Bluff carguard’s pen is mightier than her world

Through her writing she has become confident and is given the strength to relive her life through the pages. Leanne strives to be recognised as a writer as she continues her work in poetry.

THE adage that says ‘never judge a book by its cover’ rings true for Bluff car guard, Leanne Breytenbach whose pages are filled with more passion and creativity than her daily tasks may portray.

People might see her as just a car guard, some might not even know she exists but all Leanne wants it to be recognised for her true calling, as a writer.

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The 51-year-old remembers writing being part of her life since the age of 12, when her first poem, on fighting pollution, was published in her school paper. “I’ve been dabbling in writing since then. A lot of my poetry and writing comes from my experiences of being on the streets. It’s dark but it’s a true representation of my life. I find the road that I’ve been on has been less traveled but I draw on experiences such as abuse, homelessness and being invisible. Through my writing I have an identity and all I want is for people to recognise this identity and see past what I am now, ” she said.

She wants people to not define her by her job as a car guard or define any car guard for that matter. “People think we are low-class with no ambition, no passion or dreams. We are looked down on but each one of us has a story and each one of us is trying to survive and that means putting what we truly want to do on the backburner. I couldn’t stay away from writing and so I continue to practise my craft and improve on it. My dream is to be published again, for people to enjoy my writing and draw inspiration from it,” she added.

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Life has certainly knocked her down a few times but she refuses to let it keep her down. “Since I was little I always dreamed about winning the Pulitzer Prize or the Edgar award as a crime novelist but in 2010 when my husband died, so did my dreams. He was my inspiration and throughout his sickness, he pushed himself. He never slowed down, even at the end. But in the end my dreams and my hopes died with him and I just existed,” she said sadly.

Despite her loneliness and the hardships, she chose to rise above and use reason and logic to keep her positive. “I realised I needed to get on with my life and continue my writing. I want to be an inspiration for others who can see me and think no matter what I’m going through, I can still pull through. For long I never had the confidence or self-motivation but through writing, I got it back. It takes me away from my life. It taught me that I can’t fix the past but I can change my future,” she said.

Her goal to improve her writing is to get a tablet so she can save her work and also catch up on reading. “Notebooks and pens don’t last forever but a tablet can,” she giggled.

WATCH: Leanne reads one of her many poems

 

  AUTHOR
Lauren Beukes
Journalist

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