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Six of the best from 2018/2019

MC Hilton Train

The Meander Chronicle team paused to look back at some of the stories which we enjoyed and which have made an impact over the past two years.

** Long neglected, the Hilton Train Station, slap bang in the middle of the beautiful Midlands village, was in need of some serious TLC. Members of the Hilton Steam Heritage Association took the bull by the horns and, having put in many hours, organised security and made sure that painting, weeding and landscaping were done. The historical pieces in the museum have been restored and properly displayed, work is ongoing to restore and clean up locomotives.

At a recent function, the Station Stop coffee shop was launched and is gathering steam.

** What started as somewhat of a hobby for Mooi River’s Thuli Mncube turned into a small business for members of her family. Thuli started Senzokuhle Community Projects in 2010 to help provide a source of income for those close to her.

Showing off some of the goods they produce are, clockwise from back left, Zanele Mncube, Jellina Shezi, Gertrude Mncube, Gladys Mncube, Thuli Mncube, Zandile Manana, Noxolo Mncube, Thandi Mncube and Nonkululeko Ntombela. Picture: Nerissa Card

The team of about 10 ladies crochets beautiful bathroom and kitchen products, such as mats and toilet mats, and oven gloves, which are stocked by local retailers and hospitality venues.

Mooi Loft keeps samples of the products for order, as does Blueberry Café, near Nottingham Road. The client list includes Hartford House and Sycamore Tree Houses.

You have to work hard to make it, says Vincent Mgwaba. Vincent, with his trusty bakkie and the baling machine he built. Picture: Garth Johnstone

** Vincent Mgwaba of Rosetta told us of his gruelling work schedule and determination to make it in business. Vincent, who also employs family members, has two businesses: he supplies vegetables which are grown on his smallholding in Rosetta and is also well-known in the community for his garden services. Seven days a week is his recipe for success.

Tai Verster was one of The Meander Chronicle’s featured young entrepreneurs. This is part of a regular column sponsored by The Midmar Group. Picture Nerissa Card

** The Meander Chronicle started a “young entrepreneurs” column, which has proved very popular. Our very first column was about then 11-year-old Tai Verster, who “is not one to sit around playing computer games all day. He is out making money.”

At that stage (although we’re sure this inspirational kid has new ventures on the go), Tai was making firelighters out of organic egg boxes and leftover candle wax, which he sold at a local collectibles store and via Facebook.

He also had his own garden-service business and aimed to buy a brush cutter.

Tai had made R720, R180 of which he had donated to the SPCA.

** Mpophomeni township near Howick faces serious environmental challenges with litter, illegal dumping, water wastage and sewage pipe bursts. The latter, tragically, sees sewage flowing into the Mthinzima stream, which feeds into Midmar Dam.

Enviro Champs who are working with Umgeni Water, Umgungundlovu District, DUCT and Wildlands to tackle sewage and other environmental problems in the area. Community activist Pha Mabaso is on the right. Picture: Garth Johnstone

The sewage runs in the stream outside people’s properties. A group of environmental activists who work in the township spent some time explaining the issues, their challenges and frustrations and the efforts made to turn things around.

** Where does she find the time and energy? A full-time domestic worker, education co-ordinator for her church and the founder of a feeding scheme in Bruntville, Nobuhle Khanyile is studying business administration and management through Unisa.

Nobuhle Khanyile of Mooi River works hard to improve levels of education in Northern Natal. Picture: Supplied

Nobuhle spoke to us about how her church raises money every year to send 60 disadvantaged KwaZulu-Natal youngsters to university.

Honourable mentions:
Swopping the big smoke for stunning Rosetta; read about the journey of local entrepreneur Katherine Morrow

Reading grans build learning platform for Midlands kids

Early childhood education centre boosts Ntuli Village

Main picture, top: Sponsors and members of the Hilton Steam Heritage Association with the Class One locomotive painted by Howick High pupil Hannah Finch, second from left. Picture: Garth Johnstone

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