He  would  hold  his  grandchildren’s  hands  gently  in  his  calloused  hand,  pulling  them  to  their  feet,  on  wobbly  baby legs. He would pull them upward, from his lap onto his large belly, hard from years of manual work. “Walk up your Oupa’s corporation!” He would talk to them. Why he called his large, hard protruding stomach his corporation was never asked and therefore never explained! Gently he would repeat this walking up the mountain over and over to the shrieks of a delight of the child.

He was a strong, stocky man. He grew up in the wild Kalahari when lions were still a force to be reckoned with. He was a good runner with his older brothers taking advantage of his strong, fast legs to lay claim to tracts of land for diamond mining in the Kimberly district. In those days the runner was an important person to set the boundaries of the claim in a certain time, giving the circumferences of the claim its size. He could talk for hours about this exciting time in his life as a young 16-year-old boy. His staunch background never allowed drinking and smoking. He grew up eating what came from the ground or whatever could be hunted to augment the meagre diet of vegetables and fruit from the semi-desert area. This no doubt contributed to his robust health and stamina

He  married  the  only  women  he  ever  courted.  At  the  time  of  her  death  they  had  been  married  for  more  than  50 years. They had 3 sons who were all raised with the value system carried from his youth. Work hard and fear God. Two  of  the  sons  brought  him  pride  in  his  endeavours  as  their  father.  The  other  one  was  an  enigma  to  his understanding,  causing  him  to  feel  frustrated  and  angry  at  his  son’s  lack  of  integrity.  At  difficult  times  within  the family, he would retreat into himself, silently doing his daily tasks while seeking solace in prayer.

Read more…