“We are not Africans defined by our colour but by our love for the land….”
I am a 3rd generation “native” South African; my father was born here in 1913 and my paternal grandfather was born here in circa 1890 in Pietermaritzburg; my paternal great grandfather was an immigrant from England in about 1880. My mother was born here to an Irish immigrant, William Patrick Foley, who was born in Manchester, United Kingdom, in 1872.
Growing up in post-colonial South Africa proved to be a challenge I was ill-equipped to face. Still, 3rd generation South African qualifies me as a “native” – hence the statement at the beginning of this page.
I am an African Kitchen.
My love for this country has not diminished over time nor did my 11 years in England (I returned to my roots in 2002 in response to an intense longing to see the land from which I could trace heritage) change that love.
Africa is in my blood; the smell of the dry veld grass and savannahs of the bush country and the stunning beauty of the wildlife is an intense sensory experience that is imbedded in my psyche and will never leave.
Ask any ex-pat South African if they love this country and you will get an unequivocal “YES”. Without exception we ALL acknowledge that Africa never leaves you – it is the politics of the ruling class that drive you away from your homeland, pre- or post-apartheid, not the land itself. My love for poetry and the written word and the imagery it can conjure in the mind of the reader, began while I was still in high school and has become my anchor in a strange world.