The Book Club Blog

Books for any occasion and other life stuff

Random Kak

on June 25, 2013

by Trevor Romain.

Thank you Penguin SA for my review copy of Random Kak. I read it in one sittting and thoroughly enjoyed it!

I had a good few chuckles while reading his memories as some are just so very classic and no one in the 2000’s would really have a clue as to what he is on about!

Some which would include:

‘using a rotary phone where you actually ‘dialed’ someone’s number

‘making scoubidous at school’

‘rewinding a tape with a pencil’

And those are just a few of the nostalgic memories that Trevor takes you down the lane of .

I have to admit that because I am an eighties baby some of the things he remembers are out of my time zone but just as funny and poignant as the rest.

I think this is a fabulous book to show your chidren who are growing up in a much more technical world than what us ‘oldies’ did and it brings back some very fond memories of ones childhood.

Funny how life has changed so drastically since the 70’s and 80’s! What it does bring to mind, reading this book, is that even though life has changed, memories are still important and living in South Africa is a unique experience, one that I wouldn’t change for the world.

Go and get yourself a copy now and give it a read, then read it to your children, and your grandchildren all while having a good chuckle!

And on a last note: who remembers “It’s not inside, it’s on top!”??

And now for a Q&A with the man himself, courtesy of Penguin Books SA:


How did all the ‘Random Kak’ chaos start? What made you decide to put this book together and how did you go about doing it?

I was talking to a buddy of mine one day and we were remembering high school in Johannesburg and how teachers would cane us when we made kak. I started drawing all the different types of canes teachers used to flap us with on a serviette, like willow branches, walking sticks, takkies and even a cricket bat.

I posted this drawing on various Facebook pages and people started responding with their own memories of being flapped. Then I starteddoing other little drawings about silly, crazy and even poignant things I remember about my childhood. I titled the pages ‘Random Kak I Remember about Growing up in SA’. Within days the pictures went viral. South Africans were sending them to other South Africans all over the world. I even got them sent to me without the person knowing that I was the idiot who drew them.

You’re based in Austin, Texas now – What are the five things that you miss most about South Africa?

Braaivleis, rugby, Mrs Balls’ chutney, Castle Lager and my ma.

How did you get into illustrating and do you have any advice for up and coming illustrators?

Actually I was told I wasn’t talented enough to take art at high school and, like an idiot, I believed the teacher so I only started drawing seriously in my 30’s. Since then I have written and illustrated over 50 kids books. I just got over my midlife crisis, but I’m okay.

My advice for up and coming illustrators is to have fun with art and try hard not to judge yourself by how close to real life your drawing is. Some of my favourite drawings are just dumb doodles but man, are they fun and lekker to draw.

We know that there’s lots of other Random Kak that you’re involved in besides this book – What are some of the other projects that you’re busy with at the moment?

Right now I am working on a new kids’ book series. I continue to work on my animated TV series and I’m working on an inspirational book called “I Woke up This Morning and I Was Alive”. I am also currently on a kids motivational speaking tour around the world. Oh and I’ve just started Random Kak book two! I’m busy ek sê. But I love what I do.

What are you hoping to achieve with this book?

My dream is that this book, like my drawings that went viral, will help people remember their own ‘wonder years’. My hope is that my personal random kak will trigger their own random kak so they can enjoy their memories and share them with family and friends. Nelson Mandela once said that when a person dies their library of stories dies with them. I want to try and help people keep their stories and memories alive. So far, everyone who has seen the book and the thousands of people who have seen the drawings have been instantly transported back to their own good old days. I am thrilled to be the fool who figured out how to help people travel back through the years without using a time machine or illegal substances.

(Thanks Trevor, it brought back many memories for me, so your hope is definitely doing its job!)

Do you have a message for the readers?

Yes. Release your inner monkey. Laugh your arse off. Cry if you are moved. Allow yourself to wallow in the times that defined who you are today.

Follow Trevor Romain on Twitter @TrevorRomain

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3 Responses to “Random Kak”

  1. Pamela says:

    Funny, I was also told I was not talented enough to take art in high school and only took it up again in my 30’s. So glad I did, although I don’t think I will go on to illustrate a book – would be nice though.

  2. Heather hood says:

    I am in myrtle beach sc. Where can I buy this book? Thanks

  3. Your best bet would be online:-)

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