1 March 2014


Trying to write something about Dan is more than enough reason to be overwhelmed by a sudden case of writers block. Oh, and thank goodness for Word and its spelling-and-grammar checking magic, although not even that will (probably) keep me from making some sort of English mistake.  I’ve been meaning to post these pictures of her on my blog for a long time (in the past I had a bad habit of referring to a period of time as “ages”, but that is – I think – not correct and a post about Danya is not the place for it, so I’m changing it to a “long time”) and to write something about her to accompany it; and what better time to do so than on her birthday. Posting this on her birthday would perhaps make it seem like less of an embarrassing (I got that right the first time, without the spellcheck. Just saying. ) public declaration of love. But writing about Dan is no easy thing for an Afrikaans girltjie, because you see, Dan is a writer herself. A real one. And a good one. I’ve read some of her short stories (I hope she keeps those and publish them someday so I can buy it and display it on my bookshelf proudly) and I was always captivated by the tales and her amazing use of words. I mean, the best word I can come up with to describe her work is “amazing”. Very lame.

I met Dan when we started working together in Cape Town a little more than three years ago and got to know her over coffee and her smoke breaks. I don’t smoke but I always enjoyed accompanying her on her cigarette excursions – it set the scene for many interesting conversations and debates. No one holds a stance in a debate quite like Dan does; and heated as the discussions about faith, religion, politics, and local problems often was, I never felt like running for the hills at the first sign of confrontation like I usually do. Dan has a calm and compelling way of making her point. I am completely in awe of the way she thinks about our country and the way she sees our people and their problems, and the gift she has of putting it in words. I believe that if more people got to hear her out, it could very well make a big difference in this world.

There’s another side to her too though. As much as Dan is well versed in politics, she is equally fluent in geek. It’s no secret that I have a huge educational gap when it comes to movies, music and literature and Dan’s vast knowledge of all the best entertainment filled that gap quite a bit these past years. Dan for example introduced me to Fight Club amongst others. She has exquisite taste in music too, although I think some of the genres she listens to have never been described as exquisite before. To sum it up – there’s never a dull moment in her company and it’s a pity I get to spend so little time with her nowadays.

It doesn’t happen too often in life that you meet a person as vibrant, intelligent and outspoken as Danya, and to get to call that person friend is a blessing. Happy Birthday Dan!

All pictures were taken by myself - please do not reproduce, copy or use any of the images in any way without my written permission. Copyright © 2014 Anneli Strecker.

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