Somehow I missed the first Random Kak book by Trevor Romain. I would explain the word kak as shit to foreign readers, but somehow foreign readers aren’t really going to be able to relate to this book which is a real “homey” book about South Africa back in the “olden days” when I was young.
I fell a little bit in love with the book as I smiled at my own memories of the things that Trevor Romain is talking about or drawing.
The cover has a beautiful story attached to it of a young boy dying of cancer. Romain suggested that when he gets to heaven he looks up Romain’s grandfather. Romain draws a picture. The boy had the picture with him in the coffin. There is a drawing of a Z shaped Anglia. I learned to drive in one of those. I smile through the tears. It’s that kind of book.
The stories and illustrations in the book are similar to those on the cover. Stories which make one smile, make one remember and hurt just a little, sometimes in empathy, sometimes in recollection. That Trevor Romain misses his late father as much as I miss mine is obvious. Good fathers are a great blessing to the world.
One of the features of the book is the description of words and phrases which bubble up from his childhood. “Rought”, “chommies”, “graft”, “sweet like a lemon” and more hit their mark in my memory.
Chappies, Marmite and Five Roses Tea join sunny skies, braaivleis and rugby as one flips a page to a new piece of random kak which delights yet again because it is clever, funny and true.
This book makes a fabulous Christmas gift for the ou toppies and it will, in all likelihood, touch a chord with most South Africans.
Trevor Romain, in addition to writing these two Random Kak books, is a best-selling author and illustrator of an award-winning series of self-help books for children, as well as a sought-after motivational speaker. Romain was born and raised in South Africa and now lives in Texas where he also has a TV show. He points out that “this book contains information that may induce nostalgia, spontaneous laughter, poignant memories and a longing to be your young, carefree, lekker self again.” His books have sold more than a million copies worldwide and have been published in 16 different languages.
- Title: Random Kak 2
- Sub-Title: Living, loving, learning and laughing in South Africa
- Author and Illustrator: Trevor Romain
- Publisher: Penguin
- Year: 2014
- ISBN: 978 0 14 353917 9
- Recommended Price: R175