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Posted by on Nov 10, 2012 in Humour | 19 comments

Random Kak Remembered From Growing Up In South Africa

Random Kak has been released. Click here to find out more.

Trevor Romain. Not a name I was familiar with until yesterday. Then I got this set of brilliant cartoons that he created featuring many of the things he remembers while growing up in South Africa.

Aptly titled “Random Kak I Remember Growing Up in SA”, it seems that much of young Trevors’ formative years were spent in the old suburbs of Johannesburg.

random kak 1-w653random kak 2random kak 3random kak 4

The kak that Trevor remembers had two results for me: (1) I ‘lagged’ at how many of the things I remember from a similar childhood spent in the backwaters of Alberton and the seedy nightclubs of Joburg; and (2) I went on a mission to try to find out more about Trevor Romain.

Sadly, his is still not a name that I have been able to find out too much about.

Here’s a little of the little that I did manage to find:

When South African-born Trevor Romain was 12, his teacher told him he wasn’t talented enough to do art, but 20 years later he discovered that he could draw. He has since written and illustrated more than 30 children’s books, and he has an animated video series for kids based on his best-selling, award-winning books. Trevor also visits schools to speak to children, and he spends his free time with kids who have cancer at the Brackenridge Hospital in Austin, Texas.

Trevor Romain is a best-selling author and illustrator of an award-winning series of self-help books for children, as well as a sought-after motivational speaker. As an inspirational humorist, Trevor and his animated friends host a popular television series that has been featured on a number of PBS stations. The series uses adventures based on his books to teach real-life lessons for kids, such as dealing with bullies, facing fears, coping with divorce and understanding grief. The series has won numerous awards. Trevor’s books have sold more than a million copies worldwide and have been published in 16 different languages.

[Hey Trevor, if you ever read/see this, you really should get your publicist to set up a Wikipedia page for you at least :)]

Clearly the good boykie from the ‘burg of Johannes is based in the United States now, where he remains very active. It does seem that he returns to South Africa on occasion as well. Here’s a YouTube clip of a visit he made to Botshabelo not too long ago.

If you are interested in Trevor’s books some of them are available locally through in print and ebook format (Click here, I did the searching for you already. You’re welcome.) A much bigger selection via is here.

There’s also a number of clips from the Trevor Romain Show (that would be the name of the “popular television series that has been featured on a number of PBS stations”) here and here. (Yes, click and click again…). The Trevor Romain Company’s web site well tell you a lot more, and offer to sell you a huge range of products directly too.

Now go out there and have a weekend filled with random memory-making kak!

Random Kak has been released. Click here to find out more.

(A hat tip of thanks to Caroline who sent me the Random Kak images in the first place and started this mini-quest. Danke schön Caroline!)


  1. Wonderful. I grew up In Zim (Rhodesia). Now I’m going to voetsak and go to bed! Dankie for sharing this talented artist.

  2. I have been craving LLC Gums soooo badly that I am considering trying to make them! Fab walk down memory lane!

    • me too – and perky nanas!

  3. Ag, deddy, how I miss…galoobs. Those oranges you could stick on your car’s aerial. Eskimo pies. Vanilla ice cream wafers. Ja nee.

  4. Hi Trevor. Same age as you (55), grew up in Sandringham, went to both Sandringham Primary and High. Just read an e-mail with “Kak” and “More Random Kak”. I absolutely loved both of them. I really look forward to more of the same. Kindest Regards

  5. Can we get this as a poster


  7. Garelli 49 cc motor cycles, Lucky Strike smokes, and XXX mints to chase the smell. Chappies, Fah fee bets ( numbers game), “flat boys” sandals made from old tires, ” The Duke” that most feared Leb of them all! Joey Gaddy, his Jewish nemesis!
    I think we could collectively pull out some more of these beauties.

  8. I believe Trevor’s book “Random Kak” is being published by Penguin and is coming out in July 2013. He’ll be coming to SA for signings.

    • Excellent news! Thanks for sharing it Sarah.
      We’ll definitely look into getting hold of Trevor when he visits and will be looking out for the book with much anticipation.

  9. Random kak cracks me up every time i look at it. Just brilliant.

    How’s about Squad Cars? And the Veldskoen Drive-In? Top Star as well

    • “They prowl the empty streets at night, waiting in fast cars…” LOL!

      These cartoons are proving to be a huge hit. And I’m sure that when Trevor releases his book a lot of the other things that we’ve been reminded of will be in them.

  10. Hi all – just a quick note to say thanks for all the wonderful support. The book Random Kak (I remember about growing up in South Africa) will be released by Penguin Books in South Africa in June. I will be there for the launch and plan on doing a series of live stand-up versions of the book. There is a plan to do some posters too. I am amazed how these few silly pages I drew in a journal while pining for home resonated with so many South Africans around the world. I got a note from a man who has not spoken to his brother in 8 years. The pictures reminded him of his youth and the great times he had with his boet. He phoned his brother and he said they laughed and cried for an hour on the phone while going through the pages. Shame man. it warms my little heart. Hope to see you all in June. – Trevor Romain

  11. Really brings back memories , I used to the No 13 bus to Highlands North , and I went to Jabula Functions during school holidays

  12. I grew up in the Highlands North area (Kew) in the 50’s and could so identify with nearly every single thing in Random Kak, While people were inside the Royal Cinema on Louis Botha Avenue, Clifford Telfer & I would hot wire a car that was parked in the one way streets that surrounded it. We would then turn it around and put it back in exactly the same place. At the end of the movie, we stood at the corner to watch peoples reactions! They all were incredulous! ! ! We did it too often so eventually we were arrested. The police however saw the funny side and let us go.

  13. Trevor you a such a boytjie !! I have bought the book for my Bookclub and can’t wait to see their reactions ! It brought back so many fond memories of growing up in the Northern Suburbs of Jo’burg !

  14. Hi Trevor,
    I’m an ex Highlands North boy,went to Northview High. In my teens lived and grew up in Joseph Street.When I was first married we lived across the road from the Doll House in Louis Botha Av. I guess I could also tell you stories about that time and the “Lebs Gentiles and Jews” I remember so much and can relate to your book Random Kak.
    With wishes,

  15. My copy arrived today .. Brilliant stuff!

    • I’m so happy that you got your copy. Hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing and drawing it.


  1. Random Kak - [...] the message I got last week from Trevor Romain. Regulars in these parts will recall I posted a couple…

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