Submitted by: Carmen Whelan D’Arcy

Carmen Whelan D’Arcy, a member of #ImStaying, tells a beautiful story that will hopefully inspire others to try to do the same kind of thing.  She tells it in her own words:

“Lockdown hit us hard.  Not nearly as hard as it hit most South African families, but we (a family of two adults, three children and three ‘furbabies’) were left with no income for May, and only half of my fiancé’s salary for June and July.

I run my own business (a swimming school) from home, and my fiancé Dylan works for his parents.

We went into the months of May, June and July with not only half his salary, but also having to make a plan to cover medical aid payments that used to be paid by the company.

But that is not why I am writing this…

Financial worries were at the forefront of our minds during Lockdown.  Understandably so.  I went into nurture mode, and I cooked and baked and looked after our children, ensuring that their needs were met.

Dylan went into true South African caveman mode, and went out to “Make a Plan.”

You see, he is an avid gym/Crossfitter fan, and with gyms closed, we were unable to train.  Thankfully our Crossfit Box allowed us to borrow some equipment during this time.

Dylan loves a good squat-and-bench session, but for these movements, you almost always need a rack.

So he researched and found a guy to make a ‘rig’ according to his design at home.  He then went on to advertise the rig on Facebook, and started getting some orders and some inquiries.

But that is still not why I am writing this . . . 

Dylan found a steel worker in Thembisa who was able to make the gym racks and benches.  He then found an upholsterer here in Eastleigh to upholster the benches.

Not once did Dylan haggle a price with them, or try to beat them down. 

These things were, after all, their livelihood.

The gym equipment has sold like hotcakes, and has carried us through the period of financial woes.  Not only did it carry us through, but it also helped the manufacturers who worked for us.

His heart was so full and happy

One day, a few weeks back, Dylan came home from collecting stock in Thembisa, and he said his heart was so full and happy.  With all the work that he had given the steel worker, he had had to employ a few youths in the community to help him.  In turn he taught some of these youngsters to weld and make some of these gym products.  So a few more people have been upskilled now.

Not only was Dylan able to provide a bit of an income for these people, but he also kitted them out with overalls and safety boots.

But that is still not the best part of this story.

Tonight Sibu, the steel worker, arrived at our home to drop off gym benches, and he proudly told Dylan his big news.  He was looking at buying a bakkie!

Dylan has enabled someone to buy his first-ever car!

Dylan is so chuffed; walking around with his chest puffed out.  And rightly so!

This is the South Africa I pray for.  One where it takes leaps of faith and working together to achieve spectacular results.

This is a South African story.

 A true South African story.

A story of hope, belief, and trust in your fellow man.

I go to bed tonight with a full heart!  Together we can make this country great again!”

To donate to the #ImStayingFund,
please click here:


Please submit your story to us HERE
For more positive and uplifting stories visit us at #ImStaying