‘[Sharks are] one of the wonders of Cape Town. We have got Table Mountain, we’ve got great whites, we’ve got me,’ laughs Hassiem.
Since he lost his leg, he has gone on to win a bronze medal for South Africa in 100-metre butterfly at the London 2012 Paralympic Games. ‘They really need to be protected, not just around Cape Town, but around the world because of the role they play in our oceans.’
Somehow, in the midst of a cluster of severe shark incidents, Cape Town managed to establish a balance with its marine wildlife. The sharks are still in False Bay, contributing to its diversity, moving in concert with seals and fish, a vital part of the ecosystem. The people are here too, enjoying the beaches, diving in the ocean, surfing its waves. Along the shoreline these two greats of the terrestrial and marine realm meet and coexist under the watchful eyes of the Shark Spotters. ‘I have a job,’ as Monwa explains it, ‘to keep people safe and sharks safe.’