SHESH & MALCOLM





My friend Tim Ward has pointed out to me that, in many cultures, a MAMBA is something very negative, and I therefore may be confusing my readers by calling "good people" mambas. He has a point. So let me explain again, as I did when I first launched MAMBA OF THE MONTH, that the expression comes from good old Durban Indian street slang. I grew up in Durban, so I'm very familiar with "Charou Slang", so let me assure you that a "mamba" refers to a person of high esteem. Someone who has achieved something significant, or done something you really admire or like. Perhaps the term derives from the fact that the mamba is one of the most dominant snakes of them all. I don't know, but let me assure you, a MAMBA is a person to be well respected! Having said that, this month I have two mambas I must mention briefly. Firstly, you can't keep a good mamba down, so once again I extend my thanks, and I speak on behalf of many happy walkers and joyful dogs, to Bill Spreight who created what I call BILL'S BOULEVARD , the path which he established and maintains for walkers alongside the Umgeni River in Greendale. In recent weeks that heavy rains have turned parts of the path into large swampy, muddy, puddles which are delightful for the dogs, but have had many of the lady walkers squealing in apprehension. Undaunted, and without great fanfare, Bill hired labour to dig trenches and lay drainage piping in these spots. Almost certainly at his own expense. So, for any of you who make good use of BILL'S BOULEVARD, and may feel inclined to help Bill carry the expense of maintaining it, please feel free to donate to the cause. Many thanks Bill! You certainly are a MAMBA! Secondly, Shesh Roberts and her husband have already been well praised by the editor on the front page of this paper, but I would just like to add a few comments. When it comes to animal welfare, dogs in particular, I am always extremely moved by those unique souls who go out of their way, compromise their lives, and make huge sacrifices for the cause. Adi Olivier, who started Funda Nenja, is one, and Shesh Roberts is another. I regard them as nothing less than living Saints! Shesh was living the good life as, what she calls, a La Lucia Lounger where her only daily stress was deciding where she and her well-heeled pals would have a boozy lunch next. But her innate passion to assist animal in dire need saw her give it all up to start her animal rescue sanctuary in the wilds South of Pietermaritzburg. She tells me she does a LOT of weeping, but despite this she is driven to rescue whatever wounded, abandoned, starving, unloved, desperate creatures come to her attention. Her wonderful husband, Malcolm, is a dentist in Umhlanga, Durban, and he tells me that he doesn't know what he will find at the sanctuary next when he returns there on Fridays. And it must be said that my hat is raised equally as high to him, because he is surely footing the substantial bills for the rehabilitation and care of all the furry and feathered creatures which make up their family in the bush. So Shesh, you very dear soul, for the enormity of your sweet heart, the love and care that you so warmly dispense, and for every tear that you weep, with my greatest admiration and love, you are my Mamba of the Month. Bless you, and bless you again!