Off the Cuff

“Off the Cuff” with Consumer Writer, Wendy Knowler

Wendy KnowlerDURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA―Award-winning consumer writer, Wendy Knowler, is a columnist for Times Media and presents Consumerwatch on East Coast Radio. Journonews caught up with her.

My secret pleasure is … Kissing my teens when they’re asleep

My first job was … as a waitress in a steakhouse joint where the bombastic owner constantly chastised me for not wearing enough make-up and ‘talking back’.

My most annoying habits are … My kids would say striking up conversations with strangers “sooo embarrassing…”; and singing along to songs on the radio with only a casual observance of lyrics. I’d say often being a few minutes late instead of on time or early (working on it); talking too much, procrastination.

A clear childhood memory is … At school, aged 10, being taken outside to witness an eclipse of the sun. We were sternly warned not to look at the sun until we had our protective glasses on, but for some reason I snuck a peek and I have an eclipse burn on my retina as a permanent memory of that insubordination. It makes optometrists quite excited.

What makes me really nervous is … the state of this country’s parastatals.

The best advice my parents gave me was … The only way out is through.

If I wasn’t a consumer writer, I’d be … a forensic investigator.

I’m most thankful for … my family, my health, and having a job that I like. A lot.

My favorite meal is … oysters followed by sushi.

I know it’s good for me, but I hate … Pilates. I have a dicky back, so I should be doing it, but I can’t bear it.

A book I love is … the one I am currently reading: David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell (I devour all his books.)

A song that resonates is … my absolute favourite of all time: The Beatles’ Blackbird

My ‘happy place’ is … being on the beach early in the morning with my dogs.

My most embarrassing memory is … I was giving a talk on the Consumer Protection Act to the tenants of a large shopping mall, having been up most of the night dealing with the effects of a gastric bug. I had asked centre management to put a bucket of sorts in the next room, just in case. When the inevitable happened, I left the room mid-sentence and puked exuberantly into the container provided. And then they told me that I still had my lapel mic attached …

My hidden skill is … Despite being embarrassingly scatty at times, I have an excellent memory for detail and easily pick up inconsistencies in what people have said.

If I was a dog, I’d be a … a Bulldog-Labrador cross.

It’s a bit corny but I love … watching my parents dance.

I’m most at peace when … I’m on the beach, and on top of my deadlines and my inbox. (doesn’t happen often!)

Country I’d love to visit … India.

Favourite quote … “Courage is fear holding on a minute longer.” – George Patton


George Patton