In April 2015, a small group of photographers sharing a passion for the Cape coalesced around the notion of volunteering its skills to produce a permanent record of the Muizenberg Fire of March 2015. Its intent was to raise funds for organisations that worked to contain and suppress the fire before dealing with its inevitably costly consequences.
Serving as a catalyst, VWS Marketing Director Patrick Ryan put the nascent project in touch with a like-minded group, led by Les Martens of SA Media Services. Sharing Mike Golby’s vision of locating the Muizenberg Fire in the context of our common past, present and future, The Cape Aflame Project and Support Teams were born.
Publishing, be it for worthy causes or profit, sets exacting standards of quality, accuracy and attention to detail. Nobody meets these criteria better than Les. He shared a vision, took on risk, sourced needed skills, participated in every aspect of the project, nursed the book through the publishing process and, finally, put it into your hands.
From the outset, Kate Dearlove of Getty Images offered access to world-class imagery, Kathleen Sutton provided a subeditorial and proofreading raptor’s eye, and Paula Wood’s masterful design and layout skills turned piles of data accompanied by hundreds of images into a work of art. Moreover, without extreme conservationist Braam Malherbe’s contribution to promotion, we would be less capable of bringing it to your attention.
As Capetonians lacking knowledge and experience of wildfire, wildland firefighting or the unique environment through which the Muizenberg Fire raged, The Cape Aflame Project Team swiftly discovered that vision demands leadership.
Our Project Manager and Business Lead Kevin Gleeson’s extraordinary ability to lead from the front has earned him the greater team’s gratitude, respect and friendship. Without Kevin’s work ethic, business insight, compassion and innate abilities to lead, plan and delegate, we would not have a definitive record of the Muizenberg Fire.
The Project Team researched, collected and curated existing material. While Mike Golby sourced and researched documents and papers in the public domain to produce editorial, curator Patrick Ryan’s wide-ranging firefighting, photographic and design skills smoothed the vetting process, undertaken by experts in their respective fields, and gave the team a highly innovative and creative social-media marketing campaign.
Basil Parker and Cathy Bell undertook the daunting task of sourcing and curating thousands of images from hundreds of photographers – their job made more difficult by having to obtain high-resolution images of world-class quality that would match the vagaries of the conflagration and the text. Ant West provided early input into the marketing campaign before having to step down. Basil took over to plan its realisation by setting up a web platform able to support an integrated media campaign.
To say that the team could not have completed this project without the support of its partners would be to wholly understate their commitment to a quest seeking to protect our peninsular and broader biodiversity.
During the Muizenberg Fire of 2015, Capetonians and many others accomplished the seemingly impossible. Little did The Cape Aflame Project and Support Teams realise that, to commit the work of Capetonians and so many others to the record, they would have to emulate them.
The Cape Aflame Project Team
Image Sourcing, Quality Control, Website Development, Social Media and e-Commerce Fulfillment – Basil spent 31 years as a Telkom Solutions Architect and built the original capeaflame.org website.
Promoter and Fundraiser – Braam is a highly sought-after motivational speaker, extreme adventurer, TV presenter, youth developer and author of the bestselling The Great Run. He is internationally renowned as a no-nonsense conservationist and eco-warrior.
Image Sourcing and Quality Control – A qualified designer, photographer and kinesiologist with 20 years' experience in the alternative health sector, Cathy's skills afford her as many creative opportunities as she needs.
Marketing, Sales and Promotions Manager – Kate has 25 years' experience in the global media industry, specialising in emerging markets. KD Media Services has strong ties to international content agency and photographer networks.
Subediting and Proofreading – Kathy is an independent editor and writer. A graduate of UCT and Rhodes University, her work includes a broad range of non-fiction titles, school books and magazines.
Project Leader and Business Manager – Kevin spent 12 years with Old Mutual (South Africa) before leaving in 2012 as Deputy Finance Director. He is an Independent Financial Services Professional providing non-executive and consulting services in the ﬁnancial services industry.
Publishing and Procurement Manager – Les is the owner of Cape Town-based SA Media Services and has more than 30 years' local and international experience in pre-press, book project management and print production.
Author and Webmaster – A freelance writer, editor, subeditor and researcher, Mike has practiced newspaper and magazine journalism, spent 15 years in academic, legal and general publishing and worked as a technical writer for 20 years.
Curator and Wildfire Management Adviser – Patrick is an award-winning photographer and lecturer, a former Volunteer Wildfire Services Creative and Marketing Director and the CEO of Vulcan Wildfire Management.
Layout and Design – Paula Wood Design is a Cape Town-based visual communications company located in Cape Town, South Africa. It provides website design, graphic design, branding and corporate-identity design services.
The Cape Aflame – Cape Town's Dance with Fire features the work of the following professional and amateur photographers who, without exception, donated their work for use in raising funds for essential public-service organisations. Without them, The Cape Aflame Project would not have been possible.
The Cape Aflame Photographers
|Aletta Gardner||Danie Coetzee||John Murray||Patrick Ryan|
|Andrew Gorman||Daniel J Marais||Jon-Erik Munro||Peter Wynne|
|Andrew Hagen||Darren Stewart||Phil Richardson|
|Andy Nixon||Deon Raath||Kim Bouchier|
|Arne Purves||Robyn Gwilt|
|Eric Nathan||Leanne Stander|
|Basil Parker||Eric Wolhuter||Lee Slabber||Samir Abdul|
|Brett Radloff||Liza van Deventer||Schalk van Zuydam|
|Frenske Otzen||Shawn Benjamin|
|Carol Phillips||Mark Harley||Shirene Briell|
|Cathy Bell||Gale McAll||Maureen Lavies||Stanwell Slater|
|Charles Mercer||Gareth Petterson||Melanie Black|
|Chris Preen||Melanie Bentley Cornelius||Vanessa Khlentzos|
|Craig Souter||Nic Bothma||Wanika Davids|