It makes us smile when we receive positive feedback from the South African community about our masks. Watching the country come together during such tough times gives us hope. A local accounting firm, NSP-Plus, recently shared a very heartfelt message on Facebook with a picture of our masks.
“Freedom Day is a public holiday in South Africa celebrated on 27 April. It celebrates freedom and commemorates the first post-apartheid elections held on that day in 1994, but we as South Africans are “celebrating” this day through gritted teeth, with an acute sense of irony, this year.
Right now, there are millions of South Africans who are going to bed hungry, but we as fellow South Africans, ourselves affected by this crisis in our own ways, can help those in dire need right now.
One way of helping without searching for charities and organizations is by doing the SPAR Donate “challenge”
Over the past weekend, I did my contribution at my local SPAR store wearing my Mzansi Mask, their product is of high quality, washable and makes wearing a face mask while out to get essential products not only safer for oneself but also very stylish. Fast, efficient service met with sufficient communication and delivery straight to your front door.”
We were very moved by their message and we felt encouraged knowing that our masks could join them on their journey to make a change. We reached out to Liliana Donaggi and Nadia Steyn from NSP-Plus to find out how they’ve been coping with COVID-19.
Q: How have your team been coping with COVID-19 in a personal capacity?
Liliana: Firstly, I will say that we have been coping pretty well at home, under the circumstances. My children are 11 and 13 years of age and during the week they keep themselves busy with school work while daddy works from his makeshift office in our entertainment area and I ensure that our house stays clean and food gets prepared, which feels like a never-ending function (sigh).
We entertain ourselves with activities such as board games, card games, baking, art and exercise. With that said you do get this sudden feeling of helplessness and uncertainty, fearing this situation we find ourselves in, every now and then but as a parent, I have to shake it off and move forward.
I just feel so sad for the children being stuck at home and probably feeling as if there is this invisible monster out there that has brought their young lives to an abrupt still-stand.
I also see where I can help out every now and then in terms of doing something good, even if it is as simple as donating two packs of pasta to my neighbour who cooks soup every day for the needy.
Nadia: The truth is that it was a difficult adjustment. As a family, we love the outdoors. My son plays cricket so our lives consist of sports and routine. The first 2 weeks were an adjustment we first had to realize we were now locked between four walls.
How we adjusted was as follows: We bought gym equipment before the lockdown and we started training - or let me say my husband and son started training while I started to make myself wiser behind the food pots and household chores.
Currently, we get up when we wake up, we have some coffee, exercise and then we start doing schoolwork. While my son is busy with homework, I will start answering emails and working in-between. I make lunch and then I take a nap while my husband and son play cricket or golf outside. I get up and then I start working until about five o'clock and then I pour myself something to drink and sit under my tree and listen to golden oldies or just the silence outside.
I cook and then we watch “Binnelanders” and at 8:30 my son must go to bed and then my husband and I lie on the couch and watch TV, or talk. This time is incredibly nice with my family and I already feel sad the day we must function normally again.
Q: How has NSP been coping with COVID-19 in a professional capacity (business)?
Nadia: NSP-Plus is a young business. I founded NSP-Plus in October 2017. My vision for NSP-Plus is to offer a great customer experience, and availability is a top consideration when choosing a service provider. But NSP doesn’t only offer service, we want to connect with our customers. Partnership beyond accounting.
During April, my focus was to keep my clients calm and keep them up to date with any news as well as being available if they needed any additional information from NSP for debt funding relief scheme assistance with the completion and submission of the COVID 19 – TERS Fund, or just advice.
I have moved back a lot of my other work to help my clients and answer their questions. I also set up a Covid19 Whatsapp group to talk to my clients and ensure that they know I am there for them. The month of May is going to be another ball game because now NSP needs to start focusing again on Emp 501 reconciliation and financial statements.
Q: What measures have you taken to ensure safety for yourself, your employees/colleagues and your family?
Liliana: The measures I take to hopefully keep myself and my family out of this virus' reach is to keep all surfaces clean and disinfected on a daily basis. We do not have contact with anybody else and we adhere to the rules our President has laid out for us as a nation.
With that said, I met my friend Nadia at Spar, without any physical contact between us whatsoever which was probably the hardest thing I had to do that day. But we went with a mission of donating to the needy by doing the Spar Donate Challenge and we did so in the safest way possible by not having contact physically and by wearing our Mzansi masks.
Hubby and I take turns to go to shops and we do so only when and if it is absolutely necessary and we do so wearing our Mzansi Masks with pride and it also brings a sense of safety while outside the safety of your own home. We then wash all purchases thoroughly upon unpacking, let dry and then pack away. The kids are not allowed to help, full stop.
Wash hands thoroughly, disinfect all surfaces again, as well as keys, wallets, cards and my clothes go straight to the washing machine once done. It is a mission and a half but I think a very crucial one.
Nadia: The measures we take is to stay at home and only go to the shops if necessary. We wash and sanitize our hands regularly. When we go out, we wear our Mzansi Masks. Mine is very colorful, so when everyone is staring at me then I know they are thinking where she got that beautiful mask.
I think I left my house twice in this lockdown. My son has been stuck indoors now since March when the school holiday started. The other day I asked him yesterday don’t you miss your friends?'' and he said: “I am with my family and it is the happiest place to be”. Well, he is 10 I don’t think he would have said this if he was 13.
Q: How has your team enjoyed their Mzansi Masks?
Liliana: We enjoy wearing our Mzansi Masks. They are comfortable, soft, easy wearing and most of all I love the prints. I bought a beautiful print for myself and basic solid colours for the family. But I know that my next purchase will most certainly be even bolder for myself.
Nadia: We enjoy wearing our masks. They fit our faces perfectly and are extremely easy to wear. And, as my friend said, I love the different options you gave us from funky to just the ordinary. I will order another set of masks this month.
Q: What is the first thing that you will do once lockdown is over?
Liliana: I know for certain that the first thing I will do once we are sure that this virus is gone, or at the very least under control and our lives are no longer at risk, will be to organize a sleepover for the kids with friends. Either at home or by their friends. And I will most definitely be celebrating with my friends around a fire enjoying champers and laughter. We used to do so nearly every Saturday before lockdown and I miss them all terribly.
Nadia: The first thing I would love to do is to go for a facial, waxes and Pedi. After that, to drive to Blouberg with my family and Rocky (dog) and just go and walk on the beach and eat ice cream afterwards. Then go and have a lovely braai with my friends. Not at my house!
Be a part of the Mzansi community
Thanks to Liliana and Nadia for sharing their COVID-19 and Mzanzi Masks journey with us.
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