A Hippopotamus at the Table: My true story of life in South Africa at a time of apartheid 1975-78

‘Waiting at the reception desk to check in, I saw the toilet signs for the first time, in both Afrikaans and English – Blanke Dames (White Ladies), Nie Blanke Vrou (Non-White Females) … the first time I had to go, I stood outside, hesitating, feeling that by choosing one I was accepting their distinction.’

This is a true story of a journey to a new life in South Africa in 1975.

Apartheid, black and white, enforced separation, was at its height in 1975. We went there my actor husband and me, looking for theatre work for him. From a high rise to a chicken farm was the start. Then the long drive across the Karoo and the Drakensburgs to Cape Town – a thousand miles in an old blue VW beetle, with a baby in the back. We got to Cape Town with £25 left, no where to live, no work. What happened next? Quite a story that’s what…