Frida came to meet us looking naturally beautiful wearing her hair out with a sun-kissed face and a big smile, glowing of wellbeing. Eight years after first arriving in South Africa for a modelling job, she now calls Cape Town her home, where she works and raises a family.
“At first I volunteered, but I felt that there were so many inefficiencies, so I decided to start my own organisation instead,” she tells us. Frida met Sofia Hellqvist in 2009 through a friend. “I emailed her and we met for coffee one evening. Soon we registered our charity in Sweden.”
They started Project Playground in 2010 – an after-school program for 300 kids and youth from the shantytown Langa. At their offices in Sweden, Sofia and two colleagues focus on marketing and donor relations, while Frida works on the ground in Langa.
IMAGE ON THE RIGHT: Frida together with her two godchildren Hlumelo and Lali, and their mother Fundi who works for the handicap division Play on wheels.
“We offer kids a safe place to go after school when many of them would otherwise be at home alone or out on the streets at a very dangerous time of day. It’s about physical safety, but also about development for these children, giving them a safe place to just be children. We offer everything from soccer to dance, and everything is free.”
What are you most proud of?
“I’m really proud of my staff; they work so hard. I’m also super proud when I see the children’s development, how they improve at school and become more self-confident. I’m also very proud of our school for the handicapped. We are the only such program in Langa and it’s one of my biggest achievements in life.”
You recently had your first child. How does that feel?
“It was amazing giving birth here. I had to really fight for a natural birth and it was one of the most amazing things I have ever experienced. We’ve named him Ilaan, which means ’good person’.”
I’m outdoorsy, and don’t love the gym. The outdoors is one of the things I love most about Cape Town. I love fresh air, so I run and climb. I did prenatal yoga when I was pregnant which I loved, but I’m not really a yoga person. I wish I was but it’s just not for me.
I’m a vegetarian and I don’t like the idea of hormones and stuff like that in my food. I eat mostly raw food and I recommend drinking plenty of water and avoiding frozen food and ready-made meals.
Soap and water! It’s a trick I learned from my mom who has always had amazing skin.
HER FAVOURITE LOOK:
Smokey eyes. I like that look but I’m not so great at creating it. But for every day I think mascara, lip balm and a tan look best.
I always use SPF 30 and 50. Don’t mess around with sun protection!
WHAT SHE MISSES MOST FROM HOME:
Candy, friends and family.