If you want to get something done, give it to a busy person… but if you want to get it done exceptionally well, give it to a couple like Naushad and Roxanne Khan.
The mark of a truly successful person (or couple) is their commitment to giving back to their community.
Naushad Khan has served on the board of the Association of Independent Publishers and was Vice Chairman of the Board of Cape Town Opera. And he’s found time for those responsibilities after wrapping up the day’s work of running his media and marketing services company, Bolt, in addition to the time-sapping task of publishing a bimonthly entertainment and lifestyle newspaper, The Next 48hOURS.
But that’s not enough to drain the combined energy of Naushad and his wife, Roxanne. Inspired by the sacrifices made by generations of South African women who have campaigned hard for women’s rights to safety as well as equal opportunity in the workplace, Naushad had the idea of bringing Capetonians and their visitors together on Women’s Day.
“The best way for people to get to know each other and build friendships is when we break bread together, and that’s why Roxanne and I had the idea of serving a celebratory lunch in honour of Women’s Day,” says family man Naushad.
This year the Khans have decided to spread the love far and wide and will be feeding at shelters and homes across Cape Town and at two shelters in Paarl. City based shelters include The Homestead, The Haven Night Shelter, Kensington Homes, Elim House and The Haven.
Although Naushad had the initial idea for the Humanity Table, he’s quick to credit Roxanne for the most valuable contribution to its success – the implementation.
“I’m constantly busy and getting my hands dirty across both of my businesses, but Roxanne takes things to a whole new level,” he laughs. “She has the knack for always getting things done efficiently and with her own special, personal touch. I also know when to stay out of the way and when to offer my help.”
In 2018, the couple’s little lunch idea had grown to a mammoth feast feeding well over 4000 people… and it looks like they will top that in 2019.
“We’re catering for around 4500 people this year,” says Roxanne, who is also involved in several groups and committees that help to uplift women in different communities. “It’s just incredible how this little idea has grown. It takes a lot of effort to organise this with the help of our staff, along with other corporates and numerous volunteers, but it doesn’t feel like work in the slightest. The joy we experience on the day is so uplifting that, whenever challenges cross our path during the year, just the memory of the vibe around the tables helps to lift our spirits.”
“All the ingredients and catering items are sponsored through our corporate network and the hot meal is prepared by the Cape Town International Convention Centre. Ingredients are sponsored by Grandwest, Brimstone, Novus Print and RanicommSA.
My staff, friends and volunteers do all the serving on the day,” smiles Naushad, for whom the Humanity Lunch Table is a pure labour of love. Of course, it’s also an opportunity to enjoy delicious local cuisine, as guests are treated to a delicious chicken Biryani, along with cool drinks and water.
The Cape Town couple are as dedicated to their business and charitable work as they are to their two sons.
“We’ve grown as a family through the challenges and triumphs we have experienced over the years, but we’ve found that giving back has been the greatest reward as it allows us to recognise how we have been blessed as a family,” adds Naushad.