New Release: A Way Of Life by Theo Engela


As some of you might know, I’ve been keeping a promise I made to my Dad many years ago – that I would one day publish his three novels. I have been working hard to keep that promise, and have taken off the last few months from my own writing to do so – his collection of short stories “African Assignment“, and his third and last novel “Shakandazu Valley” have already been published, and today it’s my privilege to announce the release of his very first novel, “A Way Of Life” by Theo Engela.

Written in 1965, this novel was never published. It was his first novel, and it focuses on alcoholism and the struggle of the main character with it. The story is brilliantly written, and describes this way of life with dramatic and upsetting realism, for the alcoholic and those who love them.

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New Release: African Assignment by Theo Engela


Another re-release – a collection of short stories by my father, Theo Engela, edited by me. Previously published by myself (2007), then by J. Ellington Ashton (2015), and later by LightBearer Publishing (2016), the fifth edition is now available via Lulu.com.

Order: Print / Ebook

“Theo Engela’s short stories were written during the 1950’s and 60’s, and set in the South African bushveld and society of the day, providing a fresh look at a world now long vanished. Using imagery and place names unfamiliar to folk living in the 21st century, the author shows us a simpler, less complicated world filled with wonder and mystery, where crime could still be perfect and the world lived fearfully under the ever-present threat of the Cold War. Mesmerizing African folklore and almost-vanished cultures stand side by side. Rounded off in his own unique style, he displays a biting sense of humor and irony in his work, which would probably not seem out of place in a Hitchcock serial or even in the Twilight Zone.” More

New Release: Shakandazu Valley by Theo Engela


I finally finished editing and formatting my dad’s last novel! This is the very first time this story has ever been published, so it’s quite a significant day in that respect for me. I truly enjoyed reading and editing this story, and if you’re interested in a little fictional, philosophical look at life in this setting, with oodles of symbolism and hidden meanings, I can happily recommend this book.

Shakandazu Valley front

 Order: Print / Ebook

Shakandazu Valley, a typical small rural town in the Ciskei, ruled over by the Inkosi from the grand mansion called The Residence, attention is diverted from the boredom of daily life and the pressure of the severe drought by various pursuits: movies, parties, socializing, drinking – and speculating about one of the Valley’s newest and most mysterious residents – Roger Hall.

The man had simply turned up one day three years before, bought the old bungalow at the end of Buku Road – paid for it in cash, and then kept to himself. The only times he seemed to venture into town was to buy copious amounts of alcohol from the liquor store every few weeks. Sometimes he briefly showed his face at happenings hosted by curious locals. He never spoke about his past.

Who was he? Where did he come from? How did he come to have so much money readily on hand? Why did he never want to talk about his past – not even to the Doctor, or Mr. Gaika, his closest friends in town?

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‘African Assignment’ by Theo Engela – edited by Christina Engela


This past week, ‘African Assignment‘, my dad’s collection of short stories, was released via LightBearer Publishing – which is based in Johannesburg, South Africa – now available via Amazon.

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African Assignment – edited by Christina Engela

Although my dad carried the heavy burden of a long traditional family name – namely ‘Theodorus Cornelius Landman Engela’, he preferred to go by ‘Theo Engela’.  A humble and cultured man from humble but honorable beginnings, over his lifetime (1930-1985), he became fairly well-known (locally) as a South African author. During the 1960’s and 70’s, numerous short stories written by him appeared in radio dramatizations on Springbok Radio (SABC) produced by Michael Mc Cabe, with numerous mentions in the radio news publications and local newspapers over the years.

Dad died at the age of 55, when I was 12 – and over the years since his death, I’ve been privileged to hear from older people who remembered his name and his stories which they heard dramatized and broadcast on Springbok Radio! Most recently, the lady at LightBearer called me from her grandma’s house to tell me that her grandma didn’t believe her when she said she was currently formatting the collection of ‘that‘ Theo Engela’s short stories! She made a special request for me to send her the only digitized audio copy of one of Dad’s short stories I had – which was recorded back in the 1970’s off a Springbok Radio broadcast – for her to listen to!

It’s been a privilege for me to edit my dad’s work to be part of this collection – taken directly from scans of his original typed manuscripts in his archive. He was an insightful man, ahead of his time in a lot of ways – and since he died when I was very young, it has helped me to get to know him a little better.

A lot of Theo Engela’s stories were set in the South African bushveld and in popular society of the 1950’s and 60’s. Some of them have a hint or feel of Hitchcock. Dad used to write ordinary South African characters, and going against the trend of his day, he wrote about native South Africans and their cultures with an almost anthropological admiration and respect.

On the back cover of ‘African Assignment‘:

“Theo Engela’s short stories were written during the 1950’s and 60’s, and set in the South African bushveld and society of the day, providing a fresh look at a world now long vanished. Using imagery and place names unfamiliar to folk living in the 21st century, the author shows us a simpler, less complicated world filled with wonder and mystery, where crime could still be perfect and the world lived fearfully under the ever-present threat of the Cold War. Mesmerizing African folklore and almost-vanished cultures stand side by side. Rounded off in his own unique style, he displays a biting sense of humor and irony in his work, which would probably not seem out of place in a Hitchcock serial or even in the Twilight Zone.”

More about Theo Engela

African Assignment – Coming Soon!


I’m happy to say the release date for this will be SOON! “African Assignment” will be released on Amazon in paperback form by LightBearer Publishing hopefully within the next week! The Kindle version should follow soon after that!

Something’s stirring in Africa. Something primal. A stirring that pulls at the hearts and minds of Men and infects them with darkness and treachery.

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A Little Background – Theo Engela, Christina’s Dad


Theo Engela (1930 – 1985)

Dad

Theo Engela – Author

Theodorus Cornelius Landman Engela, or ‘just Theo’ was a fairly renowned local South African author of the 1960’s and 70’s. During that period, numerous short stories written by him appeared in radio dramatizations on Springbok Radio (SABC) produced by Michael Mc Cabe. More

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