John Young is a writer and researcher with a wide range of published work in fields as diverse as business and investment, renewable energy, history and sport. With a degree in Journalism, a first-class History Honours qualification and a teaching diploma, John is well suited to the roles of trainer and mentor. He regularly does in-depth research, either for his own books or articles or on assignment, and is proficient in editing and proof-reading.
John's latest book Just Imagine. The story of Mike Msizi, the Tsitsikamma Mfengu and the Tsitsikamma Community Wind Farm was awarded the 2016 John Kannemeyer Award for Biography by the SA Independent Publishers' Association.
Published in 2016, Just Imagine. The story of Mike Msizi, the Tsitsikamma Mfengu and the Tsitsikamma Community Wind Farm is the story of a wind farm with a difference.
Having travelled to Denmark to research renewable energy several times in 2012 and 2013, I was introduced through the Danish Embassy to Cennergi CEO Tommy Garner. He told me the remarkable story of the Tsitsikamma Mfengu and their settlement deep in the Cape Colony in the middle of the 19th Century. Also about the young man, Mike Msizi, who brought the idea of wind technology back to his ancestor's land from political exile in Denmark.
I spent 2015 conducting more than 50 interviews all over South Africa and searching for maps and images from all over the world. The book is dedicated to the memory of Michael Mcebisi Msizi, who died in 2012.
At the J.M. Coetzee/Athol Fugard Literary Festival held in Booktown Richmond in the Karoo, the book received the 2016 John Kannemeyer Award for Biography from the South African Independent Publishers' Association.
Annual journals giving up-to-date insights into the economy of each of South Africa's provinces, and an annual publication called South African Business. I researched and wrote these books between 2008 and 2013, and picked up again when publication was resumed in 2016. Published by Global Africa Network.
Detailed overviews are provided of all major economic sectors, such as manufacturing, mining, agriculture and tourism. Where a province has a specific sector, such as automotive (Eastern Cape) or maritime (Western Cape), these are analysed separately and Special Features focus on unique projects or events: the De Hoop Dam (Limpopo), the Square Kilometre Array telescope (Northern Cape) and articles on Sappi (Mpumalanga) and Sasol (Free State).
The Premier's office or provincial government generally endorse these publications and they have been very well received by provincial investment agencies, advertisers and readers.
The history of the Grey schools of Port Elizabeth on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of Grey High School. I wrote the book and was the project manager in seeing that this 260-page hard cover book was laid out, edited, produced and printed on time for the anniversary celebrations. The text contains a full review of the chronological history of the High and Junior Schools from the time of the first classes on the Donkin Reserve. The narrative section, enlivened with the anecdotes and memories of past pupils and former teachers, is divided into four eras. Specific aspects of the Grey's history are covered in thematic chapters which cover topics as diverse as the School Song, Art, Religion, Sport and Cadets. A separate chapter is devoted to the magnificent buildings and architecture of the Mill Park campus, to which the school relocated in 1915.
First published in 1998 by the Josephine Mill Press, the book came out of my History Honours thesis at the University of Cape Town. Richly illustrated with maps and photographs, the book traces Observatory's rapid growth from a largly neglected rural area to a thriving village that developed an identity of its own. The great catalyst for the area's fast development was the discovery of minerals in South Africa's interior: this spurred immigration and drove the need for new areas for people to settle in and for industries to establish themselves. The municipality of Woodstock, under which a large part of Observatory fell, was one of the fastest growing urban economies in the world at the time. The rise of local institutions such as the churches and the library is covered in detail, as are the issues of class and race.