New Beginnings


Nkulu Mdladla and Vusi Hoyi at Shea O’ Connor for the last time, by Nikki Brighton

Finishing school is all about beginnings, not endings. Last week thousands of students across KZN rejoiced as they received their Matric results and ‘life after school’ became real.

Vusi Hoyi and Nkulu Mdladla have been pals since Grade One at Shea O’Connor School in Nottingham Road. Together they have been the back-bone of the schools Eco-Committee, instrumental in earning their school International Eco-Schools status. They fondly remember the heated discussions around their special enviro-days calendar, observing learners working hard to make the world a better place and celebrating years of hard work with excursions into the wilderness. Now the whole world awaits.

Vusi, who achieved four distinctions, is heading to Rhodes University to do Environmental Science with a few Law subjects included too. “I am so excited to be studying things I am REALLY interested in. I am drawn to environmental law because I believe that law is one of the only concrete ways of changing people’s views on environmental issues such as rhino poaching, the destruction of wetlands in favour of agriculture, and other threats to the environment and the people that inhabit it.” he says. “I have already decided to join the Mountain Hiking Club – I love walking and I really can’t wait!” N3TC is assisting Vusi with a bursary to cover the cost of travel and textbooks, so his future looks really bright.

Nkulu is fascinated by photography and film and has signed up for a short course in film making in February. He will also be capturing stories of peri-urban life for the Meander Chronicle from his new home in kwaMpumuza. “I love it here. The hills are beautiful and green, there is space to walk, cows everywhere and the people are so friendly.” It is a lot noisier than peaceful Nottingham Road, but the nightlife is very good! Nkulu has a natural affinity with animals and children and enjoys quiet time alone, somewhat unusual amongst his peers. He believes that his interest in photography, combined with a passion for nature has the potential to influence others to care about environmental issues too.

Watch this space for news of our Midlands stars as they venture enthusiastically into the big, wide world. Making new friends and experiencing new things while staying connected to the Earth and their roots.