This is really the bio of two personas: Cheryl the journalist-turned-freelance book editor who once wrote poetry quietly on the side and Cheryl who started creating songs at age fifty and hopes to free her creative mind more with the passing years.

I was born in Canada to South African parents and taken to South Africa at the age of eighteen months. By the time I left apartheid South Africa at age twenty-two with a typewriter, backpack, my first husband and a ticket to Luxembourg, I had already studied journalism and English at Rhodes University and worked as a newspaper reporter for a couple of years. After six months in Berlin, I moved to Canada, where I have lived ever since.

For more than twenty years I worked as both a reporter and editor in Edmonton, Calgary and Toronto (including political reporter at the Edmonton Journal and assistant news editor, news editor and books editor at The Globe and Mail in Toronto). But in 1997 I quit newspaper journalism to freelance and quickly focused on book editing. 

By then I had married my first boyfriend, who had been living in England. We moved to Salt Spring Island on the beautiful West Coast of Canada in 2002. Two years later I took my first guitar lesson and started writing songs, a process I loved so much that I gave editing second billing for a couple of years to enter the Jazz Studies program at Malaspina College (now VIU) in Nanaimo.

More wonderful musicians entered my life and in 2015 I released my first CD, Love & Exile. A significant percentage of my songs have a human rights/social justice tinge.

To be continued …