South Africans love themselves a good braai. Nothing says it’s time for the weekend and some fun in the sun, like meat on hot coals. It is a part of our culture. Whether it’s a birthday party, graduation, Christmas, New Year, or holiday, braaing is a celebratory must.
The resident braai master knows their way around a fire, delivering mouthwatering results every time, and now they can elevate their status even more while saving some money too. ReLight is changing the braai landscape in South Africa through an innovative product that’s unique and prevents that dreaded moment when everyone realises they’ve forgotten to restock on the most critical element: the firelighter.
Johannesburg-based Letitia Lerm started ReLight in honour of her late father, Kobus, who created the first ReLight prototype. “My favourite childhood memories all revolve around fires: sizzling burgers, a good ol’ spit, Chinese-style, or a simple bring and braai enjoyed together as a family. Braaing was a tradition in the Lerm house; something we did weekend after weekend, which led my dad, Kobus, to experiment with the very first ReLight prototype,” said Letitia.
“When I think of his jar filled with stones and paraffin, I can’t help thinking of him barefoot and shirtless in his PT-shorts, fiddling with a pair of tongs around a fire. It’s my heart’s polaroid of him. It’s also how we spent our last hours together before he was tragically killed at our home,” she recalls. She mentions how his ingenuity and humble nature inspired the product.
Leticia’s admiration of her father is palpable. ” I do wish I could sit around one more fire with him and ask: ‘What’s the history behind the jar, Dad? Where on earth did you get the idea from? I mean, did he even realise how incredibly unique his invention was? I’ll never know.”
The ReLight Jar is simple to use and helps save money. It contains two reusable bricks soaked in paraffin. These bricks hold enough fuel to be used infinitely without withering after extended use. Traditional firelighters are made out of a mixture of kerosene and formaldehyde resin (among other ingredients), and while they burn slowly, they burn out eventually. The ReLight fire lighter is a porous stone that absorbs paraffin.
“We looked at certain things when developing ReLight – ease of use, dependability, longevity, and being friendly to the customer’s pocket,” explained Letitia. As a result, the ReLight blocks burn hotter, more evenly, and longer. Each burn lasts 12 minutes. In addition, the stones can be cooled after usage and returned to the jar for more use.
“Instead of spending money on expensive, single-use firelighters for every single braai, the reusable ReLight stones are designed to last. The only expense will be topping up the paraffin, which is cost-effective and readily available in most stores. You won’t have to buy a firelighter ever again.
“We believe life is better spent around a fire, not hunched over, struggling to light it with a single-use firelighter.”
ReLight is revolutionising the way South Africans braai. Such innovation deserves the spotlight as this is an outstanding example of thinking outside the box and creating a product that saves South Africans money and also has the makings of becoming a staple in households.