While she was in Ghana on her dream job doing Media Development with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Sylvia Vollenhoven fell sick.
She came back home to South Africa with no money, no job and no home. She remained partially bedridden in a cottage in Betty's Bay.
She started going through her collection of Bleek and Lloyd archive which she collected over the years. Linguists Bleek and Lloyd working together on a project to learn the San language and record personal narratives and folklore during the 1870s.
Vollenhoven started reading the works, and in the process was drawn into the story of Kabbo.
I was driven into writing not only my own story but looking at the connection between my story and this bushmen visionary who lived in the 19th century, and there were many connections.— Sylvia Vollenhoven, Author
I guess what pushed me into an accepting view of African traditions is that i had no choice. I was terribly ill and I was prepared to try anything to get better.— Sylvia Vollenhoven, Author
Vellenhoven says she started seeing improvements in her health after she started working on this story and writing the book
And the results speaks for itself, I'm kinda forced to believe— Sylvia Vollenhoven, Author
In the beginning I would've definitely labeled it as either worldly, supernatural, extraordinary and communing with things I couldn't see ...but in a very short time it has come to be part of my life— Sylvia Vollenhoven, Author
Vollenhoven has now written a book about her spiritual journey and it was adapted into a play, which is currently being developed into a feature documentary film. The book is called Keeper of the Kumm.
Listen to the full conversation below: