Lecturer Constant van Graan once again showcases his multiple creative talents with his first novel Jungu Josh: Die Goue Kalbas.

Academic, singer and now a novelist … senior lecturer in forensics accounting, Constant van Graan, is the NWU’s very own Renaissance man.

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Constant’s first book, Jungu Josh: Die Goue Kalbas was recently published (Die goue kalbas means the golden calabash while Jungu Josh refers to the central character). The genre of the book is magical realism and although it is a children's book, it will also appeal to adults who enjoy adventure novels and fantasy.


Constant is no stranger to the public eye. Besides being one of the presenters of BUAtv, which was a series of videos about the NWU’s activities, his rendition of Zahara’s hit song “Loliwe” won him the first prize in the staff category during the Pukki Talent Festival in 2017.


Growing our own timber


Constant pursued forensic accountancy studies at the NWU, after which he joined the university as a staff member in 2014.


“Forensic accounting is a very special profession – it requires some intricate analytical skills, yet provides ample room for creativity. It requires processing cold, impersonal data while simultaneously creating an environment where you have to approach people in a warm, interpersonal manner.


“As with the TV presenting, singing and writing, forensics – and especially my interactions with my students, who inspire me – have been very rewarding.”


Where his story started


Originally from Kempton Park, Constant says he developed a passion for writing at a very early age.


“As with most writers, it started when I was writing essays in school and later, when I went to university, I started writing stories,“ he says.


It was only when his stories were published by Human & Rousseau that a whole new world opened up for him. The inspiration for the book took root during the summer holidays in 2014, when he watched his family squabble over something while sitting around the dinner table.


“An idea came from nowhere: what if the squabble was more serious and, instead of my family, the participants were a matriarch and her unimpressive children ... and of course, the young protagonist, who dreams of having a better life.”


He then blended this idea with his love for African landscapes and legends and, as he puts it, “the first chapter was born ... and the agony of the next chapters awaited.”


Keeping busy


“My band Pelican State has just released two new singles – one of which is actually the theme song of my book, Jungu Josh,” he adds.


Besides writing and singing in his spare time, he also loves sport and is an avid golf fan. “My handicap will definitely raise some eyebrows (for the wrong reasons) but there is something special in supporting South African players on the PGA tour into the early morning hours.”


When he isn’t singing, writing or watching golf, he is busy nurturing his favourite pot plant, Rembrandt.


The sky is definitely the limit for Constant who keeps on proving that there is nothing he can’t do.


showcases his writing skills