Mzansi Shorts

Authentic South African Short Stories.

about the author

These author bios are always tough to start. Should you just launch into a ‘my name is blah blah and I’m from this little spot on the map?’ Can someone say cliche?

OK, here goes: The name’s De Wet Ferreira (the W is pronounced as a V). I’m equal parts Afrikaans and English, and everyone that knows me calls me Dev (which will include you by the time you’ve read this).

I was born in Port Elizabeth, along the south-eastern coast of South Africa. I’ve moved around quite a bit, spending fair amounts of time in both large cities (like Cape Town) and small dorpies (like a spec on the map called Port Alfred).

I’ve met all sorts of people throughout this journey I call my life, from rich jet-setters living it up in shore-side mansions to homeless people with little more than a plastic packet of clothes and a stolen supermarket trolley to their name.

Since matriculating in 2008 I’ve worked as a waiter, a quasi-manager of a coffee shop, a used car salesman, and a pizza delivery boy. I’ve worked sales at a nursery (selling plants, not babies), at a musical instrument store, and I’ve owned my own musical tuition studio.

I’ve been a gigging musician, playing intimate shows on wine farms in the Cape Town area, and in 2016 I was employed as a journalist for a health and wellness magazine. Up until recently I worked as a digital marketer (something I still do on a freelance basis – focusing on copy writing), and I am currently a teacher at an international school in Jiangsu, China.

I don’t rate myself as a great writer. Heck, I’m not even a good one! I know what you’re thinking… Oh, these creative types and their false modesty. I might have a degree in communications, but I am by no means a formally-trained writer. What little talent with the pen I might possess has come from two things: reading a s*#t load of books, and a s*#t load of practice.

The idea to write a bunch of short stories about South Africa and the people who occupy it came to me, like most good ideas, in the shower. There I was, belting out my rendition of Bon Jovi’s livin’ on a prayer, when it hit me. The idea to write a few tales about South Africa, using people like you and me to illustrate what life is like on the tip of Africa. Some events are not really phenomenal, like when Miriam and Marge meet in a Home Affairs office and share a piece of cake. Some events are tragic, like when Officer Mpilo Dube unknowingly kills his own brother in a shootout.

My goal here is not to irritate or insult anyone, and if any of my stories come across as discriminatory please let me know. What I want is for my fellow South Africans to remember that, while we have our differences, we are together in this thing called life, and can choose to either focus on the negative or on the positive. We all go through our own personal strife, no matter who we are or where we come from.

If this blog can get you to reflect on how you treat your fellow South Africans, and make you realise that tolerance is perhaps not as difficult as it sounds, then my work here is done.

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