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Sunday, August 4, 2013


Much to chuckle about and evoking happy memories of a simpler and safer time. (Review by Keith Millar)

It is almost inevitable that when old friends gather, sooner or later, someone will say “Remember when …?”

With that, the stories will flow and good old days will be recalled, recounted and fondly remembered. There will be much laughter, maybe even a tear or two shed, and no doubt, amazement at the common thread which seems to run through most of our experiences.

Ah, the nostalgia! Ah, the memories!

That is exactly what Trevor Romain’s captivating book Random Kak I Remember About Growing Up In South Africa is all about. Through his whimsical drawings and his hilarious – and sometimes poignant – recollections, he takes us on a delightful and evocative journey down memory lane.

Anyone who grew up in South Africa in the 70’s and 80’s will find that they share many of the memories related in this book with Romain.
Remember when you wore bell bottom trousers, drank Lion Lager (Down a Lion Feel Satisfied), listened to Squad Cars, Jet Jungle and Men From The Ministry on Springbok Radio, cadet training at school, Volkswagen Beatles were everywhere, 16mm movies, telephones with rotary dials, Biltong and Pot Roast was on TV, Walls Ice cream was the best, Hippies, Woodstock, or even your first kiss.

Of course, no white South African male of that age will ever forget receiving their call-up papers, doing army basics, learning to clean a Unimog with a toothbrush, border duty and hitchhiking home on passes.

And this is just a very small sample of the countless incidents, memories and experiences shared by Romain in his book.

Trevor Romain was born and brought up in South Africa before moving to the United States where he has forged a very successful career as a best-selling author and illustrator of self-help books for children, as well as a sought-after motivational speaker.

Random Kak I Remember About Growing Up In South Africa is an illustrated memoir of his recollections of growing in Johannesburg. It had its roots in random pictures. posts and blogs he posted on internet and social media platforms and which developed a global following. The subject matter will certainly strike a chord with many South Africans.

Romain has a wonderful sense of humour and his illustrations are colourful, quirky and insightful. He has a remarkable memory and recalls numerous events people, places, and slang, which a lot of people will have forgotten.

I read this book in one sitting and find that I keep re-reading sections to find something to chuckle about and evoke happy memories of a simpler and safer time. The book is great fun and well worth having. Safe my mate!

Random Kak I Remember About Growing Up In South Africa is published by the Penguin Group. ISBN Number is 978-0-14-353817-2. The suggested retail price is R150. – Keith Millar