While it is derived from the Fifty Shades series of erotic novels by author E.L. James, Rodney’s book is uniquely Cape Flats. Picture: PxHere

A Mitchells Plain dad is causing a stir with his saucy debut novel which tells the story of finding love on the Cape Flats.

Rodney Brown, 44, recently launched his book, Shades of Cape Flats. And, yes, while it is derived from the Fifty Shades series of erotic novels by author E.L. James, Rodney’s book is uniquely Cape Flats and includes well-known local landmarks and personalities.

The father of two teen sons was born in Athlone, but raised in Mitchells Plain where he still lives today. The first-time author self-published his book after years of writing stories on his Facebook page, called Shades of Light Brown.

Rodney is a former naval officer who now works for the City of Cape Town, managing sports facilities. He says when he started writing fictional stories about incidents, issues and personalities on the Cape Flats several years ago, he had no idea it would attract so much attention.

Rodney Brown, 44, recently launched his book, Shades of Cape Flats. Pictures: Monique Duval

“There are more than 1 000 people who follow the page. I wrote brief stories updating it once a month and people kept asking what happens next. So about two months ago I decided to do the book,” he says.

The book tells the tale of a group of friends who plan a school reunion at Tokai Forest, but tragedy strikes when someone is killed and two of the friends are charged with murder.

READ: Fifty Shades finale gets a dressing down

The matter goes to court where a romance blossoms between the defence lawyer and the narrator, leading to some steamy scenes.

In one encounter between a married couple, Moegsien gives his wife Maya a surprise visit as she stands in line at the All Pay at the Retreat Civic.

“He lifted her onto the wheelie bins behind the ATM and French kissed her with open eyes. He tied the family pit bull, Romeo, and blocked the alley way so no one could disturb them. There was a homeless man watching, but this just added to the mystery,” the story goes.


In the fast-paced novel, readers are introduced to the weird and wonderful characters involved in the court case. Rodney says while the novel may not be everyone’s cup of tea, he believes most people are able to relate to his characters.

“The book touches on various issues that are synonymous with the Cape Flats and how intertwined people’s lives are,” he says.

“It touches on various aspects, such as life in Pollsmoor and so on. I believe it is important for people from the Flats to start telling their own stories.”

Hansa Digital and Litho Print printed 150 copies for the launch and they were all sold out on the first night. Proceeds of the book’s sales, which costs R160, go to Hannah’s Place of Safety, a home for abandoned children in Mitchells Plain.

“My family and I have over the last year been very involved with the home. We are passionate about children and their development, so all the sales of the book go towards helping the home,” says Rodney. 

If you would like to buy a copy of Shades of Cape Flats, email [email protected]