Couple out to feed the hungry

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-chairperson of the Board of Cape Town Opera. And he’s found time for those responsibilities after wrapping up his 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 48 Hours, with separate editions published in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban.

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.

With his background at Cape Town Opera, the search for a suitable occasion at which to serve their lunch immediately led the couple to partner with the Artscape Theatre Centre, which hosts the annual Women’s Humanity Arts Festival every August.

“We decided it would be wonderful to organise a lunch for everyone who attends the festival on Women’s Day on 9 August each year,” adds the busy entrepreneur, whose business interests extend from media to tourism and property. It’s wonderful to see the way strangers bond when they share a meal together,” adds health and beauty writer Roxanne. “This will be the fifth year we have served lunch at the festival and it keeps on growing.”

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.”

The couple are catering for around 4000 people this year.