Tracey Stratford, Owner of AVOCA River Cabins in Summerville, Addo describes Lisa Ker from Tuishuise as dynamite in a small package, “Since starting out in tourism, Lisa’s been instrumental in guiding me. She’s been amazing, and just so willing to share her knowledge.” Coming from a teaching background, Tracey emphasises on how refreshing it is to work alongside someone who shares a heart for guiding and helping others.
But Lisa’s helping hand extends further than those around her. Tracey tells us that through Lisa’s generosity, she herself, has been inspired to help those in need – creating a domino effect, that if even in a small way, makes the tourism industry a better place, bit by bit.
Who is Lisa Ker?
Alongside her mother, husband and sister, Lisa Ker runs both Victoria Manor and Die Tuishuise in Cradock along Market Street. In what can only be described as a love story to Cradock and its history, this family business dates back to 1983, when Lisa’s mother, Sandra, made the decision to buy these beautiful properties in an attempt to save these historical relics from being demolished. And perhaps, restore them to their former glory.
In Lisa’s words, “They were going to be broken down, and there was no need for tourism at the time. She bought them out of love, purely to save the houses – I think it’s a beautiful story”.
Surely enough, both establishments were fully restored, and now function as a guest house and hotel, in an antique setting that promises a historic night’s stay.
How does Lisa Ker uplift others?
Whilst involved in numerous projects, Lisa and her family find joy in helping out the local animal shelter – which is where all of their remaining food and recyclable wastes are donated.
For quite some time, Lisa has shared a passion for events, expressing that she’s dabbled in both a Karoo writer’s festival as well as a Karoo food festival in past years. Interestingly enough, in the coming days, we’ll be able to witness the return of these community focused events (23rd/24th April) in a selfless attempt to raise money for her home town.
“We’re also trying to be authentic and real as to where we come from. I have to say, it’s so exciting, it takes up a lot of my dream time – it’s lovely to escape into the dreams of festivals,” she says.
Lisa further touches on the positive effects that the continuation of events has had on the town, “We’ve been really proud with what we do, and we don’t charge a lot. My sister absolutely loves curating the events, it’s been something that’s been uplifting to both us and the community.”
More than anything, Lisa believes that it’s the small things that make the big difference, and that the culmination of a strong community spirit and support-based mindset is what’s kept Cradock on its feet in past months.
Before closing, Lisa circles back to her mother, Sandra, emphasising that from an early age, Sandra has taught her that, “You can’t sit back – you have to make the difference.” Imploring that if you truly care about something, you need to get involved – that nothing ever gets done unless made so. “I’ve very much grown up with a wonderful role model, and for that, I’m so grateful.”
Watch our conversation with Lisa Ker here.