Sitting in their perfect, secluded house, just off Hely Hutchinson Road, one immediately feels at home. Anita’s photographs are the first thing that catches your eye, before realizing what a lovely home they have, nestled between the beautiful trees of Mtunzini. “We planted those trees when we moved in” Carl comments. Today these trees are massive and make the perfect canopy over their garden patio. What a treat it is to spend time with these two warm intellectuals and listen to some wonderful stories about their life here in Zini.

They moved to Mtunzini 33 years ago and intuitively knew that this was the town where they wanted to raise their children and grow old. Although they are avid travelers, they call Mtunzini their home. When reflecting on raising children in Zini, Anita says it was quite an adjustment moving from a big city to our little village. One afternoon, their son did not come home after school and upon calling the school, the principal calmly said that he probably went home with a friend. “That would never happen in the city, but in Mtunzini, it is the way children grow up”. Every afternoon, Carl and Anita jumped into the bakkie, met up with a couple of friends and went to the beach for a little braai and sundowners. The kids would run around, surf, fish and slide down the dunes. Back then one could still drive on the beach. “Raising our children in Mtunzini was one of the best decisions we ever made! There is a sense of freedom here, even after all these years.” Anita says with pride.

After moving from Pretoria, Anita was an Afrikaans lecturer at Zululand University before taking up photography. Today she is still one of our country’s most talented photographers and photojournalists. She has seen the world and has done a lot of work for Country Life magazine. In recognition for her work in travel photojournalism, Caxton Publishing has awarded her several Excellence Awards. Today she manages and leads photography workshops and courses.

Carl is the Managing Editor for the Zululand Observer. He has played major roles in our media. For a long time, he was also a sportswriter for TV news. He covered breakthrough stories, with time not always on his side, and as he explains his life’s work, one sees the reminisce in his eyes as he talks about the rush and adrenaline that comes with being in the journalism industry. Carl has a sense of tranquility about him. He is enjoying the local news and still basks in being able to do what he loves.

Both Carl and Anita served on the town council for a number of years. Here is where their influence in Mtunzini gets interesting. Most of us enjoy the scenic view from Hely Hutchinson street overlooking the lagoon, conservancy and of course, the ocean. What we don’t know is that in the early years, Eucalyptus trees were growing all over that area. Eucalyptus trees are alien invasive trees, that disturb the natural ecological system which has a chain effect regrading wildlife. The water-table was not in balance and it had a huge effect on plant growth during this time. Anita describes the area as a dry hardened grassland section. In her time serving on the council, she was part of a team with Annemarie Tait and Ian Garland , whom went to work to restore the ecological balance of the view we have today. Can you imagine how it would have looked if they didn’t roll up their sleeves and restored this amazing section of land?

For both of them, life is about balance and they firmly believe that improvement and advancement does not happen overnight. They are also proud to see their work flourishing and making a difference. In doing this, this couple are leaving something behind – a legacy. The idea of using what you have to inspire and influence others is an important lesson they want to carry over. . They want the next generation to learn from the past and strive to make take the town better…. That off course makes them Mtunzini Legends.