SOWETO’S MAPONYA Mall was the location of household dairy brand, Clover’s Guinness World Record attempt at constructing a 4 kilometre long sandwich – as well as achieving the feat!
At precisely 12h30pm, in the parking lot of Soweto’s Maponya Mall in Klipspruit, official Guinness World Records adjudicator, Paulina Sapinska, flown in from London and cutting a resplendent figure in a brand blazer whilst clutching some folder containing some report of sorts, and whilst surrounded by a blue-coloured tide of 250 Clover employees who included their CEO, Johann Vorster – announced, over a loudhailer, the news: “Congratulations – you are officially amazing!” – as she officially confirmed that the South African dairy brand had surpassed a previous record achieved by an entity named Nocilla in Spain in 2013 measuring in at 3 865,78 metres, by registering a new 4004,43 metres!
Naturally, the space went ballistics at the gospel as screams, cheers and euphoric out letting overcame the location and immediately as Sapinska dispensed with the next formality of handing over a framed certificate to a grinning Vorster.
On the document was inscribed the following words: The longest line of sandwiches was achieved by Clover SA – Cream O’Naise [South Africa] in Johannesburg, South Africa on 3 March 2018.
At the foot of the layout, it had the hallmark statement: OFFICIALLY AMAZING – in upper casings and with the amazing inscribed in gold.
It was a gospel gold moment indeed – one described by Vorster, on a stage in front of a crowd of some hundreds of curious adults and children, as deserving of “an amazing city and amazing country!”
The feat was the culmination of concerted planning and logistics which also incorporated prior off-and-on-location preparation – and from an observer’s perspective, was heartening to realise the joint efforts of on-site temporary kitchen head chef, Gavin Buhr and Clover employees drawn from any manner of station [from office workers to drivers] to Botswana-based engineering surveyor, Ernest Baatlhodi of Trail Surveyors [to whom fell the crucial task of measuring the lengthy sandwiches placed upon tables stretching into distances around the shopping complex’ vast parking lot] – paying off triumphantly!
At the core of the sandwich lay Cream O’ Naise mayonnaise, 500 of whose litres complimented 800kg of lettuce and 2600kg of grated Clover cheese ensconced within 8100 50cm baguettes – all of which had to be carefully prepared, ahead of the event. A mammoth task which required extreme precision from a large group of people in order for it to attain its objective, according to Clover’s Senior Brand Manager, Edith Molepo.
Ahead of the attempt, Molepo had enthused that they were cranking up their effort to reach the four kilometre mark. Alluding to her company’s CSI obligations, Molepo had also drawn attention to the fact that a large portion of the sandwich was bound for organisations such as, CHOC [Childhood Cancer Foundation SA], The Gift of the Givers – in addition to an allocation to Chris Hani Baragwanath hospital.
With the weather holding sunny and warm of a busy Saturday morning, residents showed up in their hundreds for a hive of activities on an elevated stage where eminent celebrity, Somizi Mhlongo held sway alongside fellow MC, Refiloe Motsei.
Ever the swanky figure, “Somgaga” showed up with his partner clad in matching Afrikan Swiss denim pants and shirt, as well as identical Mesh Limited sneakers and accompanied by burly bodyguards.
The pair was momentarily directed to a section of the table train by a television production team assigned to document the event for a staged filming segment near the baguette rows.
Also invited was Mogau Seshoene of The Lazy Makoti, an entity which offers cooking lessons on South African traditional food.
Sitting in the VIP section, Seshoene said that she was curious about the breaking of the record. Next to her was Zelda Jacobs, the communications manager of CHOC, who disclosed that Clover was due to allocate generous portions of the sandwich to her organisation.
The foods entity’s generosity, let slip Jacobs, extended to their having purchased a string of domiciles spread across the country for the housing of families of cancer sufferers and their families.
The trending hashtag, #CreamONaiseGWR, was designed to be used to share celebrities’ experiences at the event, as they unfolded – on social media.
All this while on the stage, Mhlongo and Motsei, to the accompaniment of a DJ on the stage, had the crowd eating out of the palms of their hands by periodically assigning picked out visitors to contests ranging from on-the-spot composing and belting out of impromptu songs in hyping up of the day’s star ingredient [the Cream O’ Naise mayonnaise] – to jiving and cat walking!
Those activities, for the attainment of prizes galore in the form of goodie bags.
Sometime after the announcement of the new record and after some even more time spent packing the sandwiches into boxes to be distributed to chosen destinations such as Chris Hani Baragwanath hospital, came the turn of the Maponya Mall crowd to be fed – just as Molepo had promised when she alluded that the day would be made extra special by the hundreds of local residents who they anticipated to turn out and watch the action and cheer her team’s attempt and thereafter, get to enjoy the sandwiches at the end of the day!
Security personnel in luminescent jackets had their hands full guiding extended winding queues patiently edging towards various feeding points. With this culinary feat, Clover SA had delivered on an activity which it described as being, for many companies, a once in a lifetime opportunity.
And what more, the weather did hold all the way up to the late afternoon. This time around, none of the heavy downpour which rained on the attempt’s parade at the tail end of 2017, could scuttle best table laid plans which had resulted in the spectacle of wet and squished baguettes rendered inedible laying all over the self-same parking lot.
That Clover rolled with that punch from Mother Nature and dusted itself off the canvas, to have another bite at the cherry on this particular day with destiny, attest to the sort of fortitude which had enabled the company to reinvent itself at a particularly challenging stage of its corporate existence.
And since Clover’s feat is also on behalf of national pride, surely the last word is in order, toward the punting of their star ingredient: Cream O’ Naise is Clover’s first mayonnaise made with Clover’s loved and trusted dairy cream which makes it delectably creamy and silky smooth.
Cream O’ Naise has just the right tangine ss and the perfect taste for the whole family to enjoy. It’s simply Cream O’ Niiice!