I started waltzing with rugby, in Upington, aged 8, many moons ago….
Once upon a time I owned the southernmost bar in Africa…
I started catching snakes to save them from being killed by people out of ignorance or fear….
The NSRI saved my life in 1984. So I reciprocated by taking their banner to the tip of Kilimanjaro to raise funds…
It is no co-incidence that I am wearing a Springbok beanie on top of the world’s highest free-standing mountain…
There is a lucky tortoise roaming around the CSRI gardens in Pretoria…
The author bought him for his last R30 from a street market in Maputo and smuggled him through customs into South Africa.
MY CREW IS A JEW….
Eddie Frankel is an orthodox Jew. He went through the prescribed ritual every morning and read aloud from the Torah. The Forces of Good must have noted, as we were saved from major calamaties on the high seas. But even Eddie’s invocations could not indemnify him from the curse of seasickness. He was comatose in his cabin for nearly a day…
During my Honours in Bloemfontein, it was deemed a good idea to start a university newspaper. And so, under the able editorship of Herold Verster, future President of the Free State Rugby Union, Kovsieland was born.
I was designated roving reporter. And so I could interview celebrities and do stories. One of my first subjects was Wouter Hugo, Free State rugby captain and Gazelles player. Under his captaincy, Free State notched up victories over Northern Transvaal and non less than the mighty All Blacks. They also won the Currie Cup, beating Western Province – led by Springbok captain Morné du Plessis – in the final.
Then one day, I was heading for Huis Madelelief, whose residents were among the most pleasing roses on campus. This time my target was the beautiful Karin Scholz. Karin was rag queen turned film star. She landed the lead role in Jan Scholz’s new film, Die Winter van 14 Julie. And so I interviewed her. However, I was so captivated by this amazing creature, that I could scarcely bring myself to ask any intelligent question. As I swooned out of Huis Madelief at the end of the interview, I thought to myself, there has to be worse ways of making a living than interviewing beauty queens and rugby stars.
Before the year was out, I somehow landed myself a job with SABC TV News.
The rest, as they say, is history….
The bird on the left is Dr Sherylle Calder who became a hockey Springbok at Kovsies. The author took her to the drive-in after a vigorous training session in which she peppered him with ferocious flicks and potshots to the goal. He regrets he can’t remember the name of the flick. The chap on the right is some rugby coach.