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"My Story-telling Career Began at Age Ten!"
My earliest story-telling talents came to the fore when, from the age of ten, I entertained my three younger brothers and their friends with serialised tales of children undertaking dangerous and exciting exploits, which they survived through courage and ingenuity. The never-ending story was called "Gruesome Gables", and it certainly was gruesome! Haunted houses, vampires, and skeletons leaping out of coffins were hot favourites in the cast of characters. Although I don't have children of my own, I have an adopted teenage foster child, from an underprivileged background, who is just discovering the joys of reading for pleasure.
Naturally, I am a voracious reader and have been from early childhood. I can remember sitting on the bus going home from school, reading, and then missing my stop because I was so caught up in the book. I also went to boarding school at Durban Girls' College and the boarders' section was separate from the school. I used to walk down to College House with one foot in the gutter of the path, so that I could continue reading and not walk into a tree or something. I love all kinds of books, art, theatre, antiques, animals (5 cats, 2 dogs and a ferocious duck called Charlemagne), music, and films. Travel is another passion and I have been fortunate to have lived in Europe (while studying) and America (for work). I have travelled widely and fulfilled many of my travel goals.
Being a bookworm, I had to attend university. After winning the Emma Smith Scholarship to finance my university studies, I graduated from the University of Natal, Durban with a double first in my B.A. (French & Drama). I won a Human Sciences Research Council Bursary, which enabled me to do my Honours in Drama at Natal. I then went to the University of the Witwatersrand to do my Masters in French-African literature (the impact of colonial language and culture upon the development of African theatre and literature). I desperately wanted to go into the world of theatre so I applied for and won the Emma Smith Overseas Scholarship for further study. I studied drama at The Drama Studio in London and mime at L'Ecole Jacques le Coq in Paris. When I returned to South Africa, I wanted to give something back to the community - after all, I'd been privileged enough to win a fantastic scholarship that changed my life. I immersed myself in teaching drama at community centres, and became involved in producing community and grassroots theatre with local playwrights and performers in Natal for several years. A move to Johannesburg took me in a new direction ... journalism. I have written freelance for the last fifteen years.