A fourth-generation South African, Clare was born and brought up in South Africa until she came to Britain, where she has now lived for the last 35 years.
She largely avoided her earlier educational opportunities until the age of 36, when she enrolled at Natal University to study Sociology and Philosophy, later teaching Sociology as a Masters graduate. The university was a hive of dissident anti-apartheid activity, and the Sociology Department was much to the fore in the protest movement, attracting the unwanted attentions of BOSS – the South African regime’s secret service. Clare became a radical opponent of the regime, until she and her family emigrated in 1977.
A few years ago she married – as a widow – a retired academic sociologist and politician, and now lives in Southampton and in London. Clare and her husband travel as often as they can to the New South Africa and further afield.
In The Servants: A South African Cameo, Clare tells a forgetten story: that of the relationship between householders and servants in the ‘Old South Africa’ of the apartheid era. She explores the changes and tensions in these old relationships as the ‘New South Africa’ comes into being. ‘Fortune’ is an extract from the book.