Decade 1 – My Beginning

I apologise for the quality of the photographs - these were developed from a spool decades ago, and then scanned by me from a printed photo.(if you don't know what a spool is, then you're way younger than me)

As I approach a prime decade of my life, I wanted to share the first decade with you – where my life began – aged 0 to 10.

Without placing the years in numerical order, I will capture each decade with a few stories that stood out most, or atleast those I’m willing to share.

It was in the waqt of Jumuah on 16 December 1977 corresponding with the 5th Muharram 1398 that I was born.  Within 7days I was named Roshan, by my parents Zainab Isaacs (nee Agherdien) and Abobaker Isaacs. My name is persian and means shining light, sky Light, luminous, bright, splendid, illumination …

Screen Shot 2017-11-21 at 1.51.29 PM.pngThe first five years of my life are quite a blur. From photographs all I know, is that I was always found near electronics.  Either trying to find the person in the tv, figuring out where the voice on the radio was coming from, or singing on the mic. Significant to note is that television was only around for 2years and was broadcast in black and white.

I can recall as far back as 5years old, when we welcomed my baby sister into the world. Everyone else wanted a boy, but I was adamant, that it was going to be a girl.  I loved my little sister and acted as the ssshinng police when neighbourhood friends came to play, preferring to stay at home and watch my little sister.

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One of the most adventurous years of my life, must be at the age of 6. While looking for a new house to stay, we moved to a Caravan park for a full year. It was a double door caravan with a lounge that converted into a bedroom, and on the opposite side a dining room that also converted into a bedroom. Between the lounge and the dining room was the Kitchen with a bathroom.  My sub A teacher. Mrs Hartley asked the class to talk about their home.  The teacher called my parents that day to inform them of my very imaginitive home.  When she explained what I’d shared in class about having a home on wheels, pulling the generator to watch tv and washing up in the ablution block, my mom put her at ease, when she explained that we lived in a Caravan. Lots more stories to tell there …..


I grew up while Apartheid was still rife. Where teargas, guns and 3 sirens at school meant you had to get home as fast as you can.  Being fair skinned with blonde hair had its advantages (for a coloured girl) .  My mom would often leave me on the rides in the play store while she went shopping. White passers-by would put money in to the rides for me to enjoy. When my mom returned, the white people thought my mom was the maid; and then realised I was coloured, when I called out “MOM”.  There were many of these incidents, another involving my eldest sister who is much darker than I.  With a great need to be relieved, I ran into the whites only toilet, my sister ran after – only to be stopped by a white man who said “Jy kan nie daar in gaan nie” my sister responded by saying “but my sister went in”. When I came out, the man was rather confused, as he assumed I was white.

Back home, soldiers circled around our block with masks and rifles, the smell of burnt rubber and teargas were all painfully and scarily real. There are many more stories to share, but alas we are in the year 2017 and I’ll refer you to a quote of Nelson Mandela:

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We moved about 7 times in the period of 10 years. During those moves, I attended three primary schools and made a new set of friends each time.  I lived in: Grassy Park, Atlantis, Somerset Park, Ziekoevlei, Belgravia, Crawford, Rondebosch East.

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During these 10years; I learnt so much about :

  • survival, family and making the most of your youth.
  • learning to adapt to change very quickly and how easy it is to make new friends.
  • that everything is temporary and nothing is forever.
  • making the most of the present, as you can never tell what the future will unfold for you.



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