Gavin Featherstone’s Bobotie Dawn chronicles the most dynamic period in South Africa’s cultural and sporting history prior to and including the reemergence of Nelson Mandela. What makes this memoir so authentic was the English author’s direct involvement as the Olympic coach intertwined with the daily lives of the various communities seeking out an identity.
The reader is exposed to this unique subjective and objective coverage as the author opens the window to his experiences of the family, social and cultural world present at the time. No doubt the main thread of the narrative revolves around the changing face of Hockey but most definitely is set within the framework of conflict, isolation and harmony. This was powerfully exemplified in Gavin’s selection of the Olympic Hockey player of colour in Allistar Fredericks. Gavin moves between Afrikaans and coloured families at will, and is subject to controversial stricture of sports politicians. Finding himself at the forefront of the nation’s return from international isolation he was also at the mercy of the formidable SAP, the police!