‘Off the Cuff’ with Author, Deborah Kirsten

Off the Cuff with Debbie Kirsten

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA — Author, Deborah Kirsten’s autobiography, Chai tea & Ginger beer was penned from her unique experience as the wife of international cricketer and coach, Gary Kirsten. A sought after motivational speaker, Deborah lives in Cape Town with her husband and three children. She reveals some candid gems with JN.

My secret pleasure is … A big slice of lemon meringue pie, a good ‘chic flick’ (romantic comedy) and my journal.

My first job was … I guess that would be teaching Sunday school at the age of about thirteen (but of course, that was unpaid). My first paid job was waitressing in a restaurant.

Author, DEBORAH KIRSTEN with husband, GaryMy most annoying habits are … My husband would have a field day with this question. He would definitely say never hanging the car keys on the key hook. (It completely mystifies him why I bought a special hook for keys and then never hang the keys there). Other annoying habits are my tendency to accumulate clutter and my inability to pass up a good bargain!

A clear childhood memory is … Crossing a flooding mountain river stream with my family. We all linked arms to support one another. I learnt a lot about life that day and the strength of a family when they stick together and support one another.

What makes me nervous is … Driving on a cliff edge or through a mountainous pass. Having had a few bad car accidents, cars generally make me nervous. Also, watching my sons play rugby.

The best advice my parents gave me was … In everything put God first and He will direct your steps.

If I weren’t an author, I’d be … My trained profession is a primary school teacher – I love teaching. But if truth be told I’ve always dreamt about being an actress or a singer.

I’m most thankful for … My relationship with Jesus, my husband, my children, my extended family and my girlfriends.

My favourite meal is … Without a doubt, lamb chops and crispy fresh vegetables… and maybe cheesecake to finish it off.

I know it’s good for me, but I hate … I have tried and tried to substitute green tea for ordinary tea or coffee – but I just can’t. It really is quite revolting.

Debbie Kirsten's three favourite books

Books I love … Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Traveling Light by Max Lucado and A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller

Songs that resonate … Lifesong by Casting Crowns

and Better Together by Jack Johnson

My ‘happy place’ is … Our little cottage on the banks of the Breede River. It is far from the city with only the sound of the birds. When we go there, life is lived simply – there is no TV and no cell phone reception. The kids play in the mud and the water. We all fish and have good wholesome family fun time together.

My most embarrassing memory is … Thinking how ‘super cool’ I used to try and act as a teenager when attempting to impress boys.

My hidden skill is … Fishing and playing marbles (my sons always boast to their friends that I used to beat all the boys at marbles when I was a kid – it’s quite true!) I also fancy myself as a bit of a ‘handyman’.

If I were a dog, I’d be a … A golden retriever … definitely not a poodle or a yappy little thing. I’d also be sure to demand a bath once a week.

It’s a bit corny, but I love … The part in the movie when the guy kisses the girl. I always get goose-bumps and all teary. The boys in my house think it’s hysterical … but secretly I know they love that part too!

I’m most at peace when … I’m in a space where I can feel the tangible presence and love of my Father God. This is often in nature and away from the noise of the city. I am also incredibly peaceful when I’m with my beloved husband and my three children – anywhere on planet earth.

The country I’d love to visit … I would love to visit Thailand.

Favourite quote … “I am but the pen in God’s hand, He is the Author of my story” – Mother Teresa

Mother Teresa1 (1)

Connect with Deborah


Chai tea & Ginger beer Facebook Page



“Off the Cuff” with visionary, Tich Smith

COTTONLANDS, KZN―Former Natal rugby player and cricketer for Natal and South Africa, Tich Smith and his wife, Joan, are the founders of Lungisisa Indlela Village (LIV) in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa. LIV  is a place of hope and restoration for orphaned children and continues to transform young lives in a mighty way. Tich shares his human side with JournoNews.

My secret pleasure is … reading the Bible and spending time with my grand-children.

My first job was … packing books at Adams Book Shop for R60 per month.

My most annoying habits are … speaking harshly to other people when I don’t really mean it.

A clear childhood memory is … scoring my first 100 in a cricket match when I was seven.

What makes me really nervous is … preaching the Word of God.

The best advice my parents gave me was … to treat others how you would like to be treated.

If I wasn’t a visionary, I’d be … dead.

I’m most thankful for … God’s saving grace and mercy upon my life.

My favourite meal is … fish, salad and rice.

I know it’s good for me, but I hate … people who are so perfect, thorough and pedantic but I know I need them more than anything.

A book I love is … Father To The Fatherless: The Charles Mulli Story and Out of the Black Shadows: The Amazing Transformation of Stephen Lungu

A song that resonates is … ‘Jesus, you are my friend’ (sung by the children at the Village).

My ‘happy place’ is … LIV Village.

My most embarrassing memory is … going into the record books as one of the few first class cricketers that got a ‘pair’ and only faced one ball.

(A ‘pair’ in cricket refers to when a batsman is dismissed without scoring in either innings)

My hidden skill is … don’t have any …

If I was a dog, I’d be a … Labrador.

It’s a bit corny but I love … my wife, Joanie.

I’m most at peace when … I’m in the quiet place with my Father (God).

Country I’d love to visit …  Australia.

Favourite quote … “I’m a little pencil in the hand of a writing God, who is sending a love letter to the world.” – Mother Theresa







Mother Theresa

Andrew Shedlock talks about ‘Shedders Cricket Academy’

JournoNews caught up with born-and-bred Durbanite and well-known cricket coach, Andrew Shedlock, who runs the highly successful Shedders Cricket Academy in Durban North, KZN, South Africa. The Academy specializes in cricket coaching for all age groups from beginners to Club and even Provincial Players.

What does Shedders Cricket Academy do?

Shedders Cricket Academy caters for age groups from six years old onward. With the school boys I mainly concentrate on one-on-one coaching and this is for all ability levels, from beginners to boys that are more advanced. Another branch of my Academy is for boys who have left school and they spend a year with me. Here the emphasis is to improve the cricketing skills with the ‘hope’ of going onto play provincial cricket. They complete a Level 1 coaching course as well as an umpiring and scoring course. During cricket season they also coach a team at the school where my Academy is based, Northwood High School.

What major lessons have you learnt running your own business?

Major lessons I have learnt in my profession is that although the youngsters are different in character, ability, skill etc., they all require the same amount of attention, motivation and encouragement. Coach or teach each boy with passion and always remember the ones with less skill and ability are as enthusiastic as the better ones. My motto is that after each session that a boy has with me he must go away with the feeling that he cannot wait to come back to ‘Shedders’.

How do you manage to balance family and business commitments?

Balance between family and work commitments is sometimes difficult because of the hours I work. I also coach the 1st team at Northwood High School and a Club. During cricket season I can have a seven-day week with a school game on Saturday and Club game on a Sunday. During the week bar Friday, I sometimes only get home after 7.30pm. I make sure that during the week I have a time slot available for my son Ross because sometimes in my profession one can get caught up so often in other peoples’ children and you forget about your own. One thing I make sure of is that I try never to miss any of my kids’ school activities. I have a very understanding and wonderful wife (she is also a teacher by profession) so I am very fortunate that they understand my work.

You’ve seen Durban grow over the last few years, what do you love about living there?

Durban is a wonderful place to live, close to the sea and the mountains (although I don’t spend enough time at the mountains) Summers are warm and winters are mild. Always been a Durban boy!!

Favourite holiday desitnation?

We are ‘locals’ at Pumula Beach Resort, down the South Coast of KZN. It’s such a relaxing and enjoyable place to be on holiday – the kids love it as they are entertained 24/7. One can just relax and get away from the hustle and bustle of work. The management and staff are friendly, the setting is stunning and the food is unbelievable.

What restaurants would you say are ‘a must’ in Durban? Why?

Scoozi’s because they cater for the kids. Gabby’z – for the food and the vibe. These two are my favourite – I am a funny guy – find something I like and stick to it. My wife always says I must ‘experiment’ more.

What’s a normal ‘day at the office’ for you?

Normal day at the office for me is: take kids to school first thing in the morning, then I go to gym. Start coaching at 9.30am and usually have about an hour break between 12.00pm and 1.00pm. Back to coaching usually around 1.00pm and finish anytime from 6.00pm -7.30pm in the evening, depending on the season i.e. summer or winter. Summer is cricket season, so the hours are longer. During winter I also coach on a Saturday morning but in summer, my weekends are taken up by cricket matches, for school and club.

What or who inspires you?

My love and passion for my work inspires me. I can say this with all honesty – there is never a day when I wake up and not want to go to work because I don’t enjoy what I do. To work with young children and teenagers must be the most rewarding profession anyone can wish for. When it involves sport and being active, there’s nothing better. To see youngsters improve and perform gives me the greatest thrill. I just enjoy working with kids, no matter what age, ability, skill etc.

What do you do to keep fit and healthy?

I try and train every day before I start coaching – used to enjoy my running but injuries have finally caught up with me. Now I enjoy my spinning.

Any hobbies, things you enjoy outside work?

I have always enjoyed my horse racing from a very early age but have never been a gambler, in fact I don’t gamble (which a lot of people find strange with my passion and knowledge of horse racing). I have always enjoyed the thrill of the sport; I think the horse is an amazing animal. I am a huge Sharks follower. Other than that being involved in sport all my life, I am a big follower of all sports.

Where do you see yourself five years from now?

I am very happy and content with my work at the moment. I would like to see my Academy grow but that will come with hard work. I have a lovely family, a great job and would not change it for anything at the moment. If the opportunity did arise for me to coach at a higher level, I would definitely jump at the opportunity.

Shedders Cricket Academy

Proud Dad, Andrew, watches his young son, Ross’s bowling action in the nets.

Enhanced by Zemanta