Friday, 16 January 2015

POLITICS: Help Us Gauge the REAL State of the Nation

On 12 February, President Zuma will be delivering yet another of his annual "State of the Nation" addresses. But let's be clear on this: it's not going to be the real state of the nation. It will again be a handful of cherry-picked facts designed to make the ruling party look good.

Most South Africans face a very different reality.

Eskom will be broke by the end of January. Electricity supply is under severe threat, and water supply countrywide is already becoming affected. Drug addiction and crime is increasing among young people because unemployment and hopelessness is rising. Our economy has lost R300 billion, and 1 million South Africans have lost their jobs since load-shedding started in 2007. And this is just the beginning. The load-shedding schedule from February has all the makings of an economic shutdown.

The REAL State of the Nation needs to be heard in Parliament, and President Zuma must be held to account.

That's why in the coming weeks I will be consulting South Africans from all walks of life on their lived experiences. I will be visiting their homes and businesses, walking the streets of their communities, and holding townhall meetings to listen to their views.

We need your help to fund this tour

Every South African's voice deserves to get heard in Parliament. With your support we can take this tour countrywide and get the full picture first-hand. Then we can go back to Parliament and hold the President and ruling party to account armed with the facts.


Now more than ever, South Africans need Parliament to be effective. As long as we work through our democratic institutions to ensure accountability, President Zuma has his day coming.

The DA will see him in court soon for the 700 charges of corruption he has been running from for over a decade. And we will use Parliament to make sure he accounts for Nkandla, the Hawks, for SARS, for the NPA, the SABC and all the institutions he is trying to break down to escape accountability.

Let's restore Power to the People together!


Sandy Bigara

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

MISSING: Caitlin Lovell 15yrs Old Missing From Brighton Beach: Bluff, Durban

Sending from my phone so please excuse the url's:

Here is the Pink Ladies official 'missing persons' poster url (please share on twitter and facebook)

Twitter/Facebook/BBM/Whatsapp message for your convenience, simply copy/paste:

MISSING Teen Caitlin Lovell from KZN. 10111 if spotted. #Durban #Teen #ATT #SOS Share and Assist!

Please assist as far as you can. Every little bit helps to bring Caitlin home safely.

Sandy Bigara

Monday, 12 January 2015

TERROR: One Life is Worth More Than Another Life it Seems

Terrorist act in France.
TWENTY people killed THIS WEEK.
1.5million march.
40 world leaders attend.

Terrorist act in Nigeria.
Two thousand
TWO THOUSAND people were killed THIS WEEK.
No one is marching.
No 40 world leaders are attending.

Stop world.
I want to get off.

Sandy Bigara

Sunday, 11 January 2015

I No Longer by Jose Micard Teixeira and not Meryl Streep

“I no longer have patience for certain things, not because I’ve become arrogant, but simply because I reached a point in my life where I do not want to waste more time with what displeases me or hurts me. I have no patience for cynicism, excessive criticism and demands of any nature. I lost the will to please those who do not like me, to love those who do not love me and to smile at those who do not want to smile at me.
I no longer spend a single minute on those who lie or want to manipulate. I decided not to coexist anymore with pretense, hypocrisy, dishonesty and cheap praise. I do not tolerate selective erudition nor academic arrogance. I do not adjust either to popular gossiping. I hate conflict and comparisons. I believe in a world of opposites and that’s why I avoid people with rigid and inflexible personalities. In friendship I dislike the lack of loyalty and betrayal. I do not get along with those who do not know how to give a compliment or a word of encouragement. Exaggerations bore me and I have difficulty accepting those who do not like animals. And on top of everything I have no patience for anyone who does not deserve my patience.” 
by José Micard Teixeira
Photograph taken from José Micard Teixeira's Facebook page.
These powerful words were mistakenly attributed to Meryl Streep - but it is a case of blogging-quickly-without-checking-your-facts-first - in this case.

Visit José's Facebook Page to read more of his thoughts... 

Sunday, 4 January 2015

UPDATE: Jordan's Journey - South African Boy in French Hospital with Brain and Lung Cancer

I recently posted an article about a remarkable young man and his nightmare trip to Europe, you can read about it here to get some perspective. A frightening and horrific experience for any family to endure. Well, I have some great news!, according to Jordan's Journey facebook page:

3rd Jan 2015
Discovery Health have just informed us that they are over turning their previous decision and are now helping and paying for Jordys flight back to Durban!! We would like to thank everyone for all their support & the pressure that they put on discovery...To those who have donated to this, we will be using the money now for the shortfall at the hospital and for the special care that Jordy will need in Durban. If anyone is not happy with this please pm us and we will do our best to refund you asap.

Fantastic news!! 

Jordan during 2014 - so brave during chemo
Within a short while the following posts were up: 

3rd Jan 2015 8pm
Paramedics are at the hospital to escort Jordy to Charles de Gaulle Airport where he will be departing tonight to Johannesburg & then transferred into an ambulance & driven down to Durban...please pray for our boy!

9 hours ago
We would just like to thank everyone for all of your help, love & support throughout this whole horrifically traumatic ordeal.. Jordy has touched down on South African soil & is being transferred by ambulance to Durban.

1 hour ago
Jordan has arrived at the hospital in Durban and is currently in surgical ICU. The doctors are reviewing his scans & we are hopeful that treatment will start ASAP.

There was such an outpouring of support, financially and in other helpful ways, well done world! 

Now we just pray and hope that Jordy has a successful operation and speedy recovery. 

DONATIONS are appreciated - to assist the family with their monstrous medical bills. Cupcakes of hope have offered their account for use - reference JORDAN SMITH. 

Friday, 2 January 2015

LIFE OR DEATH: Sulphite Allergy or Sulphur Sensitivity My Recent Life Threatening Experience

As far as I can tell, in South Africa, It is not legally required for any food manufacturers / restaurants to declare Sulphur presence in their foods :( 

Sulphites are substances that are naturally found in some foods.  They are used as an additive to maintain food colour, shelf-life and prevent the growth of fungi or bacteria. Sulphites are also used in food packaging like cellophane.

This link will take you to a comprehensive list of FOODS WHICH MAY CONTAIN SULPHITES

This is what happened to me in the last two weeks: 
When someone comes in contact with an allergen, the symptoms of a reaction may develop quickly and rapidly progress from mild to severe. The most severe form of an allergic reaction is called anaphylaxis. Symptoms can include breathing difficulties, a drop in blood pressure or shock, which may result in loss of consciousness and even death. 

A person experiencing an allergic reaction may have any of the following symptoms:
Flushed face, 
hives or a rash, 
red and itchy skin
Swelling of the eyes, face, lips, 
Throat and tongue
Trouble breathing, 
speaking or swallowing
Sense of doom, 
A drop in blood pressure, 
Rapid heartbeat,
Loss of consciousness

I also personally experience:
Pain in all joints: leg, arm, skull intense pain.
Spinal stiffness and pain - (Schedule 5 Pain relief did not help)
Stiff neck - lessened mobility.
Pelvic stiffness and immobility.
Shaking of the hands. 
Migraine behind the eyes.
Hallucinations - very scary images.
Pain in all internal organs. 
Open sores in the mouth and on the tongue.
Swelling in the ear canals - like bad infection.
Asthma - tight chest.
IBS - twisting of the intestines, trapping gas.

Food and products that often contain sulphites
Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beer and cider
Bottled lemon and lime juices and concentrates
Canned and frozen fruits and vegetables
Cereal, cornmeal, cornstarch, crackers and muesli
Condiments, for example, coleslaw, horseradish, ketchup, mustard, pickles, relish and sauerkraut
Dehydrated, mashed, peeled and pre-cut potatoes, and frozen french fries
Dried fruits and vegetables, such as apricots, coconut and raisins, sweet potato
Dried herbs, spices and teas
Fresh grapes
Fruit fillings and syrups, gelatin, jams, jellies, preserves, marmalade, molasses and pectin
Fruit and vegetable juices
Glazed and glacéed fruits, for example, maraschino cherries
Starches, (for example, corn starch, potato starch)
Sugar syrups, for example, glucose, glucose solids, syrup dextrose, corn syrup, table syrup
Tomato pastes, pulps and purees
Vinegar and wine vinegar

Always look out for the following: 
Sulfuric acid 
Sulfur dioxide 
Sulfiting agents 
Sodium dithionite 
Sodium metabisulfite 
Sodium sulfite 
Sodium bisulfite  
Potassium metabisulfite
sulfur dioxide 
E 220, E 221, E 222, E 223, E 224, E 225, E 226 , E 227, E 228 (European names)

This is a link to a ​
​PDF of Foods that are Sulphite Safe, and foods that May Contain Sulphites. 

Let me know if you also suffer with Sulphite Sensitivity - find me on Facebook or get my contact details on my website

Image from 

SUPPORT: South African Boy in French Hospital with Brain and Lung Cancer - Needs to Fly Home

UPDATE: (Full article here)
3rd Jan 2015 8pm
Paramedics are at the hospital to escort Jordy to Charles de Gaulle Airport where he will be departing tonight to Johannesburg & then transferred into an ambulance & driven down to Durban...please pray for our boy!

9 hours ago
We would just like to thank everyone for all of your help, love & support throughout this whole horrifically traumatic ordeal.. Jordy has touched down on South African soil & is being transferred by ambulance to Durban.

1 hour ago
Jordan has arrived at the hospital in Durban and is currently in surgical ICU. The doctors are reviewing his scans & we are hopeful that treatment will start ASAP.

(Click on "Jordan's Journey above, to open the Facebook page in a new tab)

I have followed Jordan's Journey for a while now, I was at school with his lovely Aunty Wendy so I've paid attention and really hoped that this young man would pull through. Part of his biography really stood out: 

“From that moment, it was relayed to us that it was so serious; he had to go for 3 operations in just over one week, just so that they could get a sample big enough to make the correct diagnosis. This little boy had never even been to hospital before and didn’t quite understand what was happening or why, often asking “Mom, why is this happening to me?” and so many thoughts running through everyone’s minds just to try and find a response. His world was shattered and the earth seemed to swallow him and everyone who knew and loved him up in an instant; as the words were said – Jordan you have been diagnosed with a Chondroblastic Osteosarcoma’, a type of bone cancer.”

Gives me chills. This could happen to any of us at any time.

On the 22nd September he posted a photograph, it got over 1000 likes, 132 shares. 

He made it through his last Chemo and they arrived in the UK recently. However things did not look good from the onset:

27 December 2014
With much excitement we landed in the UK this afternoon, however it's been a bit of a rough journey... Jordy has been very sick since we got here. Please Pray that it was just the flight and that he feels better in the morning. Come on Cancer leave our baby alone and let him enjoy this holiday, it's been such a long & difficult road - he DESERVES THIS!! He is really looking forward to enjoying some adventures...

They stayed a while with family and then made their way to France so that Jordan could experience Disney World. Jordan never made it to Disney World. He is currently very ill in a Children's Hospital in France. 

Jordan's Journey has encouraged and inspired so many people around the world, offers of assistance, financial donations and encouragement from virtual strangers is the norm on his page, and this time - it's really a life-or-death situation. He is in a foreign country, he cannot fly home to South Africa without a Doctor in attendance, He needs to be flown back to South Africa - which will cost R1.1million. The Hospital in France refuses to treat him, and his medical aid refuses to pay for him to be flown home. Basically the Hospitals and Medical aid have said they are not willing to assist this young boy. 

"...they have found that the cancer has now spread to his lungs and brain..."

On the 31st December I saw a panicked wall post by my friend Wendy, and when I went to Jordan’s page I saw the following post:

31 December 2014
Jordan's trip to the UK has turned into a nightmare. We did a trip to France where we had planned to take him to Disneyland as he was feeling so much better & unfortunately he never made it there. Our precious boy was rushed to a children's hospital in Paris where they have found that the cancer has now spread to his lungs and brain. We are awaiting an emergency medical escort back to South Africa where he will be treated. WE ARE APPEALING TO EVERYONE TO PLEASE PRAY FOR A MIRACLE!

What would you do if this was your child? I can’t even begin to imagine the trauma and fear that they must be feeling. This boy has stayed so strong and handled so much. It seems so unfair. The following post was made yesterday and I am also appealing to anyone who can help, not only with donations, but with the medical aid, the airlines etc

01 January 2015

Our nightmare has turned into a horror story.. our medical aid has now refused to pay anything towards Jordy & have told us it's going to cost in excess of R1.1 million to get him onto an aeroplane medically assisted back to South Africa for urgent radiation. The doctors here in Paris will not start treatment because we are not covered financially, however have helped us to try to contact the South African embassy but to no avail! We have contacted our travel insurance who are only paying out R100 000. We are INCREDIBLY DESPERATE to save our little boys life... Please, please, please help us in any way that you can. The doctors have told us that we need to get him to South Africa as quickly as possible. Any amount you could give us will help!! Begging you from the loving parents of a very sick little boy...

The following is a fund account that Jordan's Mother has access too, please assist by sharing this article and letting your friends / twitter etc know. When you donate, please use the reference JORDAN SMITH