For some reason, I came across two stories about successful Durbanites yesterday. And the best part? They both still live here!

Neil Coppen, who is well known on the Durban Theatre scene as a multi-talented writer-producer-director extraordinaire has just been awarded the Standard Bank Young Artist Award (Theatre). Known for plays such as Tin Bucket Drum and the highly acclaimed Tree Boy, Neil told the Sunday Tribune (yes, I was only reading the SM yesterday – I read the front pages with the news that will date on Sunday and keep the other bits for later in the week) that he had resisted the urge to leave Durban for years.  “I feel a sense of duty to stay here and do what I can to tap into the abundance of creativity that exists in the province… While I love working in different provinces, I have resisted relocating from KZN to Johnannesburg or Cape Town. People often think I am crazy for not doing so, and I understand their reasoning in terms of industry, opportunity and recognition. But I have always maintained, or rather hoped, that it is not a question of which dorp you create from but the quality of the work that will determine its impact.” Isn’t that fantastic and very inspiring for all us stalwart lot determined to make it work it this city?

Pic by Sean Laurenz

For more information about Neil’s award see Neil’s Blog on the the Standard bank Young Artist website (click on the pic for his Q&A for the award) I can’t link you to the Sunday Tribune story as the paper is subscription only online.

The other Durbanite that I was thrilled to hear about is jewellery designer Kirsten Goss. This may be old news to some of you, but Kirsten went off to London as many young South Africans did and started up a jewellery label. Her London store did incredibly well and even SJP owns a Kirsten Goss necklace! She has since returned to Durban and opened a store and studio here. She lives in Durban with her husband and regularly commutes to London.

This necklace is called “The Tiger.”

Her jewellery is made with semi-precious stones, often in several strings of contrasting colours, which make for bold statement pieces. Kirsten’s range also includes delicate, filigreed gold and silver pieces which are less daring but just as exquisite. Her peices are all one-off or limited edition and can be bought online or in certain, selected stores.

And, yes, sigh, I am coveting The Tiger…

For more about Kirsten see this interview. You can find her store at 45 Eighth Avenue, Morningside, Tel: +27 31 312 7573; Email: or