Once, I was shooting portraits of Stephen Fry at Abbey Road Studio. We had properly limited time because Stephen is a busy guy and the shoot was squeezed in between his recording session, but we got on well and all he wanted to do was tell me stories.
Mike’s Kitchen—a necessary rite of passage into the utopia of growing up, where you could stay up late, eat sweets all the time, watch too much TV, live at your friend’s house and never do any times tables.
My mom, who knew nothing about rugby (she shouted for Australia in the opening game until we told her that South Africa wore GREEN not GOLD #facepalm), was an absolute legend; scouring Shell garages for World Cup collectors’ memorabilia.
Jis, I miss home when the rugby’s on. It’s just not the same here in London. Today is Friday and I know the people back in SA will be rocking up to school and work in their bokke jerseys, and if they can’t afford one they’ll rummage for green or yellow, or a flag or something (anything!), to represent.
I grew up in Limpopo. Fat Baobabs cast shade in dusty daytimes, giving way to drawling Acacia silhouettes and bright orange sunsets. Before the evenings succumbed to bright starry skies that expanded for eons, we went foraging. I’d tag along with the older kids and grownups as they headed into the bushveld on the prowl […]
The robber’s grave was turned the other way. A scarlet letter on the landscape. On our school trip to Pilgrim’s Rest in the Eastern Transvaal (now Mpumalanga) we learnt about the gold rush, did some panning, bought some guinea fowl curios, saw the majestic Mac Mac, Horse Shoe and Bridal Veil Falls—but the robber’s grave. Legend […]
If you fell on the ice, you had to make fists because some super-jock speed skater would almost certainly skate past you at that exact moment and chop your fingers off. An arm if you were super unlucky. Everybody said so. It happened to people who knew people. No, really. No matter. We were in. […]
When I was growing up my family took plenty of road trips, from Grahamstown to East London or King William’s Town (where my sister and I were at boarding school) or Port Alfred, Kent-on-Sea and Port Elizabeth. On those roads during pineapple season, would be African mamas, men, teenage girls, young boys, sometimes whole families […]
If you’re over 60, on a Wednesday you have privilege of appointment to renew your driver’s license at the licensing department in Edenvale. My license was due to expire so I decided I would take up the offer… writes Clare Paterson. I devised the perfect plan… …the department opens at 9am and I had a […]
The Zimbabwean government says it has put in place a range of measures to help Zimbabweans returning from South Africa. But many say they are battling to make ends meet. With the expiry of the Zimbabwe Exemption Permit system looming in June, many Zimbabweans in South Africa are returning to Zimbabwe. The Zimbabwe government says […]
There’s nothing like a Parktown Prawn in the car on the way to school. “We’re going!”—mom bellows from the other side of the house. I lightning myself out of bed. Throw on my uniform (luckily, it’s summer—no tie), lurch for my school bag (praying I packed accurately the night before), will an apple into my […]
Proudly South African expat Hayley Reichert is gatvol. Below is her passionate letter to all South Africans, revealing alleged incompetency she has witnessed within SA’s foreign affairs department, DIRCO, whilst trying to aid South Africans in escaping Russia’s attack on Ukraine. Dear fellow South Africans, Our government does not care about us, and they care […]
Generous South Africans have clubbed in to make a terminally ill young boy’s dream come true – to own a Playstation 5. And it’s just in time for his 12th birthday on 9 March. Shaunie Pretorius, from Benoni, was sadly diagnosed with a rare, aggressive, and terminal type of brain cancer called Brainstem Glioma, in […]
I wrote this on my personal Facebook page a few days ago, and from the responses realised that other South African ex-pats might be also affected by, or experiencing, this dynamic and so thought to share it writes Sandy Jonker Geyer. Last Tuesday COVID-19 took a much-loved member of our family. Buyiswa Zibi, a beautiful […]
Sean Williams and Lovemore Robson have been inspiring Gauteng with their incredible mission to clean up the litter around Lonehill and Fourways, and protect the planet… but it’s Lovemore’s first trip to the beach that’s creating the most waves in South Africa. The duo have been cleaning up the streets of the Joburg suburbs, and […]
Dear Family and Friends writes Cathy Buckle from Zimbabwe. I write this letter from a bitterly cold Zimbabwe where tension is high and people are anxious. There are 300,000 civil servants in Zimbabwe. A month ago they were promised a “cushioning” allowance of US$75 a month for the next three months and pensioners would get […]
A Bloemfontein mother’s open letter to the SA president, Cyril Ramaphosa, is striking a chord with South Africans around the nation. Writing in Afrikaans, Cathy de Lange, a blogger and owner of Meringue Mama, says she knows the chance of the president reading her letter is very slim, but that the message was heavy on […]
Kindness is contagious. Especially with children, writes South African expat, best-selling author and motivational speaker Trevor Romain. It’s amazing how empathetic children can be, especially when inspired to be so. Over the years of working with children, I have discovered that sometimes all a child needs, to be empathetic and kind, is permission and a […]
As the year 2018 draws to a close, I would like to reflect on it by revisiting some of the the major rejections I have had to deal with over the years, starting with the many I received as a village boy, when applying for bursaries in 1991, so I could be the first one […]
I am writing this story for me. I have always written, and it has always helped to offer insight and gain perspective. It is cathartic and, right now, I know that I need it to heal. I am writing this story for Mick, Alessia and Claudia. I had never, ever wanted to live as much […]
Canada, as everyone knows, is awesome… writes Phil Maloney from Maple and Marula. We invented all the best stuff in the world, like the internet, steak, clothes, and Beyonce. OK, like, maybe we didn’t INVENT all that stuff, but we HAVE it in Canada. And, to America’s constant surprise, we also have running water, electricity, and […]