It’s dry and dusty. Volumes of mining waste rising and falling across the otherwise flat horizon, like great burial mounds; a piloerection of rubble surging in reflex to the fall of industry on the East Rand. I’m in my dad’s arms. He looks smart – black trousers, striped golf-tee, damp hair combed back – like he’s ready for work. I’m holding my toothbrush and teddy, the one with a blue bow around her neck (soon to be sacrificed to the abyss of excessive cuddles). We’re on the front porch, the wispy brown softness of my toddler curls (so much like the hair of my own daughters’) nuzzling my dad’s neck and shoulder whilst I concentrate on brushing my pearlies clean white. He smiles at me. A white orb hanging next to the doorstep casts its morning shadow over number one hundred and forty-four, diagonally positioned 1-4-4 on the dark brown wall of the house. Later, the flick of a switch will bring the orb to life, a light in the dark—home.

Image: William Kentridge (South Africa 1955-) Rand Mines


Author & Storyteller: Andrea Zanin

Andrea is a writer, wife, mother and dreamer; also the author of this website. She moved to London in 2006 to earn £s, travel, see bands and buy 24-up Dr Martens—which she did, and then ended up staying. Andrea lives in North London with her husband (also a Saffa) and five children. She loves this grand old city but misses her home and wishes her children could say “lekker” (like a South African) and knew what a “khoki” is.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top