Ayanda Yekani, from Hamburg, Eastern Cape is a long time standing and active member of Coastal Links South Africa. A traditional fisher and an activist at heart, Ayanda has always taken part in community development, fighting for the rights and development of his community.

Tell us how you go involved with Masifundise and Coastal Links?

In 2006 I got involved with CLSA, after we were not recognised by the MLRA, we then joined Masifundise so that we can get our rights. We were recruited by Mcebisi Kraai, the then field worker for the Eastern Cape.

Where do you fish and what is your favourite catch?

I fish at the river and ocean here in Hamburg and I use a rod and line. My favourite catch is the spotted granter and cob. Unfortunately I have to cook all my catch because of the current permit in Eastern Cape.

Do you have kids, a wife?

No, I do not have a wife, I live alone and I have a daughter of 19 years who stays with her mother.

What is your favourite food and music?

My favourite food is anything that is from the ground and green – spinach, cabbage, lettuce. My favourite music is Reggae music because of the conscious content the music normally has, and also because of the culture of the music.

Do you perhaps have a person you look up to?

The late Govan Mbeki – because of his character, I have met him a while ago when I was a councillor. He had encouraged me to fight for people’s rights and not be selfish in the pursuit of justice – he was a good motivator, a leader who was in touch with his people.

Before CLSA, what were you doing?

I was a former councillor under the banner of ANC.

What challenges are you currently facing as a Hamburg CLSA branch?

There are a number of challenges we are currently facing, some unique to our branch and some similar to what places within rural zones face. These include a high unemployment, and because we are in the rural area, education levels are low and we are far from services that are needed to meet the basic human needs.

What is your message to the broader CLSA membership?

We must be realistic in fighting our struggle we must always practise what we preach. If we make a promise to the members of the movement, we must keep them and communicate our intentions effectively.

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