Meet Nic, Ian and Ncedo – three local Ballito men who are, without a doubt, making moves and waves within their respective industries. We sat down to chat to them about their passions, involvements and exciting, successful business endeavours.
Ncedo Koyana aka. “Chester”
“In 1995, Chester Williams was playing in the World Cup, and my friends at school couldn’t say ‘Ncedo’. So ‘Chester’ became my nickname, and it stuck with me,” Chester laughs. Growing up in East London, schooling at Selborne College, Chester quickly realised that sport would play a significant role in his life. After matriculating, he was awarded a contract with the Sharks and represented South Africa (in what was the SA U19s back then) and played in two world cups. Unfortunately, at 21 years old, Chester suffered a severe injury that ended his professional playing career. However, it allowed him to get into coaching. “My passion for coaching was not only on the field but off the field too. I wanted to bring out the gold in these guys, not just in rugby, but as young men too,” he explains. In 2012, Chester, his wife Athi and kids Sine and Ama came to the LIV village. Athi integrated herself into the marketing team, and Chester coached sports. They were at LIV for eight years, where Chester headed up in sports and became the CEO of the village. In 2020, they found their home in Salt Rock and Chester took on an exciting contract with the Kolisi Foundation, focusing on Education and Sports Development.
He became involved with Sport For Lives, started by Chris Kingsley of Hilton College and Jono Kruger of Selborne College. “They have both been dreaming of a better South Africa for all”, he explains. Their motto, “activating generosity through sport,” is truly the core of their identity. “It’s a platform for people to be generous: with their time, finances, and knowledge”, Chester explains. Chris started by taking the U15A school rugby team to an orphanage, and they got to learn more about it. He created a space for the children to watch and support the U15A rugby team. For every try that they scored, the parents and supporters of their team would pledge money towards the orphanage that they were supporting. They raised close to R150 000 for their chosen orphanage in the first year. “It’s about setting up the platform for the kids from more privileged schools and backgrounds to go out, use their resources and assist the less fortunate”, Chester describes. Chester hopes to see Sport For Lives implemented in all schools throughout South Africa and looks forward to seeing students and schools empowering the lives of the orphanages and organisations on a national scale.
A true farm boy at heart with a strong empathetic connection to the land, this is the epitome of what Nic embodies. His entrepreneurial spirit guided him on a trajectory of successful business ventures within the environmental and farming sectors. Nic started as a cane farmer and decided to diversify by creating the company Living Earth, which provides compost and instant lawn. “At the same time, I was a passionate mountain biker and an ardent sportsman, having crossed the line at many extreme races, including The Cape Epic. I just wanted to share my love for mountain biking on the North Coast, so I would take my friends out onto the farms to explore the unsurpassed terrains”, he explains.
After a few meetings and coming to a mutual agreement with some of the farm owners in the area, Nic went on to build trails and bridges and founded Holla Trails, which has developed into one of the top trail destinations in the country. He also founded Fairview Estates, originally his family farm and is the first of its kind on the North Coast. It’s a developing 480-hectare estate, offering families a wholesome, secure and eco-conscious development which allows them to enjoy the freedom of space and artisanal living by “returning to traditional, farm living for a more sustainable, nature-infused lifestyle”. “I grew up on a farm, and I thought, how cool would it be to provide people the opportunity to experience farm living on a smaller scale”, Nic adds. The estate has been subdivided into 97 sites, varying from two to four hectares. Fairview allows families to enjoy a harmonious lifestyle in a secure estate and have the freedom of choice that farm living provides. Given its centralised location, Fairview provides easy access to all the modern amenities that Ballito offers. Nic has maximised all his farming and land use efforts: from providing compost and instant lawns to building biking trails and, more recently, creating spaces for people to develop their own farming ecosystems. It’s undeniable that Nic has been making moves and shaking things up within the Ballito community. He is a force to be reckoned with, and we truly enjoy the view.
Ever heard of Single Track Minded and Glide & Ride? Meet the proud owner and founder, Ian Wilson, as he opens up a journey for those who like to enjoy the ride. He designs biking trails and tracks and creates luxury, custom-designed cycle tours. Ian is a man who wears multiple hats. He shows broad experience in industries that allowed him to utilise his knowledge and implement it into everything he does. After living and working on the Wild Coast, he conned 12 people to join him on a bike ride along the coast. “It was gruelling, and the fact that they’re still my friends today is quite amazing. We all had the most incredible time together”, Ian chuckles. His first job within this industry was as a sales representative for Specialised Bikes, which enabled him to build a network and fully immerse himself in the industry. The next chapter was when the landowner of Giba Gorge contacted Ian to help build the first mountain bike park in South Africa 17 years ago. Shortly after that, Ian found his passion for coaching by taking a group of ladies out riding – which fondly became the “Giba Gals”, a group of like-minded ladies who all shared a mutual love for riding. “I have a true passion for people. It has been wonderful to see these women truly finding themselves by overcoming fear and enjoying the unity riding brings. 16 years later, these relationships are still intact,” he explains.
When he found out he had a gift for coaching, he utilised all his stored knowledge and put together coaching programs for kids’ holiday clubs which subsequently turned into Glide & Ride. Now in its eighth year and coaching over 700 kids a week, they have coached over 10,000 kids since they opened their doors. “It’s not just a cycling program. It’s a program that provides kids with the skills of balance, riding, and manners whilst creating positive growth and mindsets. Seeing them believe in themselves is so rewarding”, Ian gushes. The trail-building side of things taps into Ian’s creative side. Having spent 20 years on the back of a bicycle, he knows what a good trail is. “I look at a piece of land as a blank canvas. I get to create fun!” He has designed trails and pump tracks for the likes of Mount Edgecombe, Simbithi, Palm Lakes and Springvale Estate.
His “base”, Single Track Minded, is more than just a bike shop – it’s a place where people meet, service their bikes, and set off on their routes. It’s a lot of fun and passionately creates jobs for people in the North Coast. Touching briefly on the bike tours, Ian heads up two major trips that they have currently. One is on the Wild Coast, and the other is a seven-star Cape Winelands tour, staying at the likes of Boschendal, dining at Fairview, and exploring some of South Africa’s epic trails.