Emlyn is 10 years old and lives with his family near Cape Town in South Africa’s Western Cape Province. Emlyn is the proud owner of a Qhubeka Buffalo bicycle, which he earned through the Wildlands project in his region. He grew 159 indigenous tree seedlings, which he then traded with Wildands for his bike.
Emlyn’s mom earned a bicycle in 2011, but it was unfortunately stolen. Thankfully, Emlyn’s hard work has paid off and the family once again has a sturdy Qhubeka bicycle. Lauren Laing of Wildlands spoke to Emlyn and discovered that this plucky youngster plans to keep growing trees to trade. With his next tree trade, he hopes to pay his own school fees and get a school uniform. He loves school, but with both his parents having been retrenched, it’s difficult to afford it.
Emlyn’s family does receive a government grant and tries to spend this wisely. There’s no money for luxuries though. But Emlyn’s bicycle provides hours of fun for him as he rides it after school and on weekends. He also shares it with his brother Antonio and his sister Caithlin.
Emlyn would love to ride his bicycle to school, like many other recipients of Qhubeka bikes. Unfortunately, because of the threat of crime in the area in which he lives, he is unable to do so. Nevertheless, his bicycle has changed his life. The family now has access to a form of transport, the children have a robust bicycle to play with, which not only provides them with fun, but with exercise, and Emlyn has learnt valuable tree-growing skills that he plans to put to good use for further trades with Wildlands.
As you can see in the photo, Emlyn couldn’t be prouder of his yellow Qhubeka bicycle.