“MY FATHER’S COAT” is the culmination of a personal challenge. A decade-long ambition to make the incredible story, that is South African history, more accessible to visitors and South Africans alike.
The idea was to condense the epic narrative of South Africa into a bite-size story which is both compelling and accurate. A colossal, time-consuming challenge; but one which has given rise to a very unique product, providing order and meaning and emotion to a notoriously complex subject.
But importantly, this is no history lecture. This is a story. A story told by weaving together five prominent and directly interlinked protagonists spanning 200 turbulent years: Mzilikazi, Kruger, Rhodes, Smuts and Mandela.
So, while historians actively try to eliminate the biases so prevalent in our story; I embrace them. I invite you to climb into their shoes, where, by subtly endorsing their beliefs and biases, I lure you under their spell.
But with the introduction of each subsequent character, new facts are carefully leaked into the narrative, undermining previous biases and providing a new depth of understanding; until a balanced view eventually emerges.
Further, and because the lives of these characters overlapped, there are unique opportunities to tell the same pivotal encounters in the story through both sets of eyes. A unique approach which provides a powerful reminder of our heavy biases and the absurdity of our historic attitudes. Those attitudes ultimately responsible for South Africa’scatastrophic 20th century.
This is a unique and original approach. Never before has South African history been told in this manner.