Human & Rousseau

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Piet Steyn

Biographical info

Piet Steyn has been a navigator, miner, mathematics teacher, rugby coach and school principal. When asked how he actually became a writer, he replies: “I think it was the times I tried to teach in England that made me think of murder stories.”

Piet Steyn was born on 28 August 1944 in the northwestern Free State town of Odendaalsrus, before gold was discovered and before the city of Welkom developed. He grew up in this windswept sandy world and matriculated from Wessel Maree High School. His were difficult and wild days of growing up in a community that experienced a gold rush, almost like the Klondike in days of yore. He lost his father at an early age and had to take care of himself after that. The church assisted him through his school career, after which he joined the Air Force for his military service. There he qualified as a navigator.

Following his days in the Air Force he went to the Potchefstroom University for CHE. He obtained a B.Sc degree with Mathematics and Physics as major subjects, as well as a diploma in Higher Education. He paid for these studies with money he earned working on the gold mines during vacations. He then started teaching at Kroonstad High School.

However, he returned to the gold mines in 1968, but after an accident underground he decided to continue his career as a teacher at Welkom Gymnasium; it was what he had always wanted to do in any case. During this time he obtained his B.Ed and M.Ed extramurally from the UOFS. In 1984 he became principal of Vrede High School where he practised the two great loves in his life – mathematics teaching and rugby coaching – with great success until his retirement in 1996.

After his retirement he did woodwork and played tennis and golf. To help dispel the boredom of retirement he even lectured in mathematics in England for a while. It was only in 2005 that he became aware of his writing talent when he began writing a weekly rugby column for a local newspaper. During the same period he also tried his hand at a short story that was chosen as the winner of the Bloemfontein Writers’ Association’s countrywide competition.

He also published a comical sketch in Die Huisgenoot. Die eiland van die slang, a radio drama, came second in RSG/Sanlam’s competition for debut writers. In 2007 his debut novel, Snoeiskêr, was chosen as a finalist in Sanlam/Insig’s Great Novel Competition.

Steyn passed away in 2013. He was married to Annie and they had four sons and five grandchildren.

List of published titles

2008 Snoeiskêr, Tafelberg 

2009 Bottelnek, Tafelberg 

2010 Tou, Tafelberg

2012 Tik, Tafelberg


Books By This Author