Hendrik Stephanus (Fanie) Viljoen, a name that resonates with vibrant creativity and imaginative prowess, embarked on his journey in Welkom on the 2nd of January, 1970. Despite his initial reluctance to progress through the grades at school, preferring the simplicity and exploratory freedom of grade 1, Viljoen's journey from a young boy in Welkom to a celebrated author and artist is a testament to the boundless territories of human creativity.
Image : Facebook Fanie Viljoen
With a background in graphic design from the Technical College Welkom and a BA in Social Sciences from UNISA, Viljoen's educational path laid the groundwork for a career that would see him merge the visual with the verbal in compelling narratives for children and youth.
A Full-Time Commitment to Creativity
Transitioning from a training consultant at Sanlam to a full-time writer and artist, Fanie Viljoen has made Bloemfontein his canvas, both literally and metaphorically. His daily dedication to storytelling reflects not just a career choice but a calling to engage with the world through the eyes of imagination. It is this commitment to creativity that has seen Viljoen acclaimed with numerous awards, including the prestigious Goue Sanlam Prize for Youth Literature, the M.E.R. Prize for Youth Literature, and several ATKV Children's Book Awards, among others.
The Power of Imagination
Viljoen's literary works, celebrated for their inventive narratives and emotional depth, underscore his belief in the limitless potential of the youthful imagination. His books, including notable titles like "Breinbliksem," "Pynstiller," and "Onderwêreld," are not just stories but gateways to worlds where the boundaries of reality are expanded by the boundless creativity of young minds. This belief in the power of imagination is what drives Viljoen to dedicate his talents to writing children's and youth books, a genre where he has found both recognition and fulfillment.
More Than Words
But Fanie Viljoen's creativity is not confined to the written word alone. As a painter and illustrator, he brings his stories to life with visuals that capture the essence of his narratives. His dual talent as an author and artist allows him to create a multi-dimensional experience for his readers, blending the visual and verbal into a cohesive whole. Viljoen's personal illustrations in some of his books offer a glimpse into his artistic vision, adding a layer of personal touch to his already compelling storytelling.
A Life Enriched by Art
Beyond his professional achievements, Fanie Viljoen is a man of varied interests and simple pleasures. From his first job as a bank cashier to his adventures in storytelling and radio drama writing, Viljoen's life is a canvas of experiences. His love for art extends beyond his professional work; he finds joy in drawing, painting, and even keeping silkworms during his school days—an anecdote that perhaps reflects his curiosity and willingness to explore the unconventional.
Viljoen's personal tastes, including his love for sweets like honey, dates, nougat, and chocolate, add a relatable and human touch to the portrait of an artist dedicated to exploring the depth and breadth of creativity.
Fanie Viljoen's journey from a hesitant schoolboy in Welkom to a celebrated author and artist in Bloemfontein is a narrative of passion, creativity, and dedication.
His works, both written and visual, offer a window into the soul of an artist committed to exploring and expanding the boundaries of imagination. In a world increasingly in need of creative voices, Viljoen's contributions stand as a testament to the power of art to inspire, challenge, and transform.
Books Written by Fanie Viljoen VerdiepProoiBetowerDromersThe Last Time I Died