Africa Mercy

At the beginning of 2020 I decided to take a little time out from my ‘normal’ life and volunteer my time and writing skills to an incredible humanitarian healthcare initiative, Mercy Ships, that operates in West Africa. My purpose onboard was to capture the stories of patients, volunteers, medical capacity building (MCB) programs and MCB participants.

I boarded Africa Mercy (in the Port of Dakar, Senegal) on 17 January 2020 expecting to spend months and months with the ship. Unfortunately two short months later COVID-19, and its impact on most of the world, meant that Mercy Ships had to wind down its field service in Senegal. As a result, I have returned to South Africa on Leave of Absence (LOA), until I can rejoin the ship once it is able to resumes its field service.

In the meantime, I’ll keep myself busy with writing assignments, fundraising activities, and continue to share my thoughts and experiences here on this site.

Everything communicated here reflects my own personal opinion and is neither reviewed nor endorsed by Mercy Ships.

Would you support me?


Be that ship

When I first arrived on the Africa Mercy in January, the ship was already over halfway through its field service in Senegal. I’d joined the crew at the end of the orthopaedic surgeries, so all the little patients that had their bowlegs or windswept legs straightened, had already had their surgeries. The reconstructive surgery and […]

I wonder

I wonder why it takes so long to develop a vaccine. I feel very misled by all those blockbusters where the heroes draw blood, rush to the lab in a race against time, find the antibodies and VOILA! a potion is conjured up and used to save lives. And all this before the two-hour movie […]


Today I’m officially out of that fourteen day self-quarantine I put myself into after arriving back from Senegal. Now I’m looking forward to at least another two weeks of house arrest…possibly more. Boy, is it going to feel strange when today becomes yesterday, and we’re all allowed to move around freely again! I’ve been thinking about […]

Writing Samples

What are the odds?

What are the chances of scrubbing up and walking into the OR on Africa Mercy and bumping into a close childhood friend, you’d lost touch with almost forty-five years ago? For general surgeon James Smellie and ophthalmic surgeon Richard Newsom (two of thirteen surgeons onboard the hospital ship this February) the stars above Dakar must have aligned to […]

Cool under pressure

The heat rising off the players and spectators inside the Mandeville Sports Centre makes the scorching 32-degrees outside seem like a cool summer’s breeze. Fifty minutes have passed since a heartfelt rendition of Nkosi Sikelele Africa. Forty-five since Impi declared the Lions war on its opponents, who wasted no time launching the first attack. Twenty-eight since the Eagles […]

Hakito’s Story

HAKITO BRAND COPY: Every parent will tell you that his or her child is truly amazing. Many parents will tell you that they want to encourage their children to grow up to be creative individuals, free thinkers and successful at whatever they choose to do. All parents are known to brag about their little one’s [...]



February 2020

As you are aware, I’m taking a little time out from my ‘normal’ life and am offering my time and writing skills to an incredible humanitarian initiative that operates in West Africa. I’ve been onboard Africa Mercy for almost three weeks now and am excited about experiencing the magic that happens here first-hand.


March 2020

When they were given a date for cataract surgery onboard the Africa Mercy, seven-year-old Zackaria asked his mother: “Is it possible to remove the white things in my eyes?” To which Binta replied “Yes my son. God-willing, that will be possible.”


April 2020

Watch this space.

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