Monwabisi Sikweyiya

‘My colleague Monwabisi, or Monwa, Sikweyiya is our field manager. He was born and raised in Khayelitsha, one of the biggest townships in Cape Town, and developed a love for the beach from an early age. He joined the local surf lifesaving club at the age of 15 and as well as being a lifeguard at his local beach he took part in the Learn 2 Swim programme, teaching young kids from the townships to swim so that there would be fewer drownings over the festive period.

‘In 2004 Monwa caught the attention of Greg Bertish, a founding member of Shark Spotters. He and Patrick ‘Rasta’ Davids were appointed the first spotters in Cape Town, pioneering the programme and contributing greatly to its success. Now Monwa is responsible for overseeing our on-the-ground operations and for training new spotters. His bravery and quick thinking in response to a shark bite incident on Clovelly beach in 2011 led to an award from the mayor of Cape Town. By administering first aid directly, Monwa contributed to saving the victim’s life.

written by Sarah Warries