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Gladys Zulu is up at sparrows every morning hard at work firing up her oven and putting in the first batch of bread to bake. The aroma of freshly-baked loaves soon fills the air and these are swiftly loaded up and dispatched to the vendors/feeding schemes and local communities to be served with the day’s meal.

Gladys – based in Marianhill – is the proud owner of a bread-making oven donated by The Iqraa Trust – and is part of Celebrate Life SA’s oven-projects scheme. “I know what it’s like to be hungry and worry about when I will get my next meal,” Gladys says. “Now that I am standing on my own two feet it is my chance to give back to the community and help others.”

Gladys had been baking cakes at home before Cherry Armstrong, executive director of Celebrate Life SA – and her non-profit organization – earmarked her as a recipient for an oven. “I can now bake bread, snowballs, Chelsea buns, rolls and pizzas and supply these to my community.” Gladys is one of nine bakers who – through the assistance of the NPO – man their wood-fired ovens every day – churning out four loaves of bread every 25 minutes. Celebrate Life has supplied ovens in KwaZulu Natal since 2014, each providing an income to three people per oven (on average), and the numbers are growing with more sponsorship coming in.

The micro-bakeries are distributed by Mama Mimi’s, an organization founded in 2012, which implements the programme within rural communities throughout South Africa. Celebrate Life is hoping to install “cells” of ovens in communities (which consist of 20 ovens in each area) Armstrong explains. “For this, we have a mobile full-time mentor on the ground checking on each baker daily to ensure s/he is baking correctly and putting out the required amount of loaves a day.” Bakers are taught how to run a business, manage their income, place orders and basic skills like cleaning their oven. Once up-and-running the bakers sell their bread to family and neighbours at a substantially lower price than that which is brought into the area for sale. “Celebrate Life’s objectives are to establish township entrepreneurs and – through ongoing support and mentorship – keep them sustainable,” explains Armstrong. The founder of the NPO is passionate about its various fundraising undertakings, and has been ever since she took her first step in training to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in 2005. That first fundraising mission raised R1 million for Durban’s Hospice. The next was for The Tusk Trust – a project to save the rhino from poachers and death – and Thula Thula Rhino Sanctuary.

“We decided – while out in the surrounding rural, impoverished areas – that if we could place sustainable oven projects in the communities near game reserves, we could assist with the poaching problem in giving these people an income to stop the bribery on spotting rhino and reporting to poachers. “We also noticed the state of disrepair of various upliftment programmes which had previously received funding and been established by other organisations. Some of these enterprises had languished due to not being maintained by the residents.” The parable “Give a man a fish, he will eat for a day. Teach him to fish, he will eat for a lifetime,” is the ethos behind Celebrate Life’s project. “Recipients have to take ownership of the project, learn how to make it sustainable and beneficial to the area in the long term,” Armstrong emphasizes. “That is where our mentorship – supplied by Celebrate Life comes into play. Once successful the home-baker can make a good daily living, providing the neighbourhood with affordable bread to feed their families.

“In Gladys’ case she now earns a viable income and provides an abundance of products for the local community,” Armstrong explains.  However, the Bread-Oven Project needs funding for it to be introduced into various areas. All funds raised contribute towards the setting up of the ovens and the mentorship.   The appeal goes out to corporate entities (like the Iqraa Trust) to get involved in sponsoring the programme. Companies can participate by donating an oven (R25 000) which is a fully-equipped bakery. The cost includes mentoring and training. The oven can be branded and a further R2 500 per month donation enables the baker to provide extra loaves on a monthly basis to supply nearby schools or orphanages.

Donor’s staff can visit the community project they support – which makes it a rewarding CSI project. “Donors who are BEE registered can accumulate BEE points as Celebrate Life holds both an SED certificate and can issue an 18A Tax Certificate for tax savings. From a business perspective the contribution to the community is a financially-savvy one,” Armstrong adds. “As South Africans, we do not need to wait for the government to address the poverty problem. Each and every one of us can contribute in a small way to start the river of change. As citizens, we can begin this wave and transform it into a tsunami. Crime and murder would be radically reduced if we all found a project and contributed to our dire poverty situation,” she said.

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I heart Market – February Sale Market Saturday 3 February: 9am – 2pm



February is the month of love and the I heart Market will celebrate with its traditional bi-annual “sale” market on Saturday 3 February from 9am to 2pm at  Northlands Primary School, in Durban North.

Following two busy and packed festive season markets in its new home at Northlands Primary School, which was well received by customers, February’s I heart Market will offer a range of discounted products.

“We were over the moon with the turn for our first markets at Northlands Primary, with a steady stream of customers, and great sales for our traders who are all small business entrepreneurs,” enthuses Manager of the Market, Tanith Molliere. “Our February market is kind of the “January Sales” market with great offers to help those budgets that may have been stretched during the holidays.”

February’s Market promises a magical shopping experience with wares created with love and care by local artisans and small businesses, reflecting a deep commitment to their artistry and craft.  With Valentine’s Day just around the corner – there will also be a gorgeous array of “romantically-inspired” products available.

As always, the market is filled with handmade treasures ranging from fine leather goods, unusual ceramics, exquisite jewellery and accessories, innovative visual art, home decor, plants, clothing, condiments and pickles, cured meats, a delightful selection of delicious baked goods. Of course, the usual mouth-watering array of food truck eats, catering to every palate including vegan and vegetarian.

There is also a secure play area for children between the ages of 1 and 6, with qualified Teacher’s Assistants in attendance available for the morning for those parents who want to take a break to shop or enjoy some delicious food. There is a fee of R100 for the morning or part thereof. A “pram park” is also available for people to leave their prams whilst shopping to help avoid congestion in the hall.

The market is housed in the school hall and surrounding gardens from 9am to 2pm, and takes place rain or shine as most of the traders are under cover.  Parking is available in designated school areas, with security guards to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

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East Coast Radio House + Garden Showcases Diverse Crafts and DIY Experiences




The East Coast Radio House + Garden Show is back, and this year it promises to be a haven for craft enthusiasts and those seeking interactive DIY experiences. Crafting has come a long way from scrapbooking and papier-mâché, we have an incredible line up of specialist crafters that will expand your imagination! With a focus on engaging activities for all, this year’s craft traders will offer a variety of hands-on experiences at their stalls. From crafts for the kiddies to offerings for health and beauty enthusiasts and creative entrepreneurs, visitors can expect an exciting showcase of talent, innovation, and creativity.

Craft for the Kiddies
A Toy for You, distributor of toy brand Melissa & Doug, will be a highlight of the East Coast Radio House + Garden Show. Renowned for their classic wooden toys and realistic pretend play sets, Melissa & Doug products inspire creative thinking through screen-free open-ended play. At the show, visitors will have the opportunity to see and purchase top Melissa & Doug items that are well-crafted and designed to ignite the imagination. The exhibit will also feature a colorful and creative play zone where children can engage with popular toys, such as a wooden kitchen, art easel, and wellness area. Daily themed activities, including sand art and slime workshops, will also be hosted, providing children with countless ways to encourage creativity, imagination, learning, and discovery.

Craft for Health and Beauty Enthusiasts
Alchemists’ Lab offers a unique and new way to experience self-care. With a focus on discovering top-notch, safe, and naturally derived skincare products for diverse skin types, The Alchemists’ Lab sources and develops high-quality, locally sourced ingredients. Visitors to their exhibit will have the opportunity to engage in a live interactive Bath Bomb and Bath Salts Station. Participants can personally tailor their products using premium ingredients, choosing scents, colours, and botanicals to create bath bombs and salts that suit their preferences. This immersive crafting experience allows individuals to unleash their creativity and produce items that bring joy and tangible health benefits. In addition to exclusive show discounts, visitors who tag Alchemists’ Lab on social media will receive a promo code for their online store. Every purchase made at their stall during the House + Garden Show will enter visitors into a giveaway to win an entire range of their products.

Craft for Creative Entrepreneurs
Cricut™, a worldwide phenomenon and pioneer in smart cutting machines, opens doors for small business owners and creative individuals through their user-friendly app and versatile devices. Their cutting-edge technology enables the personalisation of various items, from custom cards to unique apparel. At the East Coast Radio House + Garden Show, the highly anticipated EasyPress 3 will be made available for purchase. This portable heat press combines speed and convenience with the genius of the Cricut Heat™ app. Visitors at the Cricut stand will have the opportunity to participate in a “spin the wheel” activation and win the chance to personalise a mug, water bottle, or t-shirt free of charge. The aim is to inspire creativity through hands-on experiences, ensuring that everyone leaves the Show with a sense of accomplishment and takes home a personalised item they can cherish. Make sure to visit the Cricut stand for daily prize giveaways and stand a chance to win an exciting Business In A Box competition.

“The East Coast Radio House + Garden Show offers a unique platform for craft traders to showcase their talents and engage visitors in exciting DIY experiences. Whether it’s exploring the world of imaginative play, indulging in self-care through customised products, or unlocking creativity for aspiring entrepreneurs, you will find an array of creative exhibitors ready to inspire your inner artist,” shares Cairey Baxter-Bruce, Show Director of the House + Garden Show.

For more information and to stay updated on the latest news about the East Coast Radio House + Garden Show sponsored by Plascon, visit or follow @housegardenshow on Instagram and Facebook.

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Green Corridors LitterBooms Team Urges Action to Combat Plastic Pollution on World Oceans Day (8 June)



As part of its observance of United Nations World Ocean Day (8 June) Durban-based Green Corridors urges action from citizens to combat plastic pollution as part of its drive to try to reduce the amount of plastic waste flowing into the oceans in our rivers.

World Ocean Day is an observance day set to remind all global citizens of the “major role the oceans have in everyday life. The purpose of the Day is to inform the public of the impact of human actions on the ocean, develop a worldwide movement of citizens for the ocean, and mobilize and unite the world’s population on a project for the sustainable management of the world’s oceans.”[1]

1869: Photo by Val Adamson: Jabulani Ngwenya and Sifiso Luvuno – Green Corrirdors Team community members from Johanna Road clear the waste from the litter boom on an Umgeni River tributary.

One of the critical interventions that countries are looking at is how to prevent plastic going into the ocean. Green Corridors, is an NGO that looks after green spaces and supports communities to work with these spaces, has installed 16 litterbooms onto waterways in the eThekwini Municipality to minimize the flow of plastics into the Indian Ocean.

These litterbooms are large plastic pipes that trap floating waste; the waste is collected by local community co-ordinators, and sorted. Plastics that are not able to be recycled are taken to the Green Corridors KwaMashu Materials Beneficiation Centre and through a process combined with other materials are converted into “green” pavers.

Siphiwe Rakgabale: Green Corridors litterboom co-ordinator and director of Tri-Ecomvelo, Siphiwe Rakgabale at a previous SAFRIPOL/Green Corridors beach clean up

Green Corridors’ litterboom co-ordinator, Siphiwe Rakgabale, says, “There is something like 75- 199 million tons of plastic waste floating about in the oceans, mostly flowing into the sea from rivers. This plastic pollution not only endangers marine biodiversity but also contributes to climate change.”

“Last year Green Corridors were able to remove 2 tons of plastic from our 16 litterbooms,” says Rakgabale. “But this is a fragment of what could be captured and redirected. The waste comes down these water ways through the inappropriate use of storm water drains, lack of waste management services around informal settlements and lack of awareness amongst consumers about the impact of the products they buy”

Green Corridors is calling upon governments, businesses, communities, and individuals to take action and support initiatives that help to minimize the waste flowing into the oceans.

“By investing in sustainable waste management systems, promoting recycling, and raising awareness about the importance of reducing plastic consumption, we can create a positive and lasting impact on our oceans and the planet as a whole,” says Rakgabale.

Aerial view of Blue Lagoon and Durban’s spectacular coastline – with the Beachwood Mangroves in the foreground. Reasons to care for our waterways and ensure we keep waste away from the rivers as they affect the health of our oceans. Green Corridors has 16 litterbooms set up on rivers around Durban to try to prevent waste from flowing into the oceans. Photo TCM Photography/Green Corridors

Green Corridors will participate in a number of events during the month of June to create awareness around waste management and recycling related to the oceans:

  • On Saturday 10 June at the World Oceans Day Swim Green Corridors will have a stand at the Durban Beach Club where you can meet the team involved in the litterboom, and clean-ups.
  • Also on Saturday 10 June from 2pm, the KwaMashu School of Dance Theatre will be performing at the Global Water Dance Festival at Green Corridors – Green Hub open Grass area.

For more information about Green Corridors go to

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