Behind the Scenes #Onecupforacause


For a long time we had the idea of running a campaign that creates an opportunity for our online family to get actively involved in supporting us. Not everyone can donate large amounts of money or come to South Africa and volunteer, but most people can afford a cup of coffee every now and then. So, we had the idea of inviting our supporters to give up one cup of store-bought coffee (which we estimated at US$5) a month to help us care for our lion friends and keep our young organisation on its feet. And so the #onecupforacause challenge was born…

Now some of you may think we have a big team working on the foundation and creating content  – you couldn’t be further from the truth. Usually Kevin is filming alone, sometimes he is accompanied by his foundation manager Shani (she is neither a filmmaker, nor a director). For this campaign the two set off early one morning, flasks of coffee and mugs in hand, to see if they could pull off a funny video to end the year and inspire supporters with an awesome challenge.

“To start off… the weather was bad” says Shani remembering the day. “I had prayed so hard for sunshine, but alas it looked like rain.”

“I was… very tired” says Kevin of the day “It had been a long year and just days before was Ishca’s tragic surgery. I was missing her and didn’t feel like shooting. After some time (drinking coffee) and talking about the shoot, we said a small prayer for Ishca, pulled ourselves together and went to work.”

Kevin checking in with Ami if she is keen to do some filming.


Without knowing how the lions would react to the smell of coffee, nor whether they would be in any mood to even to play around, Kevin entered the enclosure. We were amazed to see Meg and Ami pawing the cup and sniffing excitedly. “I think the smell of coffee was familiar to them from smelling it on my breath.” says Kevin “It was exciting, their curiosity was high and it was an enriching experience for them.”

“Every single shot required Kevin to be drinking coffee – we wanted it to be authentic. So by midday Kevin was about five cups of coffee down and his eyes were as big as saucers!” Shani laughs.

Not everyone was high on caffeine – Vayetse taking a quick zzzzz during the shoot.

“Shani crashed the drone” Kevin rolls his eyes, “if I hadn’t been so high on caffeine I think I may have been more upset – but you have to accept these mistakes when we are such a small team doing the best we can with what’s available.”

At the end of the day everyone enjoyed watching Kevin do the #onecupforacause challenge with over 500 people signing up to the monthly challenge. Thank you to all our incredible supporters! To join the campaign click here.