Transforming Lives Through Surfing and Mentorship

The Surfers Not Street Children team are all youngsters who found themselves living on the streets of Durban as street children due to an array of social problems.

They have transitioned their lives through a fusion of surfing, psychosocial support and mentorship.  Each of the team members has a desire to be part of ensuring that no child has to live on the streets as they did and uses their own stories and surfing to inspire other children around the world. The Surfers Not Street Children ambassadors range between the age of 17 and 23 and are on a journey in their own lives, through the project, of becoming self sustainable and independent. This can mean education, skills training, life skills, counselling, mentorship and apprenticeships. All are working towards a vocation and employment. 

The team

2015

Andile Zulu

  • Surfer

Andile Zulu joined one of Tom Hewitt’s surfing programs for street children after finding himself living in the streets as a child. He had lost his father and mother to disease. He has trained as a surf school instructor. He travelled to the UK in 2013 with Surfers Not Street Children where he spoke of his life experiences and also surfed in local competitions.

Sfiso “Ntaka” Ngcobo

  • Surfer

Sfiso “Ntaka” Ngcobo is the newest arrival to the team. he joined Tom Hewitt’s surfing project for street children when he was a street child. He had lost his parents to disease after literally growing up in the streets. He is also training as a joiner. He surfs at New Pier.

Ntando Msibi

  • Surfer

Ntando Msibi was orphaned as a young child and lived on the streets of Durban. He joined Tom hewer’s surfing prorgamme for street children in 2009 where he learnt to surf and was also able to turn his life around. Hh was elected to surf for South Africa at the ISA World Surfing Championships in Ecuador last year and has been selected again to represent South Africa in California this year.

Sfiso Mhlongo

  • Surfer

Sfiso Mhlongo found himself living in the streets as a child due to problems in his neighbourhood. Since joining on of Tom Hewitt’s surfing programmes and transitioning his life, he has been reunited with his mother and trained as a joiner. He is now an apprentice joiner. He has his KZN Colours in surfing and also reached the semi finals of the SA Longboarding Champs this year despite being a shortboard surfer. He mostly surfs at New Pier.

Mthobisi Shange

  • Surfer

Mthobisi Shange lost his mother too. he ended up in the streets where other members of his family lived. he firstly came into Tom Hewitt’s street children project as a football player but soon learned to surf (he still loves soccer!) he has since trained as a coffee Barista at a restaurant on Durban’s beachfront where he has been promoted to training as a chef. He surfs at New Pier.

Sfezzie Khubeka

  • Staff

Sfezzie grew up in KZN and has taken a keen interest in street children over the last few years, developing a great rapport with the team. She is a volunteer for the organisation as she is at University. She assists the team in their maths development and in other areas of their lives. She is also the head of the new Surfers Not Street Children ‘Girls Ambassadors’ group.

Vukani Mhluzi

  • Staff

Vukani grew up in the Eastern Cape of South Africa and was one of the children in the first street children project that Tom Hewitt worked with. He joined that project in 1994 and grew up there getting his Matric school leavers certificate and going on to study for a diploma in financial management. Some years later Tom employed him at the project for street children that he was running at the time called Umthombo where he trained as a Child and Youth-care worker. He then joined Surfers Not Street Children as Operations Director in 2014. Vukani started surfing in 2010 and is a regular at New Pier.

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