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Dr Dhiveja Sundrum married Dr Mark Smith recently, in a sumptuous Hindu/Christian cer-emony in the Kzn Midlands. Photo: Val Adamson

in this month’s edition


1. Remember the wedding we couldn’t tell you about? YOU know, the celebrity wedding in the Midlands... 2. Mad cyclists going from JoBurg2C 3. Rural Tourism 4. The river is a goddess... 5. A very decent proposal... 6. The pick of wedding venues and services... 7. Our stupendous schools...(Plus a new academy opening in Hilton) 8. Places to go people to see, things to do in the Midlands in May... Don’t forget to check our regular writers out too.....

Clockwise from the top:The signer JJ Schoeman with his with well known photograph (Pics: Val Adamson. 083 28

Front, Left to right: Vino Naidoo, Ranjini Reddy, Samla Naidoo, Indrani Pillay. Back Row, left to right: Premila Naidoo, Mrs Dhulari Naidoo, Vis Naidoo, Dr Dayalan Sundrum, Shaun Naidoo, Juggie Naidoo. (Pic: Karen Edwards 082 441 7429)



he KZN Midlands is wedding heaven. No matter the season, brides and grooms gravitate to this area to celebrate their unions. Wedding venues abound and each one offers sights and sounds unrivalled in South Africa. The Meander Chronicle in the month of April found itself a guest of the new Mr and Mrs Mark Smith at their splendid Midlands wedding on the 21st of April 2012.

Destiny must have smiled cheekily when the precious first son of Mr and Mrs Smith of Hillcrest was named ... it’s the kind of name that implies going incognito? This quietly spoken “country boy” married his Medical School sweetheart Dhiveja Sundrum, in a lavish Hindu/Christian ceremony, a fusion of colour and tradition, in the glorious venue where the Midlands Autumn parades its magic with pride!

bride (wearing her J.J Schoeman Miss World Pageant dress in pic1) and groom... Top Billing’s Simba Mhere, Des partner Leon Mare and their beautifully "groomed" doglets (Diesel and Gucci!), The editor of the Meander Chronicle her Val Adamson, and of course, Dhiveja's proud family. 82 5916)

MR AND MRS SMITH... Setting up an interview with a bride 4 days before the wedding, is kind of like asking someone on crutches if they’d like to go for a run, so it was with some trepidation that I dialled Dhiveja’s number at the time I had been allotted on their drive from Johannesburg to Durban! “It’s going to be the easiest time to find me sitting in one place for any length of time”, she said when I set up our interview”. She’s so obviously a seasoned interviewee- the interview started in Warden, and by Harrismith we were done and dusted, and discussing girl stuff about guys, wedding details and children. The Midlands was a natural choice for their wedding according to Dhiveja. Both born and bred in KZN, Mark matriculated from Hilton College, and Dhiveja Crawford College in Durban, where she was Head Girl. “The Midlands has always been a special spot for me” says Dhiveja “ and some years ago I attended a wedding at Woodridge and thought it was the most beautiful wedding venue I had ever been to.” Mark Smith and Dhiveja Sundrum met as young students at UCT Medical School in 2002, in a second year anatomy dissection group. “We were friends from that moment, but a big smooch at a party in 2004 cemented our relationship!”she quips. Dhiveja’s journey took a glamorous turn as she won the Miss Cape Peninsula title, a competition she heard about on the radio, “and sounded like a fun thing to do!” This led her to the Miss South Africa 1st Princess spot, followed by an invitation to the Miss World Pageant 2005 where she did not disappoint, coming in the top 15 of the World and top 2 of the African Continent. Her television career started with a presenter position on Eastern Mosaic, and then Top Billing, and most recently on a new SABC medical series, produced by Dr Michael Mol, a fellow Top Billing celeb. With the interview nearly over, and the couple heading into the Harrismith 1 Stop, Dhiveja throws a last titbit at me when I ask her which food outlet they choose – “oh Nando’s every time, unless there’s curry of course!” She has always had a passion for cooking and launched Dveja Home Cooking in 2009 ( where she shared her love of good Indian Food and cooking, with those who wanted to enjoy a cooking party – a fun, relaxed, social way to learn about Indian food. In her back pocket, she also has an International Chef Certificate from Capsicum Culinary Studio. Mark and Dhiveja now both practice at Steve Biko, the Pretoria Academic Hospital, Dr Mark Smith in the Critical Care section and Dhiveja doing her two year internship where she will do 4 month stints in all specialisations. Mark will specialise in Radiology. The future is exciting for these two accomplished 29 year olds (their birthdays are 2 days apart), and with children very much a part of it, they look set for great happiness.



hile Dhiveja and Mark might win the glam Midlands wedding of the month award, Amanda Crabtree and David Low’s engagement wins the “most romantic proposal award” of the Midlands. Hilton resident, David Low, Mountain Biking Coach of Life in Motion,and a keen semi-pro Ultra Marathon Mountain Biker pulled off a secret proposal that will be hard to beat in the romance stakes. Fiancee Amanda recounts the moment. “A surprise within a surprise...a surprise elephant ride for David’s 30th, turned out to be an extra special proposal for me...During our experience and close interaction with the elephants at Elephant Whispers in Hazyview, Mpumalanga, we were introduced to one of their most intelligent elephants, Medwa, who was talsked with remembering all of us by name. At a certain stage of the interaction the groom would call out our names one by one and ask Medwa to give a cap to the relevant person. My name was called last and Amanda Crabtree instead of Medwa handing me a cap, he handed me a basket. Looking into the basket I saw a and David Low small black box, and still at that point I had no idea it was for me, and thought that perhaps it was a gift for David from Elephant Whispers! Was I to hand the box to David? With all eyes on me, I reached in and picked up the box, turned to my right and there was David on one knee asking me to marry him ... without hesitation, I said YES!”

Oatlands Care Centre Open day


n enlightening information morning was held on the 15th of May at Oatlands Care Centre in Howick. In-house chef Laura Morton served a sumptuous tea to guests, who were taken on a tour of this much needed in-patient facility. Centre Manager Terry Wilson, and Case Manager Shirley McKenzie were on hand to answer questions regarding its post-operative sub-acute, and rehabilitative care. Offering Medical Aid rates, Oatlands Care Centre takes a holistic approach to its patients to meet their physical, psychological and spiri-tual needs, and aim to assist them to heal and return to day-to- day life as quickly as possible.

Annette Penny and Shirley Bradford

Maureen Ringo, Audrey Berriman and Aeleen Wardle

Aeleen Wardle, Sharon Le Roux and Joan Lang.

Oatlands Angels! Derrice and Charles Gibbon Provider of the most delectable feast, Laura Morton.

The RiveR is a Goddess


his river is like a beautiful woman. A goddess, actually.” says Penelope Malinga, team member of the ‘Mayday for Rivers’ campaign. “All water is connected, just as we are all connected.” adds Penny Rees.

The uMngeni River Walk has captured the imagination of hundreds of people in KZN and across the globe. A small group of committed environmentalists affiliated to DUCT (Duzi uMngeni Conservation Trust) started walking from the source of the uMngeni river, to the sea, on 1 May. At Drinkkop where the stream rises, they drank fresh water mindful of the fact that many downstream are unable to do this. Five million people live downstream and rely on this river for their daily water. Along the way the team are recording all the impacts on the river – effluent, nutrification, invasive plants and damage to the banks. Each day they conduct tests to determine the quality of the water. The first few days were paradise - discovering hidden waterfalls and walking through forests. However, it wasn’t long before the first plastic pollution was found and the river degraded by alien plants and agriculture. By the time the team reached Howick the water tests indicated ‘a seriously modified, poor condition river’. Sangomas joined the team at the base of the Howick falls (sacred in Zulu and San cultures), explaining the significance of the river in traditional beliefs and emphasising the importance of re-establishing the respect and reverence that is needed to restore our rivers. In South Africa 84% of river ecosystems are threatened with 54% critically endangered. The uMngeni river, our lifeblood, is a river in distress. “Nobody owns the river, and, as the resource pressure increases, people will have to work together to ensure clean water and a healthy ecology.” concludes Penny Rees. Follow their adventures: Supplied by

Rural Tourism in Impendle for Peace Building, Development & Conservation (article by Samantha Rose; 083-599-4792;


amantha Rose of Zuvuya, is passionate about grass-roots community development and intercultural exchange so she founded the Impendle Eco-Tourism Programme. She lives near Impendle with her family on their off-the-grid permaculture homestead where she applies what she teaches schools about environmental sustainability and conservation.

Many folks drive through rural “tribal” areas like they’re watching a movie—intrigued by the rural way of life, the cultural traditions, and impressed with the beauty of the scenery but not able to jump into the reality of it—to experience of bit of it themselves. Rural living in South Africa allows us to experience life closer to nature and the cycles of life, to tradition and culture, to a quieter and slower pace of life, and to have authentic connections with people seemingly different from ourselves. The Impendle Eco-Tourism Programme was set up to be able to facilitate South Africans and foreigners to have an authentic African experience by living with a family while learning, and/or volunteering with community-based projects in Impendle. In addition, it was set up to bring local economic development to an area in need and to conserve and steward the beauty and resources of the natural environment. The rural community of Impendle is a model of cooperative and grassroots local economic development, of a community-driven ecotourism programme, where the Zulu culture and hospitality is experienced, where the environment is conserved and appreciated, where people from different walks of life can interact with each other on a heart-to-heart level. Judith Lindtner and Susanna Hohlrieder from Austria recently stayed with Zandile Sikhakhane based in Gomane, Impendle and were taken in as part of the family. They were given their own bedroom, ate traditional Zulu meals with the family, sat around the fire in the rondavel at night, and visited the nearby school and a neighbourhood Sangoma. Courtney Avery, an American university student with the School International Training, returned to Impendle for a month after spending 3 days in Impendle studying community health with 22 fellow American students in March 2011. The Voluntourism programme runs week-long packages that include home-stay accommodation, all meals, cultural activities, and daily work with a local Eco-School such as gardening and teaching environmental lessons. The Service-Learning programme is similar and is for students of all ages and includes a research or learning activity such as a field trip to the Impendle Nature Reserve, Zulu immersion, or community health. The Impendle Eco-Schools programme is the official project host for the Voluntourism programme. Permaculture design is being done with each school so permaculture enthusiasts are particularly invited to volunteer. In terms of economic development, the programme is already succeeding: Since 2008, over R200,000 has been brought into the community, spread out over a variety of recipients from host families to caterers to local crafters to school cultural groups, to donations to local non-profit organisations. In terms of intercultural friendships, these are unquantifiable yet invaluable in changing perspectives to transform the world to a more peaceful place. The programme is run through the Impendle-based NPO Sihlangene Kokwethu so that all donations to projects and operating expenses are transparent. Nature Lovers are welcome to the Impendle Nature Reserve for birding and hiking. There is no formal visitor centre but the field officers would be happy to assist visitors and visits are free of charge. Mountain biking could become a real popular activity as there are many paths across the hills and valleys in the area. For anyone wanting to experience life in a rural area, contribute to meaningful projects, or provide immersion or research-based learning for their students, Impendle is a welcoming community with a rich culture and breathtaking environment. Along with the one-week voluntourism package, individual tours and service-learning programmes can be custom made.


ccommodation: For the most authentic experience, you are welcomed into the family homestead and will be given a private room either in the main house or an adjoining room/rondavel. Safety and security have never been an issue for tourists in Impendle but you will be given a lock for your room for your belongings. Some families use long-drops away from the home some have toilets in the home. These are kept clean and provide privacy. The water is municipal born so is clean to drink. For a more private accommodation (non-homestay), there are B&B and self-catering establishments listed on the Midlands Meander along the Dargle and Everglades roads and along the R617.


here is Impendle? It is between the R617 leading from Howick to the Underberg and the Dargle Rd. A new road is being tarred from Himeville through Impendle to the R617. It is about 100km from Pietermaritzburg, 70km from Howick, and about 100km from Underberg and borders the Lotheni Nature Reserve and the Impendle Nature Reserve Info Box: Contact Information for Impendle EcoTourism:; 083-599-4792;

The Official School Page the Wykeham Collegiate market day.

st John’s songbirds

Five St John’s D.S.G. girls will be embarking on a UK Tour with the PMB Midlands Youth Choir 2012, in June where they will be singing at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee at Westminster Hall and participating in the prestigious Llangollen International Eisteddfod.

Market Day at The Wykeham Collegiate generated huge excitement. Enjoying themselves are: Anabelle Stewart (Gr RR) and Lucy Hellens (Gr7) From left: Aviwe Myendeki, Zinhle Khoza, Lethuxolo Shabalala (Deputy Head of the Youth Choir), Shannon Nieuwoudt and Mikaela Talbot

CoWan house is hot!

graCe College staff development

race College administrative assistants and cleaning G staff showed interest in improving as well as learning new computer skills during a survey done at the school in

With the spiralling cost of electricity, it is only good practice to investigate ways of saving electricity. In the process of becoming more energy efficient Cowan House Co-ed Prep School has installed heat pump systems which are five times more efficient than the conventional element systems. These systems will be used to heat and cool areas around the school such as boarding houses, the pool and classrooms. Ronnie Dittrich, a parent at Cowan House, and an expert in specialised energy reduction services, is pictured with (from left to right), James de Klerk, Bokang Mafora, Catherine Dittrich, Yojana Somchand, Rozlynn Mahabally and Sandi Mtshali.

January this year. Consequently, a computer development skills programme was drawn up and run by our Headmaster’s secretary, Mrs. Tarryn Bishop. We are very proud to announce that they have just completed a Microsoft Word Exam and passed with flying colours. “Well done, ladies!” Special thanks go to Mrs. Bishop for her time given to train the staff as well as parents and local companies who generously donated computers so that we could award each of these staff members with their own computer. Pictured with Grace College Headmaster, Mr. Sean Moore, are fromL-R: Goodness Gule, Annatoria Ngcobo, Agnes Gule, Precious Dlungwane and Thandeka Mvelase with their certificates of Achievement.

miChaelhouse squash team still on top


he recent Provincial Boys Interschools’ Squash Tournament saw the Michaelhouse First team successfully defend the title they had won in 2010 and again in 2011. Christopher Brits (Captain), Kenyon Smith (who is ranked at No.2 in South Africa in the U16 age group), Luke Stevens, Matt Lovett and Nic van der Bos will now represent the Province at the SA Top Schools Tournament in August. (Peter Huntley is 3rd in the back)

The Official School Page epWorth Wins south afriCan sChools sprint again


pworth Independent High School for Girls yet again dominated at the recent SA School Canoeing Sprints in Pretoria and walked away with the title of Top Canoeing girls school in South African. Epworth has won this title for a record breaking 7 years in a row!


treverton prep hoCkey seleCtions

uring the first weekend in May, six girls and four boys from Treverton Prep participated in final round of trials for the uMgungundlovu District’s junior hockey teams. For the uMgungundlovu U/13A Girls’ team Bophelo Seoe and Daina Pieterse were selected and Brooke Cunha-Johnson was chosen for the U/13B Girls’ team. Brandon Palmer will play for the uMgungundlovu U/12 boys and Zanzele Hadebe is the non-travelling reserve for the same team.

Back: Camilla Pennefather, Donna Hutton, Frances Beresford and Mr Les Willows (Canoe Coach) Front: Cana Peek, Brittany Petersen and Jamie-Lee Robertson. In the u14 girls category, Donna was placed 3rd L-R: Zanzele Hadebe, Brandon Palmer, Brooke Cunha-Johnson, victrix ladorum, Cana was 4th and Jamie-Lee was 6th. In Daina Pieterse and Bophelo Seoe the u16 age group, Frances was 1st victrix ladorum and Camilla was 3rd. Finally in the u18 girls category, Brittany treverton retains doWker trophy. was 2nd victrix ladorum.

epWorth prep’s paddling stars...


pworth Co-educational Preparatory School also did exceptionally well at the Sprint Championships and were placed 2nd overall in South Africa in the Coeducational Primary / Junior School Section.


Pictured is the team: (Back Row) Mrs Solly Peckett (Canoe Coach) and Sher Singh, (Second row)Riley van Rooyen, Amy Hutton, Joseph Clacey, Ruth Peckham and Cade White, (First row) Hannah Shrives, Cayleigh Shaw, Jodie Fuhri, Amy Peckett and Matthew Fuhri Not present for photo: James Horner


ooi River’s Rugby match of the year is between the town’s two major rugby playing schools; Treverton College and Weston Agricultural College, where they compete for the prestigious Dowker Trophy. The entire student body is transported by bus across the Mooi River to take on their opponents; parents supporting the respective teams arrive in droves and towns’ people come to watch and cheer their favourite side. Treverton was defending the trophy for the first time, having won it in 2011, after Weston had won for a number of years. It was anyone’s game and Treverton scored first points from the boot of Captain, Rikus van der Westhuyzen. When the final whistle blew, Treverton emerged as victors, with a score of 17-6! Thus, they successfully defended the Dowker Trophy for the first time! Etian van Zuydam was named Man of the Match.

remembers A new sign has gone up at the Weston Agricultural College rugby fields, in Mooi River, to acknowledge all those affected by farm attacks. “We hope that this billboard and the use of the red-marked rugby balls so kindly donated by Jackson Sports will highlight the tragedy of all people affected by farm attacks across the country,” says Weston Agricultural College’s Director of School Development, Mr Joe Sadowski



he Rotary Club of Pietermaritzburg has raised funds for seventy state-on-the-art calculators for use by the Grade 12 learners of Siyanda High School in Sweetwaters. The need for the calculators was identified by Rotarian Jude Brown who is part of the Grace College Outreach Programme, Masihambisane (Let’s Work Together). Brown, who is assisting the maths teachers at Siyanda in upgrading the mathematical skills of the learners, had this to say of the project she initiated – ‘Many learners in poorly resourced schools have difficulty with mathematics because they do not have calculators. Both Grace College and Rotary are doing what they can to make Seen at the presentation of calculators to Siyanda School were a difference and look forward to seeing improved (left to right) Rotarian Jude Brown, Rotary President Sabitha results at the schools being assisted’. Maharaj, Khenyisile Zondi (Grade 12 learner), Sabelo Ndlovu (Grade 12 learner) and Boy Selby Mdlala (Principal). Photo: Jason Londt.

it hubs for ZenZeleni


n Saturday March 31st the Zenzeleni Community Centre in Mpophomeni in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands saw the opening of the first of the British Council’s IT Hubs in Southern Africa opened by the Mayor of the Umngeni Municipality, Her Worship Honourable Mayor Mbali Myeni.

Mr Bonginkosi Ndlovu from the community welcomed all visitors, sponsors, local community members and stakeholders. Mr Chris Khoza representing members from the board of trustees of the Zenzeleni Community Centre provided the background to the development of the centre and the colourful and sometimes tragic history of the Mpophomeni community itself. The representative from the British Council, Mr. Remo Chipatiso explained how the British Council is currently restructuring projects for schools worldwide into an all-encompassing Schools Online programme which will cover their Connected Schools programme as well as the DfID (Department for International Development) programme Global Schools Partnerships. The provincial Department of Education was represented by Mr Phillip Dikgomo, Director of Maths Science and Technology who delivered a highly informative address outlining the array of considerations when using educational technologies in schools and communities. The British Council had formed partnerships with SchoolNet South Africa, Sangari SA and Softstart to establish IT Hubs in South Africa as well as promoting a range of future projects for South African classrooms and communities. SchoolNet SA for the first time ever had funded the provision of a bank of 25 netbooks that have a greater hard drive capacity than most desktop computers. Even more remarkable is the extent of the coverage of the connectivity that has been arranged for the centre. A number of options were discarded in favour of a mesh satellite solution which provides connectivity to a staggering 5 Kilometre radius in the Mpophomeni community. (article supplied by Janet Thomson CEO Schoolnet SA)

friends of ukZn agriCulture plough baCk in


he University of KwaZulu-Natal Agriculture Department have been approached by enthusiastic alumni and individuals from various Agribusinesses, who are looking at improving their networks and relationships with the School of Agriculture. These supporters have formed an assciation called the “Friends of UKZN Agriculture.” The main objective of which is to form closer working relationships between the School and the agribusiness stakeholders. The idea of a more active alumni group and a closer working relationship between agribusinesses and the University was received with a great deal of excitement by the UKZN School of Agriculture. The School have emphasised how the University acknowledges that it has a primary role in agricultural skills provision for the continent, and how agriculture is a critical component to food security and poverty alleviation. UKZN still remains the only one of three South African Universities in the world top 500 rankings, and is the only one of the three that offers a degree in Agriculture. Companies are urged to take advantage of this opportunity by joining this association and growing a direct relationship that benefits the School of Agriculture as well as the organisation and its individual needs which may include internships, research collaboration, recruitment, etc. “Friends of UKZN Agriculture” will be launched on the 25th May 2012, during the Royal Show at the Members Dining Room Hall (near the FNB Terrace) from 3pm-5.30pm. This launch is open to all agribusiness members and UKZN Agriculture Alumni. Please contact Swastika Maney 083 260 8521 or Sandra Badenhorst 082 301 5475 if you would like to attend the event or email

THE OLD MUTUAL JOBERG2C CYCLE RACE he Old Mutual joBerg2c cycle race took place at the end of April. It is a racing, riding and touring event, riding the off-roads less travelled and trails never travelled. The aim is to provide a journey where the destination is less important than the experience along the way. Starting in the south of Joburg and finishing nine days later at Scottburgh at the coast, the ride has an additional mission - to uplift communities, and provide a foolproof way to raise money for schools, churches and charities. The beautiful Midlands is wall-to-wall spectacular cycling, and the community gets involved at many points. In the Kamberg, at Glengarry Resort , Howick Preparatory School learners, staff and parents manage the overnight race village for 350 cyclists and 300 supporters. A hearty thank you is due to the many Howick businesses who sponsored aspects of the Kamberg Race Village. (Pic supplied)


environmental eduCation


Enjoying a visit to the African Bird of Prey Sanctuary are (from left to right) Rotarian Sipho Radebe and staff and learners from Zakhe Agricultural College, Luckford Chombiringwa, Nhlakanipho Hlabisa, Minenhle Ngubane, Phabbile Mkhize, and Thornville Primary School, Vuyiswa Dlamini, Shashnee Sukhoo, Snethemba Khanyile and Zwelisha Mbona. Photo: Jason Londt.

he Rotary Club of Pietermaritzburg continues to support environmental education initiatives. The Club recently sponsored the visit of fifty-four grade eight learners from Thornville Primary School and Zakhe Agricultural College to the African Bird of Prey Sanctuary. Learners were told of the importance of conserving their natural heritage and were enthralled by all they learned about our many birds of prey. The natural fear of large birds with sharp beaks and claws gradually gave was to total fascination of and respect for these masters of the air. One of the highlights was to see the ravenous feeding behavior of vultures and to learn of the serious plight that these birds currently find themselves in. When asked about the effectiveness of the project Rotarian Sipho Radebe said ‘I doubt that there is a better way to learn about biodiversity conservation than to visit an establishment like this and see the work that dedicated people are doing. I wish that every learner in our province could experience what we have experienced today’.



e can’t live without water!” was one of the messages that the Mpophomeni Enviro-club kids wrote for their ‘connecting the dots’ message. For those who were unaware, May 5 was a global day of action organised by, this year’s theme was ‘connecting the dots’. All over the planet people took photographs of themselves with a dot, and a message about how climate change is affecting their lives directly. From Salvador in Brazil came a picture of the effects of rising sea levels, to New York State where apple production has been interrupted by frost. In Cape Town, a group of activists hung a giant dot from the side of Table Mountain, where they reminded us that our country’s icon could become an island in the sea. In Howick, the action centred

around water issues: the uMngeni River Walkers highlighted the connectedness of river issues, another group walked down Symmonds stream, and the Mpophomeni Enviro-club researched and made posters to illustrate the effects of climate change on our wetlands and rivers. The uMngeni River Catchment provides water for over 5 million people, a resource that is worth protecting. Follow the river walkers on their journey down the river at and find out more about what the Mpophomeni Enviro club is doing at .

Meander Chronicle May 2012 E-Paper  

Meander Chronicle May 2012 E-Paper