I don’t talk a lot about my childhood often, but maybe now is the right time for stories from the past. I didn’t have a bad childhood, it was actually pretty good.

I was born and raised in the Transvaal as the second daughter of a farmer and teacher turned housewife. We lived in a big farmhouse my parents built close to a river somewhere between Stockpoort and Swartwater – on the Botswana border. The house had white walls, big rooms and an even bigger kitchen.

The farm was my playground. I could track, hunt and drive a tractor before I was 5. I played tennis against the house walls, rode Kaiavas the Brahman and used to have a tan.


I had 1 friend, Jogabet, the youngest daughter of Jack and Letta. I think she was charged with keeping track of me, because where I went Jogabet went. She was the one that showed me the old grave with a bottle of alcohol and a tin cup on the far part of the farm. She was the one that taught me to kill a bird with a kettie and to make a small fire to roast it.


The family

My dad is a giant. He was the star rugby player in his school. He has 5 younger siblings and they all grew up on a farm and went to the same primary and high school.

After school my dad joined the police and was placed at Langlaagte in Johannesburg. He didn’t stay in the service because this gentle giant needed to be on a farm with wide open spaces.

Meanwhile a new teacher from Johannesburg made her way to this town (built over hell’s fire pits) and started teaching my dad’s 2 youngest siblings.

They invited the teacher to their farm for a weekend where the short teacher met the towering farmer.

Then my sister came along, the oldest grand kids on my dad’s side and probably number 5 on my mom’s side. Green eyes and straight hair with a dark skin like my mom. A star athlete and Daddy’s girl.

Next came me. The blue eyed, curly-haired, freckled child that would bring home cats, become the first and only vegetarian on both sides the family and not follow in anyone’s footsteps.


Susann is a travel, parenting, beauty and lifestyle blogger in Johannesburg, South Africa.


  1. So heartwarming. I grew up on a farm too, we were always told to stay away from the vicious brahman – if only I had read then what I read now.. I would have been a master cowgirl! There r truly no better memories that those of my childhood. Looking forward to your next post.

    • Definitely agree. Loved that there was a time where you could still run without supervision and do crazy things.

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