Facilitator, Wildlife and Environmental Society of South africa
In a family of engineers Preven Chetty sticks out like a
sore thumb. He spent his childhood hiking along the
banks of rivers, investigating them and cleaning them up
� and this has been his passion ever since.
Born and bred in KwaZulu-Natal, he sees rivers as the
current running through life; everything is connected
and what happens upstream affects what happens
After high school Chetty went to Chennai, India, where
he studied classical music, becoming profi cient on the
veenai, a 5 000-year-old Indian stringed instrument.
He returned to South Africa in 2002 and studied
environmental science at the university of KwaZulu-Natal,
later becoming a geography teacher.
Four years ago Chetty joined the Wildlife and
Environmental Society of South Africa, where he runs
a course in environmental education. His use of a
documentary using cellphones and social networking
sites to inspire and motivate communities living on
the banks of the umgeni River to take better care of
the water system earned him a place as a fi nalist in the
inaugural Rolex Awards for Enterprise: Young Laureates
Programme. Although he did not win, Chetty still plans to
run the project: he's sourcing funding and hopes to get it
off the ground by July.
He is currently studying for his master's degree in
environmental education at Rhodes university, looking at
the use of social networking sites to create environmental
As a representative of the Howick unit of the united
Nations Regional Centre for Expertise, a network of
educational institutions focusing on the delivery of
education for sustainable development, he was, at the
time of writing, planning a trip to Brazil.
Chetty, who lives in a cottage on a farm in Howick,
where he keeps a rooster and some chickens for
eggs, and gets his milk from the farm, is the lead
singer of a band called the Tantric Monks, which plays
environmentally-conscious rock songs.
� Tarryn Harbour
Lunch spot: Picnic at Karkloof Falls, Howick