Biography of Charlie and Nena Van Zyl (RSA).

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The biography of Charlie and Nena Van Zyl. South Africa, Free State – 1931 to 2017. Authors – William & Malinda Van Zyl. Published 2017.

“The follow-on business project, after the chicks, was ‘maantonnels’ (hot houses); growing vegetables and selling them. The two brothers would sit on the ‘stoep’ (veranda), and Piet would say: ‘Charles I think I have a plan to make lots of money.’ Charles would answer, ‘Tell me about it?’ Piet would swat a fly with the bent wire fly swatter; he would sit with his legs crossed wearing his bright white vest, and he would stare at the floor. Piet would laughingly respond ‘Tomatoes Charles, tomatoes.’ Charlie would join in laughing even louder, ‘Tomatoes you say, and how will tomatoes make us money?’ So the adventure begins.

The two brothers planned and built these arc-shaped tunnels which were constructed from metal pipes welded together and covered tightly with high-quality translucent plastic. They installed some water sprinklers, and voila they had a small farm running at the back of Piet’s section. They were now ready to make biiig money; after all, they had all the business experience they needed! You know the saying: ’If you don’t succeed at first, try and try again!’ Lol! “

‘Seed, Sapling, Cedar’ – The life and times of an exceptional couple through different lenses and filters. This biography is a labour of love for my precious mum and dad who have given so much of themselves. With this book, I would like to give back. The idea has been on my mind for some years to pen down the lives, the history, and the stories of these two very special people.

The book starts with the timelines of Charles and Nena, and the rest of the story just follows naturally as the pictures elicit distant events and memories; there are just so many precious ones. The name of the book came about when I started thinking about a name for the book, I considered dad and mum’s lives and asked the question: ‘What analogy could I use that is a close comparison to them as persons?’. The word Seed was the start of the title; the development of the Word Seed to a young Sapling and eventually the fully developed, tall Cedar tree has been just the right analogy. The analogy between cedar trees and the lives of mum and dad’s are visible. The Seed of the Word was sown into their lives, through the years they became young and tender Saplings, and eventually, as dedicated Kingdom people, they grew into Lebanon Giants (Cedars of the Lebanon). For their faithfulness, dedication and service to the Apostolic Faith Mission Church in Virginia (Free State, RSA) for over 50 years we salute them! What an incredible legacy! May the Lord bless them richly for all the years of service and faithfulness to their local church. The rich, endearing and sometimes funny stories are all blended, weaved, and intertwined together as a whole for friends and family to enjoy and to share.

Author – William & Malinda Van Zyl




Wedding day – Charlie and Nena Van Zyl



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