Picture an action sequence in a movie. Can you imagine the dramatically slowed down scene as the cameras zoom in to show each individually bristled hair and sweaty pore of the actors? Unfortunately, my life didn’t come with any freeze frame affects leading up to Khaya’s day to shine on CNN. It was in fact - fast, furious, and wonderful. The fast and furious portion stemmed from lifting heavy cardboard boxes packed with the contents of my life, the week leading up to the CNN shoot. Oh and to top off my adrenaline rush – I received a phone call from the Producer/Copy Editor of CNN wanting to run their segment called “Small & Global” on the Khaya Cookie Company! CNN and Khaya
Phew…It wasn’t easy getting to a point where I felt proud of the things Khaya had done. It wasn’t easy convincing people that building a business from an “inside out” model of “hand-ups,” not “hand-outs” would actually work. It wasn’t easy selling the idea of creating jobs, let alone doing it through cookies. It just wasn’t easy - and this is the kind of stuff that lots of movies tend to cut out. I actually believe “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy did it best when they devoted a whole movie to the Hobbits going through Mordor and then spending another hour at the summit of Mount Doom debating. (Did I really just make a reference to LOTR?)
That’s pretty true to the challenges of doing what you feel is right, which in my situation, was creating jobs. It’s an uphill battle, with an even longer debate at the top. Luckily, I had the support of many people. Actually I continue to have the support of those people and still need the support of many more people. It was truly Khaya’s hard work that got CNN there. I was happy to share Khaya’s personal and professional challenges of providing opportunities for its workers. The level of quality goods Khaya produces only generates pride for the hands and hearts behind the product in both the United States and South Africa. Of course, CNN would be the first to investigate. To watch their full investigation and see me the back of a loading truck click here: CNN and Khaya
“and enter in Shadley Lombard…”
What a great videographer from CNN, Cape Town. I often find that they’re the best story tellers because their visions are on the pulse of what’s going around you. Shadley is a true CapeTonian story teller and this time, he was going to record Khaya’s story in South Africa. It was only a pleasure seeing Khaya through his fresh lenses. It was when Shadley had the chance to visit Maxwell and Monica (two Khaya employees) inside their homes that I was reminded, once again, that Khaya is real. We really do have an impact. We really do help. We really do create jobs, stability and pride. And we really do that by making these cookies…
Shadley was able to document the cookies from their early morning in the South African townships, through their careful creation and packaging process, and to their final journey for the states. Now you can see and taste how these cookies have raised the business bar. Khaya’s flavor, ingredients, and care will always tell the story, and now CNN does, too. To watch Shadley’s complete videography work on Khaya go to: Shadley and CNN on Khaya
“where are they now?”
I’m back in New York sharing the long trek these cookies have made. I am looking forward to sharing even more of the individual stories of the Khaya workers on my blog in the future. It truly is an amazing thing to see where there were, where they are now, and where they will be because of Khaya. A big “ENKOSI” to all of the amazing CNN staff and support for giving everyone a chance to be welcomed into our Khaya.