The Coffee & Chocolate Africa Expo observed the Deaf Awareness Celebration Day as well as support #ActionAgainstPoverty during Mandela Month, with the Ciro Deaf Barista Competition.

Coffee is an almost universally appreciated beverage, regardless of your race, creed, nationality or even whether you are able-bodied or not. Despite this, the process of making and serving the beverage is one traditionally reserved for the hearing-abled. Thus, it is exciting to note that a group of very talented Deaf baristas showed off their skills with a view to being named the Ciro Deaf Barista Champion for 2019 on July 27.

The event took place on the second annual Deaf Awareness Celebration Day, the Ciro Deaf Barista Competition was hosted at the Coffee & Chocolate Africa Expo at Ticketpro Dome. It highlighted the success stories of Deaf baristas in the industry, as well as provide a platform for them to showcase their skills.

The main competition was preceded by a special introductory event on 9 July 2019, during which competitors received a chance to tell their story as well as provide their audience with a specialist coffee experience. The series of events were timed to coincide with the month of Mandela Day, the essence of which – taking #ActionAgainstPoverty – is tied closely to the competition’s purpose. According to Tally Sherban, audiologist and co-founder of Hearing Works (Rosebank Mall), the competition is about celebrating the successes of current Deaf baristas and introducing those who will be competing for the title of Ciro Deaf Barista Champion 2019. Lani Snyman, Customer Services Executive for the Ciro Coffee Academy, the goal of the Academy is to give hearing impaired baristas the opportunity to carve out a career in the coffee industry, with the competition designed to highlight their skills.

Hearing Works, like Ciro, has been taking great measures to educate and bring awareness to previously disadvantaged communities around the subject of hearing loss and preventative measures. The company offers free hearing screenings online, in-store and at selected Dis-Chem Wellness Clinics.

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