There are two things that you need to know about me. Firstly, even at the advanced age of 68, I have apples to peel with all four of my grandparents.
Secondly, I have never been able to come to terms with the phenomenon of global poverty.
About my grandparents – okay, I’m not really cross – I just have a deep sense of loss that they all passed before I was born. And that’s where this all started.
The thing that troubled me most was that I had no idea what they looked like, except for John Roberts of Sayers Lane in Simon’s Town. One of my aunts had a picture of a football team, taken in the first decade of the 20th century. The guy in the middle I was told was Oupa John, looking sharp, sporting the then fashionable oope Bybel kop (open Bible head) hairstyle.
Between the four of them, they produced a crop of 25 wonderful children. (TV had not yet been invented.) Apart from the pictures of my parents,
I only have photos of three of the 25 kids. What I do know is that they knew poverty.
Since my high school days, I have identified myself as an “old-fashioned socialist”, having had the privilege of being instructed by teachers who were mostly members or supporters of the then Non-European Unity Movement (NEUM). In a scholarly manner, I was introduced to the study of the immiseration of the peoples of the world who had been colonised by the European powers.