Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital staff nurse, Ronnie van der Merwe. Picture: Supplied.
Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital staff nurse, Ronnie van der Merwe. Picture: Supplied.

Joburg nurse pens book on his life’s journey and coming out of the closet

By Gift Tlou Time of article published Jul 24, 2020

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Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital staff nurse, Ronnie van der Merwe, has finally put his writing skills to good use and completed his first book titled Jumping Over The Rainbow.

In the book, the nurse details his life journey in the short memoir - from his stint in Germany where he worked as an au pair, being unable to complete his language degree which would have enabled him to pursue his journalism dream to coming out of the closet on his sexuality.

“My book was released in March and it is basically synonymous with freedom. My trip overseas provided me with that. I am a proud gay, the vintage suitcase on the cover shows my love for travelling and that overall my book speaks to the desperation of freedom I have always longed for.”

He said the book has already sold over 200 physical copies.

“I just want the reader to know that it’s okay to be yourself and they must rejoice in being who they are. There is nothing greater than freedom.

“In 1995, I left Potchefstroom University (North WestUniversity) to go and experience a new life and grow as a person in a foreign country. At that time it was more of exploring life and learning new things and that helped me grow so much,” he said.

After a year in Germany, Van der Merwe returned to the country and shifted his focus to something else.

“I worked at a pharmaceutical company, then I later enrolled at Ann Latsky Nursing College in 2006 and that is where I qualified as a staff nurse and I have never looked back ever since.”

Self published author and Charlotte Maxeke Academic Hospital nurse Ronnie Van der Merwe recently released his book titled Jumping Over The Rainbow. Picture: Supplied

The 46-year-old encourages the youth to follow their dreams and apply themselves to whatever they do.

“What also motivated me to write this book is the fact that we have people with potential but they settle for less. Talent is galore in our country and people just need a push in the right direction.”

Van der Merwe doubles as a freelance writer after acquiring his journalism certificate through a Damelin short course.

“Writing has always been a dream of mine and I have been fortunate enough to fulfil that dream and for me is to keep inspiring others to be even better.”

Van der Merwe has been a nurse for more than10 years and beams with pride when asked about his job in the healthcare industry.

“This is a job that needs passion, you need to do it for the right reasons and then the rest will fall into place.”

The nurse added that the book is dedicated to his adopted daughter Isabella van der Merwe.

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