I am a writer with African roots who was born and lived in Zambia and South Africa for 35 years before stints in Aotearoa New Zealand and now currently England. I have had a YA sf/fantasy novel called ‘The Stone Chameleon’ published in South Africa in 2004, as well as a batch of short stories published over the years.
I am currently working on a sequence of stories set on the Moon, with a man torn between the calling of his ancestors and the call of Mars. I am also extending a story set in a post-catastrophic Cape Town due to be published in short-story form soon (2010), following the journey of a family.
Apart from writing, I am in full-time work as a Research Tutor on a Doctoral Training Course in Clinical Psychology in the UK. In addition to a clinical Masters degree from the University of (Kwa) Zulu Natal, I have obtained a Ph.D. in child development from the University of London, England. This was focused on the development and assessment of deaf children. I have also specialised in working with children on the autistic spectrum and suicidal youth. One of my main clinical interests is the interface between politics, culture and mental health and I was an active member of a Maori led ‘waiata’ group when working in Aotearoa New Zealand – i.e. Maori traditional songs and dances. I have had a number of academic publications in various mental health journals.
During the 1980’s I worked extensively in the ‘black townships’ during the transition to democracy in South Africa with the liberation struggle from apartheid, and was also on the move at times to avoid Military Police who had turned up at my parents’ home, keen to see me deployed in another no doubt more destructive role in the townships. After the first democratic elections, I have been pleased to run several writing workshops in Cape Town, such as at the Oscar Mpetha High School in Phillipi. This was run under the auspices of the South African Environment Project. A number of children submitted stories from the Mpetha workshop and this was summarised in an article I had published in The South African Science Fiction’s magazine Probe. The winning story was eventually printed in Probe 127 (2005).
I am currently living in London with my wife and youngest daughter, along with a ginger cat called Lucy – who has adopted us when we were in Aotearoa New Zealand – and a cocker spaniel called Bella. Lucy was flown in to England via Qantas Airways in a big wooden box marked ‘One Live Cat.’ My daughter suggested we mark the box ‘Schrodinger’ and put in an insert: ‘One Live ^or dead^ Cat’.
We visit family in South Africa as regularly as we can and will return to live there one day, aiming to continue to contribute to a great country and a wonderful continent.