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Author Archive

think of football, think of dancing

published on: 19.01.2015 in: All entries

Just now, there was a picture on facebook. Of a tiny little girl at a desk. Her father had written: “look at her, my sweet baby, her first day at school, wow!” In an instant, I was back there, that first day, waving my son goodbye. Out of seemingly nowhere came a mechanism I had […]


the moral of the story is…

published on: 29.12.2014 in: All entries

Christmas. They all crawl out of the dark, blinded by the light of candles. The beggars, the drug-addicts, the homeless. Please mam, could you spare me a dime? Blackened nails, yellowed fingers, grey teeth, empty eyes. The rozy-cheeked and starru-eyed all feel like helping and ask: What will you use the dime for? Eh… food…? […]


the fears we have

published on: 23.12.2014 in: All entries

The portrait of my great-great grandmother above the fireplace. I was afraid of it. The TV stood against that same wall and so as you lay on the comfy pink couch under blankets, it was inevitable your eyes would wander to hers. Strict black bun, charcoaled gaze which followed you wherever you stood. My sister […]


love on a cloud

published on: 10.12.2014 in: All entries

Love sits like an angel on a cotton cloud resting in the skies, pausing for a moment, basking in the sun. Then the wind catches it and the cloud drifts away, slowly, with its passenger. Hold on to that angel and it will kick and scream, create a storm, blacken the skies as it falls. […]


pulling the sails

published on: 03.12.2014 in: All entries

To pull all the sails. It’s a Dutch saying. In my teens, I went to sailing school in Holland. I can’t think of anything more no-nonsense than Dutch sailing school, especially if you’re coming from Africa. I have a mental image of me pulling the sails. I can feel the ice-cold knife through my face, […]


hopes and dreams for December

published on: 27.11.2014 in: All entries

December creeps into the year carrying mixed feelings. It’s a month of looking back and moulding thoughts into hopes for another year. Nothing’s changed, perhaps, regarding who you are, while life has. “This is going to be my fourth last Christmas!” a friend says, cheerily. She is sitting while I stand. Climbing the stairs costs […]



published on: 24.11.2014 in: All entries

Tummy aches, headaches, fever. I put my son to bed and tell him I’m just going to leave the house for a moment to get some coffee. This isn’t unusual for him. As I walk down the street he calls after me from the balcony. “Mummy! It really really hurts now!” “Sweetheart just lie down […]


shouldn’t have

published on: 22.11.2014 in: All entries

A lover describes the various relationships he’s had with women. He’s broken the hearts of a few, he says, and he so hates himself for it. It makes him feel terrible to know he’s hurt them. I’ve been hearing men tell me similar things these past few months. It has me wondering why we women […]


not love, no

published on: 15.11.2014 in: All entries

Addy is a prostitute, like so many female characters in 18th century novels are. Toothless, often. Not my Addy. She has fallen from grace. Once upon a time, not long ago, she wore indigo blue silk. Now she wears dark blue cotton. She has just had sex with a married man. He visits her often. […]


what we don’t know

published on: 07.11.2014 in: All entries

Time for a heart to heart with my father. We spoke many times, but perhaps I wasn’t listening. I ask him how things were when I was a baby. Between him and my mother and him and I and my mother and I. I need to know, I say, because I’m going through this phase, […]