About Chris Du Toit
Chris du Toit (aka Tos) was born at 3 a.m. in the middle of winter on the farm Tierhoek, near Petrus Steyn, district Lindley in the Orange Free State, South Africa. It snowed during the night, Mother told him. Ouma du Toit, the region's respected midwife, severed the umbilical after having slapped him to start his breathing and kicking in this cold and hostile world. He was his parents' third son (a daughter and two more brothers followed) and since Mother didn't have any milk, Father gave him fresh cow's milk. Ouma wanted to dilute it but Father, not the most diplomatic of men, said sternly that cow's milk was just as good if not better than human milk. Chris survived and grew up to be quite robust and resourceful.
He attended the two-roomed farm school Molendraai, sharing a horse-drawn trap with his brothers to get there, until they left for high school, after which he rode the 5 miles on a lazy horse ironically called Success.
The teacher who taught standards 4 and 5 was a sadist. He beat the boys with a quince cane. Chris wet his pants during one caning and some of the girls laughed. But Father approved of the caning. Children are by nature naughty and should be caned regularly in order to civilize them. "Bend the tree while it's still a sapling," was his favourite expression. Mother hugged, consoled, reassured.
Chris matriculated at Lindley High School. The English teacher, Mr Joubert, taught them Hamlet, She Stoops to Conquer, and The Rivals. The Afrikaans master, Mr Klopper, read them Afrikaans poems about the beauty of the veld, the love of a poet for a pretty girl and extracts from Eugene Marais's books about baboons and the soul of the white ant. Mother quoted from Macbeth. It had been one of her matric prescribed books and she seemed to know the entire play. She played the piano beautifully: Chopin, Schumann's Kinderszenen, Für Elise, Rustle of Spring. She had a sad life. 'Narrative', by Elisabeth Eybers, sums it up.
Chris graduated at the University of the Orange Free State, did a Higher Education Diploma at the University of Pretoria and taught English and Afrikaans for ten years at Pretoria Boys High School. A British Council scholarship took him to the University of North Wales, Bangor where he gained a Diploma in Linguistics. He returned to South Africa, did a BA Honours in English and lectured for a while at the University of Pretoria.
On and off during all this he wrote, directed and starred in numerous soap operas and films. He wrote and directed Elsa se Geheim, starring Anna Neethling-Pohl and an excellent cast of South African actors. He has also written a children's book, 'Madiba, the story of Nelson Mandela' (Actua Press) which is in its 7th print. The book has been approved by the Department of Education for use in schools.
Chris reads a lot, solves four crossword puzzles a day and plays reasonable bridge and Scrabble (JAB). He listens to classical music and goes to Cinema Nouveau. He does a workout in the gym once or twice a week, loves swimming in the sea and struggles into a full lotus every day. It is then when he tries to think positive thoughts while breathing slowly and deeply.
Let everything be as it is. Accept who you are. (Not easy) The only time you have to experience life is now, so don't live in the past or in the future.
Let everything be as it is. But he doesn't sleep very well and sometimes has nightmares about the terrible things that happen all over the world.
Some People.... is his first 'major', 'literary', 'novel.
About the book.
Readers of the 361 pages of ‘Some People….’ have been intrigued, confused, angered, enlightened, delighted , dazzled and mesmerised by its contents. No literary effort on its own, since William Caxton printed the first English book in 1474, has offered the reading public such a variety of fact, fiction, fable, fantasy and fun in one illustrated volume.
Read the book from A to Z (cliché) or, depending on your taste, stamina, orientation and interests, select from the following in any order:
- First High School experiences, wet dreams and shooting an elephant.
- Hearing ‘The Pied Piper of Hamelin’ for the first time and jokes – especially Jewish ones.
- Grandma’s influence on a growing boy and meeting Mrs Palm and her five daughters.
- Learning the art of writing and explaining in detail how Jonah survived in the belly of a big fish.
- Four enchanting fairy tales starting with ‘The Magic Piano’. One gay one, ‘The loitering Knight’, is strictly for adults.
- A senior school boy and his girlfriend conduct a survey in London to find out whether 25% of parents allegedly tell their children that their private parts will fall off if they play with them too much.
- Adam and Eve were created near modern day Cape Town because anthropologists have come to the irrefutable conclusion that all human life originated in Africa.
- Two ideas for blockbuster movies in Hollywood.
- Lady Macbeth is played in the nude by a school boy.
- Are you sure there is a God? Find out if there is one.
- We are all potential savages under a thin veneer of civilization.
- Oh, the joy of scoring for the first time with a hot girl!
- Critics’ and readers’ reactions to the first edition of ‘Some People….’ Except for the opinion of one reader, the book doesn’t seem to be a serious contender for the Nobel Prize for literature.
Support local authors - buy the eBook