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Nude Free State farmers a hit, despite outrage

A group of Free State farmers’ efforts to raise money with a nude calendar, inspired by the movie Calendar Girls, seems to be paying off despite the outrage of some fellow farmers.

The group of eight “nude and well bodied” Viljoenskroon farmers hope to raise money for their local Groenbloem farmers’ association.

The calendar was received with mixed feelings after it first appeared on Thursday in the local newspaper.

The strongest reaction, however, came from the president of the Transvaal Agricultural Union, Paul van der Walt, who said on Friday he is shocked.

“The union distances itself from the actions of these farmers and due to the Christian character of our union we can not identify ourselves with it,” Van der Walt said in a statement.

Jaap van Rensburg of the Groenbloem farmers’ association and one of the models in the calendar said on Friday that they expected some criticism.

“It’s expected that someone would say something just for the sake of commenting. Those who are critical are free to call us.”

Van Rensburg said interest in the calendar on Friday was huge and orders were streaming in.

Danie Blignaut, the photographer concerned, said the farmers initially only wanted to print 500 copies of the “high quality” calendar but were persuaded to print 1 000.

“The way orders were placed on Friday, we might be forced to run a second print early in next year,” Blignaut said.

Van Rensburg, secretary of the association, said they hope to top up the association’s finances with sales of the calendar.

He said they had the idea one night over a braai as some members discussed ways to raise money “that would be unique to the association”.

The Calendar Girls idea was mentioned which — with some persuasion -‒ was agreed to, Van Rensburg said.

The actual Calendar Girls were a group of woman in the United Kingdom who posed nude for a calendar to raise money for welfare. — Sapa

The calendar can be ordered from House of Replica on 056 343 3697

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