Dusty is the Lunchbox Theatre crew car and she has earned true trooper status.

Have you seen this classic VW ad? You know, the one where the couple go from starting out in life through to the golden years with various cars that suited their changing lifestyle? Well, Lunchbox Theatre has a vehicle like that…

Meet Dusty! Dusty is our Lunchbox Theatre crew car. She arrived in 2008 and she was no spring chicken. Since then she has travelled over 250 000 Kms, carrying the crew and the props, filled to capacity. She has travelled from the furthest communities in the South Western Cape to the edges of the Eastern Cape; and inland into the remote Karoo. Her home is on the Finest Kind Farm which means a few km’s on a dusty farm at the start and end of her journey. Hence her name. She is such a workhorse that cleaning her exterior is almost futile. Her interior is respected as it has hosted the crew, protected them and delivered them to the remotest audiences and back home.

If Dusty was human she would feel very good about taking the tired but content team home after a tour where, staging a show and engaging with the audience, takes a LOT of energy. Why would the crew be content? Because they know that they have made a difference to a child, a family, a community, South Africa and Africa. They have taught and entrenched positive messages that will remain with the children, changing them for the better forever.

Now that is a job well, done. Yet Dusty’s grill never looks smug. You would think that she would have an ego problem if you saw the way the kids run towards her as she drives into the community. But she just keeps on faithfully moving, one turn of her tyres, at a time, making one child at a time wiser.

Dusty has helped the Crew to touch the lives of over 177 500 kids with the staging of 792 shows. Each kid passes the message on to about 5 people around them so that is more than 850 000 people changing their minds about how to treat their environment and their fellow human and animal family. Like a stone in a pond, the goodwill just keeps on rippling out over the decades.  So, no wonder Dusty is a bit tired.

Dusty did a strange thing the other day … Parked in a very comfortable spot with all her tyres on the ground she settled in for a well-deserved rest. Sometime later she rolled. Very slowly then she gained momentum as she travelled 300 metres down the hill before ramping off the cliff edge and flying 5 meters high in the air! It must have been very startling for passers-by to see an old green Ford flying through the air. She came to a stop on top of the neighbour’s hut … without injuring anyone or anything. However, she did herself some damage and is going to need lots of mending – although her heart remains strong.

It was like she was saying, “I’m done!” With her gentle nature she has never hurt anyone or anything. A real, faithful workhorse. Sure, she was well maintained and had her some old part replacements over the years, but she is now 21 years old! No doubt, she needs to be awarded Legendary status and be allowed to retire gracefully!

Without a vehicle, it becomes very difficult if not impossible, for our Actors to do their job. “We simply cannot operate without Dusty!” says team leader Maphiko Mncedisi Ncedani. “Dusty has been with us from the beginning and renting is just not sustainable. She will be sorely missed.”

If you know of anyone who knows of anyone who could get good publicity out of this amazing story and donate a vehicle or assistance, please contact our Chairman, Stuart Palmer – stuart@lunchbox.org.za – +27 83 423 0083. With thanks from Dusty!

We look forward to sharing new stories with you about our team’s adventurers with Dusty’s successor.