Members

Damien

Hello. My name is Damien Thabo de Wet and I have the honor of being the new custodian of this magical piece of land and the privilege of being able to spearhead this new and exciting chapter of the Khula Dharma journey.

I was born in 1989 and grew up in Grahamstown where I completed my Bachelor of Social Science at Rhodes University in 2013, majoring in Geography and Organizational Psychology and then went on to do my Honors in Human Geography the following year. This marked the beginning of my journey into working with the incredible Moringa tree which ultimately led me here.
Read more
Whilst I spent the majority of my life living in the city, far removed from nature, I am very blessed to have had a godmother who had her own homestead on a small eco-community just outside of Grahamstown which I would visit almost every weekend as a child. This is where I was first introduced to the concept of a group of like-minded people sharing the vision of living together in harmony with themselves, each other and nature and where my connection with the natural world was first established.

My godmother was a life-long friend of my late grandmother, Marion Joan Lacey, who was a respected politics lecturer at Rhodes University, a founding member of the Black Sash organization, as well as a prominent figure in the ANC's freedom struggle. Despite suffering from Multiple Personality Disorder, she still chose to dedicate her life purpose towards fighting at the forefront of the struggle for the liberation of African land and its people from the chains of apartheid. The Marion Joan Lacey Trust has enabled her work to continue by providing the funding to purchase and liberate this land and will continue to be used to uphold her legacy through the Khula Dharma vision. My dream is to follow in the footsteps left by these two deeply wise and influential women and to merge their two visions together by working towards establishing an intentional community of people who wish to dedicate their lives to being of service to both humanity and nature.

My desire to play my part in the ongoing freedom struggle in South Africa has led me on a deep personal quest to find viable solutions to combating the socio-economic crisis plaguing our country's rural areas. This quest led me into the world of Moringa, "the miracle tree", shortly before starting my Honors, whilst I was searching for a topic for my research project. I felt a strong calling to use this opportunity to focus my research on contributing to the local knowledge of Moringa in South Africa as I truly believe this plant has high potential to provide both the nutritional and economic autonomy needed to combat the deepening crisis in South Africa due to its many social, economic and environmental uses and benefits.

My research aim was to critically assess the state of Moringa in South Africa by addressing the underlying social, political and economic aspects surrounding the development of the local industry in order to determine the viability of Moringa becoming an aspect of future sustainable development initiatives such as nutrition intervention programs and pro-poor land/agrarian reform projects. My research findings were however severely disappointing as they highlighted a wide range of deeply complex and overlapping obstacles and challenges which not only compromise its future sustainability but also severely undermine its potential to play a role in transforming the countries rural areas. For a summarized version of my thesis, click here.

My main hope for Khula Dharma is to be able to provide a platform from which to address these obstacles and challenges by first learning more about how to grow and work with Moringa in a local context and to then be able to teach local rural farmers how to incorporate it into natural farming systems. My long term vision is to collaborate with others to establish a more natural and regenerative way of living and to inspire others to work for the greater good, instead of simply for a paycheck, as money tends to corrupt and contort social and environmental values. In other words, to work together in community to create a dynamic, resilient, humble yet high quality lifestyle, that is as independent from the destructive cash economy as possible, that people can learn from to better prepare themselves for the difficult times which lie ahead.

I am deeply honoured to have the privilege of living this lifestyle and look forward to sharing our journey with you all.

Mischa

My name is Mischa Dubrovo.

I was born in Durban, and grew up in the busy city of Johannesburg.
I have a deep passion for holistic self growth through the means of fitness training, and have further explored this path by studying and qualifying as a personal trainer and sports coach. This passion began when I was seven years of age when I began playing sport. I thoroughly enjoy sharing my experience and knowledge with anybody who is hungry for positive change and a healthy challenge.
Read more
When I was 22 I ventured north to join the British Royal Marines; an experience that opened up many channels of thought, changed my views of the world, and is, quite ironically and literally, the reason why I am here today. After serving for 3 years as a soldier, I quickly saw how perverted and blurred the stories about war were. I dug a little deeper and after questioning and finding out the facts, I refused to pick up my rifle ever again, and took a stance of conscientious objection.

A few years and stories later, I fell in love with the people and space now known as Khula Dharma. I am blessed in that I am able to live out my deepest passions and dreams within this special and wonderful place. I am deeply passionate about gift (natural) economy, rewilding, and true liberation through wholesome food and wholesome, natural living. I believe that our natural state is gratitude (gratis, grace). How can one feel poor (lack) when one feels grateful (abundance)? How can one desire more when they truly feel they have enough?

Wherever and whenever I can, I encourage gift economy, because if we are part of nature, and nature works on gift economy, then surely that is our natural state when we are truly and intimately connected to this beautiful Earth that we inhabit?

As for hobbies, I love long walks on the beach, and getting caught in the rain. Aside from spending time on rainy beaches, I am a huge fan of snakes, spiders, bushcraft, off-grid building/living, enduring the elements, and making life as fun as possible!

Let's resist. Let's revolt. Let's rewild, together!

Tim

In 1978 my young family and I moved onto a farm near Mdansane to be close to the people there and to nature. I soon saw the damage caused by conventional farming methods and started searching for healthy alternatives. The outcome of this was Ikhwezi Lokusa farm which now has a mature Permaculture system. At the same time I was developing a regenerative farming system on my farm, I was working with an international NGO. I soon saw that modern farming methods were drastically depleting our soils, and I also saw that ‘community development work’ was, ironically, depleting community.
Read more
I witnessed the conflict caused by money being brought into a community, but somehow even worse, I witnessed the degradation of the environment when people switched their traditional dependency on the environment, to a dependency on money. This microcosm was but a small reflection of our global modern industrial society.

This led to me resigning from my job, to spending about ten years helping people use what they already have to create abundant food production systems. However, even this very rewarding work seemed to carry an uncomfortable contradiction. Here I was teaching people how to break their dependence on an unjust and very destructive agri-business food production system while I was buying food from a supermarket!

This prompted the move to Khula Dharma where with my wife Anne together with Misha and Indira, we are developing a homestead that not only provides us with an abundance of healthy food but also reflects what farms will need to look like if humans are to survive the current mass extinction.

Indira

My name is Indira Duraković,
I am a physically tiny human being from The Netherlands and Bosnia and Hercegovina, Europe. I am passionate about cooking, being creative and, recently, working out. My parents immigrated to the Netherlands as refugees.

Growing up in the Netherlands I discovered that the forced traditional cycle of life of; going to school and get a high degree to find a job that pays well, attain to have money more than one needs, buy a big house, a fancy car, expensive clothes, etc., get married and start a family, and work till you are with one foot in the grave, and at the same time hope you will not get sick before your pension and leave this earth before you can enjoy the fruits of your labor… did not excite me, nor was it a life I ever aspired to live.
Read more
Witnessing my parents, family and friends struggling financially, physically, emotionally and mentally in order to achieve this lifestyle, really cemented this desire and determination within me to live a life free from societal chains; to live differently and alternatively, more environmentally conscious.

I finished an academic course called “International Tourism Studies” and followed it with a Bachelors in “Tourism Studies”. Both were an emotional and mental struggle, but I pushed through for my parents because they were never fortunate enough to finish an education. I also pushed through for myself because it meant I could finally live the life I wanted to. A couple of years ago, I met my best friend, soulmate, and now husband. He stumbled upon the moneyless concept, and from there we decided to join an eco village.

During my time in Khula Dharma, I did my thesis on how eco villages can balance their economic and social impacts in order to remain sustainable long-term since many eco villages crumble, often before they lift-off. I find it important for this planet to have more strong, thriving and healthy eco villages around the world so people can become inspired to live an environmental, social, physical, mental and emotional conscious life. So: question the environment you have lived in your whole life. Never be afraid to live the life you want to. Dare to make a positive difference. I hope to meet you, the reader, sometime in Khula Dharma.

Anne

Hello, I’m Anne - mother, grandmother, friend, teacher, actress, author, card reader, retreat facilitator, with a deep interest in active-dream work and eco-psychology.

Presently, I’m attempting to find ways to live a more simple life; to de-clutter my brain and psyche, and allow myself to move closer to the Earth. I’m turning my attention to the herbs and seeds that I love ... I want to give myself the time to just wander around our farm contemplating on Nature in all her wondrous facets.
Read more
I first visited Khula Dharma in 2005 and in 2010 moved here with Tim, my husband, the well known “Heart of Permaculture” teacher and practitioner. We built our own simple wattle and daub home, use our own rainwater, have a compost loo and solar power.

I have utter respect for wild Animals and a passion for the wild places (see my book www.wildvoices.co.za). Khula Dharma answers this passion to some degree for me in that there are places here that allow us to “feel the wildness” – like the calIs of the Black Backed Jackals in the evening, answered by an owl or a night jar. There is evidence of ant bear, otter and rooikat here although we’ve never seen them while we have seen many snakes and the large monitor lizard that sometimes inhabits our farm dam! We also have bothersome monkeys, as well as the gentle and swift bushbuck and the hungry porcupines.

Presently our homestead is still the only one on the farm and for this reason we are inviting sincere, committed people who have a shared vision, to join us here on the homesteading side of Khula Dharma, to live a life that is real and wholesome and totally rewarding. If you would like a woman’s perspective on this lifestyle, feel free to contact me – wildgoose@keimouth.co.za

Previous

Hello. My name is Previous Mutandwa
I joined Khula Dharma at the start of 2017 and help with the farming here. I really enjoy living here and I feel good and relaxed when I work in the gardens.

I have two Children: Abi and Josh. I moved here with my husband George who sadly passed away recently.
Read more
It is always difficult when you lose someone you love but I try to focus on my children and to be strong for them - I love them so much, they give me so much strength and joy. I thank God for them. I'm happy to be a part of the Khula Dharma family. In my spare time I enjoy fishing, baking and knitting.

Abigail is my first born and she is very smart and loves going to school and learning, after school she enjoys riding her bicycle, helping me with chores, and playing with her little brother. Joshua loves to help out in the garden and entertain all the members of the hill with his funny jokes and his free spirit. They both love each other so much.

Saplings

Angela

Hi, I am Angela and am blessed to be living, with my partner Rob, in the adorable pixie house at Khula Dharma.

My background is in environmental science and climate change studies but I am now loving and learning the practicalities of permaculture, community living and spiritual growth amongst other intriguing things in this little paradise.
Read more
One of my roles on the farm is to coordinate volunteers who quickly become part of the family and have a lot of fun. If you are interested in spending time off the grid and in the garden - please get in touch and come play! When my hands aren't in the soil they are crafting or writing lists, while my feet keep busy yoging, dancing and running.

Rob

Hi Im Rob. I grew up and have lived in the Eastern Cape my whole life.

I love this country with a passion and strive to use my knowledge to help make it and the world a better place. Luckily my parents, from a young age, instilled in me, a love for animals and the world of gardening, which has progressed into me exploring it deeper. In doing so I have progressively, not without its hurdles, delved deep into the world of permaculture and its subsidiaries.
Read more
This has culminated in me moving to Khula Dharma to join and create an incredible team of earth warriors. I live here with my partner, Angela and my Canine companion, ShnickleFritz. I love working the soil, eating homegrown food, exploring the wilderness and dabbling in anything that involves my hands getting dirty. I strive to have fun as much as possible and never really take things too seriously.

Matt

Hi I'm Matt.

I have always been passionate about social justice and community development. This has led me to build my profession within the non-profit space, in particular, entrepreneurship and small business development. I am deeply motivated by the challenges the majority of South Africans face in their pursuit of a living, and see entrepreneurship as a powerful vehicle that can bring many closer to self-empowerment, dignity and decent livelihoods.
Read more
A few years ago I began growing my own food. Once I put my hands in the soil, I knew clearly the lifestyle I desired to live. One that is aligned to nature, one that pays homage to the incredible beauty of this land we call home. I believe that as individuals if we can recognize our patterns of behavior that have led us to where we are facing an environmental crisis, we can put ourselves towards changing these patterns, creating positive transformation within ourselves and our communities.