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Friday, May 29, 2020


(“Growing Old In ‘Black’ South Africa” is an interesting and sometimes humorous record of a life lived well. Review by Keith Millar)

Three years ago I reviewed Neville Herrington’s memoir Growing Up In White’ South Africa.

At the time I wrote that as Herrington’s story concentrated on the early part of his life, and that as - after the period written about - he went on to forge careers as a Radio Journalist, a University Lecturer, a City Councillor, a Playwright and Author as well as being the Director of his family’s award winning TV Production Company, we should expect an sequel.

Well, this is it, Growing Old In ‘Black’ South Africa  - the continuation of the Neville Herrington story, recounting all of his not insubstantial lifetime achievements listed above.

There is a well-known quotation of uncertain origin which says, “May you live in interesting times” (sometimes considered to be a curse). Well, there can be little doubt that Herrington has lived in interesting times.

His story starts in 1964, a time when the National Party government with its apartheid policies was firmly entrenched in South Africa and progresses through some rather turbulent times in the country, all the way to 2019, by which time the African National Congress is equally entrenched as the government of the country.

Herrington’s story is, however, a far more personal account of events than just a political dissertation. His life was obviously influenced by the events happening in the country and he was, after all, an opposition councillor in Durban for eight years.

Also the political events offer an interesting backdrop to his story, particularly for readers who shared these experiences.

Herrington comes across as an amiable, good-humoured person. This much is apparent in his writing. He also displays sensitivity and spirituality. However, his style can at times can be a bit ponderous and academic.

This was a bit of a trial with Growing up In ‘White’ South Africa which ran to over 600 pages, but not so daunting with this book which is only 270 pages. I was also not a fan of the third person, fantasy, mode, he reverts to when describing his stay in hospital for surgery, and his strange dream narrative when pontificating on the mistakes the ANC government has made in the country.

Growing Old In ‘Black’ South Africa is an interesting and sometimes humorous record of a life lived well.

Growing Old In ‘Black’ South Africa is published by Tekweni Media. The ISBN No. is 978-0-9946692-9-2. To order a copy phone 031 261 1034 or email – Keith Millar