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Calling home after ten American years

Calling home after ten American years
Rozanne Gewaar performing at an American 'open mic' venue where songwriters and singers have the opportunity to practise their love for music and their creative ability in front of a live audience.
KNYSNA NEWS - After ten years in the United States, IT business consultant moonlighting as singer-songwriter, Rozanne Stoman is looking forward to the fact that she will shortly be back in Knysna, travelling the beautiful scenic roads of South Africa as she leisurely tours from Robertson to Nieu-Bethesda.

Stoman attended both primary and high school in Knysna and matriculated from Knysna High School in 1996, but has been working as an IT customer relationship management strategist in Ohio and later Chicago.

She admits to having a parallel life as a songwriter-musician and will be releasing her second folk acoustic CD, 'En Met Tyd', on her current tour. "Traveling back to South Africa, I'm usually coming from snow in Chicago into Summer here," she explains in perfect Afrikaans, albeit hesitant at times, searching for the right word. "The first thing I always notice is that everything seems to be brighter. The sky, the sun, the colourful landscapes, the smiling faces of the different people. Even the air is different."

Stoman says that one of her favourite things to do immediately once back on home soil, is to visit Spar! "It is hard to explain, but once you have been away from the generosity and spontaneity of the South African people, you just can't wait to experience it again! Even though Spar doesn't have someone greeting you at the door, while you shop at least a dozen people are sure to greet you, make eye contact and make you feel at home - even just a stranger passing you by on aisle three. I love it!"Pensive for a moment, she says that there is a sense of camaraderie among the different people.

"I don't know whether it is because people here suffer together, but people here actually do pull together - maybe it isn't that obvious when you live here, but as an outsider I absolutely feel it and it is a vibe you just don't get overseas unless you are among other South Africans."
She also enjoys driving along South African freeways.

"It is almost as if beholding natural beauty here is too easy. People hardly seem to notice it, but when you live in a huge city like Chicago, the changing South African landscape along an ordinary freeway is breathtaking and so much to be grateful for!"

She says that in Chicago one has to work a lot harder for your 'beautiful moments', but in South Africa the next panoramic vista or perfect sunset is all packaged within the same day.

After matriculating, Stoman studied computers and accounting at the University of Port Elizabeth (now NMMU), where she also taught for two years before grabbing the opportunity to work for an American company for whom she helped build a prototype application during her post-graduate year. Whilst at school her main interests were public speaking and writing."It was only during my varsity days that I took guitar lessons and in Ohio a friend who I painted with, began giving me singing lessons."

Shortly thereafter, Stoman (stage name Rozanne Gewaar) began making use of 'open mic' venues to practise her skills. "I actually have a song called After Hours Hippy because during the day I have a completely different corporate persona and I have kept my two lives very apart," she explains. "My American shows are predominantly English, but they love it when I throw in some Afrikaans songs as well - they say it sounds very alluring and exotic."

Rozanne Gewaar will be performing in Knysna for one night only on Thursday, January 29, at 20:00 at Chaplin's Bakery in Woodmill Lane. Her show includes a mixture of both English and Afrikaans songs. Guests can simply enjoy the music and drinks or can make reservations in advance to enjoy a set dinner menu for R150. To make a booking, call 044 382 3667.

To learn more about Rozanne Gewaar and her music, visit
04:00 (GMT+2), Thu, 24 January 2013
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