Jonty Driver

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Jonty Driver
Born1939
EducationSt. Andrew's College
Alma mater
Occupation
Websitejontydriver.co.uk

Charles Jonathan 'Jonty' Driver (born 1939) is a South African anti-apartheid activist, former political prisoner, educationalist, poet and writer.

Childhood[edit]

'Jonty' Driver was born in Cape Town in 1939, but spent the years of the Second World War in Kroonstad and Cradock with his mother and younger brother and grandfather who was the rector of the Anglican parish there. During this period his father did wartime service in North Africa. Driver's father was captured by the Axis forces at Tobruk and spent the rest of the war as a prisoner of war in Italy and Germany. When he came back to South Africa, the family moved to Grahamstown in the Eastern Cape, where his father was appointed chaplain at St. Andrew's College and where Jonty later did his schooling.[1][2]

Student days[edit]

Driver did his undergraduate study at the University of Cape Town (UCT). He was elected president of the National Union of South African Students in 1963 and again in 1964. In August and September 1964, he was detained without trial by the police and held in solitary confinement, possibly because of his suspected involvement in the African Resistance Movement, on his release he immediately left for England.[3] He went to Trinity College, Oxford, to read for an M.Phil.[2]

While he was at Oxford, the South African authorities refused to renew his passport and he became stateless for several years, eventually becoming a British citizen. For more than twenty years he was prohibited from returning to South Africa.[2]

Work in education[edit]

After his time at Oxford, Driver taught at Sevenoaks School and then at Matthew Humberstone Comprehensive School in South Humberside.[1]

In 1976 he was a Research Fellow at the University of York, and for twenty-three years he was a headmaster (Principal, Island School, Hong Kong, 1978–83; Headmaster, Berkhamsted School, 1983-9; Master, Wellington College, 1989–2000).[2][4]

Writing career[edit]

He is now a full-time writer, though he continues his involvement in education.

He has been an honorary senior lecturer at the School of Literature and Creative Writing, University of East Anglia, since 2007. He was a judge for the Caine Prize for African Writing, 2007 and 2008. He was a fellow of the Bogliasco Foundation in 2007. He was a fellow at the MacDowell Colony in New Hampshire, USA, in the fall of 2009, and a fellow at the Hawthornden Writers' Retreat in March/April 2011.

He is married with three children and eight grandchildren.

Published works[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ a b SAHO.
  2. ^ a b c d Eve 2003, p. 8.
  3. ^ Theron 2004, p. 105.
  4. ^ Sleeman 2003, p. 94–.

External links[edit]

Official website