It was not the first time I forgot to change after school. The thrill of the chase and the synergy with nature was too much for a 10-year-old. The khaki camouflaged me in the semi-arid woodland here on the edges of the Kalahari.
I sought shelter to cut down the chance of dehydration.
The baobab. My trusty sentinel and the centre of my world rose up from the scrub. A two-thousand-year-old legend, leafless ten months of the year, preserved life’s most prized possession within its waxy fire-resistant bark.
San folklore claimed the tree offended the God Thora who plucked it from his garden and flung it over the wall of Paradise. Where it plunged to earth upside down & grew as is.
Relieved the hunt was unsuccessful I rested in her shade and the ever so slight whiff of a breeze. I loved the chase but not the finality of the kill.
Nowhere did I feel more secure than in the arms of this giant. The hours of fantasising about her guests from the past. I imagined the tales the Bushmen told around their fires. Good times and bad. Of pith-helmeted colonials and their cuffed porters. The terrorists and freedom fighters.
The calm. The harmony of nature. At peace. I slept content that the future will be as it should.
The mine-dust tickled Lucky’s nostrils. Buckets jangled in the wheel-barrows. Babies coughed in their beds. A car spluttered to life. The eight-year-old rubbed the sleep from his eyes then caressed the indentations on his body. To ease the pins and needles from yet another night on a reed-matt.
‘One-day I will get me a comfy bed and sleep for more than a week.’
Umgodi Squatter Camp
Rats scurried over the rooftops. They leapt the few inches between the shacks. A rancid smell of garbage and open sewers turned Lucky’s stomach.
Lucky Ndlovu shivered at the grotesque images in the firelight: Ghoulish eyes and hollowed cheeks. Teeth reflected in the new moon and heads bobbed in unison.
In their grim expressions, he read his own sad loss and short-lived past. The young boy fell back into the recesses of the night shadows. Goose pimples covered his body. A spiral of sparks spat and silenced the crowd. He held his breath.
It was time.
We live by our five senses – Sight, Sound, Taste, Smell and Touch. I believe there is an undefinable 6th sense which is our collective faculty i.e. family, community, business, faith etc. It is what preserves our ever-thinning veneer of humanity.
Whether we write a novel, read an article or publishe a few sentences it can seem like a game of Russian Roulette. Each of the chambers threatens to shoot down the motive and shun the wordsmith further.
We reserve the next spin of the gun for the feedback. From family, friends and acquaintances whose good intentions are tainted by motive and prejudice.
Editing marks the halfway point of the anguish. Where process and form threaten the essence of the project. When hard language replaces whimsical thought and fantasy.
It is not the rejection or criticism that hurts the writer when we seek a publisher. It is the pain and torture of being ignored that is intolerable
Start again or walk away?
It leaves the final chamber of the revolver clear. So the writer can start again or walk away from their beloved art form.
There is slim personal gain. Be it monitory, influence, or power. To write is to scratch an incessant itch. A need to share or to make a point. Few claims, let alone try, to represent or speak on behalf of anybody or anything. That is left tor the portals of social media where narcissistic tendencies flourish and perceptions take precedence over the truth.
Therein lays the existence of the writer – humanity’s collective conscience.
There is no programme or App capable of creativity or intuition. Forget The latest fad on artificial intelligence. It’s a misnomer to convince the insecure they are missing out. Formal education has attempted to play the same card. Intellect is neither of these. It is about life experience and the courage to back yourself.
Welcome. I look forward to your feedback and support as I share my thoughts and experiences. I am an author writing 3 books on diverse topics and genres ( historical, inspirational, non-fiction) yet each is driven by the same energy. That of Human behaviour.
Thank you for your time and patience, all are works in progress.
Chameleon (Africa to Aotearoa) offers the view that history is but the perception of the few so they might exploit the struggles of the many. Whilst leaders depict the future as is their want and need.
As told from two very different characters.
Tobias O’Malley is the main narrator. Born in the 60s in the British colony of Rhodesia. He talks of how he handles his conflict of conscience in a right-wing doctrine and comes to terms with his past and what he goes through to change his life. He attends one of the country’s most elite all-boys boarding school at the age of 11. A school with deep traditions and allegiance with the minority powers that be. He then heads for the lusher pastures of England after majority rule only to return to Africa one more time after the release of Nelson Mandela.
Themba Hlongwane is the second narrator. A tall and proud Zulu born in Zambia, once Northern Rhodesia. He is the domestic help to the O’Malleys who becomes Tobias’s protector and ally. He tells of life in the Umgodi (Hope) squatter camp amongst the mine dumps of Johannesburg where he lives with his nephew Lucky Ndlovu and scores of other illegal immigrants who seek the gold-paved streets of South Africa.
Traumatic times in Southern Africa.
The contrasts between the men’s lives are never plainer as the story concludes – not ends.
The two meet after 20 years during the xenophobic riots of the 21st century in South Africa. Sat on the floor in the refuge of a town hall Themba reminisces and of what might have been. The pair debate what could be and is the last time they will see each other.
Tobias O’Malley finds salvation in the land-of-the-long-white-cloud, Aotearoa, and the joys of a place he calls home. A nation who welcomes him and he comes part of but the guilt and regret of not having done more never leaves him.
The book discusses the point of view of leaders on the shop floor. Through the insight and solutions of blue-collar chiefs from around the globe who, share their paths up through the ranks. It raises issues of diversity and sustainable practices in a hope to inspire debate through clarity and honesty. To encourage those who do not have the means for further education. A choice, even the opportunity, to earn a living as they set up a career.
The non-fiction novel is a deliberation on where the world finds itself.
It considers the principles without an agenda of what the future may hold.
Leadership is about People – the human aspect that too often is ignored in the effort to automate.
It is for the People to obtain a sense of the complexities of a vibrant and diverse realm.
Leadership is by the People – first-hand observations of management at the rock-face.
It is not the quintessential how-to-manual nor does it try to outdo the self-professed consultant and their gravy train formulae of gain.
Leadership – About People, challenges the effects of micromanagement and red tape in its quest for the exalted peaks of true leadership. It shuns the constraints of compliance in favour of the entrepreneurial spirit.
The collaboration aspires to avert the mindless step-by-step guide to success and the rhetoric of social media. Most of us can understand one sentence after the other just as we recognise the subtlety of reading between the lines and the nuance of innuendo.
The volume boasts no-frills or promissory extravagance. It sets aside that for the fickle public, consumer, politician, government and commerce. Nor does the writing make a grandiose claim to the millennium or in what path humanity should strive for. Progress depends upon what individuals hear, that which isn’t said, how they feel and what they think.
An inspirational novel that discusses the issues dealt with by the Autistic community, what it faces in a world of preconceived norms and its need to label others who do not fit in.
The Autistic Bubble encourages a kinship of inclusiveness and acknowledgement, to show commonality and a vested interest in all ages on the spectrum. In, an endeavour to channel the tireless work of reputable motives to the whanau that is New Zealand. Not a lone voice but a choir who sing to the same tune.
They are no less diverse than any other group of people and just as others in history have sought and achieved inclusion. Theirs has just begun.
The public need to embrace an inclusive culture that educates promotes and embeds involvement. Where everyone adds-value.
The Spectrum must understand, educate and self-manage.
Both parties have reached out and they must nurture this and the Autistic Bubble means to strengthen the grip to a firmer one.
The rewards are immeasurable.
There are support groups and organisations who are more flawed than valuable with their hidden agendas and goals that are driven by greed.
The book takes the time to explore the facts and the myths that swirl around the internet. The pathologisation of autism and a pharmaceutical race to find a cure or better still create a market with a lifetime of dependent drugs. To look into the curators whose aims is to change autistic behaviour so they might act in neurotypical ways.
It indicates there can be no humiliation if honour, respect and agreement of whom they want to be are distinct. Those parents shouldn’t waste their energy on change but focus on acceptance, advocating the positives it can bring to everyone’s lives.
The author calls for the Autistic community to do everything in their power and influence to assure the right of choice. Free access and above all free to be their self. A suggestion that neurodiversity is a gift. Not a curse.
He discusses the many facets of the need to educate and drive to include Autistics. Of, a journey full of inspiration and benefit if supported, to cultivate, promote, debate and research, yet aware a path beset with frustration and obstacle.