Friday, February 24, 2012

Saffers Needing Support Face Book Group has been Launched !



with those who have experienced trauma leading to migration, else trauma due to emigrating, plus families fractured due to migration from Southern Africa.. 

It's a group/site where folk can be given information, give one another moral support, tips and support, some 'cyber hugs' and caring banter as we as migrants all have gloomy days as we go through the adaptation process...

It's a place where folk can feel empowered and where they can get assistance as they 'heal'.. sharing emotions and feelings in a safe space, leading to catharsis !

Politics, religion-bashing, racism, blasphemy , emigration advice (as in visas and work permits etc)  and advertising   

 for self-gain are not part of the Groups' ethos. 

Please Email me at for

 more information.

Will respond...

 to sincere and authentic inquiries.

Else look up SNS on Face Book and ask to Join... Mandi and Eve :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

More on Scatterlings - A Tapestry of Afri-Expat Tales

Scatterlings - 
A Tapestry of Afri-Expat Tales
I emigrated from South Africa in 2008 and reside in New Zealand.  I'm a freelance writer and a psychologist, but foremost a devoted wife, mother and gran (called 'Ga Ga' !)
My book is firstly about being born in Africa and the slow conscientising as a child about Apartheid; not understanding at first, and then the terrible discovery of how it impacted negatively on the people and the country (and still does have that lurking legacy hanging over the land 18 years later…).
(mock up book cover)
Secondly, the book encompasses my Epiphany and the journey and psychological processes of immigration, including my own metaphorical death and rebirth.
Thirdly, others’ voices are heard; a chapter with Saffers’ and Zimbos’ tapestries and tales, and their reasons for emigrating, choices to stay or go, their journeys, their adaptation, their process, their stories, their advice… This is the essence of the ‘tapestry’.
As a psychologist there will naturally be some focus on the ‘process’ from a psychological paradigm.
I am attempting to present a cross-section of voices – over and above my voice – so that the extreme complexity and rich diversity is incorporated on a continuum from Left to Right perceptions (though overt racism will not be tolerated nor incorporated). I want to ensure some level of authenticity and reality, but with caution and sensitivity. (I'm having a disclaimer in the book, as not all opinions reflected will be concomitant with my own...) 
The intention is not to cast aspersions, blame, finger-point, justify etc. It is more from a psychological, analytical and in some ways esoteric (not religious) mediating vantage point to help facilitate people to come to terms with theirs and their families’ choices rather than a ‘selling emigration’ booklet. This is especially important when we know that the majority of Saffers simply can’t leave. (It is not a betrayal of Africa...but rather for myself of in some ways feeling betrayed.)
We have a daughter and her family here in New Zealand, as well as two sons in South Africa with their families, and hence grandchildren in both countries. It is about sharing what I allude to as the “shrapnelled society.”
There is also a historical timeline media-type chapter with quotes, book reviews from Alan Paton to the present, plus poetry, lyrics and traditional recipes.
Any sharing would be valued... do your want your voice heard in ' Scatterlings....' ?

Eve is an educator, writer, psychologist and applied drama specialist. Her career in special needs education in South Africa spanned over 30 years as a teacher and principal. She was born and bred on a Free State farm where her passion for land and skyscapes, colours and textures inspired her to write, and has developed as a form of self-expression due to her passion of articulating thoughts into words, and its connection to narrative psychology. Eve and her retired - now artist-dabbling - husband live in New Zealand, where she's a practising educational psychologist. Eve is a wife, mum and gran, who is imbued with a passion for life, kindness, aesthetics and creativity. She hopes to find more time to write, paint, play and nurture her beloved grandchildren when retirement eventually knocks on her door.
From The South African.Com

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Barry Levy - Former SA Journalist living in Australia

Barry Levy...

Barry needs little Introduction..! I'm humbled to have this opportunity to showcase this powerful writer's work on my blog. What resonates for me firstly, is his exuberant, expansive selfless ... and compassionate soul, which rings loudly through the genres which he elects to write about- combined with his poetic insight and perception which brings brutal truth to the attention of the reader... and secondly, due to my identification with him as an SA Expat residing in Australasia. 
I look forward to having the privilege of meeting Barry across the NZ/Oz 'ditch' (The Tasman) some fine day.. Ready steady Go !... :)

Barry Levy is a former South African journalist who moved with his Australian wife and two children to Australia in 1984, because of their abhorrence of apartheid. In 2004 Levy had his first novel published –Burning Bright, a story of young love, hate and child abuse, set against the apartheid years of late seventies South Africa. 
The book was also published in Italy.  Levy's second book, 
As If! (Interactive Press, 2008), is a harsh, realistic yet compassionate depiction of life on the streets for Australian kids. 

Other publications include The Glazer Kidnapping, the true story of one of the kidnappers involved in the world's biggest kidnap of its time, which took place in South Africa in the mid sixties; a short story, "The Promised Land", published in At the Rendezvous of Victory, a compilation under the title of principal author and Nobel Literature Prize laureate Nadine Gordimer; and "The Souls from Nowhereland", a chapter in the recent compilation,
 Should I Stay or Should I Go, which highlights the ongoing dilemma and argument around emigration for 
South Africans.

Levy has been a winner of the Australian Human Rights Award for Journalism - for a multiple series of stories on child sex abuse, domestic violence and homelessness; a winner of the Anning Barton Memorial Award for Outstanding Journalism (Central Queensland) – for a series of stories on child sex abuse (incest-rape), and a Walkley Awards Queensland State finalist – for a series on homelessness.

Shades of Exodus 
Barry Levy
Levy's newly released novel - Shades of Exodus,  revolves around the true story of a South African family who flee the violence of South Africa only to fall victim to a vicious and bloody crime in Australia.
Once an outspoken critic of apartheid, David Levinrad now longs to return to the transformed 'rainbow nation.' His yearnings, heightened through life-changing events, takes us on a journey that tears at the soul and exposes our common humanity.
Is paradise always what it seems? And is there ever a way back? 

Some of the Reviews which give insight into this man's perceptive and highly relevant work...

Captures the emotions of loss and rebuilding with poetic insight...

SHADES OF EXODUS will resonate with all migrants – South Africans in particular – who have battled with themes of meaning, relationships, sense of place, and personal identity as they have moved to new worlds.

– Dr Robert Schweitzer
Associate Professor of Psychology
Queensland University of Technology
(and a migrant)

Shades of Exodus had elements of being my own autobiography. So many thoughts, sentiments, passions and yearning for the place once called home…..could one ever really feel the lucky country is home? Could one ever feel completely oneself here? These are questions I don't have an answer for?... 
Shades of Exodus has provided an intriguing and heart-warmingly enlightening read mixed with great depth and passion of the pulling forces between what is and what was… and many thoughts that had vaguely transcended my mind were there in printed form… The details and humour describing the personalities and their interaction was quite remarkable and entertaining… but also with the rather confronting but necessary parts of the book, I felt the fear and denial… All in all, congratulations on a deeply significant and most readable book.
– Glenda Fehler

Just wanted to say thank you so much for such a wonderful read! It is a really beautiful story – and very thought-provoking. For me, this is underscored by David Levinrad's story towards the end. I really felt like I was in his head and following his stream of thoughts. "Bladdy" well done!
– Angelique Oltvolgyi

Congratulations. The book you have written truly conveys the complexities of feelings we, immigrants, feel here in Brisbane. Written with total objectivity, and really putting it all out there. A really good read!
– Anita Wurfl

Themes of exile and longing for home have been elements of literature as far back as Homer and The Odyssey. And world history has been fundamentally shaped by the often forced exodus of people from their homeland and displacement around the globe, such as the Jewish Diaspora and, in the nineteenth century, the Irish emigration to the New World of America and Australia.
Shades of Exodus explores these themes in the context of a contemporary displacement, that of white South Africans leaving their country before and after the end of apartheid.
David Levinrad is a South African journalist so disturbed by the systematic violence and corruption of the apartheid regime that he emigrates to Queensland with his Australian wife Penny and their two young children in the mid-1980s. There they build a new and reasonably contented life in the suburbs of Brisbane, but the vitality and pulse of life in his homeland calls to something visceral within David, such that the urge to return and contribute to the rebuilding of South Africa becomes a vital force whose urgency he finds both difficult to suppress and to communicate to others.
He comes into contact with more recent South African émigrés, families who have fled what they see as the entrenched problems of AIDS, poverty and violence that have been unleashed in the wake of end of white rule. The clash between these different perspectives is underscored by two acts of brutal and murderous violence: one in South Africa that has influenced the departure of one family; the second involving the daughter of one of the emigrant families in suburban Brisbane, suggesting that such crimes can happen anywhere.

This is an important novel of interest not only to emigrant families but all of us who have been influenced in one way of another by the displacement of people into alien environments. The language is richly poetic in conveying the vital forces and connections that give one a sense of belonging. The struggles of the characters to make sense of their experiences and relate them to others make for a compelling narrative. Shades of Exodus constitutes a highly recommended contribution to a universal quest.
– Dr Geoff Danaher, Idiom 23 (Central Queensland University)

 If I had your gift for writing I would put into words how I feel, but I can only say, WOW, WHEW, this book is amazingly written and so close to the bone....– Amanda Shrock

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Thinking Baobab Tree for book cover design !

Scatterlings- A Tapestry of    
Afri-Expat Tales   
By eve hemming  

I am now thinking a Baobab Tree Design for the book cover... how iconic is that ?  "Truth is like a baobab tree; one person's arms cannot embrace it" (African proverb)
An Africa tree is symbolic and powerful... we all have our roots in Africa... the branches are over arching and reach out to far away lands..... The Tree has seasons, cycles, shade, protection, sustenance. It brings cherished memories of tree climbing as children, of the sweet fruit we bit into in Africa....
One of my all time favourite childhood books was 'The Faraway Tree'....and as a child living on a Freestate farm, I had a secret favourite tall tree that I would climb - high up into its branches to peer down at the boundaries of my world. I felt like an omnipotent being! Far below the garden and lawn nestling around the sturdy homestead, stretched out below me. The house, heavy in its sand stone with red corrugated iron roof, parked its weight on the African earth.  Frisky, our fox terrier, seemed to be chasing his shadow. African voices sang in lilted tones as they went about tending to this and that. The drone of the faraway tractor, out of sight on the escarpment, could be heard through the filigreed leaves that brushed against my face. Always the rooster crowing on cue...Those are moments that remain frozen in time and unadulterated delight... 
 and later a mother's call...'Evie Pie ... ! Where are you ?' 

The Baobab Tree

"The Baobab Tree is a symbol of the strength of Africa. There are any myths and legends about the Baobab Tree and it is revered for its healing properties. The most common myth is that the gods in error, planted the Baobab tree upside, hence its strange shape."

BAO-BAB TREE is the story of a beautiful tree who complained to the GREAT SPIRIT of the WILD PLAINS about wanting to be the BEST and BRIGHTEST and most HANDSOME of all the African trees. The GREAT SPIRIT became tired of the complaints, and reached down from the sky, yanked the tree out of the ground and placed it back into the earth UPSIDE DOWN! All the animals were alarmed, and so was the huge tree. For after that, the magnificent tree only grew leaves once a year. The other months the ROOTS seemed to bend and grow towards the sky...The baobab looks like this for a reason. In the wet months water is stored in its thick, corky, fire-resistant trunk for the nine dry months ahead. The baobab's bark, leaves, fruit, and trunk are all used. The bark of the baobab is used for cloth and rope, the leaves for condiments and medicines, while the fruit, called "monkey bread," is eaten. Sometimes people live inside of the huge trunks, and bush-babies live in the crown...". Bobby Dooley Hunter. 

"The Baobab – Africa's Giant Upsidedown Tree"

Legendary tree of life, the giant baobab is

 a standout star 

 of the African bush 

Baobab tree at Musina (c) Graeme Williams/MediaClubSouthAfricaFrom .

There are eight species of Adansonia tree, but only one baobab tree (Adansonia digitata), native to the African mainland. Six of its relatives live in Madagascar and one in Australia. It is a tiny - and very distinctive family. The baobab itself is anything but tiny. 
This is the monster of the African bush, a vast fleshy giant which looms over the acacia scrubland waving its Medusa -like branches above a bulbous body.
Baobabs only grow below 1000m (3,000 ft) in tropical so are found in the South African lowveld - in Limpopo province, particularly around Musina, in the Kruger Park & northern Kwazulu-Natal
Some of the oldest are said to be well over 2000 years old.
The Sunland Baobab
Baobabs can reach heights of up to 30m (98 ft). The largest ever recorded, in Limpopo, South Africa, the Glencoe, had a diameter of 47m (154ft) before it split in two. The largest in                existence now is thought to be the Sunland Baobab, in Modjadjiskloof, Limpopo, has a height of 22m (72 ft) and a diameter of 47m (154 ft). Since fires have hollowed out  parts of the trunk, the owners have turned into a bar and wine cellar.Carbon dated at around 6,000 years old,this has a claim to be possibly the oldest living tree in the world ! Elsewhere those with hollow trunks have been used as burial sites and the trees have become sacred. In many places, the enduring giant trees became a symbol of community, a place of gathering.
The Tree of Life
The Baobab is also incredibly useful - so much so that Disney's Lion King named it the 
Tree of Life. It behaves like a giant succulent and up to 80% of the trunk is water.San nomads used to rely on the trees as a valuable source of water when the rains failed and the rivers dried. A single tree can hold up to 4,500 litres (1,189 gallons). The bark and flesh are soft, fibrous and fire-resistant and can be used to weave rope and cloth. It is also used to make soap, rubber, glue and various medicines.
The fruit, which looks like a velvety gourd, is filled with big black seeds surrounded by tart cream, slightly powdery pulp. For years the Africans have eaten both the leaves and fruit which is also known as monkey bread. Now it is being hailed by Westerners as a new superfruit. It is said to have six times the Vitamin C levels of an orange as well as vitamin A, twice the amount of calcium of milk and be stuffed with antioxidants such as iron and potassium. It is said to be pro-biotic, good for digestion, brain and nerve function. The seeds can be roasted, and the flesh sliced or diced and cooked in a variety of ways. So far, however, the pulp is mainly being used in smoothies, as a thickener or sugar substitute. In the UK, Whitley Neill are adding it to gin!
There are many stories and traditions surrounding the baobab. The most prevalent is that the tree was lording it over lesser plants and so offended God, who uprooted it and planted it again upsidedown to stop it boasting. It remains in leaf for only a very short time each year and if you look at its branches bare of leaves, its easy to see how the legend grew.
The Order of the Baobab is a South African National Order, instituted in 2002, awarded to citizens for distinguished service in the fields of Business and the economy; Science, medicine and technological innovation; or Community service...."
As migrants from Africa, we are in
essence upsidedown, changing our day to 
night or our Summer to Winter...turning
our souls inside out and adapting...
wherever we re-root!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Scatterlings: A Tapestry of Afri-Expat Tales | The South African

Scatterlings: A Tapestry of Afri-Expat Tales | The South African

"Scatterlings- A Tapestry of Afri-Expat Tales"...


     This is a mock-cover for my book whilst we decide on what will best depict the interwoven Tapestry of Tales of the Scatterlings from Southern Africa; now spread out around the global village...
     I'm delighted to have a response from SA and Zimbabwean expats living in UK, USA, NZ, OZ, Canada, Peru, Bermuda, Kenya, SA, the Ilse of Wight etc... who wish to add to the rich tapestry of the book... 

    For more info please email me on ...
                              From Wikipedia :

A diaspora (from Greek διασπορά, "scattering, dispersion")[1] is "the movement, migration, or scattering of people away from an established or ancestral homeland"[2] or "people dispersed by whatever cause to more than one location",[3] or "people settled far from their ancestral homelands".[2]
The word has come to refer to historical mass-dispersions of people with common roots, particularly movements of an involuntary nature, such as the expulsion of Jews from the Middle East, the African Trans-Atlantic slave trade, or the century-long exile of the Messenians under Spartan rule.[3]
Recently scholarship has distinguished between different kinds of diaspora, based on its causes such as imperialism, trade or labor migrations, or by the kind of social coherence within the diaspora community and its ties to the ancestral lands. Some diaspora communities maintain strong political ties with their homeland. Other qualities that may be typical of many diasporas are thoughts of return, relationships with other communities in the diaspora, and lack of full assimilation to the host country.[3]

I see us as the diaspora people from Southern Africa- scattered and now scatterlings... vagabonds with a foot in Africa and a foot abroad...
(Diaspora - from the Greek - dispersed...!)