Blaq Pearl now shares writing too

2015-10-20 06:00
Janine van Rooy, aka Blaq Pearl, is celebrating the self-publication of her first book, a collection of her stories, poems and songs.

gary van dyk

Janine van Rooy, aka Blaq Pearl, is celebrating the self-publication of her first book, a collection of her stories, poems and songs. PHOTO: gary van dyk

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Janine van Rooy is better known as Blaq Pearl, a talented singer, poet and cultural activist. But now she is reaching out to the world as a writer too with the publication of her first book.

She is blessed with a voice that has been heard with some of the best in the business and describes her style as a blend of African soul, jazz, hip-hop and Randamp;B.

Now she is a published author and, like most of her projects, she did not wait for help to come knocking on her door – she tackled the publishing on her own.

“My love for writing started in primary school; I simply loved reading and writing and discovered it counted in my favour when I was top of my class almost every year,” she says.

“I guess my active imagination also played a role. I always had stories and words in my head even when I reached my word limit in essays and tasks.

“When I was about 12 I started writing my first piece of expression. I faced many challenges growing up in Mitchell’s Plain, Beacon Valley, so I used my writing to help me deal with it.

“I still do, now in my thirties, I still have to deal with various issues and challenges, just like many other people, and my writing is like a tool for coping and healing.”

When it comes to her singing her love for music, like so many talents on the Cape Flats, started in church.

“Growing up there was always an opportunity in our church to perform, either in a play, the Sunday school choir or a talent show or something.

“I am grateful for that. It helped me to develop confidence and my voice.

“I often performed for family at gatherings and then as you know now, I perform on various stages to different people in the world.

“I just love sharing my gift, my talent. Performance gives me the platform to be free and in touch with my deeper, angelic being. I transcend to another realm in a way.

“It also allows for engagement and connection with the audience. I know we as human beings have much in common and that soul connection moves beyond our differences.”

She is also excited about her first publication, a collection of her writing, and explained that it was in the planning stages for two years.

“Somehow I always found a reason to not ‘just do it’, it somehow seemed more complicated and that put me off.

“I guess now the time was just right.”

She has called her book Karadaa!, meaning kyk daar (look there) or “here’s the space, just take it”.

The main themes in her writing are about issues in society and also about her experiences in love and relationships. “This book includes my writing from my teenage years until now,” she explains.

“I chose these poems, songs and stories to share with the reader. Firstly, to somehow get to know me a bit. Then, off course, I’d like to raise issues and solutions to things we face that anyone can relate to.

“To know enables us to have choice to then do something. For me the word goes with the deed. So I hope that through my writing the reader gets to find some relation (knowing you are not alone), a sense of release or a solution to whatever problem they face now, which I faced at some point.”

Janine points out that the publication of her book has also been an inspiration and motivation for her. “For the future there’s still a lot more in store: More love, more poetry, stories and music. More performances and active involvement in society.”

The book is available directly from her on or message her on Facebook at Janine van Rooy (Blaq Pearl).

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