Last, but surely not least (of our Greek experiences) – Symi.

This little gem of an island has no reputation as (or desire, for that matter, to become) a cosmopolitan island and does not compete with islands such as Mykonos and Santorini, known for their nightlife and expensive hotels.

It is said that Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones once stepped off their luxurious yacht on Symi island to stretch their sea-legs and  went to one of the many restaurants on the island – and were quite surprised to be able to walk freely there without masses of people and paparazzi tagging along.

Although the island offers several exclusive boutiques, also found  on the more popular, exciting, cosmopolitan islands, Symi comes without the decadence of many of the other ports. Summer is very hot and humid and well-dressed Europeans and other fashion conscious guests temporarily occupy Symi, but there is no jet setting. Visitors are chic but friendly and respectful towards the local environment. Lisandro from Muses once told a journalist, “Princess Caroline of Monaco was here and people thought to themselves: You might be a princess, but you’re not from Symi.”

The harbour welcomes you like a mother welcomes her long lost children – whether you are famous or not. Many famous actors, politicians, ship owners and models have visited the island – Symi is chosen by all who do not want to attract the attention of others and prefer an authentic Greek holiday experience. This is evidenced in the summer by the numerous yachts docking at the port of Symi.

The island oozes Mediterranean charm, as if a stylist has designed it that way and the harbour extends towards crystal clear water where blue chairs and tables are covered with white linen.

It may not be Mykonos or Santorini but it has been a top island for some time – fortunately too small to be noticed by too many people.






















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Did you know that there are more than 3000 islands in the Greek archipelago? Three thousand! (Some people say 6000.)

Rhodes Island – affectionately known as the Island of Endless Sunshine –  is one of the larger ones. Rhodes (town), the principle city of the island, is divided into the old town and new town.

Historically, Rhodes was famous worldwide for the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Two statues of deer on top of two columns mark the supposed location of this gigantic statue at the entrance to the Mandraki harbour that is guarded by the charming fort of Saint Nicholas that doubled as a lighthouse.

I absolutely lost myself meandering with my camera through the medieval stone-paved alleyways of the old town. Today, Rhodes old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This time capsule exists within the imposing walls built in the 14th century by the Knights of St. John who used the island as their home.

The modern Rhodes, with stretches of white beaches, cobalt-blue sea and exquisite cuisine, was exactly how I had always imagined a Greek island to be.

Next year, if we still walk the earth, we will go back to Rhodes. This time for my daughter’s wedding!

Antio Rodos! Until next year …





















NOTE TO SELF: Never! NEVER! Never ever climb on top of a heap of building rubble, gravel and soil to take a picture of the magnificent view on the other side wearing FLIP-FLOPS! No scene is worth it, no matter how beautiful.



I remember how ready I was for an argument, all those years back, when a friend told us about his visit to to the Pantheon in Rome. I wanted to correct him – the Pantheon is in Athens, Greece.  Luckily I did not exhibit my ignorance then and kept quite. I’ve seen the Pantheon in Rome since, and now I have been to the Acropolis, the citadel in Athens where the majestic Parthenon stands proud (despite all but being demolished).

The Parthenon was completed in 432BC and, oh boy, what a sight it must have been – towering above everything else. Unfortunately, a series of hostile events led to the destruction of this magnificent showpiece of architecture and in 1687, the final blow came when a Venetian mortar round blew up the gunpowder magazine inside the Parthenon, and the building was partly destroyed. And then the looting started.

It felt almost sacred, walking where Plato, Hippocrates, Socrates, Archimedes and such people, who left an indelible mark on earth, may have walked.

And that night we ended a perfect day in an open-air cinema lower down the slopes of Acropolis, watching Woody Allen’s (not really my cup of tea) latest film with an illuminated Parthenon casting it’s presence over the area. With a mastika ice-cream, topped with a delicious sour cherry sauce, in hand, I was contented.


(The majority of these pictures were shot at midday in the hottest and brightest of sun. Sorry for the poor quality.)







Believe in yourself. Give yourself a chance. Be daring but not reckless. Listen selectively to other people; ask their advice and opinion and evaluate it with an open mind.


(Advice on how to get back to your feet after life has dealt you a blow. In this case, job loss is used as an example, but the principles can be applied to most setbacks.)

Sometimes a supposed weakness in your make up could be the result of a poor self-esteem or lack of confidence. Perhaps merely a nasty seed that someone planted earlier in your life and now you firmly believe that you have a weakness without ever really putting it to the test.


If you believe that you are not a good salesperson, then you will definitely not sell anything. But if you decide: Let’s see, if I prepare myself well and I believe in my product and I introduce my own unique style where I focus on honesty, sincerity and excellent service, who knows where I could end up. BUT, then your approach shouldn’t be halfheartedly. No! Go for it, wholeheartedly, enthusiastically and with all the confidence you can muster.  Such an attitude has been the modest start for several contemporary successful people.


If I know deep in my soul that I’m not a strong swimmer, there is no way that I will dive into the deep end of a swimming pool. But that doesn’t necessarily mean I have to stay clear of swimming pools. I can start at the shallow end and on my own, in my own way, learn to swim. Or I can get professional coaching and before you know it, in no time, I will swim confidently at the deep end of the pool.swem

Be sensible when you tackle something on a larger scale, something that will require knowledge, experience or skills if the task involves one of your so-called weaknesses. Do not necessarily avoid it, but rather strive to get as much information, training and understanding about your endeavour as possible, before you attempt it. Start, perhaps, on a smaller scale, move slightly to the shallower end of the swimming pool. The experience will follow inevitably.

This exercise is a lot of fun, but it will lead you to more serious issues. It will make you think; it will teach you about yourself and stimulate your brain into future directions and resolve many past issues. It is a soul-searching experience that will give answers to who you are and what possibilities there are for you.i-can

Change Yourself

This is also a very good opportunity to look at all those things that you have always been meaning to change about yourself. Every one of us has traits that we want to change. Some wish to stop smoking; others try to lose a bit of weight, eat healthier or get fitter. There are people who would like to change their attitude by, for instance, becoming more self-assertive. Most things you want to change about yourself, only you can do. Decide what you want to change and start today by setting attainable goals for yourself. Find support and help if necessary, but for crying out loud, just start. Why not today?

This, conversely, will be a futile exercise if not engaged in positively. Pessimism at this point is one of your major enemies and the enemy will always strive to destroy you. Be warned: do not let this dreadful monster overwhelm you. Concentrate continuously on staying positive. Oh, you will be exposed to setbacks all the time, real hazards, like rolling waves. The tests of true resilience, though, does not lie in the number of times you have been knocked down by these waves, but in the number of times you stood up again after being flattened. Don’t get discouraged when it happens. Learn from your setbacks and get up!

Be on your guard and concentrate not to decline into a pathetic little bundle – filled with self-pity. Think of films that you have seen or even personal experiences with people. You almost get annoyed with those people who feel so sorry for themselves. They seem to feel the world and mankind owe them. This can eventually develop into a serious “illness”. Very soon they don’t want to do or try anything, because “What’s the use?” Everything and everyone is always against them. They have made up their minds beforehand that they will not come up to scratch and the only thing that will make them happy again is when this “everyone and everything” change their attitudes towards them, when the goddess of fortune smiles at them again. Until that happens, they just sit as pathetic little bundles, waiting for some amazing thing to happen.

It is NOT going to happen. YOU will have to make it happen. Let me tell you a secret: the goddess of fortune and the tooth fairy are one and the same. They live with the Sandman and Santa Claus in Never-Never land. Sorry to burst your bubble, but they don’t exist.


Sometimes we get the impression that some people just have all the luck in the world. This is simply not true. There are two things that we have to realise. One is about perceptions and the other about opportunities.

Let’s have a look at perceptions first.

Suppose your car breaks down. You have had it up to your ears with this heap of scrap. That same day your friend passes you driving a brand new car and the following day you overhear the guy at the coffee table next to you telling his friend about his new entertainment system at home. Immediately you get the impression: How on earth can EVERYBODY afford new things and I have to plod on with my junk-on-wheels? What you don’t know is that this coffee shop-guy has been saving up to buy his entertainment system for years now and that your friend has had an accident, written off his car and compelled by necessity, had no choice but to get a new set of wheels. For the next year or more they will have to tighten their belts to afford the re-payments. What’s more, you have to realise that millions of people will cross your path and from time to time some of those millions of people will buy something new. Not EVERYBODY. Tomorrow your wife will have to buy a new pair of shoes (because by now the old ones are really in shreds) and then the wife of the new-car-friend will envy your wife while thinking: “When last could I buy myself a new pair of shoes?”

Every one of us, therefore, receives the occasional bit of “good fortune”.  You may only have the PERCEPTION that other people have more “good fortunes” than you, but dig a little deeper and decide for yourself if you would swap roles with them and have all their “bad luck” together with all their “good fortunes”.

What about opportunities?


Every one of us has opportunities. Not necessarily the same opportunities, but opportunities none the less. The supposedly “fortunate, chosen ones” have developed a way of spotting an opportunity when it presents itself and what’s more, they grab these opportunities. How many times have we been in a position to risk something, but then we hesitate and the opportunity vanishes? Sometimes, subsequently, we are relieved that we didn’t take the risk, but often another person takes a similar chance and reaps huge rewards from it. It is a fact that, very often, risks lead to failure. That’s true, but this is where the big difference between “pathetic little bundles” and successful people becomes apparent.  Pathetic little bundles think: “O gosh, not again! I should have known; I don’t know why I even bother any more. I am a washout”. Then they flop down in the dumps, disappointed and angry.

The successful people, after a failure, think: “Oops”.

That’s it. Then they immediately set off on the look-out for a new opportunity. Oh, you know, to compensate for the “slight mishap”.

You will have down times.

You really have to be made of rock or iron not to have the occasional down time. Hey look man, you are human; you do have feelings and a heart. Allow yourself such a blue mood. Cry if you want to. Permit a moment or so to feel a little sorry for yourself, but don’t drag it out; that is when you will sink.

What really helped me when I hit the depths was to break away. It often came about at the very time when I could least afford a break. My conscience was shouting at me: “Hey! What on earth are you thinking? There’s work to be done. The whole place will fall apart if you take a break now!”

Nonetheless I took some time off.

So, what did I do then? I went to the movies during cheap time. Or I went to a tranquil spot, lit a fire and put a sausage on the grill. In the city where I lived there were these glorious botanical gardens. I sometimes went there for a jog or just to spend the afternoon amongst the luscious plants and shady trees. The important thing is to do something that distracts your attention from your heavy heart. Do something therapeutic where you can destroy the vicious circle of your thoughts. As soon as you have achieved that, start putting together new elevating thoughts.

Talk to God, talk to Him out loud. Tell Him how you feel, what you are experiencing. Tell Him also how you would like it to be and what you are doing to accomplish that. Before long you will find that, between you and God, you set off to sort things out. Life will begin to fall into place and solutions for many problems will start to emerge. If you trust God with your problems and ambitions, He sows seeds that will grow in your thoughts and bear all sorts of clever solutions. It is not as if you are asking Him to solve the problem for you and you don’t try and solve it on your own. You do it together. Go ahead, try it.


When I got back home or to the office again after such a session, nothing had really disintegrated. Everything was still there. I could, after all, afford to take a break. Then I tackled the challenges with renewed eagerness.

So, if you take a bit of a dip, when dark clouds start to gather, don’t give up. Just take a break. Go down on your knees (just as far as your knees, not on your stomach, curled up in that pathetic little bundle that people make doormats from) and hand all your troubles over to God. person-under-doormatStay on your knees so that it is easier for you to stand up straight when you have regained your strength.

During such a break you get to learn a lot about yourself. It gives you the opportunity to distance yourself somehow from the problem; to view the problem rather as an outsider. From a distance, subsequently, the problem doesn’t appear that big at all.

Ultimately, you have the chance of a moment alone – with yourself, to sort yourself out.





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Hennie Zeelie. Translated from Deur ‘n ander bril. Lux Verbi

My attitude to my circumstances very often dictates my actions as well as the end result.

At some stage or another in our lives, we have all been touched by astonishing accounts of people who have risen above their circumstances. When I find myself in such a position, though, it is not always that easy to be objective about it.


I remember one occasion while I was in the army during the bush war in Angola. We were on a grueling, lengthy patrol and after nine stressed days filled with intense concentration, surviving on ration packs and carrying heavy kit, drenched after a heavy thunderstorm, we decided to set up camp for the night. Most of us, whacked and fed-up, slouched down onto the driest wet spot, propped up against our backpacks. One chap cynically-sarcastic remarked:

“Here I am, plodding along like a wet dog in the mud while some lucky blighter” – not his actual choice of words – “is making out with my girlfriend under a warm duvet – stuffed to his eyeballs with pancakes and hot coffee!”patrollie

A grunt, loosely translated into, “We hear you…” came from the squad. One of the guys who was on guard, sitting on a huge boulder a couple of yards away, sardonically replied:

“They can make out all they want, but they don’t have the view that I’ve got here.”

We all got up to have a look. Where he was positioned on that boulder, he had a panoramic view of a gorge framed by the most stunning rainbow. It was so breathtakingly beautiful that the whole incident has remained with me till this day.rainbow

While the rest of us immersed ourselves in our own miserable thoughts, one man – who was in the same boat as the rest of us – drew inspiration from the most spectacular view.

In the original musical, Time, by Dave Clarke the character, Akash – brilliantly played by the late Sir Laurence Olivier, delivers the following verdict:

Throughout the universe there is order
In the movement of the planets, in nature
and in the functioning of the human mind.
A mind that, in its natural state of order,
is in harmony with the universe
and such a mind is timeless.

 Your life is an expression of your mind.
You are the creator of your own Universe –
For as a human being, you are free to will whatever
state of being you desire through the use of your
thoughts and words.
There is great power there.
It can be a blessing or a curse –
It’s entirely up to you.
For the quality of your life is brought about
by the quality of your thinking –
think about that.

Thoughts produce actions –
look at what you’re thinking.
See the pettiness and the envy and the greed and the
fear and all the other attitudes that cause
you pain and discomfort.
Realize that the one thing you have absolute
control over is your attitude.
See the effect that it has on those around you
for each life is linked to all life
and your words carry with them chain reactions
like a stone that is thrown into a pond.

If your thinking is in order,
your words will flow directly from the heart
creating ripples of love.
If you truly want to change your world, my friends,
you must change your thinking.
Reason is your greatest tool,
it creates an atmosphere of understanding,
which leads to caring which is love

Choose your words with care.
Go forth … with love.

Thoughts, all our actions (except reflexes) originate in our minds. Consider for a moment that action can also be to do nothing. You actively decide to do nothing about a situation. Our attitude towards other people too, or even particular issues, is being controlled by our thoughts. If you don’t feel like facing someone today, it is your mind duping you into believing that you have some grudge, dislike or perhaps envy against that person. Or if you keep shunning a specific task, it is your mind preventing you from getting on with it. Your mind tells you that you can’t do it or you wouldn’t like it or it’s much better to take a nap or something. No-one else. And who controls your mind? You! It can indeed be manipulated by external factors – if you allow it – but ultimately you are in control of your mind.

In a restaurant, on a napkin, I once read the following striking words:

In each of us, two natures are at war – the good and the evil. All our lives the fight goes on between them and one of them must conquer. But in our hands lies the power to choose – what we want most to be, we are”.

How do you feel about your current situation, what does your mind tell you? If you think you are crestfallen then you will feel depressed. If you think you are in high spirits, you will be motivated.mind-maze

Thoughts should not, however, be confused with dreams, day dreaming. If I dream of how I will be a successful businessman, then I am not one yet.

Dreams are good. They provoke thoughts. But only real thoughts set actions in motion. It changes your attitude, your mind set, your approach and your actions.

A lot of us don’t know what or where we want to be. We do know what we do not want to be. I do not want to be in jail. I do not want to be a failure. That is a fact.

So what do I want to be?

Content? Happy?

When will I be happy? Ah, now we are getting somewhere.

What will have to change, what will have to take place, before I declare:

Now I have reached the pinnacle of happiness”?


I can now dream on…

Or I can start thinking, putting thoughts in motion, plan, and act.

I think – and this is merely a personal view – people are at their happiest when they are successful. A successful marriage, a successful career, a successful relationship with your Creator, in short, we will be happy when we have a successful, well-balanced life. Is this an illusion? I don’t think so.

It all depends on how you measure success. If success has a material basis, it will always be a dream because everything with a material basis is transient, it is insatiable. I have never come across someone who has got enough money. I still have to meet a lady who is pleased with her appearance (her eyes are too small, her hips are too wide, too many wrinkles, too much of this or too few of that). I also haven’t met a man yet who is happy with his car (for more than a week). As soon as the new model is unveiled, he starts itching.

Do not read into this that a man should not have a new car or that a lady should not try and look her best and that you should not have a healthy bank balance. Have it, work for it, and go for it. But do not measure your success against it. All of these are side-issues. Soon it’s yesterday’s news and then all of a sudden you don’t feel successful any longer. Oh, other people, your neighbours and friends, could still perceive you as successful, but deep inside you will feel discontented, hungry for more.

One often sees this in the glitter and glamour world of super rich so-called celebrities. They undergo expensive procedures to change their appearance; they buy the most expensive houses and jewellery, top of the range yachts and cars and marry the most beautiful people. How long does it last? Marriages are over before the third kiss. Very soon the car is too old and the house across the street has a swimming pool installed that is bigger than theirs. It is then when those people, in their quest for happiness, very often find comfort in something else like drugs and alcohol and subsequently find themselves being rejected by society as failures or depart this life, lost and lonesome.

So, what is success, in other words, when will you be happy?

The starting point for judging success is, first of all, peace with yourself. When you have forgiven yourself for all the mistakes of the past and left them there – in the past. When you have asked God to forgive you for all the wrongdoings in the past and then accepted His mercy. When you have put right all the injustice you have done to other people. Then you can move forward. Forget about the past! Focus on today and the road ahead.

You will be at peace with yourself when you, in all conviction, can pronounce that at this moment you are giving it your everything. No matter what you are doing, you are giving it your best, whether it’s your marriage, your relationship with your children, your work, or your leisure time – nothing less than your best.

You will absolutely give it your best when you do it sincerely, in honour and glorification of His name. When you do it as if He is sitting in front of you or accompanying you, witnessing every move you make. You wouldn’t dare skimp your work while the boss is keeping an eye on you, would you? Well, God is with you, every moment of your life. He sees and hears everything you are doing.

You will, in addition, be at peace with yourself if, after giving a challenge your best shot, you acknowledge the result; even if it is not the result you anticipated. The result is achieved, end of story. Nothing can be done to change it. It belongs to the past and not all the tears in the world will bring about another outcome. Try again; go back to the drawing board. Start afresh.

Success is furthermore not measured by the number of people you have passed and how many people you have beaten, but by the number of people you have brought with you. That is the test of real success. When, one day, you arrive in front of the gates of heaven, puffing and sweating in your snazzy car, rather smug because you have beaten so many people, God will not look at your car and your clothes and your wallet with appreciation and congratulate you. No, He will ask: “Why are you alone? Where are the other people, your children, your friends, your business partners?”people-in-a-car

You perform several roles during your lifetime. Child, parent, employee, employer, friend – maybe you are chairperson or captain or in charge of some group or another. During your lifetime you will, through your many roles, touch the lives of thousands of people. Your touch will bring sad or happy memories. How will people remember you? If you look back on the footprints you have left over the years, how many people have followed you and where have you lead them.

You don’t necessarily have to be a born leader with an awe-inspiring personality. You can take the lead by just taking someone’s hand, by being there to share in joys but also in the agony of people. You can lead by example. Don’t tell people what to do, show them by setting an example through your values and principles. Start with your family, then your workplace and widen your circle to reach friends, extended family and your surroundings. Be an asset to all those you come into contact with. Spread the love of Jesus which you have been blessed with in abundance.mother-theresa

My dear mom hasn’t got the personality of an Oprah Winfrey or Hillary Clinton. In fact, she soon gets in a flurry if it just looks as if the spotlight is aiming in her direction. She neither has strings of qualifications and titles behind her name, nor safes full of money. I believe, however, that when one day she arrives in heaven, our heavenly Father will be waiting for her with a big smile and say: “Welcome home, precious child, you utterly deserve what awaits you here in my house.” As a devoted mother she gives her utmost and as wife (when my dad was still alive) she gave nothing less. The love she puts in cooking and baking can almost be tasted. Her principles and values are being met with the greatest admiration by everyone she interacts with. People follow in her footsteps. As mother, grandmother, wife, friend – in all her roles, she spreads love. Her life is successful.

Success depends very little, if at all, on luck. Success is earned; you have to work for it. Opportunities present themselves from time to time to all of us. Successful people like the rest, experience lucky shots but also disappointments. The difference with them, however, lies in their persistent and devoted pursuing of a pre-determined goal. They forge opportunities into good fortune. Success does not come overnight. It takes time and is usually the result of sustained hard work. The legendary golfer, Gary Player, once remarked: “The harder I practice, the luckier I get.”

Ask yourself: “What can I do that is different? How can you bring about change?”

I once read somewhere, I’m not sure where, that successful people do what other people hate to do and they do it fervently. Success is something that you have to achieve yourself. It is to work while other people rest; carry on even though you are disheartened; hold on in the midst of setbacks, ever reaching for that beckoning winning-post. Success starts with a dream, an ambition… seeing something different and better in the everyday drudgery, and ultimately realising your dream through endurance and perseverance.

A last thought on success and successful people. Learn from the mistakes of others. Successful people make countless mistakes and go through tough times as well, but it is during times like these where character is formed and becomes apparent.  At one stage or another you will suffer a loss or endure a terrible knock, but it is then that the men are separated from the boys.

Work according to predetermined work or business ethics based on your Christian values and standards. In the long run there is only one road to follow: the honest, straight way. Be truthful with your bank manager, your suppliers, your employees, your customers, with everybody. Yes, and also with yourself!

You will have to deal with so many problems that will automatically cross your path anyway – why multiply them unnecessarily? Poor or inadequate service and work result in problems. Something that has been dealt with efficiently and properly the first time round brings satisfaction – to you and the customer.

It is easy telling someone to stay positive, but in reality it is much different. Yet, we can at least try to have a positive outlook. Two very well-known songs always soothed my wounds and aching heart during times of pain and distress:

Smile when your heart is aching, smile even though it’s breaking…SMILE”.

When you are down in the dumps and your heart really aches, try putting on a brave face with a smile to wipe that frown away. Smile through those pressed lips. Even look at yourself in the mirror when you smile. See how long you can keep the smile. When people enquire about your welfare, make an effort to tell them, with a smile on your face: “I am very well, thank you”. Always very well. It is ever so painful, for you as well as those around you, to be reminded of all your problems. People tend to steer clear of those who are always complaining and

When I feel like exploding from bottled up distress and pain and desperately need to share it with someone, I share it with my Heavenly Father and tell it to my dear better half (as I will explain in the next chapter) and/or I go to my best friend or confidant and get it out of my system. I do not share it with everyone-and-his-friend. It is neither good for me, nor for my relationship with other people.

Another song that inspires me during low periods is the familiar elevating rhythm of…

 When upon life’s billows
You are tempest tossed
When you are discouraged
Thinking all is lost
Count your many blessings
Name them one by one
And it will surprise you
What the Lord has done

Count your blessing
Name them one by one
Count your blessings
See what God has done
Count your blessings
Name them one by one
Count your many blessings
See what God has done

 Are you ever burdened
With a load of care
Does the cross seem heavy
You are called to bear
Count your many blessings
Every doubt will fly
And you will be singing
As the days go by


 When you look at others
With their lands and gold
Think that Christ has promised
You His wealth untold
Count your many blessings
Money cannot buy
Your reward in heaven
Nor your home on high


 So, amid the conflict
whether great or small
do not be discouraged
God is over all
Count your many blessings
Angels will attend
Help and comfort give you
To your journey’s end


Words by Johnson Oatman, 1897

I hum it, I whistle it and I put it into practice. I make a mental list of each and everything I can be grateful for today: health, full belly, friends and family who care for me…

Go on, make your own lengthy list. Show gratitude towards God for all the blessings with which he is showering you in abundance despite the fact that we don’t deserve a single one of them.

Try these ideas to stay positive. Think of ways to keep your positivity alive. Nurture the flame of hope and faith.

Something that will often impact upon your outlook on life is when things are not going your way and you start to ask: Why? Why are things going wrong? Why me? I am trying so hard…

I answered my own query this way:

My whole life I have always been up for a challenge. I thrive on challenges.

I have realised very early in my life that, academically, I am not the world’s best student. In fact, I think after all these years some of my teachers – those who are still alive – probably wake up in the middle of the night screaming in cold sweat when they have flash-backs of me in their classrooms. Despite my academic record, I decided to go to university, part-time. And with grace from Above, I even finished a post-graduate degree.

Ever since I was in primary school my physique was such that no-one would ever confuse me with Mr Universe. This motivated me during my compulsory military training to put myself to the test in the Parachute Battalion, known to be one of the most gruelling training courses in the army.valskermbataljon

What am I trying to tell you? How smart I am? Absolutely not!

I want to tell you that I was – and still am – willing to commit myself to challenges despite knowing my shortcomings. I acknowledged the fact that I would have to sacrifice a lot and that I would endure some rather tough times (when I completed my studies it felt as if I had been released from prison!). I realised that it would require exceptional effort from me, but I was nevertheless prepared to do it… in reaching my own, personal goals.

When I, therefore, go through a demanding period in life or crisis situation, I put it down as just another training course that God has put me on – a demanding one; even more demanding than my part-time studies or my training at Parachute Battalion. God has selected me personally for this challenge because He knows I like challenges. Wasn’t I willing to make huge sacrifices for the sake of my own goals? Will I not therefore be willing to make even bigger sacrifices when God’s goals are at stake? For that reason God puts me on a course, to train me, to prepare me, to give me knowledge and muscle, first-hand experience and understanding for a very important mission that He has installed for me at a later stage. But if I am not qualified and equipped, I will not be able to do it.

Wow! God must have seen something in me, for today I admit that I truly feel honoured because on more than one occasion God considered me the ideal person for a job he wanted accomplished. He reckoned that I would be strong enough to complete the demanding course. And, boy, did I go on many courses!



I never wanted to disappoint God, so I really gave it my utmost under testing circumstances.

God will never expect more from you than you are capable of. You will be surprised to discover what you and He together really can accomplish. Give it a go. Your Coach will go with you, all the way. Trust Him. He knows what you are going through. Remember, He also went through excruciating suffering.

Get your thoughts in order. Focus on God.

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Vandag ‘n jaar gelede het ek die gedenkwaardige voorreg gehad om twee baie besondere mense aan my sy te gehad het tydens die bekendstelling en bespreking van my boek op die Vrystaat Kunstefees in Bloemfontein. Maretha Maartens en Nico Luwes, julle was my Aäron en Hur.

Monochroom Reënboog is steeds beskikbaar. Kliek hier vir meer inligtingMONOCHROOM REËNBOOG TE KOOP


Nico Luwes, Maretha Maartens en die uwe




Martinique en Clariece laat die geld inrol



Twee jong boekwurms – Samantha Hurst en Andrew Candiotes



LEES OOK HIER MEER OOR DIE OORSPRONG VAN DIE BOEK IN “Tien vrae: André Fourie oor Monochroom reënboog Litnet





Op patrollie

In die vliegtuig terug Bloemfontein toe, drie dae later, skyn die son helder deur die klein venstertjies. Ek kyk na die ander passasiers. Mans met aktetasse, kinders saam met hulle ma’s, studente, almal so… so ongekompliseerd. Sonder bagasie.

Ek beny hulle. Wie is ek met al my bagasie? Ek wat verlede week nog terrs geskiet het. Ek wat nou, net soos die ander passasiers, skynbaar ongestoord op die vliegtuig sit. Ek wat volgende week met ‘n glimlag agter die toonbank by die bank gaan staan – “Môre Mevrou, waarmee help ek vandag? Het u geweet ek het verlede week ‘n man geskiet? En anderdag het ek ‘n vrou in die kop geskiet. Ja Mevrou, haar lippe en borste was afgesny…”


Buffel in die bos

My belewenis van die werklikheid het byna skisofrenies geword: ’n Rasionele ervaring wat presies verstaan wat gebeur het en waarom. En ’n emosionele ervaring wat dit moeilik maak om dit hier, ver van waar dit gebeur het, te hanteer.

Op die grens het die oumanne hieroor gepraat. Van die nagte waar jy depressief rondrol, sleg slaap, sweet en angsaanvalle kry wat in drome begin waar jy in ‘n bos vol landmyne verdwaal en mense hoor skreeu en huil.

En dan skrik jy telkens vervaard wakker. Gillend, natgesweet.


Besoek aan ‘n kraal

Heel dikwels klou ons vas aan herinneringe uit “die goeie ou dae”. Maar dan is daar ook herinneringe wat ons diep wegpak en huiwerig oopmaak.

Of vir altyd probeer toehou. Herinneringe wat met niemand gedeel word nie.

Ek het ‘n plekkie wat ek koester, ‘n stil plekkie waar ek min mense toelaat. Ek treur en lag daar tussen herinneringe deur wat nooit uitgewis sal word nie. Herinneringe aan vriendskap, liefde en omgee vir broers saam met wie ek geskerts, gehuil en gesweet het. Broers saam met wie ek met laaste lig ‘n sigaret of pakkie Super C gedeel het. Broers wie se verminkte liggame ek vasgehou het terwyl die lewe, rooi gevlek, in die wit sand weggesyfer het – saam met my jeug.

Daardie dae raak weg in gister, maar bly vlak in my wese.


Poster (foto)






Iewers laat ‘n kassetspeler Rodriguez se musiek deur die basis sweef. I wonder… Onbewustelik neurie baie van die manne saam, wonder saam oor die trane in kinders se oë en soldate wat sterf. Wonder wanneer die wêreld van haat verlos sal wees. Wonder, wonder, wonder…


Ek lê uitgestrek op my bed en luister met net my swart PT-broek aan. Die manne is opgewonde, baie van hulle. Ons het pos gekry. En pakkies. Benecke kom sit met sy oopgemaakte pakkie by my op die bed.

“Waar’s jou pakkie?” vra hy.

“In my trommel, hoekom?”

“Nee, ‘k wonner maar net. Gedog jy’t dalk niks gekry nie. Pieterse het niks gekry nie. En ek dink Harmse het ‘n Dear Johnny gekry.” Benecke steek ‘n stukkie droëwors in sy mond en hou die pak na my uit. “My oom het dié gemaak. Hy maak die beste wors. Proe bietjie.”

“Harmse? Hoe weet jy dit?” vra ek terwyl ek ‘n stukkie van die-beste-wors afbreek.

“Nee, hy’t sy brief begin lees en f*k, f*k gesê. Toe frommel hy die brief op en prop dit in sy sak. Hy sit nou al vir ‘n halfuur daar op die toilet.” Benecke delf verder in sy boks eetgoed rond.

“My bliksem, hulle gaan al van standerd agt af uit. Hy wás so bang dit gaan gebeur. Ons sal maar ons support moet gaan gee, jong.”

Du Toit kom van buite af in. “Hei boys, Harmse sit op die pot en tjank oor sy meisie. Ons sal moet gaan help daar.”


Natuur roep in die bos

Dit is so ‘n uur voor klaarstaan. Drukkend warm. Vier manne sit in ‘n geïmproviseerde swembad – ‘n gat in die grond met ‘n grondseil uitgevoer, halfvol met water uit die waterkar. Elkeen met ‘n Coke in die hand.

Iemand het intussen vir Harmse uit die toilethokkie gekry. Met dikgeswelde oë leun hy teen ‘n wasbak, teugend aan ‘n Kasteel met Kersop se arm vertroostend om sy nek.

“Ek is só lief vir daai meisiekind,” sê Harmse gebroke in ‘n hoë stemmetjie. “Ek wou met haar trou. Sy sê niks nie, hoekom, wat… F****l. Ek verstaan nie…”

“Kry vir jou ‘n Kameel,” skud Benecke ‘n sigaret uit die pakkie met Neethling wat dadelik sy aansteker se vlam aanbied. Terwyl hy die sigaret tussen Harmse se lippe aansteek, gee hy raad: “Pel, ek voel saam met jou, genuine. Maar luister nou, vanaand gaan ons lekker gesuip raak, ons drown ons sorrows en dan môre gee ek jou die adres van ‘n smart girl. Sy was saam met my op skool… genuine ‘n smart girl. Move on, man, daar’s baie visse in die see.” Hy mik speels twee, drie vuishoue na Harmse se maag en gaan voort. “Luister my ou, laat jou pa nou vir jou raad gee,” hy maak sy stem so ‘n oktaaf dieper, “’n man is nie ‘n windpomp nie. Jy kan nie so lank op een gat bly staan en pomp nie.”



Later die aand, terwyl ons Harmse se sorrows in die kantien drown, bars ‘n troep uitasem by die deur in.

“Hei , f****t boys, daai ouman-tiffie wie se buddy verlede week die landmyn afgetrap het, het bossies geraak. Sy mind het gegaan. Hy sit hier buite in die donker met sy ma en praat.”

Dit is laataand, pikdonker. Buite sit die man onder ‘n boom en praat. ‘n Leë bierblikkie is sy telefoon. Sy ander hand klem om ‘n bierbottel. Die woorde is anders as dié van ‘n dronk man. Hartverskeurend, deur snikke lê hy die wonde van die afgelope klompie maande bloot.

“Ma, Hennie is dood Ma, moer toe geskiet. Sy voet het my in die gesig getref. Ek kon niks doen nie Ma. Dis die f****n terrs Ma, húlle’t hom doodgemaak. Ek haat die wetters, ek haat hulle, haat hulle, háát hulleeee…”

Die manne wil nader staan, maar Staf Gerber keer.

“Los die man dat hy die k*k uitkry. Maak net seker dat hy nie ‘n wapen by hom het nie.”

Agterna sou daar nog ‘n hele paar geknakte siele so opbreek. Eens opgewonde, lewenslustige jong manne vol bravade wat dan met gesonke oë deur die basis strompel, gestroop van menswees. Soos daai een ou, ‘n Noddy-kardrywer[1], wat een oggend poedelkaal deur die basis gedwaal het met ‘n R1. Vreemd genoeg, hý het ook heeltyd met sy ma gepraat. Eintlik meer gemompel, met oë wat niks sien nie. Toe gaan sit hy met die geweer tussen sy bene en skiet homself deur die kop vóórdat enige iemand kon keer. En dan is daar daai luitenant wat soms snags so in sy slaap huil…

[1]  Eland  pantserkar


Poster (foto)



Die brein van ‘n kind is braakland – wees versigtig wat daar gesaai word…


WINTER – 1970

Een van my take was om gedurende die wintermaande die antrasietstoof in die sitkamer brand te hou. Dit was ‘n ewige gemors as ek vergeet het om die antrasiet op te vul en die vuur laat vrek het. Want dan moes die stofie afkoel voordat ek al die as kon uitkrap en van vooraf pak – eers ‘n bolletjie koerantpapier of twee, dan ‘n paar droë houtjies en heel bo-op ‘n klompie swart antrasiet-kole. Die geur van die brandende papier en hout het ‘n so ‘n aardse, huislike bekoring gehad. Sodra die vlammende hout die antrasiet aangesteek en rooi laat gloei het, word die houer tot bo met die swart kole gevul. Nou moes ek die stofie net gereeld opvul en die warm chroom-stafie aan die kant met ‘n haak vorentoe en agtertoe pluk sodat die as in die onderste bak kon val om leeggemaak te word.


Die stofie in die sitkamer se hitte het hele huis warm gehou. Maar, van tyd tot tyd het dit gebeur dat iets – baiekeer my geheue – my verhoed het om die opvulwerk betyds te doen. En dan het die vuur gevrek met die gevolglike skoonmaak en oorpak.

Soos die keer toe die diaken, oom Jan Augustyn sy maandelikse kollekteerbesoek gebring  het.

Ek het laatmiddag van rugby-oefening af teruggekom en was net besig om die laaste assies uit die hoekies van die stofie te vee, toe die voordeurklokkie lui. Gewoonlik het Ma en die oom alleen in die sitkamer sit en gesels, maar daardie dag moes ek noodgedwonge hul gesprek aanhoor terwyl die vuur weer aan die gang moes kom.  Vóór dit te laat en donker raak.

En dáárdie dag het ek gesnap hoekom Pa draaie om die man geloop het. Hy het ‘n negatiwiteit uitgestraal en sy praat, sy liggaamstaal en optrede het nie gemaklik op my lyf kom lê nie.

“Weet Mevrou,” Ma was altyd Mevrou in die gesprek. “Vandag se kinders het darem geen benul waar geld vandaan kom nie.”

Ma het net geglimlag.

“Ek weet nie of dit hier by Mevrou-hulle dieselfde is, maar as ek nou na daardie twee seuns van my kyk… vanoggend hou ek hulle dop terwyl hulle toebroodjies vir skool maak. Hulle smeer eers botter” sê hy met opgestote wenkbroue terwyl hy sy linkerpinkie in sy regterhand toevou, “dan grondboontjiebotter,” ringvinger word by die pinkie gevoeg, “ en dan nog stroop ook.” Die middelvinger word saam met die ander twee vingers vasgevat terwyl hy met ‘n verposing sy blik op Ma vasnael om te sien wat haar reaksie is.

Die drie vingers word weer vrygelaat en in die lug gehou. “Drie smeergoed. En dan word dit sommer nog so dik opgeplak.”


Ek het stilweg met die stofie aangegaan terwyl ek die gesprek gevolg het. In ons huis was daar moeilikheid wanneer daar met kos gemors is, maar ons is nooit gerantsoeneer nie. Ons kon enige iets op die brood gesit het. Debbie het selfs al met stroop op polonie geëksperimenteer en daarvan gehou. Pa wou ook proe.

Oom Jan het voortgegaan: “Met vandag se kospryse kan dit mos nie geduld word nie. Wat kos ‘n bottel grondboonbotter? Vyf-en-twintig sent? Dalk al meer. En dan steel die swart goed jou ook nog rot en kaal. Net verlede week vang ek ons bediende weer met suiker wat sy wou huis toe dra. Mens weet nie wat gebeur agter jou rug as jy nie daar is nie.”


Ma het haar bene andersom gekruis en vinnig na die horlosie teen die muur gekyk. Oom Jan was egter nie op liggaamstaal ingestel nie. En toe beweeg die gesprek in ‘n rigting wat selde, indien ooit,  in ons huis gehoor is. Pa het ons geleer om alle mense te respekteer en woorde soos “swart goed” en “k-ff—s” is nooit in ons huis gebruik nie. Groot dele van oom Jan se gesprek het hier in my agterkop lêplek kom kry sodat ek snags daaroor gelê en wonder het.

“Mevrou weet, ons staar ernstige probleme met hierdie klomp k-ff—s in die gesig, laat ék Mevrou vandag vertel. Die goed dink mos nie. Kyk hoe teel hulle aan. Daar is geen verantwoordelikheidsin onder hulle nie. Nee, die baas moet maar sorg as daar nie kos is nie. Of anders roof en moor hulle. Dis mos maklik. Óns werk vir ons goed en húlle kom vat dit net. Kyk hoe gaan dit hier op in Afrika.”


Ek het doelbewus my werkpas vertraag. As veertienjarige seun was ek nie regtig op politieke gesprekke ingestel nie, maar om die een af ander rede het hierdie gesprek my aandag gevang. Dit kon die woord “oorlog” gewees het.

Oom Jan het voortborduur. “Dié mense is meesters as dit kom by stamgevegte en oorlog en die aanmoediging van politieke onrus. Plaas dat hulle eerder hul energie spandeer op persoonlike ontwikkeling of gemeenskapsontwikkeling of die aanleer van vaardighede of enige iets opbouend. Maar nee, nou saai hulle net verwoesting en onstabiliteit. Kyk nou byvoorbeeld na die onlangse gemors daar in die Kongo en wat die Mau Mau’s destyds daar in Kenia aangevang het. Weet Mevrou waar kom die woord Mau Mau vandaan?”

mau mau

“E-em, is mos ‘n bergreeks of ‘n rivier daar in Kenia, is dit nie?” antwoord Ma, maar ek kan aanvoel dat hy nie saamstem nie.

“Jaaa, baie mense dink so. Maar eintlik is dit ‘n nabootsing van die geluid wat hiënas maak wanneer hulle vreet, nè.” Hy knik sy kop ‘n paar keer.

“Oo, is dit so?” sê Ma.

“Ja, min mense weet dit. Hiënas, aasdiere, lafhartige diere wat aas op die kos waarvoor ander diere hard moes werk. Of hulle sal klein of swak weerlose diere aanval. Dis wat hiënas doen. En daai spul in Kenia kies toe vir hulle só ‘n naam. Hulle erken dus hulle is soos hiënas.”

“O, maar het húlle die naam gekies of… ek verbeel my ek het iewers gelees dat hulle eintlik ‘n ander naam het en dat dit die blankes is wat hulle Mau Mau’s begin noem het.”

“Néé,” sê Oom Jan met sy stem beterweterig hoër, “hulle het sélf die naam gekies. Want hulle is soos diere. Die dinge wat daar aangegaan het is genoeg om nagmerries van te kry. Weet Mevrou van die onnoembare dade wat gepleeg is tydens allerlei rituele? Eedafleggings waar diere geoffer is en die bloed dan gedrink is? Selfs kannibalisme! Daar was selfs orgies waar…” en hy loer na my, maar ek maak of ek geen belangstelling by die gesprek het nie terwyl ek die koerantpapier in bolle druk om in die stofie te steek.

Hy gaan in effe gedempte toon voort.  “…orgies waar perverse dade met diere gepleeg is. En orgies waar hulle hulself met die ingewande en oë van die diere versier het en ede afgelê het van beloftes hoe die blankes vermoor, uitmekaar geskeur en verbrand gaan word.”

Ma stu net ‘n geskokte geluid uit haar keel. Ek dink by myself, “bliksem!” maar gaan voort om die houtjies op die koerantbolle te rangskik.

“Dis hoekom die Britte toe versterkings moes instuur. Om die blankes te beskerm. En die ding beweeg nader aan ons, hoor! In Rhodesië is dinge nie lekker nie. Daar broei iets. En in Suidwes en Angola ook. Die regering vertel ons niks, maar ‘n vriend van my se broer was daar, in Suidwes. Hy vertel van soldate, ons eie soldate, wat diep in Angola in was. Vir wat? Hoekom sal ons soldate Angola toe stuur as daar nie iets aan die broei is nie. En ek sê vir Mevrou een ding, luister na wat ek vandag sê, dis nie lank voordat ‘n land soos Amerika val nie. Daai Luther King-ou – moeilikheid, moei-lik-heid, sê ek vir Mevrou. Hy moes vroeër al stilgemaak gewees het. Hulle het dalk bietjie lank gewag. Die swartes word nou al klaar daar toegelaat om saam met die wittes bus te ry. Vandag busse, môre hospitale en skole en as jy weer sien het hulle oorgeneem. En hulle doen dit met hulle getalle. Hulle wéét dis al hoe hulle die oorhand kan kry. Met geweld en getalle.”

“Haai weet jy, Meneer Augustyn, ek wil nou nie ongeskik klink nie, maar my kos brand al op die stoof,” kry Ma uiteindelik ‘n woord in.

“Ja, haai kyk waar loop die tyd heen. Ek het nog ‘n paar huise om aan te doen.” Hy kry sy kollekteboekie. “Die goed kan my so opwen.”

Die kollekteboekie word by ons naam oopgemaak. “Dieselfde bedrag as verlede maand, Mevrou?”

“Ja, wag laat ek net gou die koevertjie gaan haal.”

En toe steek ek die vuur aan.


Poster (foto)




Dis een van daardie sonnige Vrystaatse wintersdae wat in baie Noord-lande as ‘n warm somersdag gesien sal word. Pechu en Bunny is, soos gewoonlik, kaalvoet. Ons gee onsself oor aan die dag, elke sintuig van my neem gulsig die omgewing in.  Al twee van hulle is baie behendig met ‘n kettie. Pechu het al selfs ‘n springhaas met sy kettie platgetrek. Ek het ook al gesien hoe hy ‘n patrys op veertig tree met ‘n klip neervel. Maar die geleentheid om met ‘n geweer, al is dit net ‘n windbuks, te jag, was vir ons drie seuns ‘n groot avontuur.

Teen elfuur het ons al genoeg geskiet sodat ons aan middagete kon begin dink. Mieta het vir my bietjie sout en botter saamgegee, met instruksies. En ‘n bakkie mieliemeel. Die pannetjie uit my rugsak, saam met die ketel, potjie en ander noodsaaklikhede vir ‘n veldete, kom nou goed te pas.

Onder ‘n wilgerboom langs die rivier sit ons en vere pluk. Die voëltjies lyk soos vaal miniatuurhoendertjies, die duiwe darem so bietjie groter. Nadat hulle skoon gepluk en die binnegoed verwyder is, spoel ek hulle onder my waterbottel af. Pechu se vuurtjie het intussen lekker begin knetter. Bunny het drie klippe só geplaas dat ek my pan daar op kan sit, langs die potjie met pap. Die botter spat gou in die pan en net soos Mieta verduidelik het, plaas ek so ‘n paar van die voëls in die warm botter en strooi ‘n klein bietjie sout oor. Die pap wat Puchu in my potjie maak, begin effens brand.


“Hierie pot hy’sie dik nie,” maak Pechu verskoning vir die brandreuk. Ek weet die pot se boom is dun, dis maar ‘n gewone emaljepotjie wat al so bietjie van sy roomkleur verf op vorige uitstappies verloor het.

“Hy sal reg wees, moenie worry nie,” stel ek hom gerus.

Die voëltjies is gou gaar en ons begin solank weglê aan die voorgereg. Ek dink my eerste een is ‘n mossie. Hulle lyk maar so min of meer almal dieselfde so sonder vere, meestal vinke, koringvoëls en mossies. Intussen het ek die duiwe so al op die borsbeen langs oopgesny en plat in die warm botter gedruk.  Húlle eet ons saam met die pap. Die duif se bors is sag en geurig.

Ná ete gaan spoel ons die eetgerei in die rivier af. Hurkend by die water skiet ek ‘n pannetjie vol water oor Pechu. Die twee broers sit weerskante van my en afspoel. Pechu kap laggend ‘n handvol water terug en skaterend val Bunny ook in. Dit ontaard in ‘n uitgelate woeste watergeveg en gou-gou is ons so nat dat ons sommer in die rivier begin speel – winter of te nie. Speel, eerder as swem, want Bunny kan nie swem nie. Pechu se swemmery verras my nogal, maar ook nou nie so dat ek hom as kaptein van die swemspan sou kies nie. Met so ‘n vreemde styl kry hy dit darem reg om vorentoe deur die water te beweeg.


Uitasem gespeel, klim ons teen die grondwal uit en gaan lê op die gras so ‘n entjie van die betonkeerwal af. Soos ‘n besorgde ma vou die middagson ons heerlik warm in haar strale toe. Die grootmense wil nooit hê dat ons naby hierdie betonwal kom nie, maar vandag is hier nie grootmense nie. Pechu vertel dat hy al groot visse met sy hande aan die bokant van die wal gevang het. Die water vloei sterk en stort so vier meter laer in ‘n maalkolk oor die wal. En dis hier teen die damwal, aan die bokant van die waterval, waar die visse soms vasgekeer word en met die omdraaislag deur wagtende hande gevang word.

“Vang julle die visse sommer so met die hande?” vra ek ongelowig.

“Moet die hanne,” bevestig Pechu.

“Nou maar kom’s gaan kyk.”

Ons staan so kniediep in die water en wag vir die visse, drie, vier treë van die wal af. Pechu beweeg effens dieper in, nader aan die damwal waaroor die water dreunend tuimel. Ek volg hom, maar Bunny is huiwerig en klim uit. Die stroom trek-trek hier aan my bene. Later aan my heupe. En toe raak dit ‘n dare game, visse vergete.

Met Bunny wat bekommerd van die oewer af toekyk, kyk ek en Pechu hoe naby ons aan die rand kan kom met die stroom wat hier van agter beur om ons bo-oor die wal te smyt. Nou vang ons nie meer vis nie. Ons konsentrasie lê nou by die sterkvloeiende stroom. Voetjie vir voetjie beweeg ons nader aan die damwal waar die rivier ‘n jong waterval word.  Met elke tree nader aan die rand voel dit of die water harder beur. Pechu is so ‘n halwe tree nader aan die wal as ek. ‘n Paar keer wil-wil ek my balans tussen die los klippe verloor, Pechu ook, maar dan gooi ons net ons lywe agtertoe en gee ‘n tree terug. Weer stadig vorentoe totdat die aanslag van die water te sterk word en ons net doodstil vasskop om die aanslag met skuinsbeurende lywe af te weer.

So tart ons die noodlot. Pechu se gesig blom met wit tande. Hy wink vir my om nader te kom. Die stroom is sterk. Versigtig lig ek my voet van ‘n vastrapposisie, stadig vorentoe, voel-voel vir ‘n nuwe vastrapplek. Ek kry een en wil vasskop, maar die klip gly en my balans word aan flarde geruk. Met minagting gryp die stroom my en slinger my soos ‘n vetgesmeerde paling verby Pechu wat my met weerlig-reaksie aan die arm beetkry. Hy is egter nie opgewasse teen die krag van die stroom nie en verloor ook sy vastrap.

Baie mense vertel hoe hulle lewens in stadige spoed verbyflits wanneer die dood in die gesig gestaar word. Al wat ek aan kon dink, was die klippe wat ek ‘n vorige keer, toe die rivier droog was, aan die onderkant van die wal gesien het.

Terwyl die stroom ons oor die rand spoeg, wonder ek of ons dadelik dood gaan wees en of ons gaan verdrink. Ek staal myself vir die trefslag op die klippe, maar daar is geen trefslag nie. Die water is diep en die klippe ver onder die oppervlakte. Dit voel of ons in ‘n wasmasjien val. Die water maal ons soos wasgoed al in die rondte, al in die rondte. Ek kry vir Pechu aan die voet beet, maar tussen die modderwater en borrelgemaal verloor ons mekaar weer. Vandag gaan ons verdrink, want ons kry nie ons koppe bo die water om asem te skep nie, flits dit deur my kop. Die maalkolk skuur my rug teen die klippe op die bodem en neem my weer, so voel dit, boontoe. En weer ondertoe. Hoe lank ons so gemaal het, weet ek nie. Baie dinge het deur my kop geflits. Ek het gewonder of Pechu nog lewe. Waar gaan ons lyke uitspoel? Gaan Ma-hulle kwaad wees?

Die wasmasjien word skielik op ‘n ander siklus geplaas, want eensklaps kry ek myself uit die maalkolk geskop. Vir ‘n oomblik sien ek niks van Pechu nie, maar dan skiet hy ook soos ‘n kurkprop langs my uit. Ons swem kant toe en gaan lê op die riviersand, lam gespartel. Bunny is gou by ons. Hy sê niks, kyk ons net grootoog aan, maak seker dat ons lewe. Ek draai my kop na Pechu toe en hy kyk na my. Hy het ‘n bloedstreep langs sy kop en my rugvelle het teen een van daardie bodemklippe agtergebly. Maar ons lewe. Ons borskaste werk soos blaasbalke. Pechu spoeg ‘n klippie uit.

En toe bars ons uit van die lag.

(Verwerkte uittreksel van my boek: MONOCHROOM REËNBOOG

Poster (foto)