I am currently developing a writing project together with my friend Vanessa Anthony Matthews. This time, it’s not fiction; on the one hand, this means I am working on well-known turf. On the other hand, writing a book together with another person will challenge us both in many ways. Teamwork demands more structuring – which makes it much easier for me to share a preview – have a look at our first project outline:
I never got what I wanted – My ongoing struggle
A journey in time; exploring the hopes, ambitions and expectations of those who fought for the Rainbow Nation – in the face of today’s realities.
We follow Vanessa Anthony Matthews as she visits places and people which influenced her political views and taught her the skills needed to be heard as an activist fighting for the rights of the disadvantaged – from the illegal squatter camps in Hout Bay to the abused women and children working the streets today. The stories told by Vanessa and her friends unfold the realities of today’s South Africa, both on a personal and a political level. What sacrifices were made by the activists when they became citizens? Where have their ambitions led them and what choices have they made in life? What are their hopes for this country and its people, and have they changed over time? These and many other questions are answered in interviews and documented with photographs of today and the past.
The book is structured in an introduction and six to eight chapters, each of which is dedicated to a time, place and person of importance in Vanessa’s life.
Vanessa Anthony Matthews looks back at her decision to live in the squatter camp “Disa River” of Hout Bay and becoming a political activist in a culture of oppression; not only through apartheid, but also through male dominance in the community. Moving to Disa River in the 1980’s marked the beginning of Vanessa’s ascent as a community leader, but also the start of personal sacrifices and sufferings coming through this role. She questions her past decisions and takes a hard look at where she, her community and her country stand today.
People asked for interviews include Zubeida Jaffer, journalist; Judge Vincent Saldanha; Soli Philander, comedian; Reverend Jonathan Dreyer as well as private persons who do not participate in public life to the same degree (anymore).
Comments most welcome!