I wish someone had told me to braai more often

I wish someone had told me” is a series of posts that feed into our inquisitive nature at CN&CO. Each week we hear from someone in our network about something interesting or surprising that’s recently happened or occurred to them – or lessons they learnt. These blogs are a way to pay it forward and form part of CN&CO’s belief that the world can be a better place – and we all have a responsibility to make it so. This week’s post is by Rikus Kok

When you hear the word “braai” the first thing that probably comes to mind is “fire” and cooking your meat on that fire. However, for me, a braai is much more than just a fire.

I grew up with a family that loves to braai – once a week at least – and there is one day in a month that my dad will always braai no matter what the weather.  That day is on the full moon of every month. But my dad doesn’t need a full moon to braai – most days he will just light a fire as the sun is going down for the smell and the atmosphere of it, he calls this his “atmosVUUR” , a term I have appropriated and love.​

Yes, a braai is a way to cook your meat but it is way more than that. You also have the most interesting conversations around a fire – from very deep topics, very happy topics, listening to jokes or just staring into the fire. I believe a braai is a great way for people to get to know each other better, find out how things are going, what’s new and spending quality time together with the ones you love.

To this day (and I hope this lasts no matter what my age)​ when I visit my parents in Thabazimbi 99.9% of the time, we will have a braai the night I arrive. My dad Leon Kok will have the fire going just before we arrive for a majestic “atmosVUUR” When the coals are just right to braai our perfectly marinated 28 day matured steaks, my mom Magda will be adding delicious dishes to go with our family braai. From mieliepap, potato bake, cooked veggies to my favorite – a braai broodjie! If you don’t know what that is, hook me up and let me show you!

Two years ago, alongside my CN&CO partner Kurt Solomon and our dear friend Michael Kaufmann from Five2Nine, I joined the Jan Braai Tour, It was an amazing experience, highlighting the diversity of the braai culture.

So my fellow South Africans, as our country enters a new era of optimism with the election of Cyril Ramaphosa as our fifth President, let’s unite around our fires, enjoy a delicious braai and spend more time with family and friends around the atmosVUUR.





To get in the mood, listen to this great song by my friends, Rickus Nel, Bok van Blerk and their friends, Adam Tas and Refentse.



Talented in music and the arts, Rikus not only has the voice, but also a natural eye for events. His attention to detail, organisational skills and ability to keep things moving are unique. He is also a people’s person and is always ready to embrace the festivities and the dance floor!