Cripps Sears & Partners launch the ABC Fund, providing Action for Burns and Children

Alongside the launch of their new corporate website, Cripps Sears & Partners have also launched the home of their new charitable trust, the ABC fund website.  The ABC fund focuses Cripps Sears & Partners long standing commitment to helping children coping with burns and the website provides a focal point for their action in this area.

The website also show cases the new ABC logo, depicting a big, strong, wise elephant helping out the hippo, a poignant character of Ndebele Folklore, as retold by author Nick Greaves:


Long, long ago, hippos did not live in rivers and pools but in the bush with the other herd animals.  In those days Hippo had a very fine coat of glossy chestnut-brown hair, soft silky ears and a beautiful bushy tail.  He was very proud of how he looked.  Every day at noon when he went down to the pool to have his drink, he would look at his reflection in the water and admire himself from every angle.

How handsome I am he used to tell the other animals –  who thought him very vain – not like Hare who has such a coarse coat and a silly twitchy nose.  Unfortunately for Hippo Hare was close by and overheard.  He was most upset and decided to teach Hippo a lesson in humility.  Hare had an idea.

Late hat night when Hippo had nestled down in his bed of grass Hare sneaked off to a local village where he collected some hot embers from the still glowing village fire.  He collected them up in a  broken clay pot and carried them carefully back to the bush where Hippo was still sound asleep and snoring happily away.

To give Hippo a fright for saying unkind words Hare threw the embers onto the grass bedding and blew until the bedding began to smoke and Hippo started to cough and splutter.  Hare laughed at waking Hippo with a fright and ran off.

The fire took hold and Hippo, confused and terrified at being woken, thrashed about trying to put out the flames which were growing in size.  The more he thrashed about the bigger the flames became until they started to burn his skin so, in agony, he charged towards the nearest water hole to extinguish them.  As he crashed through the bush to the water the flames and fire spread to the dry winter grass and soon the whole area was alight.

Hippo reached the water just in time to save his life.  The water put out the flames and the coolness of the water soothed his painful burns.

By this time the fire was raging around the waters edge and Hippo had to hold his breath and sink beneath the surface to escape the thick smoke and heat. Only his eyes and nostrils showed when he came up for air.

The bush burned for several hours but at last it died out.  Hippo climbed out of the pool.  He felt stiff and very sore but was alive.

He thought of Hare and was about to go and find him and give him a big hiding.

But Hippo couldn’t resist his habit of pausing to look and admire himself in the pool.

He got a terrible shock.  Reflected in the still water was a pinky-grey, wrinkled, bald creature.  He couldn’t believe his eyes!    Gone was his lovely bushy tail, all his fur and hair had been burned off and ugly, round pink ears poked out where his long silky ones used to be.  Without the fine long glossy fur his legs looked short and stubby and his flanks bulged with fat.

Hippo was horrified and felt ashamed and broken hearted.  Most of all he felt embarrassed.  He rushed straight off back into the water to hide his body from curious eyes.  Weeping with shame at his awful appearance he sank below the surface so that only his nostrils and eyes showed.   And there he has remained ever since.

Only at night when no-one can see him does he venture out to walk and graze at the edge of the bush.  Hippo is now a creature of rivers and lakes.  All of this happened so long ago that today hardly anyone remembers how Hippo was once hairy.

Hippos have become excellent swimmers and walk well on the river and lake beds.  Because of their great weight they play an important part in the ecology of river banks and swamps by keeping water channels open.

Hippos are excellent mothers, taking care of their babies by chasing away the crocodiles especially when they teach their babies to swim and wallow.  They carry the babies on their backs when swimming themselves.

In the year when Cripps Sears & Partners celebrated its 35th Anniversary in the Executive Search Industry, the company steps forward into the next 35 years with its new website, all the while keeping a sense of international responsibility at the focus of its values.