I’m going to keep it really simple. Because the stories I write are fantastic – in the sense that almost no-one would believe me, even if I said they were true. But then, some of the things that I claim really are true are incredible. And some of the opinions I hold – controversial.
So, let’s keep things simple to start with.
My name is Paul du Preez.
(If you want to know why I created it, visit the About this Site page.)
Most of my life I worked as a nightclub musician. Or a school-teacher. I suffer from a disability. But let’s not make a big deal out of that. I’m retired, early. Health issues. Let’s not make a big deal out of that either.
Really, in a decent world, it should be.
Except, it’s not so simple.
I was born in South Africa under apartheid. I married a woman of colour; my son is of mixed race. I’m proud of that.
When I started out as a young musician, I worked almost exclusively in black clubs. My colleagues were so-called ‘Cape Coloureds’, or ‘black Africans’. I was usually the only ‘white’ person in the place.
I wish it weren’t important. In a decent world it wouldn’t be.
Then I went to London. That’s where I became a school-teacher. I taught for about ten years.
When I moved back to South Africa, I went to live in a poor ‘black’ township. My reason was spiritual: I was a Christian, but I didn’t feel I had yet lived out my friendship with people of colour in a way that would satisfy Jesus. I hungered for socio-economic reconciliation that would heal the festering wound of apartheid; I dreamed of the heavenly Jerusalem in which people of every nation and tongue would worship side by side.
It was the furthest journey I’d ever made: further than London, even though I moved only from one familiar, middle class suburb to its unfamiliar, dirt-poor neighbour.
I learned a lot. (It’s about money and education. And tribe, of course, sadly.)
…And here I have to make a disclaimer: it’s tempting to pose as an exemplar of moral virtue (and some do) but I am not – for which reason I am more grateful for God’s love…
I learned a great deal, but after three years I left – wiser, and with new friends – to care for my father who was dying, slowly, of Alzheimer’s.
And in the wake of that bleak ordeal, discovered, for the first time, that God heals in response to faith.
I also began to write.
P.S. You can email me.