An open letter to the Headmistress of
Dioscan School for Girls, the Headmaster of Saint Andrews
College, the Teachers and Coaches.
I feel extremely
privileged that I was able to experience through my
daughter, Savannah Varty, the D.S.G. experience. As
Savannah’s journey drew to a close, another door opened for
me. Sean and Tao Varty were accepted into Saint Andrews Prep
School and later Saint Andrews College. Here two more
journeys awaited me, for Sean chose rugby and Tao chose
My first inspiration
was the bronze statue of two girls embracing which stands in
the courtyard at D.S.G. I learnt that D.S.G. was a place
where you didn’t shake hands, you hugged and embraced. A
place of love!
I began to hug not only
my own children but other people’s children as well. I even
got to hug the beautiful mothers, which was an experience in
My second inspiration
was a speech by Shelley Frayne, where Shelley said “At D.S.G.,
we strive to create an environment where the girls can
become the best versions of themselves as possible”.
I took Shelley’s words
to heart and moved my own life into music, poetry and
Apart from Londolozi
Game Reserve, I know of no institution in South Africa which
has been able to pour the colours and cultures of the
Rainbow Nation together as successfully as D.S.G. and Saint
However, if there is
one criticism I would make, it is that Xhosa should be
elevated to the level of English and Afrikaans.
A student emerging into
the Rainbow Nation without an African language is at a
During the days of
Apartheid, my ability to talk Swahili, was the key to making
over 20 documentaries in Kenya (I was put in jail in Kenya
for having a South African Passport)
Being able to speak
Shangaan allowed me to negotiate with the notorious poachers
and turn them into brilliant trackers when I started
Londolozi Game Reserve. Today these same trackers are living
legends and walking encyclopaedias.
If all of us could
speak Zulu we may better understand some of the strange
decisions our current president is making.
At Londolozi, one of
our Senior Managers is Duncan MacLarty, a Saint Andrews
College graduate. Through Duncan we employ many ex D.S.G.
girls and College boys.
The quality that shines
through in D.S.G. and College graduates is confidence. They
are self-assured, confident people.
Another great quality
you impart to your pupils is simply good manners. I remember
vividly standing and watching Sean Varty and his friends
play an informal game of touch rugby. During the game, every
single boy took time out from the game to come a greet me. I
know of no other place in the world where that would
Like all parents, I
wanted the best for my children. I dreamt of Savannah
playing at Wimbledon (My mother had played at Wimbledon) and
that Sean and Tao would play cricket at Lords or rugby at
However, in a
conversation with my children they said, “Dad this is your
journey, it is not our journey. Thank you for sending us to
D.S.G. and to College, it is they who have given us the
confidence to travel our own journeys”.
conversation, I wrote the saying:
“Much I have learnt from my Teachers,
More from my Parents,
But the Most from my Children”.
As the world’s human
population pushes past 10 billion people and beyond and as
the basic resources of life begin to dwindle, I believe that
for their very survival, human beings will once again be
forced into communities. For want of a better word, let’s
call these communities “technological hunter gatherers”.
These communities grow
their own food and drive around in solar powered vehicles
and they live by the laws of nature.
In order for these
communities to be successful they will have to be based on
respect, harmony, honesty, team work and adaptability. I
believe that “an all for one, one for all” mentality will
replace a winner takes all scenario.
It is interesting that
the values of respect, harmony, honesty, team work and
adaptability are the very same values that D.S.G. and
College impart to their pupils that are fortunate enough to
travel through their corridors and across their sports
After the 2017 rugby
and hockey seasons I wrote this song for the boys, their
parents and the coaches of these two great teams:
“You score one
We score two
You play for me
I play for you
One for all
All for one
We arrived as boys
We left as men
College forever my friend
College forever my friend”.
Through my children I
have lived the incredible D.S.G. and College journeys. I
have gained love, friendship, knowledge and understanding.
The journey has been profound and life changing!
I thank you all!
I normally end my
letters with “Tread Lightly on the Earth”.
This one I will end
“Love, Light and Peace”
Tiger Corbett with the
Tigress Zaria produced a cub which was half white and half
normal coloured. Now Panna has produced a similar cub
which has a
very pale body on a normal head. Panna and Corbett are
brother and sister, both have fairly dark coats.
Is anyone able to tell
me if it's possible that the recessive white gene in Corbett
and Panna could be split 50:50 white to normal. In other
words, the white gene they carry is only half a white gene?
Tread lightly on the