Who are Mycelium?
Ocean Pollution insert on 50/50
Sustainable Fashion and Skincare on 50/50
Collaborator of the Month: Makoma Lekalakala
To diarise

  • Future of Fashion 2020 Indaba
  • Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden Spring Festival
  • NEWF Short Films on DStv

Interesting reads

  • The future is fungal: why the ‘megascience’ of mycology is on the rise

Resources: We are loving …

  • Clean C’s
  • Chic Mamas Do Care
  • O’live Handmade Soap                                                                                                       


We are very excited to share our first Mycelium newsletter, with some of what we’ve been up to, along with news from our network of collaborators and the wider web of sustainability and regeneration. Mycelium Media Colab has been in existence for just over 2 years now, and whilst 2020 has certainly turned out a lot different than we were expecting, it has seen our co-operative go from strength to strength. Members have been kept busy with both Mycelium projects and other world-changing work in our personal capacities, with organisations like SANOcean, Environmental Humanities South (UCT), Kos Gangsters, Human Rights Media Trust, Soil for Life, and Activate!  A very exciting development has been that Kia Johnson is the new anchor presenter for SABC2’s flagship environmental show 50/50, and Mycelium have produced three stories for the current season, two of which were during Level 4 lockdown. It’s clear that planetary limits are being reached in all corners of the world, but encouraging to be part of the thin green and brown line that is working on regenerative solutions.

Harvest at the Ocean View Organic Farmers – a kos gangsters initiative


Mycelium Media Colab is a collaborative enterprise that uses storytelling to inspire a movement towards a regenerative world. We bring together the talents, skills, resources and energy of multi-media creatives and communicators. We offer a range of professional services and provide income-generating opportunities through the creation and distribution of content, whilst raising awareness of regenerative solutions. We aim to assist young talent grow their skills and make the necessary contacts to share their unique storie and develop professionally.
Membership to the Mycelium Media Colab is open to multimedia storytellers, artists and regenerators that share our vision collaborative and transformative change. It offers a networking and support space for members to share skills and inspiration, and creatively cross-pollinate, as well as a platform and organisational structure for projects that require a team.  Ownership of projects is shared between the creators and the co-operative. Contact for more information and visit




As a WWF Ambassador, 50/50 presenter and Mycelium founding member Kia Johnson feels passionately about efforts to clean our oceans and beaches, taking part in beach clean ups with organisations like the Beach Co-op. Water, our coast and beaches are part of the story, way of life and economy of the Mother City, yet we treat them as our dumping ground. Plastic is a very visible form of coastal pollution, but it is just one way that human waste is contaminating our oceans. In March 2020, as beaches were closed under lockdown, the City of Cape Town published a long-awaited report on the quality of the coastal water entitled Know Your Coast. The water quality maps for 2019 show results from test sites around the coast, and some of the hotspots are near to Cape Town’s most famous beaches and tourist attractions. We explore some of the reasons why.
Watch our 50/50 story on ocean pollution. and to dive deeper watch collaborator Mark Jackson’s film Bay of Sewage and check out aerial photographer Jean Tresfon’s Facebook page.
My childhood was always filled with hiking moments with my parents and camping out with friends and family. One of my highlights was when I finally decided to swim in a plunge pool. I was a bit scared but I did it nonetheless. It was then that I realized just how important water is in our lives. You know it’s easy to forget that our water doesn’t actually come from pipes and taps.   ~ Kia Johnson


ACTION: It’s a nurdle washout! The Shark Spotters Coastal Rehabilitation team have seen nurdles washing up on South Peninsula beaches at Muizenberg, Fish Hoek, Simonstown, Millers Point, Witsands, and Kommetjie.

Do you know what a nurdle is? Nurdles are tiny beads of virgin plastic that are melted down and injection moulded to make a variety of new plastic products. They easily make their way into the food chain when fish and other filter-feeding marine creatures mistake them for eggs and miniature jellyfish.

They need your help to collect and drop them off at one of the Shark Spotters stations where they will weigh them, to get an accurate record of the extent of the pollution and ensure that they are properly disposed of. Please leave a note in your bag where they were collected from and when.



The Mycelium team also recently produced a feature story for 50/50 about sustainable and earth-friendly fashion and skincare.  Everyone likes to look good and for many of us, the latest fashion trends and make-up, play a big part in our unique sense of style, but looking good can come with a hefty price tag for our planet! Unsustainable and unethical manufacturing practices and the use of harmful chemicals and additives are still the norm in the global fashion and beauty industry, worth billions upon billions of dollars. Kia Johnson went on a mission to find South African skincare and fashion brands that offer earth-friendly and ethical alternatives.

WATCH: The story will be broadcast on SABC 2 at 7pm on Monday 9 November and will be available after that on their Youtube Channel


Makoma Lekalakala has long been at the forefront of social movements, tackling issues from gender and women’s rights to social, economic and environmental justice. Makoma has focused on targeting environmental corruption and her commitment to climate justice in SA has led to major civil society victories. She’s been honoured for her role in the legal case against the government and ensuring the reversal of the nuclear energy deal between South Africa and Russia. Watch our story on Makoma on 50/50, created in collaboration with Afristar Foundation. For more wisdom from this powerhouse regenerator, watch Let’s Talk Regeneration. 

The Climate Risks We Face: Daily Maverick

Environmental experts Prof Bob Scholes, Makoma Lekalakala and Our Burning Planet’s Kevin Bloom unpacked a recent report that underlined the top 5 climate risks to South Africa. Among many concerning findings, South Africa has been identified as a “climate hotspot” – a region likely to warm substantially more than the global average. This means that without global efforts to mitigate climate change, certain parts of the country, such as the Limpopo Valley, will become unlivable. If you missed the virtual event and would like to find out what can be done to combat the devastating effects of climate change to South Africa, this article has everything you need to know and you can watch the webinar here.



Future of Fashion 2020 indaba

The Future of Fashion 2020 indaba applies a locally-relevant lens to the topic of ethical and sustainable fashion and creates space for collaborative knowledge-sharing between all stakeholders in the fashion value chain. Future of Fashion will explore the theme ‘African sustainability – our way of being’. While the concept of sustainability seems to be a relatively new concept to many of us living in a largely Western and modern world, many indigenous groups in Africa and across the globe have been living in harmony with nature for thousands of years. There is much to learn about circularity, the shared-economy, sustainable material sourcing and more from these communities whose sustainable practices have stood the test of time. The Sustainable Fashion Awards, in collaboration with Twyg, will be hosted available via livestreaming on the virtual event platform on 19 November.

FREE Masterclasses curated by Jackie May of Twyg and Dr Erica de Greef of African Fashion Research Institute: book tickets here

  • Textile waste: problem or opportunity?  Tuesday, 3 November 2020 @ 11h00 – 12h00 CAT
  • What could a circular and fair fashion industry look like?  Thursday, 5 November 2020 @ 11h00 – 12h00 CAT
  • Does the sustainable fashion conversation lack diversity?  Tuesday, 10 November 2020 @ 11h00 – 12h00 CAT
  • Can we connect slow fashion with our indigenous knowledge?  Thursday, 12 November 2020 @ 11h00 – 12h00 CAT

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden Spring Festival

Free 90 minutes Guided Walks have started again at Kirstenbosch from Monday – Saturday at 10h00. There will only be the one walk per day, from the Visitors Centre (Gate 1). In order to keep visitors to the Botanical Garden safe, visitors are always to please wear their masks unless seated away from other visitors. Garden entry tickets can be purchased at the ticket office or you can book and pay tickets online at Webtickets: Kirstenbosch will allow all learners up to Matric FREE entry to Kirstenbosch on Mondays to Fridays from 22 October to 15 December 2020. Learners can simply ask for free entry at the Kirstenbosch Ticket Office upon arrival and a free entry ticket will be issued.


NEWF Short Films on DStv

A captivating array of impactful and punchy short films focussed around conservation, was exclusively screened by People’s Weather (DStv Channel-180) in the festival component of the 2020 Nature, Environment & Wildlife Filmmakers (NEWF) Congress which took place from 25 to 30 October. All under 15 minutes long, films include filmmakers’ personal journeys of discovery, investigative reports on illegal wildlife trade, educational revelations of species and game parks under threat, spiritual connections with marine life, attempts to overcome fears of nature in all its powerful majesty, and much more. They can be watched online here along with other great content.


Interesting reads

The future is fungal: why the ‘megascience’ of mycology is on the rise

The study of fungi has long been overshadowed by more glamorous scientific quests. But biologist Merlin Sheldrake is on a mission to change that. Fungi will play an ever more crucial role in our understanding of the environment, in a range of new technologies from building materials to sustainable food, packaging products to alternative “leather”, and in our relationship with waste.  The Guardian

Resources: we are loving …
… these initiatives which support our aim of living in a healthier world.

Clean C’s

The Mycelium team had the privilege of joining this NPO of enthusiastic go-getters on a beach clean-up during the filming of our Ocean Pollution insert for 50/50. Join them on the first Saturday of every month for about 90 minutes at Blouberg Beachfront, Melkbosstrand, Sunset Beach,     Woodbridge Island, Muizenberg, Gordons Bay, Big Bay, Sea Point to the right of the pools, Glen Beach, Glencairn, Fishoek and Strand. Muizenberg also has a cleanup on the 2nd Saturday of the month for kids with Disabilities starting at 3pm. or visit them on Facebook

Chic Mamas Do Care

Buying quality pre-loved clothing is a growing trend and more and more South Africans are buying into it… With the clothing industry being a massively polluting industry worldwide, it makes sense to recycle pre-loved clothing. And in our current economic climate, most of us are delighted to get popular brand labels at affordable prices. Chic Mamas Do Care originated in Cape Town. And the NPO now boasts charity fashion exchange outlets in Wynberg, Hout Bay, Durban and Linden, Johannesburg. Since 2011 the they have distributed over R6 million to support Early Childhood Development (ECD),  projects, fundraising through the sale of good quality, pre-loved clothing.

O’live Handmade Soap

Husband and wife team, Sipho and Zikhona Tefu started making natural organic handmade soap in their kitchen so that they could move towards a natural lifestyle and above all relieve their daughter’s eczema. They are passionate about reducing the amount of chemicals and synthetics people unwittingly use on their skin and create organic and natural, handmade skincare. They also offer a soap-making workshop where you can learn to make cold process soaps using skin-loving ingredients such as unrefined shea butter, coconut oil, olive oil, natural essential oils.

Thank you for reading our inaugural monthly newsletter! Please share this with likeminded friends or join our conversations on Facebook and Instagram.