Dad’s life inspires PE book

Seeing how her father struggled for most of his life with one eye inspired Estee Cockroft, of Walmer, to write a book that tackles the problem of bullying – and how to triumph over it.

Cockroft, 32, will launch her book, The Eye In the Yellow Bow Tie on September 8, at the Athenaeum, in Central.

The Eye In the Yellow Bow Tie is about a boy who grew up in the 1950s, during the apartheid days of South Africa, in a household with a tyrant of a father and a sister who bullied him.

“After losing his eye, Will Corke, the main character, suffers some bullying and growing up dirt-poor does not help him either,” said the author. “The eye becomes a character in the book after he discovers that his blind eye can talk.

“Everything Will thinks the eye does and it becomes his braver counterpart, his coping mechanism and eventually his journey to self-acceptance.

“Will relates to a lot to what nonwhites of the time were going through. His life ran parallel to theirs in the sense he was seen as ‘other’,” Cockroft said.

The self-published author began writing her novel in February last year and completed it near the end of the year, which entailed writing for at least five hours every day, while being a mother to a two-year-old and a new baby.

“Because the book is written during the height of the apartheid era in the country, such as Sharpeville, I battled with historical facts and didn’t want to get anything wrong, so in between writing, I did some research, digging up archived newspaper articles to get accuracy,” Cockroft said.

Cockroft, a marketing and communications graduate, said bullying was prevalent in schools today, which was one of the reasons she wanted to write about someone beating the odds.

Cockroft described her book as a typical book club read, which book lovers could liken to a South African Angela’s Ashes.

The Eye In the Yellow Bow Tie is available online and at Fogarty’s Bookshop. To place an order, e-mail


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