It was January in 1962, still summer in 32 Motor Street, Westdene Johannesburg.. Marie gets the news that she is pregnant again. This is the seventh baby on it way, after the loss of triplets before her last child. She feels very despondent and does not know what to do. Her husband is very confused about life at this stage of her life, he does not contribute to the household, and is drunk most of the time, a very arrogant and stingy man, and yet she loves him. He is after all the father of her children. He plays the accordion the way he walks, completely natural. He is a bit on the short side, not over weight at all and the women like him, for he is a charmer deluxe. James is not aware that he is neglecting his family to the extent that he does, therefore it is not an issue for him, life is good! Marie, knowing all of this does not know how to tell him, it is like this again. She decides to go to her mother in law and confided in her. This old selfish woman with her own boozes problem and three equally confused sons that smoke dagga and hardly ever work, thinks it is a blessing. Old people thought many children made you rich, what a kak idea. Marie does not want this child, not another mouth to feed, not more clothes to make from bleached flour bags, not more school kit to buy and, and, and! This is just too much for one person to take. What is she going to tell her boss, maternity leave, and all the other shit that goes with it? She does not want this baby, period.

Almost eight moths past and Marie is in labor, with the child she does not want. At the Queen Victoria State hospital, in Johannesburg it snows for the first time in history. It is very cold, she gives birth to a baby boy, but there are complications, the umbilical cord is wrapped around the boy’s neck and he cannot get any air. Fortunately for the boy he makes it, a blue baby boy is born.

Marie had a low paying job at OK Bazaars. A husband that drank by far too much. She already has six other kids. The last girl was born only two years ago. Shit really was no television back then.

Back home on maternity leave with the new born baby boy Marie is depressed like no ones business. She has not even picked a name for the little unwanted. Mornings she has to drag herself out of bed, because there are six other children in the house that needs her attention, and a husband that is okay with this new addition to his family. The first week goes by. She listens to the morning women’s form program on the “wireless”, presented by Andre P Brink. His got a very attractive voice this man, she thinks. Her married surname is Brink. Andre Brink sounds like a good name for this baby boy, at least the presenter on the wireless sounds attractive. That decided James has to go and register the boy as Andre Brink at internal affairs.

This little person Andre was in for one a hell of a ride. A journey so profound, but he only sees it much later.

Therefore, he had many little things that breaded his new culture for this life, to mould and shape him to become one year old.
There is something in his cot that hurts very much. He screams blue murder for someone to come and take out whatever is hurting me, it feels like a lifetime before someone arrives to his aid. His big sister Anne-Mari. She has a very loving expression on her face, she picks him up and does all the checks to find out what my problem is, there is no problem anymore, he is okay now and she puts him back in his cot. Therefore, he feels the discomfort and hurting again, and again he cries. Now she thinks he is being a brat. “You can not be picked up all the time, you have to sleep, so that you can grow,” she says to him with that same expression, but she picks me up again and starts to draw the cot blankets straight, and what does she find, and stupid plastic toy soldier? “This is why you’ve been crying my little boetie, I will also cry with this thing in my back” she says. That was my first real connection with his sister, one of un-identical twins. they interact more when they are both a little older. He is not very close with his other siblings at this stage of his life.

He recalls at the age of two or three years old that my mom had to go to work, wish was at the OK Bazaars in Ellof street JHB. At the times she had to work, he had to stay with my grandmother who was not working, and feeding herself and three of her sons booze whiles his grandpa was at work. He had a cousin of about the same age as him and they played together during the day. One particular day Andre hurt himself in the coal shed under the house, wanting sympathy and care from his grandma, he ran up the back stairs wailing like a goose being slaughtered. By this time, the old lady and her sons were already half drunk. So she just looked at him and said, don’t be such a baby, wash yourself, you are messing in my house and stay out of the coal room you little shit, and don’t let me hear you make a nuisance of yourself. When his mom arrived home and inquired how the day was she said that the kids were so quiet that she hardly knew they were there, and that carried on for a long time, longer than he prefers to remember.
An adult in my new society.

I was just over five years old when I understood what everyone meant by a new brother in the family. I was a brother richer. The new brothers nickname was Boetie. Weighed 12 pounds and 11 ounces with big blue eyes and a good-looking boy, everyone’s favorite. Now I am not the baby any more, so what do kids do when the attention shifts? You develop a mannerism to keep the attention. Normally it is rebellion behaviors, but in my case I picked up on the radio ads, and could repeat them to the tee and even do the voices. Then it started with joke telling, every joke under the sun I was able to tell, with all the confidence in the world. Wherever we went I was ask to tell jokes. I will never forget the hairdresser my mom used to go to on Saturday mornings. The male hairdresser was a gay chap that loved all the corny jokes, so I entertained the auntie’s with their bee hive hairdos every Saturday morning. My boet gets all the people that coo around him, and I get the laughs. I was one up on him, he could not talk yet.

Author's Bio: 

Andre Brink is our head facilitator and motivational speaker. Andre studies at the Metaphysics University of America and the University of Sedona, where he has acquired his Masters degree in life coaching. He is currently doing his PHD thesis on manifestation by doing addiction research. He is an internationally accredited Minister of Metaphysics, non-denominational. Andre has assisted many people in the last five years to make profound shifts in their lives. He volunteered at SANCA Florida where he worked with the in-patients, doing group sessions based on the wellness workshop. This has proven to be a very successful and popular form of therapy for the patients. The wellness workshop “FullCircle” was written and compiled by Rev. Andre Brink and implemented at S.A.N.C.A. Florida with profound results.