I knew from the start it was going to be a tricky proposition. On the day my son Khanyani was due to go back to boarding school, my niece Luyanda, whom I had not seen in 10 years, arrived in Joburg to stay with us as she starts a new job.

At 17 Khanyani is a basketball player who makes me look like a midget even though I am much, much taller than Thabo Mbeki; Luyanda, 28, is as thin as a rake. Khanyani can swallow the entire Union Buildings complex and still look hungry; Luyanda can look full after eating a handful of toothpicks...

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