“When the root is deep, there is no need to fear the wind” – African Proverb
Descending from a long line of pioneers with adventurous spirits, Asante founder, Zephné Weston (neé Du Plessis) hails from multiple generations of adventurers on African soil.
The beginning of the adventure
It all started with Dr Jean Pierre du Plessis who fled from France as a religious refugee. The Huguenots were French Protestants who were members of the Calvinist Reformed Church that was established in 1550.
The first Huguenots arrived as early as 1671, when the first Huguenot refugee, Francois Villion (later Viljoen), arrived at the Cape. By 1692, a total of 201 French Huguenots had settled at the Cape of Good Hope.
The Du Plessis family settled in the Karoo and fast forward to today, have been farming in the area for three generations.
On Zephne’s mother’s side, Pieter “Den Deen” Erasmus took a brave journey in 1963 from the Netherlands to settle in the Cape. Governer Willem Adriaan van der Stel granted Erasmus the farm De Groenenbergh in Wagenmakersvallei where Erasmus paved the way for what today thrives as green-stretching vineyards. As the progenitor of the Erasmus family of South Africa, his legacy continues to thrive in his descendants who are still crafting wine in this region to this very day.
With roots dug deep in the soil of Africa, Zephné, from a modest, farming family, believed that travelling the world was just a child’s fantasy. Inspired by her English teacher, who travelled the world, but returned to the tiny farming community in the Karoo to retell story after amazing story to Zephné and her friends about the amazing sights and adventures of London, Paris, the United States of America, Egypt and other African countries, Zephné dreamt about experiencing these adventures for herself.
At the age of 18, after having saved sufficient money from working in restaurants, she bought a one-way ticket to London. With a back-pack, a working visa and 43 British Pounds, our young adventurer set off on the journey of a lifetime.
Zephné managed to travel across Europe and parts of the United States until her two year working visa expired and she had to return to South Africa. Luckily, fortune favours the brave and young Zephné was given the opportunity to move to Cancun, Mexico where she worked in the hotel industry and later as Mexico Manager and Product Contracting Manager for The Mark Travel Corporation (now part of Apple Vacations). In 2006, the heartbeat of Africa called Zephné back to her origins. After seeing the world, she wanted the world to see Africa.
“I want everyone to experience this beautiful continent in a meaningful and authentic way. To take care of the environment. To understand the circle of life. In Africa, time can stand still. Here, you can connect with nature, yourself, your loved ones, your children in a way you are not able to do anywhere else. Here, is where man and planet can become one and be grateful to each other, protect each other and teach us the most beautiful lessons. Africa changes us and I feel that when you come to Africa, you take a part of it back with you and once you’ve tasted it, you always want to come back here.”