THE VASE WITH THE MANY COLOURED MARBLES.
The story is about a young girl of 16, who decides that being a Coloured girl in apartheid South Africa is not what she wants her life to be. She makes the difficult decision to give up her family, and jump the racial barrier. She decides to become a WHITE.
Emily Kleintjies becomes Emma Kline.
On the train to Johannesburg, she meets a woman, who helps her to find work in Johannesburg. Her upbringing in District Six, in Cape Town, has taught her to work hard, and she does, in her work at the OK Bazaars in Johannesburg. She is always scared that she her racial scam will be discovered, and always dresses well, as though she is 'on the front page of Vogue Magazine.' Her hard work is noted, and after a year she is promoted to a senior position in the marketing department.
The story is divided into two books. The first book is all about Emma. It tells you the story of how she becomes a successful saleslady, earning the respect of all who have met her.
The second book, Marla, tells you the story about her daughter. It tells you how Marla was raised as a White, not knowing about her Coloured heritage. How she becomes politically involved when she attends the Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg.
The story is based on truth, something I grew up with, and lived with all my life. It was a story that I felt MUST be told, so that the world will realize the true meaning of the word APARTHEID, and not bandy it about as it is being done today. Was I threatened by the South African Security forces? Yes, I was. When Brigadier Stemmet threatened me and my family, his words, "We will no longer protect you," are words I remember to this day. When they poisoned our dog, Gamboo, I encouraged my children to leave South Africa. They chose Canada as their new home, and once they had settled in, my wife and I joined them.
Do I miss South Africa? Yes, I do. South Africa is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, but I can never go back. There are too many happy and also painful memories. Better to live with them than confront the reality of South Africa as it is today.
Do buy the book. It is definitely worth the read. The story is a beautiful story, with a very pleasant romantic twist.