I’ve been researching the San, an indigenous group of click-language speakers in southern Africa, for close to 25 years. My interest began when I wanted to advocate for San rights via a novel, Salt & Honey. I undertook field research in Namibia among the Ju|’hoansi. The rest is the history of my passion for the survival of the San and their culture.
Over the years, I’ve been lucky enough to be invited to work with various groups of San from the remaining language groups. (Total San population estimated at around 100 000 people- 2011 census.)
The tuition I’ve given has related to writing literacy and story, but in fact, the San have taught me about story and much else besides: democracy, ecology, egalitarianism, child-rearing, shamanism, plant and animal lore, folktale and social care.
I’ve been adopted by a Ju|’hoan family and I’ve undertaken fundraising to provide nutrition in a group of mother-tongue schools.