'The South Afreakins' was inspired by my parents, Gordon and Helene Paterson and the story of their immigration from South Africa to New Zealand. This solo show is about the struggle that immigrants feel when they leave everything and everyone they know. When we no longer have work or friends or family around us to give us identity, and we leave behind our niche that is fast closing and the one in front of us hasn't yet opened, where does one find that identity?
My parents Gordon and Helene struggled with this for years. The prominent African lineage that runs through their veins and the fierce patriotism the hold for their country hasn’t lessened in the twenty four years they've lived in New Zealand but they've never really fit in and always felt like they've been slightly out of step (Gordon's great-great grandfather was John Paterson, the politician who founded Port Elizabeth in 1840 and The Standard Bank of South Africa).
I felt it too, growing up. I only spent six years in South Africa but when I go home there, I feel like I'm going home to my clan. People think like me, and talk like me and the rhythms I emanate match that of Africa, and this is the story about diversity that I want to tell.