Julie Hay

There is magic happening at the Rainbow headquarters at Rotunda. Ordinary, everyday things which are usually discarded are being transformed into tools for learning and playing. Lindiwe is carefully flattening bread bags, Linda is making plans for a workshop and dreaming up fundraising ideas, Joseph is updating the crèche registers before driving staff to a…

Pod Gardens

Permaculture systems evolve naturally by responding to the surrounding environment. While there are basic principles, every system is different. “You can’t jump right into permaculture – it is actually generations of observation and development.”  Bruce Haynes is particularly fascinated by urban gardens and their ability to enhance food and economic freedom. Over the last five…

Karkloof Farmers’ Market

“Do you remember peeping nervously around the door to see if any cars where coming?” recalls Kim with a grin. Her partner in their passion project Karkloof Farmers’ Market, Andrea, giggles, “Yes – then hundreds of people came and our coffee station was chaos because we didn’t have any sort of system!”   It is astonishing…

Bridget Ringdahl

Not every environmental activist walks their talk, but Bridget does. Bridget Ringdahl recently won Gold in the Water Conservation Category of the Enviropedia Eco-Logic Awards for her exceptional work with the WESSA Water Explorer Programme, dressed in a striking outfit created from a discarded pilates ball, foraged plastic and old CDs. This recognition is well…

Lara Kirsten

Playing in the Desert Last month, Lara Kirsten wrapped her precious piano in blankets, tied it up with sturdy rope, loaded it in the back of a bakkie and headed into the desert.  “I couldn’t resist,” she says “the theme for Afrikaburn this year was PLAY. I am a pianist, I love to play, I…

Mr Ahmed

During the 1950’s Mr Ahmed Suleman and his family lived on the corner of Gush and Main Roads in Howick, where they ran a General Store. Nowadays, he trades in the park (Market Square) opposite,  three times a week.   “I am almost back where I started!” he says with a smile. The Group Areas Act…

Antonia Mkhabela

Educators passionate about environmental issues are not that common in our schools. This is a pity, because a healthy environment is essential for a healthy community, and if nothing else, our teachers are building citizens capable of contributing to future society. “Understanding basic ecology and how the earth works is most important and helps learners…

Superbug – Zinhle Msimang

“You are all beautiful small creatures and need to believe in yourselves,” Zinhle Msimang tells the group of Grade 6 learners who have spent that last 20 minutes describing how ugly they feel. To facilitate discussions about puberty and self-esteem, Zinhle, who is also known as the SuperBug in the Midlands Meander Education Project (MMEP),…

Fana Sithole

While smiles usually come standard when one fills up with fuel, Fana Sithole’s smile is a wide grin and the conversation is interesting too. Fana has been manning the pumps at The Everything Store for 10 years. While Fana was still at school, his parents died and he had to take on the responsibility of…

Frisbee is for Girls!

Heather Martin recalls wondering if she should be brave enough to introduce something new at Pinetown Girls High. As a teacher, she needed to get involved in school sport and had helped with basketball and volleyball but her heart really was in the sport she played regularly – Ultimate Frisbee. She had concerns – “What…

Bananas Don’t Grown in Dargle

Well, not usually. However, when uber-gardener Lawrence Qholloi decides to grow bananas (and coffee, mango and casava) – they do! “I am a bit obsessed with tropical fruit at the moment,”  he laughs, plucking an almost ripe papaya from the tree inside his tunnel beside the mist-belt forest. Clearly, the forest inspires him.  “It is…

Xola Keswa

Put on your Permaculture Glasses! Xola Keswa-Dlamini cannot pass a pile of rotting logs or heap of dry leaves without thinking how useful they would be in a food garden. “We are surrounded by so many valuable resources. There should be food growing everywhere. Unfortunately, many people still throw these resources away.” Xola didn’t always…