Henri Nieuwoudt (30) hails from the sun-scorched plains of the Kalahari in the Northern Cape.
A stone’s throw from a peculiar place called Karos (hide) and a few kilometers from Knyp (pinch), you’ll find the Grootdrink (big thirst) turn-off, guiding you along spectacular views of vineyards and pecan orchards framing the wrinkly Orange River. This is where he developed his dry-as-dunes sense of humor and an intriguing passion for people, literature, and art. After obtaining a degree in social science and a postgraduate qualification in Afrikaans and Dutch literature (NWU), he made his way across the waters to deal in fine art on cruise liners in the Bahamas and dig for gold in Zimbabwe. “Each journey has a narrative,” he believes, “and every person has made journeys – short and exiting ones as well as unbearable, exhausting ones.” Growing up, he had no choice but to identify with rigid mis-matching identity boxes as well as the restricting views of the platteland. He soon realised that everything is socially constructed and can be reconstructed. “Things are only the way they are, because of the way they have always been. You’re leaving a trail as you travel and explore. Let this be a path of passion, exuberance, kindness and adventure that others fiercely want to follow. And who knows? – maybe you start a trend.” Cape Town’s Clifton-clear waters, the Northern Cape’s quiver trees and his lustful love for vast, open spaces had him soon homeward bound where he’s currently looking for more peculiar people, places, stories and faces to draw inspiration from. Henri writes relentlessly, speaks freely, seeks constantly and most importantly – laughs amply.