I Must Go On

first_imgEven if the birds refuse to come homeUnder the veil of hush it is a mans worldTo be free of the unspoken suppressionAssociated with what is real and the liesLoud s a mega phone I scream out loudI Must Go OnErstwhile creation bubbles every secondUtopian creed fuels my uttermost outlookThe pair search remains a daunting taskAmidst raucous of unspoken hurt tidbitsLoose sight of all good at a sudden flashI Must Go OnEarnestly a ruined net buried in soft clayUnprecedented pearly rivers flow freelyThe die was cast after a Rubicon crossAnnual this twist which was meant for lifeLove yourself ya to last the raging stormI Must Go OnShare this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Mahaica fisherman stabs reputed wife to death, drinks poison

first_imgDeomattie “Kalvina” Persaud, a 23-year-old mother of two, was on Thursday morning stabbed to death by her reputed husband, 43-year-old fisherman/farmer Bishwanie Maraj, who is now in critical condition at the Mahaicony Cottage Hospital after ingesting a poisonous substance.This incident occurred just outside the couple’s Lot 34 Third Street, Belmonte Mahaica home on the East Coast of Demerara at some time around 09:30h.Guyana Times understands that the couple have been living together for the past eight years, and would usually have disagreements. However, about a month ago, Persaud abandoned the home and took their two children – aged seven and six. Maraj collected the kids from Persaud’s mother about a week ago, and when the young woman turned up on Thursday morning, reportedly to take the children to school, she was dragged out of the taxi and stabbed several times by her reputed husband.Dead: Deomattie PersaudA neighbour, Aubrey Mayers, told reporters that when he became aware of what was happening, he rushed to the woman’s assistance.“When [the wife] come, the husband come and meet she out on the dam, and the encounter happen… When I go there, she lay down on the dam, gapping… Then I go and try to hold he [back, but] he pull way and go [in the yard and] lean down a bottle,” Mayers related.Suspect: Bishwanie MarajThe neighbour claimed the couple would usually have disagreements and Persaud would leave, but would always return a few days later.“I try my best as neighbour [to help them]. He grow up here, she from Cane Grove, and they live together long, but you know does get lil normal family problem. Is only couple days now I talk to he and tell he things like this does happen,” the man related.Asked, Mayers noted that while he never saw Maraj physically abuse his young, common-law wife, they would often be heard quarrelling.This newspaper understands that the Police were summoned to the scene, but had to break a window to get to Maraj, who locked himself in the bottom flat of the house after consuming Bestox – a highly active insecticide.He was rushed to the Mahaicony Cottage Hospital, where he was admitted in critical condition.Persaud’s mother, Shamdai Punu, told reporters she was at work on Thursday morning when she received a phone call about her daughter’s death. The woman said she did not believe, but still went to the scene, where her worst fears were confirmed.According to the grieving woman, her daughter had been abused by Maraj, who would often fail to provide for their small family. She claimed the man would at times not work for two to three weeks.Punu said her young daughter, frustrated over the situation, decided to permanently leave Maraj about a month ago. She had been staying with her sister in Leonora while her two children were with her mother, from whom Maraj had taken the kids about a week ago.However, Maraj’s sister gave a different account of the couple’s relationship. She said Persaud would be home all day and not do any of the household chores.“She does be on she phone and watch TV whole day, and don’t do no work, sometimes she don’t even cook. I does gotta be cooking for my brother for weeks sometimes, when he come out from sea,” the tearful woman related.This sister went on to claim that after moving out, Persaud had allegedly moved in with another man, but would still call Maraj and talk to him almost daily.However, the mother of the young woman denied knowing about any new relationship involving her daughter.Persaud’s body is currently at the Lyken Funeral Parlour awaiting a post mortem examination.last_img read more

Region 5 REO has no respect for Regional Chairman – Govt Councillor

first_imgThe Regional Executive Officer (REO) of Region Five (Mahaica/Berbice), Ovid Morrison, has no respect for Regional Chairman Vickchand Ramphal. This comment was made by one of the coalition Councillors after the Regional Democratic Council meeting was again abruptly ended as a result of disruptions from the Coalition Councillors, who told the Chairman that the REO will continue to do what he wants.REO Ovid MorrisonThe Regional Executive Officer, who is the Clerk of the Council, has refused to provide the chairman with information on the region’s financial affairs, and has proceeded to spend the region’s finances without discussion or approval. One such instance was the establishment of a model farm by the REO which was not budgeted for and which does not have the approval of the RDC. Morrison, who has also been accused of assaulting one of the NDC’s Vice Chairmen, is the sole person who decides how the region’s finances are spent.According to Vice Chairman Rion Pieters, only certain communities are benefiting from the resources available to the region.“The people of this region want to know why excavation works are being carried out in specific communities, and there are other communities across this region which are neglected. Neglected so much that the people of Foulis, after realising that their community is being neglected, opted to pay for services which other communities are enjoying free of cost,” Pieters related.Noting that it is the REO who has control of the region’s excavators, Pieters questioned why some communities are being neglected.However, the answer could be found in what Coalition Councillor Dillon Crawford told the RDC about the REO.“It is a lucky thing that we have a very strong Regional Executive Officer who does not care a damn what you do or what your views are,” Crawford told the Regional Chairman.The Vice Chairman highlighted that, for the previous 12 meetings, the Coalition Councillors have been disrupting the RDC. Last Thursday’s meeting was chaotic as Coalition Councillors continuously interrupted Ramphal in his attempts to address the RDC.Councillor Abel Seetaram and Crawford repeatedly refused to take their seats when asked to do so. In fact, Crawford claimed that the Standing Order allows him to interrupt and stop the Chairman from speaking if he wanted to make a point.The meeting was eventually adjourned by the Chairman since he was unable to address the Council and direct the meeting.Pieters, addressing reporters after the meeting ended, said all efforts being made by the Coalition to have the RDC meetings adjourned are part of a well-orchestrated strategy.He added that the Clerk of Council, in his capacity as REO, is answerable to the council; and “if he allows the successful holding of these meetings, questions will be asked and we will demand answers.”Between January and July 2016, the Coalition Councillors refused to sit at the meetings, demanding an apology from the Chairman for not attending a function in the region at which President David Granger was the guest of honour. In was not until the President addressed the issue in August 2016, saying that he did not want an apology, that the Coalition counsellors returned to the RDC meetings.But in October 2016, other issues were brought to the house, and they started the walkout again.In May 2017, they walked out after the REO demanded an apology from the Chairman, saying that his credibility was at stake when Ramphal called for an investigation into allegations that two NDC officials had used an NDIA machine to carry out personal work.In December 2017, both sides had made a resolution to mend their differences and meet in the interest of the people of the region.However, in February 2018, Morrison led a walk out of Coalition Councillors after he attempted to remove a local journalist from one of the RDC meetings but was unsuccessful because the Chairman did not approve his demands.“These acts are not done by mistake, but they are deliberately done to prevent the people of Region Five from being made aware and (brought) up-to-date of what is taking place as it relates to most of what is being done across Region Five,” the Vice Chairman said.last_img read more

Region 1 RDC says situation could lead to ‘crisis level’

first_imgInflux of Venezuelans…as Chairman calls emergency meeting with stakeholdersAs the number of Venezuelans coming here continues to increase, the Regional Democratic Council (RDC) of Region One (Barima-Waini) called an emergency meeting involving all stakeholders to discuss ways in which they could address the plethora of issues they face.Regional Chairman Brethnol Ashley told Guyana Times that the meeting was held on Tuesday and involved the Mayor, Deputy Mayor, the Officer in Charge of the Police in the region, and other officials. They looked at ways of addressing the rise in criminal activities and possible health risks.Ashley had previously expressed worry over the fact that the region lacks resources to cater for the individuals who are seeking refuge there. The Chairman stressed on the lack of human resources, adding that shortages of drugs and other medical supplies continue to plague the region due to the increase in persons coming into the region.“The Government hasn’t intervened in the way we would want them to… that is to ensure that homesteads are constructed for the migrants, among other things,” Ashley stated, adding that the situation on the ground is larger than what has been reported and the region’s capacity to respond is limited.He said, “While it might seem as something not to worry about, it is something that concerns us because the large numbers of migrants that are here, currently pose a security and health threat. The regional office plans to visit some of the areas in which they are located.”According to Ashley, the RDC has received more complaints of these migrants getting involved in certain illegal activities and break and entering into business places. But the Regional Chairman said if that is not enough, citizens in the region have complained of being harmed and harassed by some migrants.But what the Regional Chairman is also worried about is the fact that these migrants pose a major health risk to residents in the region, asserting that sanitation and hygiene are very important. At present, the region is being affected by a dry spell, with most communities not being able to access potable water.“We worry that if these migrants are not placed in an environment where they are proper sanitary facilities and water, it could be a recipe disaster and possible health issues… I would want to say that if this is not addressed soon, it could become a crisis,” he told Guyana Times.Region One Chairman Brethnol AshleyBased on the discussions held between the officials of the RDC and the other stakeholders, several visits will be made to the villages and communities where these migrants are staying. Once an assessment is done, a report will be sent to Central Government with not only concerns but recommendations.On Wednesday, the Department of Public Information reported that 140 Venezuelan migrants arrived in Georgetown on the same day on the MV Barima, which departed from Kumaka. Citizenship Minister Winston Felix informed the DPI that the migrants were documented, immunised and taken to the Guyana Police Force’s Headquarters, Eve Leary, Georgetown.It was also reported that of the total number of migrants, about 70 of them had connections, whether relatives, friends or acquaintances, in the city; into whose care those persons have since been released. An additional 66 who do not have any connection on the coast, remain at Eve Leary where they are being provided with meals.“We are seeking to source… long-term arrangements for them in terms of accommodation… but so far we are in control of the situation. We have assistance from the UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) and IOM (International Organisation for Migration) and we are managing the situation with their support,” Minister Felix said.Additionally, Spanish-speaking Guyanese are on hand to translate the needs of the Venezuelan migrants as well as their concerns to the relevant authorities.last_img read more

‘The Premier League has fallen asleep in the race to match Barcelona and Real Madrid’

first_imgThis feature appears in the current edition of Sport magazine. Download the free iPad app from the Apple Newsstand, and follow on twitter @sportmagukAt a few minutes to five on Saturday, Luis Suarez will join Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar and a wealth of international talent in the tunnel at the Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid.The camera flashes that normally illuminate such an occasion won’t be quite as dazzling because of the early kick-off time, which is convenient for the Asian television market and could help swell the global television audience for El Clasico beyond the 400 million recorded in March.Four hours later, to considerably less fanfare, promoted Eibar will kick off their home game against Granada in front of about 5,000 fans at their Ipurua Municipal Stadium.Eibar’s record signing is just €75,000, compared to the £75m Barcelona spent on Suarez in the summer. While El Clasico features the most expensive players in the world, a number of clubs in La Liga are operating under severe financial constraints. But, we ask, is Real Madrid and Barcelona’s dominance harming the rest of the league? 4 4 4 “There are two answers to this question,” says Spanish and European football journalist Lee Roden. “It’s always tempting to offer one side of the argument because it appeals to romantics, rather than to look at both. Evidently, their financial dominance has hurt the other teams in terms of being unable to keep their best players, and the debt the other sides have taken on in order to even stay afloat. At the same time, though, what that has done is it has forced other clubs to be more inventive in their transfer strategies. Sevilla are a perfect example: they spent a fraction of what Barcelona, Real Madrid and certainly Premier League clubs do, yet they consistently find diamonds in the rough, extract maximum value from them, sell them, then replace the stock. In many ways you could argue that some clubs have been better for that – they have been forced to develop good, intelligent scouting as they can’t just pay on a whim for big names.”Atletico Madrid are another example. They managed to break a nine-year run of Real Madrid and Barcelona titles last season thanks to the astute management of Diego Simeone, despite losing their best players: Sergio Aguero, Falcao and Diego Costa are among the high-profile departures in recent seasons.Strength in depthThe inequality is worsened because of the way television rights deals are negotiated separately in Spain, instead of collectively – as in England. This means that, in Spanish football, the bigger clubs are able to command a much larger slice of the pie.Sky Sports pundit Guillem Balague believes the Spanish league is a lot stronger than it gets credit for, and that the other clubs can compete despite the financial imbalance. “There are too many cliches pushed in the direction of La Liga,” he says. “Of course it’s not ideal and of course everybody will want a better distribution of the money. But it’s not as bad as people say. Sevilla won the Europa League, Atletico Madrid won La Liga (below) and went all the way to the Champions League final. Just because Real Madrid and Barcelona are ahead, it doesn’t automatically mean that everybody else is not competing.” “The financial inequality has undoubtedly helped strengthen Spanish football’s name on the world stage,” says Roden. “Barcelona and Real Madrid’s dominance in Europe over the past decade or so has been facilitated by the amount of money they make domestically.”The dominance of the Spanish giants is making waves in England. Look at the most high-profile transfers in the Premier League over the past few windows. Gareth Bale and Luis Suarez departed for Real Madrid and Barcelona respectively, while the biggest signings for Premier League clubs were players deemed surplus to requirements by the same two clubs: Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez, Angel Di Maria and Cesc Fabregas.Buying votesThis could be considered a direct result of the way Barcelona and Real Madrid are operated. Fan ownership is held up as a model that the English game should seek to emulate, but it can lead to transfer behaviour just as extravagant as under a single owner. Both clubs are owned by the socios – members who get to cast a vote for the club president. This is usually a hotly contested affair preceded by months of promises and debates. Those promises often centre around transfers – it’s in the best interests of the incoming or incumbent president to promise and deliver on big-money signings. “Both teams need to be competing at the maximum level, otherwise people will vote with their feet,” says Roden.Real Madrid have long had a policy of signing the biggest names in world football – this summer it was Colombian World Cup star James Rodriguez and German midfielder Toni Kroos (pictured together below). But, with the club’s debt rising to almost £500m, players need to be moved on – hence the departures of Ozil and the popular Di Maria. 4 ‘The Premier League has fallen asleep in the race to match Barcelona and Real Madrid’ “One trick that Alex Ferguson, and even Arsene Wenger, taught everybody is that you should sell players just before their level drops,” says Balague. “They felt with Ozil and with Di Maria they could still get good money and continue their business model, which is of course to have new faces, the brightest and best from the World Cup. Florentino Perez [Madrid’s president] has always felt that Galacticos is the way forward. And, if you consider where Real Madrid were before Perez arrived to what it is now, you have to say his business plan is working.”Often lauded for bringing through academy talent, Barcelona seem to be going the same way with their recent signings. “Barcelona getting Luis Suarez goes a little bit against what they’ve been doing in previous years,” says Balague. “Because the board is weak they feel they need to impress the fans. One way of doing that has always been to use the money you’ve got to get a player like Suarez.”Settling for the players Real Madrid and Barcelona no longer want is a chastening experience for English clubs, who have only themselves to blame, according to Balague. “I just feel that the Premier League has been falling asleep for a while,” he says. “In 2007, 2008, 2009 it was wonderful – the highest level, the best players and the best coaches, but they’ve fallen asleep. They’re still giants. I don’t think they’ve been affected just because Real Madrid and Barcelona have taken some of their players. They should just do better with the money they have.”Perhaps the chairmen and managers tuning in for El Clasico and wondering how to compete with the resources of Real and Barcelona could learn more from watching Eibar.last_img read more

Wiyeta, Serani crowned 2019 Copa champs

first_imgSerani became the first team since Mombasa High School in 2006 to win a national school’s football title and their head coach Daniel Lenjo who also coaches the Bandari FC youth team was elated with the result.“We worked hard and got so much support from the school’s principal. I am so happy with what my bys gave and it is so much pride for Mombasa for us to win this crown,” Lenjo told Capital Sports after the victory at a simmering Kisumu Stadium turf.Juma Mwinyikai hit the winner eight minutes from time with a low shot from the right to give Serani victory over Koyonzo, the same margin with which they beat them in the group stages.Serani were largely the better side in the encounter playing attractive football that excited the fully packed Kisumu Stadium while Koyonzo were more direct.The Mombasa representatives had an early chance in the third minute when Mohammed Sufii picked out Mwinyikai with a good ball behind the defense, but the latter’s effort to lift the ball over the keeper was awry, the ball going wide.Koyonzo had a chance in the 24th minute when Fred Okutoyi was picked out with a good cross from Allan Juma, but his shot did little to trouble the keeper.Douglas Odanga had another chance for Koyonzo off a poorly defended ball, but he lifted his shot from the edge of the area over the bar. In the second half, Isaac Simiyu’s header from a Clinton Obonyo corner went over in what was their first effort on target.Eight minutes from time, Serani who were playing on the back foot in the second half hit the winner, Mwinyikai planting the ball into the bottom right off a brilliant Mohammed Mahir pass from the middle.Koyonzo almost made an immediate response, but Said Linson cleared the ball off the line denying Okutoyi’s effort from a corner.Serani saw off the remainder of the game defending with numbers for their first ever national crown.Earlier, Harambee Starlets striker Jecinta Karemana scored the winner as Wiyeta picked their second Copa title. Wiyeta had reached the final of the last two editions, only coming short, but they ensured they went one better this time round.Noelle Iruko had drawn Itigo level on the hour mark after Edna Nanda had given Wiyeta the lead, but Karemana who has been sensational throughout the tournament popped up with the winner four minutes from time.0Shares0000(Visited 16 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Wiyeta Girls captain Jamila Amida tries to control the ball during a Copa Coca-Cola game at the Kisumu Polytechnic. PHOTO/Timothy OlobuluKISUMU, Kenya, Aug 3 – Rift Valley’s Wiyeta Girls and Coast Region’s Serani Boys High School have been crowned champions of the 2019 Copa Coca-Cola Under-16 Schools Championship in the final played at the Moi Stadium in Kisumu on Saturday.The boys from Mombasa beat Koyonzo 1-0 in a tightly contested final while Wiyeta beat Itigo Girls 2-1.last_img read more

WARNING ISSUED AFTER FRAUD ATTEMPTS ON LETTERKENNY BUSINESSES

first_imgLetterkenny Chamber is wanring businesses and customers to be vigilant after a number of suspected fraud attempts.Letterkenny Chamber Chief Executive Toni ForresterAt least two attempts were made to purchase goods illegally.Chamber CEO Toni Forrestor said at this time of the year they are issuing a timely reminder to retailers online and offline to be vigilant about card payments. “One of our members has been targetted by an online fraudulent card for goods being delivered to Nottingham. Their card merchant suggested that there was a campaign being targeted on Donegal.“This is a terrible thing t happen to any business in the run up to Christmas and unfortunately as we do more online this will become more commonplace and we urge all retailers to be vigilant both online and offline.“We always advise that businesses check out www.safecard.ie to ensure all staff are aware of procedures. We obviously warn about this type of activity throughout the year but at this very busy time it is more important than ever. No one can afford to give away valuable stock so we advise that businesses do all they can to mitigate against fraud at all times.“We discourage card not present transactions and ask that retailers check out delivery addresses to ensure that they exist and that goods are not being delivered to a pick up point. The merchant bank or online payment processor may pick up fraud but it is always best to err on the side of caution. The chamber also had  a suspected fraudulent purchase on their ShopLK website.“We checked out the address and discovered it did not exist so we declined the purchase. It might be tough turning away a potential client but if you have any doubt you are better to refuse the sale.“This is a busy time for everyone so we just hope that no one else will be affected,” added Ms Forrestor. WARNING ISSUED AFTER FRAUD ATTEMPTS ON LETTERKENNY BUSINESSES was last modified: December 17th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Women’s Soccer Opens MVC Tournament Against UNI on Friday

first_imgNo. 4 UNI (13-4-1) advanced to the semifinals with a 1-0 victory over No. 5 Illinois State in a quarterfinal match Sunday. Junior Kelsey Yarrow scored a first-half goal for the Panthers as they defeated the league’s preseason favorites. UNI is trying to advance to the championship game for the first time in school history. As the MVC regular season champions, Drake (13-3-2) earned the No. 1 seed, as it vies to win its second-ever MVC Tournament title and earn the league’s automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. For the fifth time in program history, the Bulldogs went undefeated in conference play with a 6-0-1 record this year, to claim their sixth MVC regular season title. The 2006 team won the MVC Tournament and earned the program’s lone berth to the NCAA Tournament. The 2006 team is the only Drake team to play in a MVC championship game. The winner between Drake and UNI advances to Sunday’s title game at 1 p.m., where they will play either No. 2 Missouri State or No. 3 Loyola. Those teams will play each other Friday night at 6 p.m. The Bulldogs battled the Bears to a 0-0 draw on Oct. 17 in Springfield and defeated the Ramblers, 1-0, in the regular season finale on Oct. 26 in Des Moines, Iowa. Drake and UNI met Oct. 10 in Des Moines as the Bulldogs held on for a 2-1 win. The two teams have played 16 games all-time with the Bulldogs holding a 9-4-3 advantage, but this will be first meeting between the teams in the MVC Tournament.center_img SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The Drake University women’s soccer team plays UNI in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament semifinals on Friday at 3:30 p.m. The annual tournament is hosted by Missouri State in Springfield, Mo. Friday’s match will be broadcast on The Valley on ESPN3.  Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more

McBREARTY SHOT WAS OVER THE BAR, SAYS MONAGHAN PLAYER

first_imgPATRICK McBrearty’s last gasp effort to tie today’s Ulster final in Clones was a point, a Monaghan player has admitted.Vinny Corey was speaking on this evening’s Marty Squad on RTE Radio One and told host Marty Morrissey that he felt the shot was over the bar.“I could have sworn it was over the bar,” said Corey. “But the umpire waved it wide so I was happy enough.”Donegal hit 16 wides today – including McBrearty’s shot.We now face Galway next weekend in Round 4 of the back door play-offs.But it looks like we should have been back at Clones next weekend for a replay after Monaghan’s 11 point to 10-points victory. It will now be up to Donegal Ladies to get some revenge when they travel to the same venue next Sunday to play Monaghan Ladies in their Senior Ulster Championship Final. McBREARTY SHOT WAS OVER THE BAR, SAYS MONAGHAN PLAYER was last modified: July 19th, 2015 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:ClonesdonegalMonaghanPatrick MBreartypointlast_img read more

Chris van Wyk: the storyteller of Riverlea

first_imgChris van Wyk’s love affair with words began in childhood. At five years old, he told his parents he was going to be a writer. (Image: Pan McMillan) Sulaiman PhilipChris van Wyk’s memorial could easily read: “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” His life was a celebration of the power of words, the wonder of expressing them and the joy of memory. Or, as he would say: “We’ve got our own magic, lots of it, which remains untapped.”The “coloured” Black Consciousness writer, Van Wyk, who succumbed to pancreatic cancer on 3 October at the age of 57, will be remembered for his humour, his generous laughter and his campaign to get others to love and enjoy words, books, as much as he did.Whenever he said “coloured” his fingers became inverted commas dancing around the word, his friend, J Brooks Spector, wrote in the Daily Maverick. In the 1980s, as the politically active editor of the Congress of South African Writers’ Staffrider magazine, Van Wyk would refer to himself as black.Now he was coloured, but that identifier was still problematic to him. In his writing and his embrace of his identity as a South African, Van Wyk “drew upon a complex mix of all the things that went into being both Coloured and South African – something like putting on a newer, bigger coat with more space to stretch and move in, by contrast to an earlier, more tightly fitting model”.As proud as he was of the non-racial, democratic experiment he was a part of building, Van Wyk was always watchful. Race remained an identifier for South Africa’s population and he bristled at the way history was rewritten to celebrate some icons while the fruit of others labours were left to wither on the vine. The people of South Africa should choose their heroes, and not fall in line behind heroes sold to them. “[Nelson] Mandela and thousands of others fought and died so that you could build your own dreams and ideals,” he would tell his audiences of schoolchildren. The poetVan Wyk won the country’s most prestigious poetry prize, the Olive Schreiner Award in 1979 for his collection, It Is Time To Go Home. It included “In Detention”, the poem extensively quoted on social media when news of his death became public. His 1996 debut novel, The Year of the Tapeworm, attempted to describe the impact of apartheid on ordinary people; his 2004 memoir, Shirley, Goodness and Mercy,sold over 25 000 copies and was translated into Afrikaans. It was followed by Eggs to Lay Chickens to Hatch in 2010, which “filled in the missing bits”. His 2006 children’s book, Ouma Ruby’s Secret sold over 50 000 copies and his children’s version of Nelson Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom, published in 2009, sold 55 000 copies.A bookish child in a rough neighbourhood, Van Wyk’s identity was shaped by his favourite authors – Es’kia Mphahlele, Pablo Neruda, early John Steinbeck, Albert Camus and Peter Abrahams. More than that, there were the sights and sounds of Riverlea, in southern Johannesburg, that created a world to which he returned to give his life meaning. And there was the music he grew up with – the soul-fuelled rock of The Flames, Abdullah Ibrahim’s jazz and the most loved of all, Port Elizabeth vocalist Danny Williams.Growing up in brutal times, Van Wyk’s poetry echoed the horrors of deaths in detention, the humiliation of being ordered around by a white child in uniform. Talking to the Africa Book Club, he remembered the beginning of his writing career: “In my last two school years I had poems published in the Saturday edition of a local newspaper, The Star. That was in 1974/5 and marked the beginning of my ‘writing career’. It wasn’t easy: the apartheid government reacted harshly to anyone who criticised it. And in those days much of the writing by black writers was unavoidably about life under apartheid.” The memoriesIn his memoir, Shirley, Goodness and Mercy, the most difficult chapter to read is the one about an especially violent teacher who took pleasure in meting out corporal punishment, but there were others, inspirational teachers who nurtured Van Wyk’s story-telling talent. There was also the surprisingly well-stocked Riverlea library (he would joke). Complemented by his parents’ love of reading, it all added up to create the author.“I have a vivid memory of a four-year-old me in bed and my parents telling me stories. Their plan was to make me sleep. But it had the opposite effect, leaving me wide awake and excited about suddenly having discovered a new world – the world of make-believe!”For Van Wyk, writing, his poetry and memoir especially, was never just about fighting the demon of apartheid. Yes there is sadness and anger in his work, but also humour. His work is a celebration of the simple joys of being alive. South African writers, he believed, took themselves far too seriously; they saw themselves as artist and not story-tellers. At the time of his death, Van Wyk was collecting and recording stories from Riverlea’s older residents. Stories, he told the Writers Write website, that were jaw-droppingly fascinating.It’s that magic of telling stories and knowing your neighbours and their families that contributed to his remaining in the suburb until 2005, when the storyteller of Riverlea and his family moved to a house in Northcliff in Johannesburg’s northern suburbs.His collection of recordings will end up in the archives of a public institution such as Wits University. A self-confessed lover of gossip, Van Wyk said these stories were skinder-filled – or gossipy– personal histories of South African life. He recorded and transcribed them personally because, he said: “I want to hear how they say things, the gaps between the words. I stayed in this community because there is that element of me as writer that kept me here.”Here, whether it was Riverlea or South Africa, mattered because it was home; and home was an idea that mattered to Van Wyk. And after watching the stage production of Shirley, Goodness and Mercy his family finally understood. These men, artisans who worked with their hands, realised his importance in their world as the teller of their and his stories.Chris van Wyk will be missed by the people whose stories mattered to him, by the children he inspired and by readers who will not get to read new work by a man who believed in the power of words to celebrate life.last_img read more