Ann Jangle’s life led her on a journey that enticed her to start an incredible cause called The African Dream Parade. We dive into the life of Ann Jangle and her road to discovering this important cause.
Ann began her journey by throwing caution to the wind and selling everything she owned. She felt that all she needed was freedom. Ann describes it as needing “freedom from time, freedom from reoccurring relationships, freedom from the questions [she has about herself] and society. Freedom from [her] ego”.
Ann is 32 years old, single with no kids (except for her two rescue dogs Kevin and Kezzy). This gave Ann “an incredible feeling of liberation with all the time in the world, fuelled by a desire to give back”. She considers it easy for her to live in a rural environment as she has lived like that many times throughout her life. Ann describes suburbia as “foreign” to her says she doesn’t like it at all.
Her love for a simplistic way of life all began when she was in grade 11 and met some community workers who were on their way to Mozambique to start some projects. Ann still had to finish school but really wanted to join on their mission. She fought and begged, and finally, her parents allowed her to go with. Ann has always disagreed with the strict regime of traditional schooling but decided to complete her schooling via the post. Ann passed her subjects with flying colours and attributes this to “a lantern and a mosquito net under some giant trees in the middle of Mozambique”. She was kept company by an epileptic Vervet monkey who was orphaned after his mother was killed in a trap.
Ann achieved all of this while teaching Self Sustaining Living, AIDS awareness programs, English at a Children’s Church and Volunteering at an Orphanage where she picked up enough Portuguese to get by.
This beautiful journey erupted from a slightly darker place. Ann’s first experience of community love and involvement was all sparked by desperately trying to kick an addiction to heroin. Ann used to skateboard with a group of guys that intrigued her while she was dealing with the divorce of her parents. This is when she started dabbling in hardcore drugs while other kids her age were attending school – sober. Ann admits that she has always been drawn to people with a rebellious nature because as a child, she was forced to conform in a very conservative upbringing.
Leading up to discovering The African Dream Parade
Before Ann realised what was her destiny in life, she experienced many adventures and learnt a vast amount of lessons on the way. All of Ann’s trials and tribulations created a travel bug within her soul and a thirst for rural living and adventure. Her fight with addiction showed her that she has incredible willpower and tenacity. She had with her, all of the survival skills to conquer any mountains that she faced.
Ann lived in Mozambique without any hot water and basic living conditions that most people take for granted – “Like a roof that does not leak, a backyard that does not contain the possibility of being eaten by a hippo and trees that don’t have ‘boomslang’”. Ann fell in love with Africa, her people and all the difficulties that came with it. Your greatest strength lies in knowing and conquering your weaknesses. The worst time of Ann’s life broke the barriers between her and the youth she helped along the way.
There are many different projects that Ann was a part of as she found her groove. Ann moved to Musina and started Feeding Projects in Zimbabwe. She travelled up the coastline of South Africa selling T-Shirts and jewellery. Ann started signing on her way back from one of her trips when she started working at a small music establishment, running the bar, kitchen, and front of the house. It had a little stage with live music. Ann planned to work at this little farm theatre to save enough money to go to the Kibbutz in Israel, but by some “Divine intervention,” her plans changed.
Ann met twins who played music for a living and discovered that she could fund her travels by performing her music. It was also a platform for her to tell her story across the world. Ann says (referring to the twins), “I don’t think they will ever know the big impact they had on my life and how just meeting them, changed the whole course of my existence”.
From there, she started a band, and very quickly, her love for this healing art form turned into a business. After many years of performing in and around South Africa, Ann moved to Europe and spent three years performing there. Her final tour “consisted of 30 gigs in 31 days in over 11 countries. From train stations to bus stops to performing at large festivals. The biggest festival [Ann] performed at was the Afrika Tage Festival in Austria, where 30 000 people attended. [She] opened for one of [her] biggest idols, Nneka, a Nigerian reggae-soul singer and human rights activist. [The band] played at the famous Reeper Bahn Festival in Hamburg as well. [They] performed in small theatres and bar-like establishments from Slovenia to Czech-Republic where after 10 pm, no one could speak a word of English. [They] slept on over a hundred couches from Poland to Croatia, on many floors, with [Ann’s] favourite being the floor of the tour manager of one of [her] favourite bands- “Sublime”. [They] even stayed in 5-star Hotels and German Penthouses. It was the craziest time of my life”.
All of these experiences helped Ann grow tremendously as a “Business Woman” and this is how she realised where she wanted to be as a musician. However, Ann found herself at the age of 30 with all this experience but still a longing for Africa that surpassed all her understanding. This is when she decided to come back to South Africa in the hopes of settling down like a ‘normal person’ her age. This is when Ann realised she didn’t want to be a ‘normal person’ and began to fully embrace who she really is.
She desperately sought change, deep in her heart she knew her actions didn’t coincide with the image she had for herself and the life she wanted to lead. Ann describes the next steps she took as “most challenging [she] ever thought [she] would have to take but [they] came with surprising ease”. This is where Ann completely broke free from her identity a ‘the party animal’. She changed her circle of friends (you become who you surround yourself with) and the way she lived. These actions, came from a force deep inside her that grew stronger with each day she spent feeling unfulfilled.
Ann’s core belief is that at “the end of the day we need to live a life that we can be proud of, that inspires people to be conscious of the earth and feel good about themselves. To love themselves and those around them”.
What is The African Dream Parade?
In August 2017, the year Ann got back from Europe and the year of her biggest attempt at ‘settling down’, Ann woke up one morning, got in her car and drove straight to “Animal Anti Cruelty League” in Epping and adopted Kevin. Ann says she didn’t choose him; he literally chose her. Ann initially went down to pick up his brother but Kev ran from the back, leapt up on that gate with his tiny ears and warthog-like, scruffy hair and shook every part of her being.
Getting a dog is a great way to ground yourself and ‘settle down’, but Kevin had a slightly different effect on Ann. He was perfect for her because he gave her a reason for the greatest adventure of her life – The AFRICAN DREAM PARADE. Kevin became Ann’s mission – he was her reason to give back. She says, “I need to tell the world that we can be healed of any hurt no matter how big or small and that by learning to respect animals, we ultimately learn to respect ourselves”.
This was the beginning of her tour and since then she has driven roughly 22000 Kms across South Africa, played over 60 shows, spoke at schools for troubled youth and raised and donated 3 tons of dog food and blankets to three different shelters. Ann has helped sterilize animals in Zululand, built dog kennels in Graskop, Mpumalanga, and helped build huts in the Eastern Cape where she slept in those huts with their Xhosa families. Ann has walked 22 hours on the Wild Coast coastline, has performed in every Province in South Africa and spent all the money she made in the first few months of playing gigs, on buying Bravecto tick and flea relief and deworming medication for stray dogs in rural areas. This was to give these animals’ immune systems a small chance of survival as most of them live very short and painful lives. Ann took many dogs off chains, healed over a hundred wounds and got bitten by a Boerboel while dedicating her life to saving him. The irony.
This was all to raise awareness for animals which directly raises awareness of the self, self-respect, self-love and self-determination to get people to a place where they want to better themselves, better the space around them. This is what Ann wanted to do and she wanted to do this all the way to Kenya (Cape to Kenya).
Owning just one bag of clothes, two dogs, one vehicle, a guitar and no place to call home is sometimes challenging, but Ann became very aware of her ever-growing sense of peace and the calm spirit she found from living a minimalistic life. It has taken her some time to unlearn things like complaining in the morning and being stressed out about things she cannot control. But her morning routine is that of stillness and a moment to reach pure gratitude and bliss.
“The quiet does not come when you see the path clearly. The quiet comes when you are no longer afraid to get lost along the way”- L.E.Bowman.
From Cape to Kenya – Ann strives to make a difference in as many lives (both animals and human) as possible because it is her sole purpose to give back to the Kevins of the world, to say thank you for rescuing her.
Ann will be performing at the Adventure Lifestyle Show and we support her incredible journey and all the causes she is involved in. We look forward to her sharing her adventure stories with us at the Adventure Lifestyle Show from 5-7 April 2019.
For more information, read Ann Jangle’s full story here.