Page 1


[Kin] By Gerhardt Coetzee

For Stef and Margot, my parents.

My family... A brief history would tell the story of a divorced journalist and mother of two (Margot) marrying a hardened bachelor who also happened to be an architect. (Stef) This union lead me to the small town of Harrismith in the Free State where my earliest memories are spiked with visions of snow in December, braaivleis (lots of it) and glorious autumn trees. I also remember the lengthy telephonic discussions my younger brother (Regardt) and I had with my Oupa Blaar and Ouma Ronnie in Pretoria. My mother’s marriage also brought to new grandparents into my life ..... Oupa Klasie and Ouma Rina from Delareyville in the old Western Transvaal. A visit from them entailed off-loading copious amounts of meat from the car boot. Moving to Ladysmith, an old railway town in Natal, a few years later introduce me to the all important, overpowering institution called SCHOOL. In between learning how to walk in a straight line and singing the National Anthem, I was also initiated into the brotherhood of THE GAME otherwise known as rugby. The Ladysmith era also brought about the birth of two more siblings: Stephanus and Jaco. East London became our new home in the late ninety nineties, becoming the place where I spent my very volatile teenage years. I have few recollections of happenings and occasions but my memories are filled with images: Stef uncorking a rare bottle of wine, mom curled up with a new book, Regardt behind a computer, Stephanus playing the guitar, Jaco practising with a rugby ball and Ouma Ronnie admiring her garden. And every now and then, when the yearning gets too strong to resist, we make the trek to the Kalahari Desert. It is there between the red dunes of the farm, Uitkoms, where we shed our pretensions and prejudices to become whole again. Names, dates and statistics cloud the mind. This is the story of my family, through my eyes. Images only...

And me? You won’t find me here. I am the guy hiding behind the lens...


A famile book

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you