Sbongile Kunene

Sbongile Kunene’s husband, Phumukwakhe, makes a good cup of tea. Something she is very grateful for when she gets home from a busy, noisy day running the iThemba Pre-School in kwaMpumuza.  “In a few years I can get my pension, but if I am fit to work, I will rather work. If you stay home…

Rocket Cafe

It is not possible to fit a rocket burger in your pocket. The handmade bun with charcoal swirls, the black bean patty, truffle mayo coleslaw, wild spinach, beetroot hummus, salsa and cashew sauce, is just too big. The Eclipse Burger is a substantial meal, that satisfies the most committed carnivores.  “When I set out to…

Londani Mtshali 

“I dream about mud,”  Londani Mtshali says with a smile, “Before I go to sleep I use the quiet time to think about challenges and come up with solutions to implement the next day.” Londani leads the team that is building a community centre and creche in kwaMpumuza in Sweetwaters using rammed earth technology. This…

Bradley Gibbons

Bradley Gibbons clearly remembers his decision to spend his life working in Nature. He was four years old.  “Every Wednesday we visited my Aunt and Uncle’s small holding in Midrand – in those days it was still wild. My passion started there and then I spent every free moment exploring the natural places around Roodepoort,…

The Beans

Guess what Bailey Bean’s parents are crazy about?  Beans of course! Deon and Chisomo Bean grown 30 varieties of beans around their home in Merrivale. There are Rattle Snake beans and Ugandan Bantu beans, dark green Jade beans, old fashioned Witsa beans and Red Noodle beans that taste a lot like mushrooms. Deon grew up…

Nkanyiso Ndlela

Special Eco-Star After finishing school, Nkanyiso volunteered at WESSA in Howick and began his journey to becoming a well-liked and much respected figure in local conservation – most recently being appointed as Education Manager at the KZN Crane Foundation (KZNCF) until his death in mid-March 2018. Not everyone understands the value of volunteering, but Nkanyiso…

Kevin Khumalo

Kevin Khumalo walks his talk. After a day spent helping creatures in distress and advising people on how to take better care of their animals, he’d prefer not to sit down to a steak for supper. “It just hit me one day after observing cruelty to some cattle. I should be vegan. Every sentient being…

Sanele Nxumalo

Growing up in the hills around Pietermaritzburg, Sanele Nxumalo and his mates would explore the forested slopes looking for wild honey and feasting on indigenous berries. His father grew all the vegetables his family needed, kept chickens and goats and enjoyed cooking for the family too. “We lived an organic, sustainable life long before it…

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…