Book: The Biography of Nena Van Zyl.

The biography includes, as an introduction, a short novel 'The Brooch, the Fur, and the Magic Hat from Virginiazstan.' Inspired by Nena's brooches...

Front cover.

Back cover.

The Brooch, the Fur, and the Magic Hat from Virginiazstan.

PUBLISHING DATE: To be published by the end of October 2018. Not available yet.  


Suddenly, a dark cloud of dust covered the land of Virginiaztan. As from nowhere, long creeping shadows stretched and covered the forest floor. They crept slowly – moving back and forth – just like an old witch’s fingers in her dying moments. Like trying to get to her black cat, the long ‘wrinkled fingers’ moved slowly - unpredictable – forwards and backwards. The Hobbit had been working away frantically on the sewing machine inside the tree – stitching and stitching away. The louvres on the windows of the Baobab tree slammed open and closed with heart-stopping bangs. BANG! BANG!... BANG! The mighty wind rushed through the windows and spun the loose leaves in small round-pyramid shapes on the tree floor. Spiralling and spiralling. The leaf-pyramids swished and swashed roundabout the treehouse. They danced violently. The hobbit grabbed his hat with his left hand and held on to his sewing machine for dear life. A bolt of lightning flashed and struck one of the large overhanging branches outside the treehouse. It snapped off like a tiny dry twig and fell to the ground.  The old timber door swung open and slammed against the tree trunk. One of the rusted hinges ripped out of its screws from the force of the wind. Deafening thunder rolled and shook everything inside the sturdy Baobab tree. A portrait dislodged and smashed into the floor. The birds perching on the branches of the tree were swept out of the giant tree without warning. Only a couple of stressed bird feathers spiralled down from the bulky tree as a witness of what just had happened.     

Was this the sign of the approaching curse?  – Authors

OVERVIEW: The story portrays Nena as a young girl in a challenging forest. Her character traits and personality are illuminated throughout this story. The story section is mostly fiction. However, embedded are her true temperament, her passions, interests, love, care, faith, and dogged determination to achieve an important goal.  Her biography, history, and some interesting notes with her memoirs, pictures, and more are included at the back of this book. An intriguing and exciting biography!  


Book description:

Word count = 12,000 words with many many pictures. 100 x size A4 pages.

PUBLISHING DATE: To be published by the end of October 2018. Not available yet.  

Contents (draft)

The Brooch, the Fur, and the Magic Hat from Virginiaztan. Page 7

Chapter 1: The Abode. Page 8

Chapter 2: A Fairy Tale. 14

Chapter 3: Thunder, lightning, and rain. 18  

Chapter 4: Reinvention.22

Chapter 5: Words, words, powerful words. 28

Chapter 6: Rejuvenation. 32

Chapter 7: Milk and Honey 34

About the Baobab tree. 36

The leaves. 38

Baobab Bark and Roots. 40

Baobab fruit 45

Baobab seeds. 46

Baobab fruit powder. 47

Socio-cultural Significance. 49

Short History & Timeline: Jacob Cornelia (Windell) Van Zyl 58

Gedig – Nena. 61

Brooches, artefacts, and memories of Nena. 63

POEM/GEDIG: A Strong Tower (English version) / N Sterk Toring (Afrikaans version) 73

The Tower of Hercules. 76  

Nena a Strong Tower. 78


Future Illustrated Children’s books (available soon): 85

Published Children’s book: 87

Published to Five House Publishing: Page 90

Nena Van Zyl. See the renovated antique organ by her late husband, Charlie Van Zyl (framed picture of Charlie in the center of the organ).

BROOCH: One of Nena's brooches which she used to wear to church as young mother (1960 -1980). CHURCH: Apostolic Faith Mission Church, Virginia, Freestate, South Africa. The story of fiction is inspired by her many brooches.

Baobab tree. The story of 'The Brooch, the Fur, and the Magic Hat from Virginiazstan,'  is set in a forest. A huge baobab tree is part of the fictional story.   

When the book is published in October 2018, the eBook will be available at Five House Publishing.