Thursday, February 17, 2011

Geoff's letter to Oprah Winfrey

Geoff’s big dream 15 September 2007
"Saving the world one meter at a time."
My name is Geoffrey Maritz and I live on a farm about 20 km north of Cape Town across the bay on the Cape west coast, known as Klein-Melkbosch farm, it has the best view of Cape Town and surrounds in the world. The whole coast including Robben Island, the Hexrivier and Swartruggens mountains, the "cape flats" up until Gordon’s bay and northwards almost as far as Yzerfontein is visible
Cape Town seen from the hill
The area in which the farm lies is known as a "nature corridor" and stretches from the Big Bay coast to Malmesbury, northwards and slightly inland. Development in this zone has been "vetoed" for many years but the rules are in danger of being" bent" and the farm is under threat from developers. The current plan is to build freestanding houses on the hill and turn the lower flat area into mixed housing developments thus eliminating any future for the life that already exists there and any natural inheritance for those yet to come.
The property adjoining the farm belongs to Cape Nature Conservation and includes about two thirds of the hill that straddles these two properties. This organisation would love to join the two pieces of land and create one large nature reserve. I would like to make that possible and at the same time protect not only the farm but the rest of the "green belt" too.
I have been living as a tenant on this farm since early 2002 and being single, I live alone. I very seldom have anyone to talk to so I go for long walks with my dogs and talk to God, praying for the farm is something I’ve been doing from the very beginning.
One day about a month ago, I was coming down the hill and in a fit of frustration I shouted at God; "I’m the only person out of 6-8 billion people who loves this farm." Well I hadn’t taken more than 10 steps when a thought popped into my head; "If you love this farm so much, you save it." As you can imagine it gave me quite a fright.

The buildings with the hill behind.
I’m not exactly a wealthy man. I have worked in the film and television industry for 20 years now and as any freelancer will tell you; "It’s not a stable source of income." I got to thinking about how I could accomplish this and what it was going to take. Two names immediately came to mind, the first name that popped into my mind was Richard Branson and the second was Oprah Winfrey. I knew nothing about either person other than that they were way out of my league. I sat down and started writing down every thing I could think of, possibly to write a book or something so I could sell it to pay for the farm. I could however not stop thinking about Oprah; I even started writing a letter to her. I have no idea why, on the few occasions I had seen one of her programs she left me with the impression that her target audience was female and being a man I didn’t really take much notice. I did’nt post it, but I did start watching her programs, I felt that possibly God wanted me to and there could be some obscure blessing in it. I’m now quite a fan and watch regularly. I heard her talking about her "Dream Big" project. I went out and bought an "O" magazine and that’s why I’m writing to you.
A few days before it became my job to save the farm I bought a little digital camera and one day feeling very demoralized and despondent I took the camera with me on one of my long walks. I was talking to God and taking pictures of anything that caught my attention. This was in the middle of winter and there wasn’t much to shoot so I started looking under the bushes and trees for something to photograph. I kept on talking to God but in a sort of hopeless way. When I eventually got back home I downloaded the pictures I had taken onto my daughter’s computer. Well I was shocked by what I saw. I’m no photographer by any ones standards, but these pictures were amazing.

Hidden beauty lichen blooms.This is only one of them but there are lots more.
I had a few of them printed and took them to a friend’s house to show him. His son took one look at them and exclaimed, "You could sell these on the internet." To put some perspective on this I should tell you that I am a carpenter and have never used a computer before, let alone "surfed the net". He suggested I set up my own website and market my ideas by way of a network called "Face book".
What I would like to do is;
Establish a non profit organisation for the acquisition of suitable land for conservation purposes.
Enlist the assistance of conservation, veterinary and botanical experts and students.
Provide suitable facilities and premises for the above as well as entomological laboratories and quarantine holding pens.
Create training facilities for students and learners focused on conservation, tourism and ecologically sustainable land use.
Provide facilities for the creation of bio-friendly power generation.
Create a tourism driven economic unit that does not impact on the environment adversely.
Provide shop space for crafters and artists whose work reflects the culture of the area in which the project is being undertaken.
Each property will be handled independently as a project on its own. Labour and personnel for each project will be sourced from the immediate area and all efforts will be directed towards the rehabilitation of the indigenous fauna and flora and the upliftment of those in the area
How I intend doing this;
Establish a website outlining the goals and aims of each project.
Post photographs and video footage of the area in question on the website allowing browsers to down load p.c. backgrounds and screensavers at a nominal fee.
Post regular video footage of what is happening at the moment with each project as well as interesting supporting footage from experts and other sources.
Request browsers to sponsor parcels of land of 1 square meter as a donation towards the project of their choice.
Enlist the assistance of "face book" users to spread the concept amongst their friends asking them to visit the website.
Make use of the television and printed media to spread the news.
What I have already done;
I have purchased a domain name for a web site.
I have ordered a fixed landline and modem for an internet connection.
Made use of my new digital camera for the purposes of taking photographs for the website and taken a lot of photographs on a weekly basis so as to document the seasonal changes taking place with my first project; Klein Melkbosch.
What I need to make a success of this and how you can help;
Assistance with legal matters.
Assistance with finding sponsors who can help me financially until the project is up and running.
Office equipment and computers to facilitate research and administration.
Moral support.
Assistance with finding a sponsor who will be prepared to provide a motor vehicle.
Assistance with finding a sponsor who will help with fuel.
Sponsors for equipment and materials needed for the project such as microscopes and fencing.
Television and print exposure.
And I’m sure there are lots of other areas I haven’t even thought of yet.
This is not a project that can be undertaken by just one person and I’m going to need help from experts and ordinary citizens who see what is happening to our world and are concerned about what we are leaving for our descendants. Unfortunately global warming is something that will have to be addressed by governments and big business, however, we the ordinary citizens are not powerless, we can do something. It is not only the atmosphere that needs protection but the land and sea too. I am looking for anyone who wants to get involved and is not afraid to give of his or her time and efforts to save the whole planet.
P.O.BOX 156
CELL 082-6946168E-mail Geoff 


  1. This looks like a huge endeavor Geoff. The farm is really beautiful. How awesome it must be to live there. I wish you all the luck in the world and God's blessings on your project.
    Love Di ♥

  2. An incredibly beautiful place!
    I wish you and your family
    God's blessing with:
    Romans 8 verse 32
    Greetings from
    Jan Samuel.

  3. Hello and peace from God to you and your family
    I wish you a blessed day
    Daniel 6 verse 28
    Greetings from
    Jan Samuel

  4. Hello Geoff, my only help would be to advertise you. So when you want it, you've got it. I am now an Age Pensioner..and proud to be. I pray this venture does really well for you.
    Blessings Crystal

  5. Geoff I read this post last week. I myself have written to Oprah a few times as it was her show about the robber that inspired my book and I wanted to get information on him to send him a copy to let him know how making the right decision to pray has changed many lives for the better, however I have gotten no where. This is such a worthy cause and I will pray you get a response. Thank you so much for your support it means more to me than you know. Your truly are a light for our Father and a tower of strength for your sisters and brothers in Christ God Bless you Patricia

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