Dowayne and I first met in 2014, in Manenberg of all places!!
Dowayne was born and raised in Manenberg. He had a very difficult childhood and ended up as a young teenager stuck in the self destructive cycles of addiction and violence that is sadly so typical of so many young people in our community. But in 2012 he turned his life around and has since been free of heroine and other substances. He now runs a boys recovery home in Manenberg, and he's passionate about pouring back into the community and walking along side other young boys who've found themselves trapped in the same problems he is now free of.
I, on the other hand, grew up in a small countryside village in the south east of England. Quite the opposite of the chaos and disruption of Manenberg. But in 2014 friends of mine had asked if I'd come out and help teach cupcake decorating and baking to some of these young drug addict boys and high risk youth they were working with at the time. I spent 6 weeks in Manenberg, hanging out with these guys, and building a deep and solid friendship with Dowayne. My heart broke for this beautiful but broken community and I knew that Manenberg was meant to be my home at some point. Then, 2 years later, I took the plunge. Gave up my job in the UK, my family, my friends, my finances and moved my life to Manenberg...and the deep friendship that we had built in the previous two years sparked something new! And that's our story!