Daryl ‘Nightmare’ Naidu: scaring off Durban’s bullies

darylnaidu5“I don’t know if it’s my intimidating looks or the good work I do but kids look up to me,” says Daryl “Nightmare” Naidu. (Image: Daryl Naidu)

Daryl “The Nightmare” Naidu is the blueprint of a wrestler – a ball of aggression with ripped legs and toned arms – but he blows away every pigeonholed idea you may have. At almost two metres tall and as broad as heaven’s expanse, the first impression Naidu creates is one of explosive anger. His ringside antics give you only a cursory glance into the chaotic world of a man who has earned renown as a wrestler and, more importantly, as a community youth worker.

It’s not his intimidating demeanour that allows him to connect with the kids he helps. He welcomes anyone to his wrestling academy, based at the Chatsworth Youth Centre, and encourages kids to join him in volunteering at the other outreach projects at the centre. He is successful because he talks to kids in a language they understand. “Humour … humour … and making them laugh when I talk to them. Kids are looking for someone they can relate to and not some stern guy in a suit and tie.”


darylnaidu1“I am a walking billboard for everything I believe in,” Daryl Nightmare Naidu. (Image: Daryl Naidu)