15 questions for Dana Snyman


15 questions for Dana Snyman

He is working on an autobiographical novel that he hopes to publish before the end of this year and planning a second series of Grondpad Geloof, a documentary about the church and faith. LAUREEN ROSSOUW asked the questions.


1. Describe yourself in a hashtag.


2. What do you listen to in your car?

Most of the time I listen to something on Spotify. Anything from Mozart to John Coltrane. I'm a big jazz man. Also podcasts such as the BBC's In Our Time programmes and David Remnick's conversation with whoever on The New Yorker podcast every week.

3. What are you reading?

Koos Prinsloo's collected short stories. I only now realise what a damn good writer he was. He is hopelessly gone too soon, like that other Koos. Koos du Plessis.

4. What do you read first thing every morning?

First of all, I reach for the cellphone on the bedside table. Sometimes there is a somewhat incoherent WhatsApp message that someone sent after 11 o'clock the night before. Then what's in the news: The Guardian, Netwerk24, etc.

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5. What is your idea of a perfect day?

Coffee with my neighbour in the morning and late afternoon with my dog, Blackie, on the mountain trails.

6. If you could invite three people to a meal, living or dead, who would they be?

It's a tough one: John Steinbeck, CJ Langenhoven and my late grandfather Danie, who died when I was 14 years old. Grandfather Danie was a talented man and, among other things, published a Christian tract entitled Letter from Hell.

6. What can't you live without?

My dog, Blackie, and the grace of the Lord.

7. Your favourite quote?

And the greatest of these is love.

8. And poem?

Maybe Derek Walcott's “Love after love”. 

9.Your favourite South African writers? And which of their books?

Chris Barnard. Everything he wrote.


10. Is there a movie you rewatch often or a book you reread?

I keep rereading Raymond Carver's short stories.

11. What quality do you like most in a man?

A man who is not afraid to sometimes confess his defencelessness.

12. Is there a character in fiction that you over-identify with? 

Staal Burger and his friend, Willem.

13. What is the most overrated characteristic in humans?

Isn't our entire species, Homo sapiens, perhaps a bit overrated?

14. What binds you to South Africa?

It's like asking me: “What binds me to my mother?"

15. What are you looking forward to?

The day our country has a president that one can be proud of. To the golden hour every afternoon, sunset time.

♦ VWB ♦

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