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News - Date: 05 February 2021
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Family and friends still mourn the death of well-known local businessman and avo farmer Manny de Sousa of Louis Trichardt, who tragically passed away on Friday, 22 January, a few hours after being bitten by a black mamba.
Manuel de Sousa (Manny) was born on 2 September 1968 to parents José and Dolores De Sousa. He went to school at West Rand La Salle College but left school at the young age of 16 years, and went on to do his national service at age of 17 years after spending a year with his grandfather, also Manuel Correia, farming in Little Falls.
Manny performed his national service in Potchefstroom and at Wonderboom army base, but finally went to South West Africa to fight the war - a young man defending his country and not yet ready for the reality of life, always with a big smile and jokes and stories to share.
Returning to Johannesburg to work in a liquor store, at that stage a happy and full-of-life Manny enjoyed many “jols” met Connie, a hairdresser, in Randburg. She later returned to Louis Trichardt, the place where her parents and her brother Ricky lived and after some time, at the age of 21, Manny was offered a job at Punch Bowl Liquor Store (1988) in Louis Trichardt by George Boyd. “Uncle George” was a friend and mentor to Manny throughout many years in all his business ventures.
On 3 September 1989, Manny packed up and moved to Louis Trichardt to start his journey. For many years, Manny owned Punchbowl Liquor Store and then decided to change trades by starting Cater Pack with his brother-in-law, Ricky. He later acquired the business when his brother-in-law left town.
Manny and Connie were married in January 1990 in Louis Trichardt and started a family soon afterward. Pauline was born on 29 April 1991 but sadly passed away 18 months later – her death caused Manny a lot of silent pain. Manny and Connie had two more children thereafter, daughter Daniela and son Rico.
Daniela worked with her dad at Cater Pack, assisting him in running the business, supplying many businesses and farmers with all their packaging needs. He was blessed with business success in his caring and friendly manner.
Rico went on to study in Cape town. Manny loved to mentor him and guide him to live his career choice and always encouraged him. He was fortunate to be spending the last couple of months with him at home because of the Covid-19 lockdown, and Manny was at his happiest to have both his children (now adults) at home to encourage and have many a discussion with.
About 20 years ago, Manny purchased his second farm (L’Orange) and his dream of being a farmer started with a few avo trees and his love of nature. From a young age, he wanted to be a farmer, just like his grandfather.
Through his farming activities he made friends near and far, always sharing his knowledge. About seven years ago, he started to develop the second portion of the farm by planting an avo orchard. He was passionate to use new methods and styles of farming – always asking for advice from those more knowledgeable than himself – again making many more friends and memories. He was a country boy and loved his time on the farm, with his dog Diesel as his faithful companion. His joy was seeing his trees grow and spending time on the farm. His farm was his retirement investment and he saw far into the future with the abundance his produce would supply.
Manny had many moods - from a serious listener to being funny and full of jokes. He played the occasional prank, which would result in his crazy laughter and his telling everyone not to be so serious in life. He was also very talkative at times and could recount stories and events that many others had already forgotten. His childhood stories kept the family entertained for hours at their get-togethers. He loved his whiskey and shared a lot of cheers with friends when they were together. Music and books were his escape when he was not at the farm.
Manny had a strong character, and yet he saw each person as an individual and respected each culture, language and customs. Having taught himself to speak a few African languages, he was fluent wherever he went and engaged with many – resulting in laughter and people’s asking him to speak Venda on his trips to the West Rand when visiting his parents.
Manny loved cooking and a social braai, especially on the farm, where he shared his stories about life. He was particularly fond of life in the small town of Louis Trichardt. Trips to Johannesburg were limited and always for a purpose, but then he would return with gifts for the family – his way of showing love and caring. He loved to bring avos, kiwis and honey to share with his family.
He will be sorely missed by his wife Connie, his children Daniela and Rico, his immediate family (dad José, Maria, Zac and Tony) and his many friends, clients and acquaintances.
(The above tribute was sent in by Manny’s sister Maria Atouguia and brother Tony de Sousa).
The late Manny de Sousa (52) who passed away on 22 January from a snake bite. Photo supplied.