Saffa to braai in Wimbledon ev

Saffa to braai in Wimbledon every day for a year – all for rhinos!

A London-based South African is on a quest to braai 365 days of the year to raise money for charity while enjoying this old age South African tradition.

Saffa to braai in Wimbledon ev

Braai365pic2I spoke to Mat Hartley on Saturday 18 May, the start of his Northern Hemispheric quest that will last until 17 May 2014.

Where in South Africa are you from? How long have you been in the UK, what do you do for a living and do you plan to go back one day?

I am originally from Maritzburg and have been over here for close on 10 years. I have broken it up by travelling around Europe in a van, have lived in Australia and in Ireland for two years. I am a senior sales rep for a blue chip company and always see myself returning to the best country in the world, but still have a bit to do before that – one of those things is to braai!

To braai for 365 days may be frowned upon by our British hosts, but as a South African it sounds like true bliss to me. Where did you get the idea from?

I have had a debate with mates for quite a while whether or not it is possible or sane to braai every single day and registered the domain about a year ago. I decided to go ahead with it after a long chat around a braai with a mate in Durban.

You also aim to raise awareness and money for charity. Tell us more about your chosen charity and how people can support you and the cause.

I have chosen a rhino charity as it’s high on the agenda right now. There is a general charity on Justgiving (, but I am trying my best to adopt a rhino in KwaZulu-Natal, where the money will go to the equipment that makes our rhinos safe!

I have ideas on how to raise the funds, but at the moment I am just getting through this first month! I am in the process of setting up a store and also feel braai clubs can add their weight in the cause.

Where do you see the braai club concept going?

I just want the braai tradition of good friends and good food to spread a bit. Hopefully braai clubs get set up around the world and we use the smoke to aid a good cause.

What preparation did you do beforehand? Do you have any sponsors?

I plan the menu a week before and then make sure I stick to it. Cadac have sponsored me all the braai equipment. They have given me everything I need to make sure I make it to the end!

What’s your favourite fuel – wood, charcoal, briquettes or gas?

Wood then briquettes and charcoal (dependant on what I braai). Living in London I need to use charcoal, but nothing beats a good wood fire!

What is your favourite food to braai – steak, chops, chicken, boerewors, sosaties, seafood or vegetables?

I am South African so steak is at the top… but a good fish braai never hurt anyone!

For a man that wants to braai every day for a year, surely you must have a few recipes up your sleeve to keep it all interesting.

To be honest, I am that guy who loves his steak and boerie, but the better half has agreed to this on the terms that I cook different things… my recipes involve throwing spice and sauce about. The recipes will be online, so hopefully will inspire a few braai masters to try something new.

How can people get involved and follow your progress?

I blog on and am also on Facebook.

Join Mat on his quest and raise funds for this worthy cause.

The wise and immortal words of Barry Hilton jump to mind: Ons gaan nou braai!