Gunda Hardegen-Brunner grew up in the Black Forest and in Bavaria.
She was first published at the age of 11 – a poem in the school mag, which was promptly closed down because of it.
Always interested in foreign countries and other cultures she spent a year as an exchange student in South Africa in 1975/76.
Gunda studied ethnology at the universities of Heidelberg, München and Paris VII. Later she became a physiotherapist and lived for a few years in France.
After a serious car smash she returned to South Africa to recuperate and subsequently married her former host father, the actor Michael Brunner, to many known as Skip in Isidingo, Seedling in Jock of the Bushveld, Dr Budlander in Soul City and dozens of other movies and TV series.
Gunda and Michael lived for 10 years on their smallholding off the grid with free range animals all over the show. They built a house using mainly local materials – the ground to make bricks, the trees for roof beams, the grass to thatch the roof. They built a traditional 40 foot gaff rigged cutter and lived on it for 3 years. When Michael’s health began to deteriorate they moved to a farm with a retreat centre in the Overberg and camped in an ancient milkwood forest for one and a half years. In search for a new place they travelled southern Africa for a while and then swallowed the anchor in the Karoo.
Michael died in 2012 and since then Gunda has been on a pilgrimage, inner journey – outer journey, which The Stars Beneath My Feet is all about