Until I was commissioned to write this book, I’d never heard of the TV programme Mooiloop, despite its many awards and significant fan base. I suppose that may be because I don’t own (and never have owned) a TV set. So, with a pile of DVDs on my desk, I sat down to watch the entire first two series and turn them into a book.
And the result is a crazy kind of journey to the heart of South Africa, as related by a wide selection of people living in 39 of the weirdest, wackiest small towns. Like the TV show, the book explores some gorgeous little dorps, showcases some interesting small businesses, and introduces some of the unusual characters who live and work in the rural heartland. And, of course, no book about small-town life is complete without recipes – ranging from the sublime to the definitely-an-acquired-taste local specialities.