As a young child with curly black hair, my greatest excitement was the first time I wrote my name. In those early days, I strengthened my skill in writing, and till today have a beautiful handwriting. I remember fondly, my play on words and my sketches which I called, Scrapio's. Two things I knew back then is that I will see my name in print (often) and that Scrapio would one day be a trademark on mine.
I was born in a small town called, Ravensmead, Cape Town. I am the third of four children (two older brothers and a beautiful baby sister). I was gifted scholastically and from a young age was earmarked to be the doctor in my family. I guess being born a non-white under our South African Apartheid regime our parents did everything to push us into careers that were perceived as bringing not only financial success, but more so freedom. So although my parents acknowledged my gift for writing and storytelling, my successes in this field were never really encouraged. My mother hinted at this from time to time, buying me a typewriter, etc.
When I was 10 years old I won a National Poetry Competition and by time I was 16 my first collection of poems was submitted to a local publisher. This submission was not successful. I was told that I was too young. I think my disappointment was more felt by my mother for she knew, as now, of my first love: writing.
As a child I had another very special gift. I was able to foresee things. In my heart of hearts I knew that I was born for greatness. I knew that I would be used in spite of me, doubting Thomas, to fulfil a message of faith and belief.
Back at the restaurant where I worked, there were patrons that recognised this. Today many of them have passed on, yet their teaching and guidance remains with me. This was a part of my awakening; my understanding of things and of my writing and storytelling.
I moved on to other companies over the years, where my focus remained management and people development. Yet, my heart yearned to write.
In 2000, I went on a very special journey. It was a time of change for me. I left behind all my possessions and with R50 in my pocket I went hitchhiking for 5 months through five Southern African countries. I prayed much during that time. I left Mozambique two days before the devastating floods of 2000; I slept in a squatter camp (informal settlement) in some of the most dangerous townships in South Africa; I hitched, alone, on dirt roads in the Okavango Delta region...all along writing, reading and talking to God.
Having said all this, I hope the one thing that shines through is my humility. And this is what I pray for, humble words, stilling to the soul. My most wonderful recent gifts have been the birth of my children: Hannah (5); Annie (3) and Zach (1). Not only have they made me see life in different ways, they have also rekindled my love for words.
As for my wife, Joy, she has laid waste the worst of me. For the first time in my life I not only acknowledge my faults and my weaknesses, but I am granted opportunity to work on these. Joy is my love and the deepest understanding of my soul.
“The Sands and My Dream” is of a journey and a cycle in my life completed. Enjoy my words and pray for me, that: “Humble be my words?”