My Story: Annette van Rooyen

By admin
22 July 2013

Annette van Rooyen (64) of Despatch in the Eastern Cape has a creative way of brightening her and other Despatchers’ day. Here she tells her story

I have a doll in my front garden called Greetje. My husband, Jan, is terminally ill with cancer and dressing Greetje every day keeps me busy.

In 2011 I visited Klaarstroom, on the other side of Meiringspoort, in the Western Cape. There I saw the prettiest straw dolls and immediately wanted one. But they weren’t for sale. Initially I made a doll, but later bought one in an antique shop. I named her Greetje, like one of Casper de Vries’ characters, because I wanted her to have a funny name with an “r” in it that rolls nicely off the tongue.

She has a wardrobe full of her own clothes. Some are my old clothes but I also buy clothes for her from second-hand shops. She has various wigs too. Some days she sits in the garden and on others she stands with a feather duster in her hand. Her outfit reflects my mood: when I’m a bit despondent I don’t go to much trouble with her. But when I’m feeling good she’s dressed grandly.

The people love her. Mothers have called me to tell me their children beg to be driven past my house so they can see what Greetje is wearing. When it’s cold and wet outside I keep her indoors. If she’s late people ring the bell on my gate. Many ask if they can take a photograph of her.

I hope I inspire others to make people smile in the morning on their way to work. I never thought I would brighten so many people’s day.

-Suzaan Hauman

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