HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WORKING AT AYAMA?
ILENA: “Yho, yho too long, I don’t even know”
ANNELINE: “Van af 2008, en so gaan ek maar aan”
“Since 2008 and so I will carry on”
DINKI: “I’m working here 3 years now, I’m enjoying it, dit was baie lekker 3 jaar”
“Ive been working here for 3 years now, and im enjoying it. It’s been a very good 3 years.”
2.) WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT WORKING AT AYAMA?
ILENA: “All types of work. I didn’t know anything when I started, now I know how to do everything”
ANNELINE: “Ek doen baie goed op die plaas, word hier en daar rondgegooi”
“Im doing a lot of things on the farm, I work all over the farm doing different jobs.”
DINKI: “Alles wat mal is.”
“Everything that involves fun and adventure”
3.) WHAT IS YOUR BEST MEMORY SINCE WORKING AT THE FARM?
ILENA: “I enjoyed working with the plums, and also when we cut off the grapes during harvest time”
ANNELINE: “Die tyd toe ons met die bus na die strand toe gegaan het, en ook toe ons op die Mandela outing was. Dit was lekker om n bietijie uit te gekom het en van die plaas af.”
“The time when we went with the bus to the beach, and also when we went on the Mandela outing. It was good to go out a bit, and away from the farm”
DINKI: “Die tyd met die 10jaar anniversary (Dinki says with a big smile on her face) waar ons geplant het, en ook celebrations na die tyd gehou het”
“The time with the 10year anniversary (Dinki says with a big smile on her face), when we planted and also had the celebration party after that.”
4.) AYAMA IS isiXhosa FOR “SOMEONE TO LEAN ON”, WHAT DOES THAT MEAN TO YOU?
WOMEN: “If there is a problem, and we need something, the farm will always help us to sort it out. We can always count on Michela and Attilio to help where they can.”
When I asked the women this question, what stood out to me the most was that all 3 women had the exact same answer. I’ve found that since I’ve started working here, their words relating to the farm in general, are the same words echoed by all workers. Our name ‘AYAMA’ and its’ meaning is the core of this farm and is the engine on which we run.
This concludes this round of interviews, but we’ll be back shortly where we will be interviewing the AYAMA WORKER OF THE YEAR 2017!