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…

Ros Remembers Rocktober

At the end of April, KZN Midlands Clubs – The Long Donkeys and The Lions – will host  the Mixed National Ultimate Frisbee Tournament in Karkloof. Ros Dredge is part of the organising committee. “We are excited to show off the surroundings to out-of-the province players. The Karkloof Country Club has fields that will give…

Eidin Griffin – Rebel Seed

Did you know that Heirloom seeds are older varieties which have adapted to their particular conditions and stayed true to type? Éidín Griffin has been saving seeds, spreading creative ideas and inspiring gardeners for many years and is really passionate about growing good food.  Ancestral seed saving was a necessity on farms in ‘the old…

Spirit of the Midlands

Ultimate Frisbee – The Beautiful Game Twice a week a motley crew of Midlanders gather to play Ultimate Frisbee on the fields at Lions River Club in Dargle.  As the sun sets, artists, architects, photographers, farmers, shoemakers, students and IT-types aged between 16 and 56 dash across the 100m field, deftly flicking Frisbees.   Sure, things…

It is a Goats Life

Fran Vermaak of Swissland Cheese really gets on with her goats – ensuring they produce the delicious milk which goes into her interesting cheeses. Convinced that real care makes a real difference; her goats have names, homes and a comfortable retirement. “My goats are free to roam in the grassland, so eat a variety of…