Flying High: A sit down with two extraordinary Durban girls

Flying High: A sit down with two extraordinary Durban girls

Sisters are doing it for themselves. Terence Pillay meets two young Durban girls who are over-achieving in two very different fields

Rylee van Heerden and Neyah Mahabeer / Supplied
Rylee van Heerden and Neyah Mahabeer / Supplied

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My 10-year-old niece, Tylea, is something of an academic over-achiever. In fact, her school sent a letter to her parents asking them to attend a special assembly tomorrow where she will receive a special award. This makes me insanely happy. I love seeing children excel at things. It’s comforting knowing the future is in good hands. 

And today I’m focussing on extraordinary children. I recently came across two young girls who are making their mark on the world stage in areas that you wouldn’t ordinarily expect them to.    

Rylee van Heerden is an 8 year girl from Queensburgh and has just qualified for the BMX World Championships in Belgium. She will compete in a male-dominated sport and this has made her even more determined and focussed. 

More than just racing, Rylee has teamed up with Courtney Raeburn, a Grade 7 pupil to  promote and create awareness for LUPUS. Rylee will be riding in the purple colours of Lupus to highlight this misdiagnosed disease at upcoming World Championships. Courtney was diagnosed with the disease when she was 8 years old.  

The next young achiever is Neyah Mahabeer, a 12-year-old young girl from Westville who won the Pavilion Junior Chef Competition last year. She beat hundreds of hopefuls to take the title, wowing the judges with her Butter Chicken and Thai Chicken curries. 

Neyah has been cooking since she was 6-years-old and will give even some accomplished adult chefs a run for their money. 

Auditions for this year’s Pavilion Junior Chef takes place at the Pavilion on 15 June 2019 and 13 July 2019 from 10am to 2pm outside the Nu Metro Cinema. Children can also Whatsapp a short video of them cooking to 0660771311. 

You can email Terence Pillay at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter: @terencepillay1 and tweet him your thoughts.

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