Purely Local KZN - September 2023

Page 1










s t n e t n Co

To my beautiful readers, As I compose this

note from a Sydney café, I’m filled with joy and excitement. This edition is a treasure trove of remarkable stories and individuals embodying KwaZulu-Natal’s vibrant spirit. Among them is The Nurture Hub, which provides vital support for mothers in their beautiful yet challenging journey of motherhood. Meet Richie Nahkala, securing second place in the Bartending World Class South African Final. His journey to mixology triumph shines in an exclusive interview, illuminating the artistry and innovation in this craft. Indulge in Wicked Donuts’ delectable delights, where creativity meets confectionery mastery. Chunky’s Burger Co. awaits the burger aficionados, offering a taste experience beyond sustenance. Experience the magic of DreamKid, aka Ryan Morris, the visionary behind nostalgic 80s synthwave tunes. His creative process and inspirations unfold in a captivating interview, transporting you to a neon-lit dreamscape of retro vibes. This edition reflects the incredible stories, individuals, and spirits flourishing in our province, touching your soul and inspiring action. We hope you enjoy. With warmest regards,

Carla Louise Gailey @carlalouisegailey


Stay updated with the latest happenings in KZN. We’ve got the hottest events that you don’t want to miss! 8 A 7-night family self-drive safari journey through Hluhluwe, Imfolozi, and captivating Wetlands. 12 We chat to ex-KZN resident Ryan Morris, aka DreamKid who went viral with his nostalgic 80s synthwave music. 14 Dig into Chunky’s Burger Co’s American-styled burgers and decadent shakes. 16 East Coast Radio superstar content creator Nicola shares her love for all things KZN. Published by: Arena Group Holdings Please visit our website for information: adroom.arena.africa JHB: +27 (0)11 280 3000 | DBN: +27 (0)31 250 8500 CPT: +27 (0)79 502 5443 | Gqeberha: +27 (0)41 504 7911 EL: +27 (0)43 702 2000 Managing Director Augment Creative: Chantelle Balsdon - chantelle@augmentcreative.com Editor: Carla Louise Gailey - carla@augmentcreative.com Design & Layout: Peter Batistich - peter@augmentcreative.com Stephanie Osborne - stephanie@augmentcreative.com Managing Director of Arena Property Publishing: Jason Whitehouse - WhitehouseJ@arena.africa Cover Illustration: Rachel March

18 Experience lavish luxury and

seaside charm at Rockets Beach Club Umhlanga. Fusion cuisine, vibrant atmosphere, and breathtaking coastal views await. 20 Carmen Levey and Mama-Aso Prepah are changing the support game for mums post-partum. 22 Wicked Donuts: not just a donut shop – but a labour of love, passion, and resilience. 24 Local mixologist nabs second place in the Bartending World Class South African Final. 26 Locally made bride and groom accessories to spruce up your wedding day.

Advertising Sales: Lauren Dickerson - lauren@augmentcreative.com Wendy Navarra - wendy@augmentcreative.com Digital Strategy and Production: Chantelle Balsdon chantelle@augmentcreative.com De Wet van Rensburg dewet@augmentcreative.com Jackie Adams - jackie@augmentcreative.com Oliver Johnson -oliver@augmentcreative.com Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in Purely Local Magazine. Neither Arena Group Holdings nor Purely Local assumes any responsibility for errors or omissions. The editor reserves the right to amend and alter copy and visual material as deemed necessary.


All rights reserved: No part of this publication shall be reproduced, copied, transmitted, adapted or modified in any form by any means. This publication shall not be stored in whole or in part in any form in any retrieval system.

PL 4


@PurelyLocalKZN @PurelyLocalKZN purelylocal.co.za


E X T R AO R D I N A RY L I V I N G F O R T H E B E S T Y E A R S O F YO U R L I F E We are delighted to announce that construction has commenced for Coral Cove. With the July 2023 commencement date, move-in dates for residents will be before the end of 2024. All garden villas, apartments, communal areas and care centre of Coral Cove will be operational and complete, affording residents the opportunity to utilise the full array of Auria’s facilities and services. Coral Cove by Auria Senior Living is a 21-hectare continuing-care, purpose-built retirement community for over 70’s, situated on the magnificent KZN North Coast, within the safety and serenity of the Zululami Luxury Coastal Estate. 2 & 3 Bedroom Garden Villas from R3,6m 1 & 2 Bedroom Apartments from R1,69m

BOOK A TOUR OF OUR SHOW UNIT. Sales Enquiries: 087 537 0539 | coralcove@auria.co.za | www.auria.co.za

Internationally Awarded




5 P

What’s Hot


t n a r b vi

Exciting events to attend and things to do in KZN.




Dates: September 22 - 25, 2023

Dates: September 9 & 10, 2023

Get ready for an electrifying feast of flavours, sounds, and excitement at the Durban Street Food Festival, hosted at The Pavilion Shopping Mall. From September 22nd to 25th, prepare to embark on a culinary journey celebrating Durban’s diverse food culture. Indulge in traditional South African dishes like bunny chow and braai meat, savour international delights including sushi and tacos, and indulge in delectable desserts. Live music by local talents sets the stage while a dedicated kids’ zone ensures family fun with face painting, balloon twisting, and more. Don’t miss live music performances, including a Saturday screening of the Rugby World Cup - South Africa vs Ireland. For details and headlining artists, follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

In an announcement that has ignited enthusiasm among South Africans, Son of Patricia, Trevor Noah, is making his triumphant return. Presented by Savanna Premium Cider, the renowned global comedy heavyweight is set to embark on a much-awaited South African Tour. Over the course of 12 dates, spanning from August 30th to September 16th, 2023, the celebrated South African comedic legend and international entertainment sensation will take the stage across various locations in the country.

Contact: durbanstreetfoodfestival@gmail.com 064 809 2066 @durbanstreetfoodfestival

Tickets available at

PL 6


What’s Hot BALLITO FARMERS MARKET Dates: Every Saturday, Sunday and on Public Holidays from 7 am - 2 pm. Nestled in the lush KZN North Coast hills, the Ballito Farmer’s Market is a heartwarming family destination. With over 150 traders, it’s a treat for all ages. Imagine strolling among fresh farm produce, flowers, and unique local finds. Kids enjoy tailored entertainment, while art and crafts delight all. It’s not just a market; it’s a joyful celebration of life. Savour a culinary journey at diverse food stalls, using locally-sourced ingredients. The Pump House offers thirst-quenching refreshments. The weekend market is family and pet-friendly, boasting the Little Peoples Paddock, with two jungle gyms for different age groups. Teens have their space too. Live music by local artists creates an inviting atmosphere, perfect for family outings. Open on weekends and holidays, the market offers a break from the daily hustle. Spend quality time with loved ones amid the market’s unique charm. It’s more than a market – it’s a haven of shared moments. Contact: ballitofarmersmarket.co.za @ballitofarmersmarket


7 P


d n a l u l u Z ESCAPADE:

As we boarded our Lift flight from Cape Town to Durban, our family’s excitement was palpable. We were embarking on a dream come true — a 7-night self-drive safari adventure that promised to connect us with the wild heart of Zululand. This was our first safari experience as a family and a first for my husband and 12-yearold son. Our adventure was about to unfold like a storybook, and we couldn’t wait to immerse ourselves in the beauty of Hluhluwe, Imfolozi, and the enchanting Wetlands.

Rhino Ridge Safari Park Our journey into the heart of Zululand began with a thrilling drive from Salt Rock to Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge, situated within the sprawling expanse of Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park. As we arrived at Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge, we were greeted with a warm African welcome that instantly made us feel at home. The lodge

A FAMILY’S ODYSSEY THROUGH HLUHLUWE, IMFOLOZI, AND THE WONDERS OF WETLANDS WORDS: Chantelle Balsdon, a South African mother and wife from Cape Town.

PL 8

itself seemed to emerge organically from the landscape, embracing the natural contours of the land. Our accommodation was nothing short of a masterpiece—a sanctuary that seamlessly integrated luxury with the untamed beauty surrounding us. Our days were painted with shades of adventure and discovery. The conservancy’s commitment to rhino preservation resonated deeply with us. We embarked on our first safari game drive with a sense of wonder, eager to glimpse these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat. And it wasn’t long before our patience was rewarded. Witnessing a rare hunting pack of Wild Dogs left us in awe, but it was the lion encounters that truly stole the show. A lone lion’s call brought his lioness and cubs, revealing the heart-warming bonds of the wild.

We had the privilege of encountering the enigmatic White Rhino not once, but twice during our stay. As we marvelled at their existence, the shadow of poaching loomed in our minds. The reality of the ongoing struggle to protect these creatures from harm was a poignant reminder that every effort to conserve them is precious. In the fading light of our final evening game drive, a heart-stopping moment etched itself into our journey’s highlights. Caught between a majestic herd of elephants, babies in tow, on their way to the same spot we had chosen for our sundowners. It was a hair-raising moment but with our game driver Sifiso (a true treasure trove of knowledge and passion) and his expert skills, we managed to get away without coming to any harm. In a symphony of trumpeting, they expressed their charge—a reminder that our presence in their realm was a fleeting privilege. It was an honour to share this experience with Sifiso, a local with a lifetime of experience in the area, who shared his intimate connection to the land and its inhabitants. This exhilarating encounter resonated deeply, a vivid reminder of our place within the untamed embrace of nature. Mealtimes were a delight, each dish a symphony of flavours that celebrated South African cuisine. High tea was a cherished tradition, where we sampled delectable treats while watching the sun cast its golden hues over the landscape. Our dietary

preferences were effortlessly accommodated, with vegan options that delighted my husband’s palate. The days at Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge were a blend of adventure and luxury, an experience that touched our souls. The resonance of the wilderness, the bonds we forged with the creatures that call it home, and the passion of those who dedicated their lives to its preservation left us forever transformed. Tembe Elephant Park Our journey from Rhino Ridge to Tembe Elephant Park was a transition from one kind of majesty to another— an immersion into the world of the giants. Known as the home of South Africa’s largest elephants, the park held the promise of encounters with these gentle behemoths that few are privileged to experience. Super Tuskers, these male bull elephants whose tusks weighed over 45 kilograms each, were the true monarchs of Tembe. The air was charged with the knowledge that only 7 out of the original 12 Tembe

A SPECIAL Super Tuskers remained, making every encounter with these majestic creatures a poignant reminder of their vulnerable existence.


As if guided by destiny, one of these Tuskers, named Igwedla, made a surprise appearance just as we were watching his herd. The atmosphere shifted as if the very air held its breath in reverence. The females, eager to welcome him home, began pushing themselves towards him, their intimate greetings a dance of hormones and connection that transcended words. The scent of their pheromones was a tangible reminder of the wild’s intricacies. And then it happened—a face-to-face encounter with Igwedla himself. At that moment, we were not mere spectators; we were participants in a sacred communion between species. Trunks extended, curiosity and recognition mingled in the air as he explored our safari vehicle. It was one of the most beautiful and humbling experiences of our lives—a meeting of souls in the heart of the beautiful wilderness.


9 P


The accommodations within Tembe Elephant Park was a luxurious take on family-friendly design. Our safari family tent had two queen-sized beds and a bathroom that opened to a serene and private outdoor shower. Wonderfully comfortable and private. At night it was you, your thoughts and the sounds of nature. The culinary offerings at Tembe were a celebration of community and love. Served by a group of local ladies, each meal was an opportunity to savour not just the flavours of the area, but the essence of the land itself. This genuine connection to the local culture enriched our experience, turning each mealtime into a ritual of gratitude and unity. Kosi Bay Forest Lodge Nestled within the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, South Africa’s first World Heritage Site, Kosi Bay Forest Lodge beckoned us with the promise of tranquillity amidst nature’s

PL 10

embrace. Accessible only by a 2x4 or 4x4 vehicle due to its unique location on beach sand, the lodge stood as an eco-conscious sanctuary where the delicate symphony of sand forest and bird song played in harmony. The warm welcome from General Manager Blessing led us to what seemed like a Tiki bar, revealing itself as the reception—a precursor to the enchantment that awaited. Our accommodation, one of two family rooms, embraced both comfort and solitude. Our son revelled in a double suite all to himself, conjoined, yet private. The allure of a private outdoor boma, complete with a shower and bath in soft white sand was where I truly connected to this special lodge. As lanterns lit up our evenings, the surrounding trees serenaded us with the distant calls of hippos, an acoustic symphony that painted our nights with wild magic. Kosi Bay Forest Lodge unveiled a gentler safari, where water excursions

let us breathe in the serenity of the lakes. Encounters with hippos, snorkelling through mangroves, and a lesson in traditional Tsonga fish traps were journeys into cultural and ecological intricacies. The spectacle of hundreds of flamingos taking flight was a vivid masterpiece of pink and white. Surprise romantic bush dinners led each guest into their fairy tale, lit by candles and lanterns. The daily ritual of cocktails at sunset on the pool’s spectacular viewing deck painted the sky with hues of pink orange, purple and blue. Amidst lovely staff and unforgettable companions, Kosi Bay Forest Lodge embodied the spirit of complete peace, an Okavango Delta experience etched in South Africa’s heart. St Lucia Although our stay in St Lucia spanned a mere night, the itinerary crafted by Heritage Tours and Safaris was

amazing. On our arrival, a sunset boat cruise awaited us, a journey that led us onto the tranquil waters of the lake where we got to see diverse family pods of hippos up close and personal. As the sun dipped below the horizon, the symphony of birdlife took centre stage. Guided by expert narrative, the Kingfishers, vibrant and elusive, graced us with their presence and we actually got to see three different specials of this stunning creature. The overnight stay at Heritage House, a cornerstone of the town’s heritage, enveloped us in comfort and history. Located within St Lucia, this lodge was more than an accommodation—it was a glimpse into the soul of the town itself. Our exploration of St Lucia unveiled its exquisite charm, while a chance encounter with two hippos crossing our path highlighted


Plan this adventure FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY


Departure from Cape Town to King Shaka Airport Airline: LIFT www.lift.co.za/ Car Rental: Europcar, Isuzu mu-X 2x4 www.europcar.co.za Overnight in Salt Rock (Airbnb) www.airbnb.co.za


Drive from Salt Rock to Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge in Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park Distance: 230.5 kilometres via the N2 route Drive time: Approximately 3 hours and 10 minutes Duration: 2 nights By: Isibindi Africa Lodges www.rhinoridge.co.za


Drive from Rhino Ridge Safari Lodge to Tembe Elephant Park Distance: 230 kilometres, R22 road Drive time: 3 hours and 26 minutes. Duration: 2 nights By: Tembe Elephant Park www.tembe.co.za


the region’s unique coexistence with wildlife. This encounter was not just a moment, but a glimpse into the everyday life of the locals—affectionately referred to as “Townies.” Before bidding farewell to this land of wonders, one last adventure awaited—the sunrise game drive in iSimangaliso Wetland Park. One last game drive. Dubbed the “Reflection Game Drive” amidst antelopes and more hippo sightings and a beachside breakfast, I savoured the opportunity to look back on our magical adventure. Gratitude swelled within me for the privilege of experiencing these wonders as a family. And as our time drew to a close, a poignant gift graced our sight—a sighting of the African Fish Eagle, a symbol of freedom and majesty. With this final vision, our journey reached its crescendo—a crescendo of reflection, appreciation, and the quiet knowing that the echoes of these moments would forever resonate in our hearts.

Closing Thoughts: This self-drive itinerary turned out to be a key part of our adventure— the freedom to explore on our terms deepened the experience. Every moment was a treasure. The enchantment of these lands, the resonance of each encounter, and the pure joy of exploring as a family left a mark on our souls. This journey was more than a vacation; it was a connection to our heritage, a reminder that the wonders of South Africa’s wild heart are within reach for us all. As we boarded our flight home, the memory of the African Fish Eagle’s cry echoed in our hearts, a reminder of the beauty that awaits in our own backyard.

Drive from from Tembe Elephant Park to Kosi Bay Forest Lodge Distance: 42.8 kilometres via the P522 route, Drive Time 58 minutes Duration: 2 nights By: Isibindi Africa Lodges www.kosiforestlodge.co.za


Drive from Kosi Bay Forest Lodge to St Lucia Distance: 225.4 kilometres via the R22 road Drive time: 3 hr 19 min via R22 Duration: 1 night (strongly suggest 2 nights) By: Heritage Tours and Safaris www.heritagetoursandsafaris.com


Drive from St. Lucia to King Shaka International Airport Distance: 212.2 kilometres along the N2 route Drive Time: 2 hours and 48 minutes. Departure from King Shaka International Airport to Cape Town Airline: LIFT www.lift.co.za


11 P

Local People

aka. Ryan Morris uses his music to take you on a wild trip down memory lane

WORDS: Carla Louise Gailey C: Ryan thank you for chatting with me! You grew up in KZN right? Tell us a bit about your fondest memories of living in KZN. R: I did indeed, I grew up in the Berea area until I was about 16, and then we moved to Ballito. My fondest memories were definitely going to the North Beach promenade, learning to surf and skateboarding on the road outside my house. C: What are your favourite things to do in KZN? R: Living in London is such a hustle, that it makes me appreciate the relaxing lifestyle in KZN more and more every day. Everybody really knows how to chill in KZN, I mainly love going to the beach, hanging with family and catching up with friends at bars. C: Speaking of London, when did you move to the UK? R: I moved to the UK in about 2005 with my band What Now. We wanted to take things further and we felt there wasn’t a big enough rock scene in SA at the time, but I love going back to SA every year to visit family and friends. C: What inspired you to become a musician? R: I was just drawn to it from a young age, I didn’t come from a family of musicians. It was just something that I naturally felt connected to and I knew it was something I could never let go.

PL 12

Local People

C: What instruments do you play? R: I can play most instruments to some degree, I’m an all-ear musician. I don’t know how to read or write music, I just go with what sounds right to me. I started off playing guitar, then started singing, then a bit of drums and now synth/keyboards. C: How would you describe your musical style? R: I grew up mainly on pop punk bands like Blink 182 during my teen years and that had a big impact on my songwriting. I’m also heavily inspired by 80s sounds which these days is called synthwave, so together I call my genre of music ‘Blinkwave’. It’s like retro 80s synth meets early 2000s pop punk. C: What is your creative process like when writing new music?

accurately narrated - what has the response been like to your music and what does this mean for you? R: Well, that’s exactly what I was going for, I’ve always been fascinated by nostalgic emotions and I wanted to create the most nostalgic music ever. Music that makes you think of past memories and childhood. When I get comments like that it makes me happy cause that’s what I wanted to achieve all the time. C: How does it feel to see your music being used all over the world as the backtrack to people’s videos/reels on social media? R: It’s very surreal and I sometimes have to step back. Some days I don’t think much of it and other days I’m like ‘This is crazy’.

R: I go with a particular mood, I think of a movie scene or an old memory and I start from there. It’s all about the mood and overall feeling for me, I like to have a clear vision of the song beforehand otherwise I just end up noodling into nowhere and I just waste time.

C: Can you talk about a specific song or album that is especially meaningful to you and why?

C: Who are some of your biggest musical influences?

C: What has been the biggest challenge you’ve faced as a musician?

R: Green Day, Blink 182, Vanilla Ice, RUN DMC, INXS, Van Halen and Offspring are some that come to mind. I like a lot of different styles of music, especially rap, punk and a host of 80s bands.

R: How the industry changes all the time, in the last twenty years it has changed so much because of the internet. Also, music styles and genres will get popular and then unpopular in an instant. You eventually get to the stage where you are just like, I’m just making music for me, I don’t care if you like it or not.

C: I’ve seen some of the incredible comments saying how nostalgic your music is and so

R: Oh, definitely Blink 182’s ‘Enema of the State’, their sound completely blew me away at the time and it was what made me finally start a band.

C: How do you stay motivated and inspired to write and perform new music? R: It’s in my blood, it’s always there, I’m always thinking about it and so I’m always motivated. Movies can help though if I’m having a bad day C: What advice would you give to aspiring musicians who are just starting out? R: It’s not an easy road, you have to really want it. Unless it’s just for a hobby but if you want to make music your job you have to have an ‘all or nothing’ mentality. Also, it’s not just about the music anymore, there is so much more than that now. It’s thinking of ways to stand out on social media, as well as writing good songs which catch people’s attention. C: What do you hope listeners take away from experiencing your music? R: Good feelings which make you happy and help you forget about all the current drama in the world. I like to make listeners escape. C: How do you hope your music will impact or influence others? R: That sometimes the best way in this music game is to just be yourself sometimes. If you try too hard people can see through it, so I hope I can show others that it’s ok to be an individual. Get Connected @dreamkid83 @ryanmorrisonline


13 P




When it comes to mouthwatering burgers and an unforgettable dining experience, Chunky’s Burger Company stands out as a true gem. Born out of the challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic, Chunky’s emerged as a dark kitchen concept, taking advantage of the restrictions on dine-in service and focusing on takeaways and deliveries. What started as an innovative solution quickly evolved into a culinary phenomenon that has been delighting customers for nearly two years now. The brainchild of a visionary entrepreneur, Jono (or fondly known as Chunky), with a passion for American-style burgers, Chunky’s Burger Company found its humble beginnings in Umhlanga. The concept gained traction and developed a dedicated following during the lockdown period. Riding the wave of this momentum, the first Chunky’s store was established in Glenashley, and the rest is history. With a unique approach centered on smaller trading spaces, low setup and operating expenses, Chunky’s has carved out its own niche in the highly competitive burger market.

When it comes to mouthwatering burgers and an unforgettable dining experience, Chunky’s Burger Company stands out as a true gem WORDS: Carla Louise Gailey

PL 14

One of the key elements that sets Chunky’s Burger Company apart is its unwavering commitment to creating an exceptional working environment for its team members. Recognizing that a vibrant and supportive atmosphere translates into a

better customer experience, Chunky’s fosters a culture of fun and enthusiasm. The team behind the scenes, working tirelessly to make the magic happen, is an integral part of the Chunky’s story. At the heart of Chunky’s Burger Company is an ethos that revolves around connecting an outstanding product with amazing people. The goal is to make a genuine difference in the lives of those who walk through their doors. From the moment customers step into the Glenashley store or place an order for delivery, they are greeted with a warm and inviting ambiance that sets the stage for an unforgettable dining experience. When it comes to the burgers themselves, Chunky’s spares no effort in delivering a gastronomic delight. Using only the freshest ingredients sourced daily from local suppliers, each burger is a masterpiece in its own right. The mince, a unique blend of cuts carefully selected from a well-known local butchery, adds a distinct flavour profile that sets Chunky’s apart from the competition. While there are other establishments that serve excellent burgers, Chunky’s elevates the experience by ensuring not only the quality of their product but also the overall Chunky’s experience. From the first bite to the last, customers are treated to a culinary journey that leaves a lasting impression. In addition to their delectable burgers, Chunky’s Burger Company also boasts a range of refreshing beverages. While they offer the usual suspects in terms of soft drinks and milkshakes, their standout creation is the Carrot Cake Shake. This


unique concoction perfectly complements the flavours of their burgers and adds an unexpected twist to the dining experience. Chunky’s Burger Company takes pride in catering to a diverse clientele, including vegetarians who crave a satisfying burger (I know I do). With a veggie burger option that also meets vegan dietary preferences, Chunky’s ensures that everyone can indulge in their culinary delights. The ultimate goal for Chunky’s Burger Company is to provide customers with an unforgettable overall experience. Whether customers choose to dine in-store or order through delivery apps, Chunky’s strives to exceed expectations at every touchpoint. The feedback received from customers has been overwhelmingly positive, with love and appreciation pouring in. Acknowledging that perfection is an ongoing pursuit, the team at Chunky’s, values every customer’s feedback as an opportunity to learn and continuously improve.

Looking ahead, the future of Chunky’s Burger Company holds exciting possibilities. While expansion plans remain under wraps, one thing is certain – Chunky’s is here to stay, delivering unparalleled burgers and creating memorable moments for burger enthusiasts far and wide. For those craving the Chunky’s Burger Co experience, the restaurant is conveniently located at 35 Newport Avenue in Glenashley. To reach out or place an order, you can contact them via phone at 031-0015148 or send an email to info@chunkys.co.za.

Get Connected Stay connected with Chunky’s for updates and behind-the-scenes glimpses into their burger-centric world. @@chunkysburgerco @@chunkysburgerco


15 P



WORDS: Carla Louise Gailey

Nicola is the definition of a local girl who embodies all things DURBAN. Naturally, I had to lock in some time with the digital queen to chat about what she loves most about KZN. C: NICOLA, THANKS FOR CHATTING WITH ME, I JUST LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT YOU AND WHAT YOU STAND FOR. TELL ME, WHAT KEEPS YOU BUSY FROM 9-5? N: I am a digital content creator by profession. I am a digital content producer at East Coast Radio and I also create content for a few businesses and events in KZN. A typical day in my life incorporates some form of fitness which is so easy because we live in the most beautiful place in the world and the weather is almost always so great. I then put on my girl boss pants and slay the workday like a digital queen. Every day I like to make sure I do something fun, whether it may be baking some delicious brownies, going for a sundowner cocktail or beautiful dinner at one of our local spots or watching a cult classic movie with my dashing boyfriend. C: TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF? N: I am a jack of all trades. I’ve most likely coached your daughter, blown a whistle at you while you swam out the bathing area, reposted your Instagram story, been the brains behind your favourite laugh-out-loud radio moment or even seen you out on the town. I thrive on connecting with people and sharing experiences. Adventuring and exploring fuel me, but no matter how far you took the girl out of Durban, you can’t take Durban out of the girl.

PL 16

C: HOW LONG HAVE YOU LIVED IN KZN? N: KZN is my home and I have been fortunate enough to live here since 2012 when I was in grade 5. Fun fact, I spent my early years growing up in Botswana. C: WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PART ABOUT LIVING IN KZN? N: Our province has a bit of something for everyone- you have the hustle and bustle, but if you need to smell the roses, the opportunities are endless. Our natural beauty is unmatched, and we seem to have our own time zone because nobody ever seems to be late. It’s also a place of community - we’ve been tested in so many ways in the last three years, and each time, our province binds together. C: TELL US ABOUT A HIDDEN GEM IN KZN? N: Hop, skip and jump your way to Thompson’s Bay in Ballito. After getting sunsoaked and having a dip at the main beach, stroll past Charlie’s pool and feel like an intrepid adventurer by walking through the hole in the

Almost every morning you can catch me doing my “hot girl walk” on the Umhlanga Promenade. Following this, I further my yoga practice at Manifest Yoga Studio with Jaime Prentice’s stellar class

People wall. You may think the adventure ends then but oh no, it’s just the beginning. Scale over the jagged rock place and get the perfect Instagram snap on top of the gigantic dune. Keep going and find many more hidden gem beaches along the way. Top tip: travel lightly cause once you start hopping, you won’t want to stop. C: TELL ME ABOUT YOUR FAVOURITE SUNDOWNER/HAPPY HOUR SPOTS IN KZN? N: With so many places to go when it’s Gin o’Clock, it’s so hard to pick just one. Recently, I’ve been working on my cocktail skills but, before I boast about my mediocre mixology, I have three hotspots for you to check out across KZN. On the North Coast, I frequent Good Vibes, the atmosphere - well, it’s self-explanatory. In the heart of KZN, Backyard in the Umhlanga Arch is a perfect after-work joint with great drink specials and local DJs on decks. Down on the South Coast, has to be C-Bali. From the range of drinks to the world-beating sushi - it is a total winner. C: WHAT, IN YOUR OPINION, IS AN ABSOLUTE MUST-SEE IN KZN? N: Few places allow you to access nature as easily as the 031 does. Just a short drive from Durban, you can experience the awe and wonder at the MacIntosh Falls at Giba Gorge.

When you see the grand waterfall, your heart will skip a beat and of course, will make the long trek worth it. It’s a must-see! C: WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE LOCAL KZN BRAND/BUSINESS/ RESTAURANT - IT CAN BE ANYTHING THAT IS NATIVE TO KZN! N: Almost every morning you can catch me doing my “hot girl walk” on the Umhlanga Promenade. Following this, I further my yoga practice at Manifest Yoga Studio with Jaime Prentice’s stellar class. I then reward myself with a tasty smoothie at Good Things Cafe, which is a footstep away from the heated yoga class. C: IF YOU HAD TO CHOOSE A WEEKEND GETAWAY SPOT IN KZN - WHERE WOULD IT BE? N: KZN is SA’s finest province for getaways. We are so lucky that there are so many great spots just down the road. The South Coast is my personal fave, particularly the stretch between Southbroom and Port Edward. There are many quaint and bespoke stores, fantastic restaurants, fun activities and diverse coastlines. It just feels so authentic. C: ARE YOU INVOLVED IN ANY PASSION PROJECTS IN KZN? N: I’m fiercely passionate about creating awareness around water safety and making access to swimming more equitable. Since I was 14 I have been involved in volunteering at learn-to-swim development programs and various campaigns. In collaboration with the Umhlanga rocks surf lifesaving club, I have also spearheaded various learn-to-swim development programs in under-resourced communities. I’ve been fortunate enough to have shared this knowledge beyond the confines of KZN, and am looking forward to my next swimming program in the coming months with the help of Cabana Beach and Wimpy. C: WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE ARTSY/CULTURAL ACTIVITY TO DO IN KZN? N: Music moves me. Considering our

incredibly rich tapestry of local music, a great gig is never too far away. If there’s a live show you’re going catch me there, even if it’s in the muddy trenches of Splashy Fen. Unless it’s a rugby match, if Stu Berry is running the show, then consider me there. C: A KEY MOMENT IN YOUR LIFE…? N: There was once a boy whose DMs I slid into, now he’s my best friend, my rock and my heart. Our love story has been a whirlwind, and we’ve developed a two-person support system despite the external pressures that come with working in the public eye. He’s obsessed with me too, which helps. C: WHAT DO YOU THINK IS A MISCONCEPTION PEOPLE HAVE ABOUT KZN? N: “Durban is a sleepy place”, is one of the biggest misconceptions. No matter where you are there is always something to do. You just need to know where to look. I recommend Purely Local, East Coast Radio or my Instagram DMs to give you the scoop. I’ll change your mind! C: DESCRIBE KZN IN ONE WORD… N: Home

Get Connected Slide into Nicola’s DMs: @nicontherox


17 P



WORDS: Carla Louise Gailey


Indulge in an unforgettable fusion of luxury, cuisine, and good vibes at Umhlanga’s latest addition.


Restaurateur and entrepreneur, Sean Barber, is pushing the boundaries and breaking all the rules of hospitality… again! Yes, a fan-favourite lifestyle group has expanded the empire beyond the borders of Gauteng to the beaches of Durban and have celebrated the official opening of Rockets Beach Club Umhlanga, the first in the brand’s Beach Club range. Situated on the gorgeous, vibey and luxurious coastline of the Indian Ocean, the brand is merging its established urban essence with the charm, fun and freedom of the coastal scene. With the unforgettable ambiance of any Rockets venue spread across 1500sqm and three distinct floors, combined with Rockets’ incredible fusion menu of Mediterranean dishes, tapas and sushi, but this time set on our golden sands of Umhlanga, so make sure you have your favourite shirt, designer shells and stylish shades ready to go!

sundowners with breathtaking views of sandy beach sunsets. And for those seeking a night of unforgettable revelry, dance the night away on the renowned Lolita’s club floor. Whatever your desires may be, Rockets Beach Club has everything you need to create the beach club experience of your dreams.

Building upon the incredible success of the various Rockets venues, Rockets Beach Club Umhlanga is poised to become the epitome of luxury among beach clubs in the Southern Hemisphere. It is an exquisite fusion of seaside bliss and urban chic, catering to the discerning tastes of its esteemed guests.

In addition to Rockets’ renowned fusion menu of Mediterranean dishes, tapas, and sushi, the Beach Club will offer a delightful array of culinary delights. Immerse yourself in a relaxed day of sipping refreshing cocktails and relishing the freshest cuisine at the restaurant. Alternatively, ascend to the magnificent rooftop bar for

The key differentiator when it comes to the Rockets brand is that they take the full sensory experience into consideration with every store that they open. They pride themselves on excellence. From customer service to each and every menu item, Rockets cater to a uniquely exceptional dining experience.

So take bae to the bay and go and experience the Rockets Lifestyle, the Beach Club way!

Get in touch: www.rocketslife.tv/rockets-umhlanga @Rockets.BeachClub


19 P


Carla chatted to Carmen Levey and Mama-Aso Peprah, founders of The Nurture Hub, a platform that empowers and supports mothers through their journey of motherhood.

HELPING MUMS hrive WORDS: Carla Louise Gailey

The Nurture Hub initially started as a consultation service to help moms in the immediate postpartum period, and has quickly evolved to more comprehensive parenting support service, through pregnancy and beyond. Founded by Carmen Levey (physiotherapist and mom of two) and Mama-Aso Peprah (OBGyn and mom of two) with a shared vision to support moms in their journey through motherhood. The idea for The Nurture Hub was born out of Carmen’s experiences with postpartum depression and anxiety and Mama-Aso’s experiences with a complicated pregnancy and delivery. The two women met through a mutual friend and quickly

PL 20


realized that they shared a passion for supporting mothers, and thus The Nurture Hub was born. Both women recognized the lack of support available to mothers and wanted to create a platform that would provide a safe and supportive community for mothers to share their experiences, have access to information, resources and support on all aspects of maternal and child health while receiving expert guidance and advice. The goal of The Nurture Hub is to empower moms with knowledge and support so that they can make informed decisions and feel confident in their parenting journey. “We offer support during pregnancy, birth scenario workshops, in-hospital and home support for

postpartum issues (infant feeding/wound care/ mental health screening), postpartum evaluation, rehabilitation and educational content. We do this through online webinars, in-person workshops, inhospital and home consultations, public speaking and support groups”, explains Carmen and MamaAso. “The aim is not necessarily to provide moms with information, as there is a plethora out there. We aim to provide parents with tools: tools to help them cope with change, to address stress and burnout, recognise mental health issues and to build resilience. Tools to ask for help, build a support system and to reintegrate back into society and the work force, where necessary. A lot of what we do is assisted by a large referral network, all of whom are


experts in their field. We rely on the inter-referral system to identify and assist these parents, where we can’t. We believe that this sort of care needs to be made available to every single parent out there. There is a gap in pregnancy care and services rendered and we wonder if some of it then leads to mental health challenges. We hope to help fill that gap”. CARLA: WHAT ARE SOME OF THE COMMON CHALLENGES YOU SEE MOMS FACING TODAY? Carmen: For me, as I think it is for a lot of moms, it was unrealistic expectations of pregnancy and birth, lack of social support (parents, friends etc), the stigma around mental health and its prevalence, and our inability to ask for help. The “village” is gone. We are expected and expect to be able to handle everything ourselves, and we can’t. Mama-Aso: Most moms these days are working and trying to raise our children, trying to be perfect in every aspect. This can lead to stress, burnt out and mental health distress. I saw a lot of those struggles in my practice and struggled with them myself. CARLA: CAN YOU SHARE A MEMORABLE MOMENT FROM YOUR WORK WITH MOMS?

Dear body It’s a “mom-body”, A larger body, The kind that didn’t bounce back-body.

Carmen: Mama-Aso always laughs at me when I say this, but my favourite moments are when a mom cries. This means that she feels comfortable enough to show you her vulnerability. Those are the moms that we are able to help because they have accepted that they need help and are often very receptive to it. It means they have found a safe space with us or our support group, and so every tear is a success story for me.

It grew two bodies. Fed two bodies, but now a “don’t recognize you in the mirror”-body.

Mama-Aso: We often meet new moms that are overwhelmed and unprepared for their new babies. To be able to help them through their struggles and eventually realise that the power is in them as mothers is the most satisfying thing.

It’s a different body, A softer body, But one that has hardened my insecuritybody.

CARLA: WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO NEW MOMS WHO MAY BE STRUGGLING TO FIND BALANCE OR SEEKING SUPPORT AND GUIDANCE? Carmen & Mama-Aso: The mental load of the modern mother is insurmountable. You cannot do this alone, so ask for help, and be specific in your requests. Becoming a parent brings great joy, but also great change in your life, and this change is not without consequences. Asking for help can come in the form of recruiting family to help when possible, being honest about your needs, and seeing a coach to address all the mental and emotional changes that becoming a parent uncovers. A lot of what we tell moms in consultations is something we have learnt recently through our own journeys. We are both continuously learning ourselves!

It’s a “one day”-body “ Ok only one a day”- body and then maybe one day you’ll be somebody.

“But you should be proud of your body”, “It grew humans, your body” “There are more important things than hating your body” I’m trying dear body , to be somebody that doesn’t feel like she is *only* her body. Anybody? - Carmen Levey

Get in touch: www.thenurturehub.co.za @the_nurturehub The Nurture Hub


21 P



WITH PASSION AND s t h g i l De PERSEVERANCE Welcome to Wicked Donuts, a Durban-based donut shop that prides itself on offering delectable, handmade treats. Founded by Jeanne Danielle Brooks, a self-taught donut enthusiast, Wicked Donuts has quickly gained popularity among locals. With a commitment to freshness, quality, and innovation, this homegrown, female-owned business has carved a niche for itself in the competitive donut industry. Join us as we delve into the story behind Wicked Donuts and explore their unique creations. A DREAM TURNED REALITY Jeanne Danielle Brooks, the mastermind behind Wicked Donuts, initially ventured into the food industry with a background in beauty. Inspired by a conversation with a friend in the restaurant business, Jeanne’s curiosity was piqued, leading her to explore the art of donut making. With a blend of self-teaching and guidance from a Master Baker (her mum), Jeanne started Wicked Donuts as a side hustle. Over time, she assembled a dedicated team, including her mother, to help manage the business and bring their vision to life. UNIQUENESS IN EVERY BITE What sets Wicked Donuts apart from the competition is their commitment to traditional methods. Handmade with love, their donuts are created from scratch using a signature yeast-raised dough recipe. Unlike many shops that rely on premixes, Wicked Donuts avoids shortcuts and ensures each donut is crafted fresh daily. One notable offering is their love bites, a delightful range of mini donuts, perfect for indulging in multiple flavours. Another highlight is their custom-made letter donuts, allowing customers to spell out personalized messages or celebrate special occasions. EXPLORING FLAVOURS AND INNOVATIONS At Wicked Donuts, creativity knows no bounds. Constantly seeking inspiration, Jeanne and her team scour the internet for trends while also experimenting in their kitchen. They offer a selection of unique and seasonal flavours, such as crème brulée, Karak tea, and pumpkin spice, that captivate the taste buds of their customers.

PL 22


By combining their favourite flavours, they have successfully introduced innovative creations like Karak tea-infused custard-filled donuts. This commitment to exploration and innovation keeps Wicked Donuts at the forefront of donut aficionados’ minds. ENSURING FRESHNESS AND CONSISTENCY Freshness and quality are paramount at Wicked Donuts. With a short shelf life, they produce their donuts daily and sell them exclusively on the day of production, ensuring customers experience the delightful taste at its peak. Crafting yeast-raised donuts consistently can be challenging, but Jeanne and her team have honed their skills over the years. They meticulously control variables to maintain a consistent product that keeps customers coming back for more. OVERCOMING CHALLENGES AND LOOKING AHEAD Running a small business comes with its own set of challenges, and Wicked Donuts has faced its fair share. Economic pressures, rising operating costs,

and unpredictable factors like load shedding have posed difficulties for this homegrown establishment. However, through prudent decision-making, including consolidating operations and reducing costs, they have weathered the storm. While stability and protection of existing operations are the current focus, Jeanne remains optimistic about the future. After experiencing rapid growth, she believes it’s time to assess and ensure sustainable progress, maintaining a careful approach to navigate the challenging trading climate. ADVICE FOR ASPIRING ENTREPRENEURS To aspiring entrepreneurs, Jeanne offers valuable advice based on her own journey. She emphasizes the importance of thoroughly researching customer demand before starting a venture. Starting small, with limited capital, allows for manageable risks. Jeanne acknowledges that entrepreneurship requires hard work, late nights, and tears but assures that the rewards are unparalleled when the business gains traction. She generously shares her experiences and guidance in her

book, “A Recipe for Miracles,” and on her TikTok page, @arecipeformiracles, providing a wealth of knowledge to those embarking on their entrepreneurial path. Wicked Donuts is not just a donut shop—it’s a labour of love, passion, and resilience.

Get connected with Wicked Donuts: www.wickeddonuts.co.za @wickeddonuts Wicked Donuts


23 P

Local People

g n i k a h s WORDS: Carla Louise Gailey


In the realm of mixology, where artistry and innovation mix seamlessly, the Bartending World Class South African Final stands as a pinnacle of excellence. Among the extraordinary talents that shone in this prestigious competition was a remarkable local mixologist, Richie Nahkala, whose dedication and creativity earned him the honourable second place. In this exclusive interview, we delve into the preparation, challenges, and triumphs of this rising star of the cocktail world. For Richie, the path to the Bartending World Class South African Final was paved with diligent preparation and unwavering determination. Richie recounts, “Preparation was intense, but fortunately, I wasn’t alone. My friend, mentor, and fellow competitor, Jason Andrews, was also in the Top 10. We put our heads together to keep each other

PL 24

focused and on track, aiming to represent KZN to the best of our abilities.”

The journey involved hours of detailed training, research, and practice to meet the demands of the competition’s five challenges. From conceptualizing recipes to understanding the sponsoring brands, judges, and competitors, Richie left no stone unturned in his quest for perfection. Competitions of this magnitude are as much a test of mental fortitude as they are a showcase of mixology skills. Richie shares, “Competitions are often a mind game against yourself. You don’t know what anyone else is doing, and you just want to make sure that when you show up on the day, you are representing yourself and your region as best you possibly can.

”While passion fueled Richie’s preparation, the intensity of the competition sometimes led to overstimulation. From dawn to dusk, ideas and concepts swirled in his mind. However, Richie found comfort in his love for mixology and the creative freedom it offered, finding balance and focus amid the chaos. Richie’s Signature Cocktail: An Exquisite Fusion of Cultures The Bartending World Class South African Final provided Richie with a platform to showcase his signature cocktails, some of which he had previously created for the menu at Alchemy in Ballito. One standout creation was a spin on a Michelada, where Richie replaced the traditional beer with an in-house Umqombothi (Zulu beer)

Local People

infused with Don Julio reposado tequila and a blend of spices. This ingenious twist on a classic Mexican cocktail mesmerized the judges and audience alike. Throughout the competition, Richie learned valuable lessons from his fellow competitors, each with their distinct styles and techniques. The camaraderie among participants was heartwarming, with competitors generously sharing knowledge and supporting each other’s growth. An Advocate For Embracing Sustainability The mixology scene is ever-evolving, and Richie observed a prevailing trend toward sustainability and environmental consciousness. Fresh ingredients, once hailed as the best, are now being challenged by sustainable alternatives. At Alchemy, Richie and his team are pioneering in-house acid solutions to ensure consistent quality while reducing their environmental impact. Distinguishing His Craft As a mixologist, Richie sets himself apart by embracing locality and using locally sourced ingredients to create unique and extraordinary cocktails. Stripping each ingredient to its core and redefining its purpose, he weaves flavours that are personally meaningful and representative of his region. Advice for Aspiring Mixologists: For aspiring mixologists, Richie emphasizes the importance of maintaining a student mindset. “Perfection is the enemy of progress,” he reflects, urging fellow bartenders to remain receptive to learning from everyone they encounter. Loving what one does and seeking knowledge in every interaction are key ingredients for success. Richie’s journey to second place in the Bartending World Class South African Final is a testament to his unwavering passion, dedication to craft, and an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. As he continues to push the boundaries of mixology, the future shines bright for this talented mixologist, and we eagerly await his next innovative creations. You can find Richie shaking things up at Alchemy in Ballito, but in the @mixwithrichie meantime, give him a follow on Instagram


25 P

Shop Local


n o i t i Ed


Handmade men’s fashion accessories What was initially meant to be a simple shopping outing to find a tie to complete a wedding outfit, quickly grew into a tedious expedition to find the right one (spoiler: they never did). Soon after, The Tie Guy was born! They aim to provide high quality, unique men’s fashion accessories for all those special occasions, as well as your everyday workwear outfit. Browse their range of products either on their website: www.thetieguy.co.za or on Instagram: @thetieguy_

PL 26

Husband and wife duo Jurgen and Shannon are your go-to couple for all of your bridal and groom accessories!

THE GARTER GIRL Unable to find a garter that mirrored the style and sophistication of a special friend’s wedding day, owner and founder Shannon endeavoured to make her a garter. What followed was a series of requests from other gal pals to craft garters for their wedding days, and so the Garter Girl was born. You can find Shan’s range of hand-stitched, ready-to-wear wedding garters constructed out of delicate beaded lace over at @thegartergirl on Instagram or Facebook.

The Capital Zimbali Coastal Eco-Estate

The Capital Zimbali Snacks at the Pool

The Capital Zimbali The Funverse Climbing Wall

The Capital Mbombela Poolside Fun

The Capital Pearls Camelot Spa

The Capital 15 on Orange Mountain View Suite

The Capital Pearls Live Cooking Station

The Capital Zimbali Villa Golf Carts

Scan me to live your best life!

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.