Human & Rousseau

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Author Focus

Koos (A.) Kombuis

Biographical info

Koos Kombuis/Koos A. Kombuis is the pen name of André le Roux du Toit, also known as André Letoit.

André le Roux du Toit was born in Cape Town on 5 November 1954. The family moved house often, but lived in Stellenbosch for extended periods of time  and afterwards in Pretoria. He completed high school at the Menlo Park High School in Pretoria.

After school he did his national service in the army after which he had various jobs including a clerk in the public sector, an insurance salesman and a fire fighter.

He started witing short stories for Huisgenoot magazine as a freelancer for a few years.

In 1980 he debuted as André Letoit in the poetry collection Brêkfis met vier, along with Daniel Hugo, Peter Snyders and Ettienne van Heerden.

He continued writing poetry with titles such as Suburbia, Die geel kafee and novels  Somer II and Suidpunt-jazz.

In the late 1980s he became involved with the alternative Afrikaans music movement and, along with Johannes Kerkorrel, he was one of the leaders of the Voëlvry Tour. It is during this period that he began using the name Koos Kombuis as musician and author.

The last several years he has published, amongst others, an autobiography (Seks, drugs & boeremusiek), a novel (Hotel Atlantis), a satire in English (The Complete Diaries of God) and a thriller (Raka: Die roman). 

Did you know?

  • The nickname Koos was given to him when he was still at school. 'Kombuis' was added when he actually lived in a kitchen and “couldn’t think of anything better”. The A in Koos A Kombuis is for André, which is of course his real name.
  • He and author Etienne van Heerden were good friends when they were at school together in Paul Roos Gymnasium in Stellenbosch.
  • His novel, Somer II, wat his first semi-autobiographical novel.
  • His grandfather was Dr. P.C. Schoonees, who was the second executive editor of the Woordeboek van die Afrikaanse Taal.
  • His first music album, Ver van die ou Kalahari, was released in 1987. His 10th CD, Bloedrivier, was released in 2008. Some of his most famous songs include “Lisa se klavier”, “Kytie”, “Johnny is nie dood nie” and “Bicycle sonder slot”.
  • He was the publisher, editor and head writer (under the alias Oom Elektriese Lokomotief) of the scrapbook magazine Ons Klyntji.

Author bookshelf

The Complete Secret Diaries of God, Human & Rousseau (2008)
Suidpunt-jazz, Human & Rousseau (2004, new edition)
Die tyd van die kombi's, Human & Rousseau (2009)
Long Drive to Freedom, Human & Rousseau (2009)
Somer II, Human & Rousseau (2006, new edition)
Raka – die roman, Human & Rousseau (2005)

List of titles

André Letoit

Poetry
1981 Brêkfis met vier (with Daniel Hugo, Peter Snyders and Etienne van Heerden)
1982 Suburbia
1985 Die geel kafee
1988 Die bar op De Aar

Prose
1982 Nou’s die Kaap weer hollands (short stories)
1983 My nooi is in ’n tikmasjien (Huisgenoot short stories)
1985 Somer II (novel) 1986 Breekwater (short stories)
1989 Suidpunt-jazz (novel)

Koos A Kombuis

Prose
2000 Seks & drugs & boeremusiek: Die memoires van ’n volksverraaier
2001 My mamma is ’n taal
2002 Hotel Atlantis
2003 Afrikaans my darling
2004 Suidpunt-jazz (new edition)

Poetry
1998 Die tweede reën

Koos Kombuis

Prose
1990 Paradise redecorated
2003 The Secret Diary of God
2005 Raka – die roman
2006 Die dieper dors
2006 Somer II (new edition)
2008 The Complete Diaries of God
2009 Die tyd van die kombi's
2009 Long Drive to Freedom
2011 Die reuk van koffie

Reviews 

“Kombuis’s – sorry – God’s diaries had me laughing out loud."
“An absurd, clever, funny series of witty and irreverent Biblical pastiches which manage to offend all but at the same time insult none."

“With wonderful, unselfconscious prose, this is the funniest book I have read so far by a South African and reinforces my opinion that local writers are world-class, even if their readership is not worldwide." – Amanda Lorentz, The Weekender (2008)

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