I think Leslie and I had connected in our first phone call. I remember thinking that her knowledge of our history as a country (especially the unpopular bits) felt special. After getting to know her & her book better, I just knew that Leslie’s title deserved a prominent place on the shelves in front of readers. Dig into our collective history and grab yourself a copy of this historical journey into our past.

Your author name

Leslie Grobbelaar

Your book title

In the Storms of History – South Africa’s Untold Journey from Slavery to Democracy

Give us the elevator pitch for your book?

Take yourself on a journey of discovery with this engaging, fresh look at South African history that uncovers historical aspects heretofore not commonly understood, including:

  • How slave women became the country’s matriarchs;
  • How Boers and Afrikaners emerged as separate groups during different centuries, and
  • How British Imperialists implemented the building blocks for apartheid (1948-1994).

Taking the country, events and protagonists as her canvas, Leslie Grobbelaar ties ancestral records to historical events, alongside political, economic and social forces, to offer a deeply researched and illuminating picture of South Africa’s violent struggle against western Imperialism.

Grobbelaar bridges the past and present in this journey through time. Reaching back four hundred years to the dawn of the Atlantic Slave Trade. From the indigenous communities on the tip of Africa to the slave trading Dutch East India Company. From the emergence of Afrikaans as a slave language to the Afrikaner slaves and the slaves’ journey to manumission (freedom). From the Dutch East India Company’s European servants and their journey from paid to unpaid servants and the emergence of the Boer people. From Imperial British rule to the apartheid era. From Nelson Mandela’s long walk to freedom and the struggle against apartheid to Mandela’s Rainbow Nation and the precipice on which South Africa teeters today. As the story unfolds, each piece of the puzzle falls into place and modern South Africa comes into view.

As you journey through the country’s brutal past you will meet some of the most colourful characters the world has seen – from Cecil Rhodes, Lord Milner and Lord Kitchener to Paul Kruger, Jan Smuts and Nelson Mandela.

The thought-provoking text and stirring stories paint a vivid picture of South Africa’s journey and the parts every group played, each with its own struggle for freedom from tyranny and oppression. In shining a light on the country’s forgotten past, Grobbelaar reveals how the lives of all the people of this land have been intertwined for centuries.

In this clear and compelling read, Grobbelaar’s use of the creative non-fiction writing style combined with her use of the present tense, brings South Africa’s story to life.. It will realign your understanding of the country’s past, and provide a framework for understanding the present. It may even inspire you to take a journey of discovery into your own ancestry. Engaging, thoughtful and provocative.

What would you give as your main reason or goal for writing?

I began my historical research to record my family’s story for our descendants. Based on my knowledge of the country’s history, I did not expect to uncover anomalies or revelations. So many were unearthed that I was compelled to publish.

Who was the book written for?

This book was written for South Africans and South African expats who are ready to consider the country’s tumultuous past with whitewash removed and myths debunked.

How long did it take for you to finish the final draft of your book?

About 12 months working on it in my spare time

What makes this book different from others on the shelf?

It provides a version of South African history unknown to most South Africans. Despite being a history book it is an easy and enjoyable read.

What was the hardest part of the writing journey for you?

Finding source material online. It took much deep digging and peeling away the layers to find the historical events that revealed the facts uncovered by my ancestors’ birth, marriage and death records.

Your favourite place to write?

At home, looking out over the nature reserve.

What kept you motivated to write during the times you felt stuck?

The facts I had uncovered in ancestral birth, marriage and death records that bemused and intrigued me kept me motivated.

Tell us something about yourself that readers would not be able to guess?

In 1988, a national competition awarded me “Filmmaker of the Year”for my video, Africa, She Too Can Cry.

Have you written any other books?

This is my first book.

Assuming you may not write full time, what is your day job?

I care for my 90-year-old mother

How should someone get in touch with you?