A refuge amid a storm of violence. This is Bonteheuwel’s first café

 
 
 

Aneesah Seale greets daybreak with a swirl of chocolate sauce. She’s just opened the first coffee shop in Bonteheuwel, right from her own home. Her endeavour is notable in a neighbourhood where daily shootings leave people in fear of stepping out of their houses. “The crime in our space stops us from coming together,” Seale says. In the midst of terror and desolation, her café is a sweet refuge.

From the tender age of nine, Seale has been acquainted with the warmth a kitchen can bring. Her father was a bakery manager and it was with his encouragement that her dreams began to rise. “I was always full of flour!” Seale exclaims. She’s been baking for more than two decades now. Last year, Seale launched a confectionery business from home. But the idea of seeing her neighbours find comfort over a strong roast kept brewing in her heart. “A café can be about more than just coffee and cake,” Seale says. “This one’s about community.”

Today, That Coffee Shop pours countless cups of care. Fresh flowers grace the tables in Seale’s shabby chic front yard, and every guest is welcomed in with a smile. Beyond its reputation, Bonteheuwel is now the home of extraordinary goodness. “Something as simple as a coffee shop can give people a place to be together,” Seale says. Her efforts serve as an inspiration to those who visit. All it takes is one courageous act of goodness to start a positive revolution.