Patrick John Stevens was born in Johannesburg in the same month Steve Biko was born, December of 1946 was also the month that Alan Paton completed his great novel, Cry, the Beloved Country, so some characters in the Greatest Game series of books are derived from both sources. Today the author lives and writes in England, but the river between Africa and Pat Stevens runs deep; his books are mostly set in Southern Africa.
Back in the sixties, Pat met the famous author Alan Paton, whose son Jonathan was a Parkwood neighbour, so Pat had the honour of introducing Paton to Amnesty International. Founded back in 1961 by Peter Benenson, the early days were pretty rocky, because they infuriated the British government, with allegations of military torture of the IRA. Amnesty International needed the backing of a world-famous writer, and City Council apprentice Pat was working with a German exchange student who was a member of the organisation.
This German also possessed a neat NATO Air Force jacket, so Pat agreed to introduce the student to Paton in exchange for his jacket. A meeting was arranged and peace-loving Amnesty International was introduced to peacenik Alan Paton for the price of one war-like jacket. Pat Stevens wore the jacket throughout Africa when he hit the construction trail, this afforded him the opportunity of observing the customs of the locals. Those are the qualifications of Pat Stevens for writing African novels, knowledge of the African people forged by a lifetime, of working and travelling throughout Africa.
In 2018 an explosive expose revealed that South African newspapers were disseminating fake news, this came as no surprise to police Captain Jake Smit, who had been the victim of false Sunday Siren allegations. Jake was an Afrikaner who’d been brought up amongst the Zulu, he spoke Zulu fluently and...