Meet the Marina gardening team

We’re proud to introduce the team that has been doing such fantastic work around the Marina’s parks and open spaces in recent months.

Led by Staffa Hussein, they are Kondwani Chawanda, Lester Andreck, Hastings Imran, Peter Chirwa and John Banda.

The team spends every Tuesday working in rotation between Uitsig, Park Island and Eastlake/Canon Island. Under the supervision of the MDGA’s four gardening reps – Andie Pycroft, Silvia Stringer, Koemi Rowe and Tina Roberts – they have made a real and very visible difference to our neighbourhood.

Commenting on the Marina gardeners’ contribution, Lise Carswell, who holds the MDGA ExCom’s Parks & Open Spaces portfolio, says: “I am so proud of the work Staffa and his team have done in the last year. The parks and open spaces are looking better than ever. Our fabulous garden reps are coming up with new ideas and really putting a lot of thought into keeping our beautiful suburb looking incredible.”

Hopefully, other residents agree with Lise’s assessment.

Introducing Staffa

When did you set up the Marina gardeners team?

We set it up in April 2021 after many discussions in 2020.

How long have you been in the gardening business?

I first got into the gardening business in 2009, when Marina da Gama was looking for a gardener and got my name from Link. Toni Joubert was the gardening rep at the time and taught me so much. I was also sent on a gardening course led by Gerri Goldblatt, which culminated in a visit to Kirstenbosch.

What are your main challenges?

Gardening in the sandy soils of the Cape Flats is always a challenge. My favourite plant is the restio because not even the southeaster can blow it out of its natural shape.

What have you enjoyed most about the job so far?

I learned so much from Toni Joubert while Richard Midgley and Scott Attfield also gave me a great deal of encouragement as ExCom members. Working with the four gardening reps has been another highlight. Our work is very varied and we do everything from tree pruning to waterwise gardening.

Can you tell us about your family?

I am married to Sophie and we live in Cape Town. We have four children, who are all in Malawi. Our first-born, Kondwani, is studying agribusiness. Our second-eldest, Hope, writes his matric next month, while their twin sisters, Annie and Fatima, are in Grade 9.

A final word?

Many thanks to the Marina residents for appreciating the work we do.

Why not hire a Marina gardener?

If your garden needs a pre-summer lift, why not hire one or more members of the Marina gardening team? The quality of their work speaks for itself and they are always keen to pick up extra jobs wherever possible. From routine maintenance and clearing to more complex tasks, they are available any day – except, of course, Tuesday. Staffa charges a daily rate of R300 for each team member working an 8-hour day between 8.30 and 16.30, with one hour for lunch. To find out more, give Staffa a call on 074 416 4109.