Mbekezele Ngcobo (28) from Louisana, inland of Umtentweni, is a true green hero.
It’s a long story how he became a passionate environmentalist but he joined The Green Net about two years ago, and has flourished with the knowledge he has learnt from nature.
“The Green Net inspired me, learning about nature also teaches you about humanity – how to be a good human. Everything in life needs each other to survive, we are all here for a purpose.”
Helen Dodge, founder of The Green Net, said Mbekezele is phenomenal when it comes to understanding and recognising plants and trees.
“He is a great teacher and has a wonderful multi-understanding of the ‘cycle of life’ and that we all rely on each other to co-exist,” she said.
Mbekezele is greatly involved in educating children at schools on how to make their own vegetable gardens. This programme is sponsored by Roots and Shoots, founded by Dr Jane Goodall, and every Tuesday he goes to Louisana Primary School.
Mbekezele believes ‘you are what you eat’ and if you eat poison (pesticides from store-bought foods) it will affect you.”
Last year, he completed an extensive nine-day Permaculture Plant course at Secret Sithela in Munster.
He has volunteered at Bendigo Reserve a number of times, and most recently, Bendigo Conservancy Group sponsored Mbekezele to do a three-day Alien Invasive Plants (AIP) course in Bazley.
Most of the work, Mbekezele does is voluntary which says a lot about his love for nature. Not easy, when he has a family to support.
Every Thursday, Mbekezele together with Blessing Mzobe also volunteer in the garden at the Catholic Church in Sea Park – weeding, making compost or building ecobricks.
An ecobrick is a plastic bottle densely packed with used plastic to create a reusable building block that achieves plastic sequestration. Ecobricks can be used to produce various items, including furniture, garden walls and other structures.
So far, The Green Net has built two ecobrick benches – one at Tweni Beach and another at the Catholic Church.
Amazingly, 250 two litre bottles make a bench which equates to 500kg of single-use plastic.
Mbekezele will be involved in The Green Net’s next big project of removing alien invasive plants and trees from St Faiths, after it was discovered that the natural streams had dried up in the area.
If you would like to get an ecobrick item built or get involved in contributing towards making the ecobricks or any of The Green Net’s projects contact Helen on
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