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…

Midlands Barter Markets

The revolution has begun! In the past couple of years, barter markets have begun to flourish in the Midlands. Many of us feel overwhelmed by the speed and chaos of modern life and are searching for a slower, more considered and mindful way of living.  While we may have plenty of money, often we don’t…

A Long Table for Lunch

The mist settled on our wine glasses and made the salads sparkle at the Long Table Lunch hosted by Erica Brown of Sōlfood in Karkloof last weekend. A light drizzle was not enough to deter enthusiastic foodies from enjoying her vegetarian feast surrounded by verdant hills, with a beautiful valley view of Albert Falls Dam….

Traveller’s Joy

Clematis brachiata Common Name: Traveller’s Joy; Xhosa name: ityolo; Zulu Name: ihlonzo leziduli; Sotho Name: morarana-oa-mafehlo; Afrikaans name: Lemoenbloeisels Driving along Midlands roads besides forest or grassland, this scrambler can be seen spilling out of trees and climbing over rocks, during Autumn.  The twining stems can climb up to 5m through the trees and bear…

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…

Higgledy Piggledy Poetry

The battered ground between a petrol station and the railway tracks seems an unlikely spot for creativity to flourish. Factor in the fabulous coffee and the special brand of Steam Punk Magic that Michael Goddard has created in Lion’s River, and it starts to make sense.  Michael has changed our perception of rural KZN midlands…

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…

Falling Stars

Orange and scarlet Crocosmia are at their best in Autumn.  Crocosmia belong to the iris family. It is cosmopolitan family, consisting of approximately 82 genera and 1 700 species. Thirty-eight genera and over half the species occur in South Africa. They are very easy to grow and, ideally, should be left undisturbed to multiply on…

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…

Rietspruit Without Reeds

The Rietspruit rises in the hills that fringe Cedara, Sweetwaters and Hilton, where there are many seeps and springs. There is no definitive source, a bit of a dilemma for the intrepid DUCT River Walk Team!  “We realised we would need to walk all three main tributaries to get a clear idea about this river,”…