Looking for a life – the fruits of our labour (Lagos, Nigeria)

December 6, 2016

Mosque minarets pierce soggy Lagos skies and I ask my driver to stop, the road potholed with waterlogged lakes and lined both sides with traders’ stalls. Just here are piles of tomatoes on tottering stacks of pavers. Ribs sizzle next door, sweet basil wafting from the meaty pile frying over open flames. Rasheed’s seat is […]

Almost Lesotho – seeking Shangri-La (Drakensberg, South Africa)

May 30, 2014

‘……….didn’t you ever want to know what was on the other side of the mountain?’                – James Hilton, Lost Horizon. Funny to find an Antipodean neighbour way out here: a beanie-clad, mumbling, red-head New Zealander in the middle of Africa; him having asked about places I’ve been, then admonishing himself […]

The Lion King – wandering ways (Skeleton Coast, Namibia)

March 23, 2014

There’s another white dual cab propped on the wrong side of the road. I wind down the passenger’s window to ask if all’s OK. A khaki-clad man pauses, narrow-eyed and hesitant way out here, water bottle pulled from an open, dust-laden tailgate. We’re in Namibia – previously German South-West Africa – the Namib Desert straddling […]

Postcard from Lagos – a white Christmas in black Africa (Nigeria)

December 25, 2013

I’ve been stuck in Johannesburg traffic for an hour now; finally pulling off the treadmill of Rivonia Rd, and into the Nigerian Consulate compound – open Tuesday and Thursday mornings only – to be greeted by a mountain of a security man casually swinging a semi-automatic and demanding I stop. “You cannot be bringing your […]

A Tale of Three Cities – once upon a town (Soweto, South Africa)

November 3, 2013

It’s early morning, The Healer a tall woman with the short-cropped, knotted hair of her people. I lean closer to hear her words, those bloodshot eyes blurred but vacant. She talks of `home’ – and the importance of family – before suddenly falling silent. We’re standing on an elevated ancient seabed: the rocky ridge of […]

Mandela Day – the remaking of South Africa (Johannesburg)

July 16, 2013

Back in Johannesburg for an extended African stay, I’ve been away for over 35 years. There’s no immigration paperwork, and I’m simply issued a visa at the airport. From Perth it’s been an 11hr flight, across the Indian Ocean, skirting Mauritius and Mozambique. The city is waking to another sky of azure blue, the signature […]