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People of Pretoria

Aliza Graham – An Arty Academic

February 18, 2019, Author: renate

Chatting to Aliza at the beginning of a new year is quite liberating and inspiring. She knows where she’s going and what she needs to do to get there and don’t you dare stand in her way.

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Arts and academics have never been so entwined as with this inspiring teacher, actor, director and singer, who’s also busy with her master’s degree in counselling psychology. She lives in Doringkloof, Centurion, which she describes as a welcoming and family orientated environment. “There is a lot of community involvement and the community leaders really try to do fun things to get people to interact with each other.” She says that the pace of the suburb is slow and peaceful.

To unwind, Aliza and her husband, Stuart, enjoys visiting the Roodeplaat Dam. “There are some lovely resorts around that area that give you a break without having to go out of the city.” For Valentine’s, though, they like to be creative. “We never go the commercial or restaurant route.” They would much rather pack a picnic basket and enjoy each other’s company at the National Botanical Gardens or Jan Cilliers Park or they would cook a fancy dinner. “One year I made a Salmon Wellington.” They also take turns – one year Aliza organises Valentine’s Day and Stuart takes responsibility for their anniversary and the next year they swop.

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Aliza is a firm believer in community involvement and feels that Pretorians should be much more involved, especially where there is a great need. She suggests residents act on things that matter, like helping kids who can’t afford extra lessons with their homework, visiting Watloo or Centurion SPCA for some volunteer work or helping out at a local child and youth care centre. “There are so many options for Pretorians to invest their time into. It is so easy to fade into the masses in a big city. By reaching out, you are also reaching within yourself.”

Aliza seems to be reaching out, in and up high. Celebrate February with some of her favourites: Sangria at the Village Bistro in Irene and pizza at Whisk Wine Bar.

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