Father’s Day in South Africa – what can neuroscience tell us about the brain processes associated with the relationship we have with our father?

By Dr Samantha J. Brooks Ph.D.

Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, famously described the complex relationship sons and daughters have with their fathers.  The Oedipus Complex was born out of psychoanalysis to describe the ‘if you can’t beat him, join him’ trope of learning about power from one’s father.  Taken from the Greek Tragedy Oedipus Rex, the story plays out when the son unknowingly courts the affections of a woman who turns out to be his mother, and in the process unwittingly kills his main rival (his father).  The angst that Oedipus experiences when he realises what he has done, leads him to gouge out his eyes at the end of the play.  The metaphor behind Freud’s borrowing of the story for his psychoanalytic theory is rooted in the notion that a son or daughter desires to be as powerful as the father in the family. And that this insatiable desire causes uncontrollable anxiety and despair if not accepted during childhood.

The brain, according to psychoanalytic tradition, develops to harbour the unconscious phantasy of overpowering the father – an individual’s very first experience with competition.  But as this motivation is impossible  to satisfy in a child, the brain develops to internalise the values and characteristics of the powerful father.  Both sons and daughters – according to psychoanalytic tradition – learn the meaning of power in the presence of the mother’s submission.  Without internalising the power from the father, or without coming to terms with the anxiety of not being able to overpower the father, it is suggested by psychoanalytic theory that mental illness is a common outcome.  Anxiety disorders and self-esteem issues may occur if the anxiety about one’s own powerlessness as a child is not accepted.  And for those without a father figure to internalise during childhood, deviant anti-social behaviour in both males and females can occur.  According to Don Pinnock – the famous author of the book Gang Town, this can be seen in the widespread gang culture of Cape Town’s Cape Flats, where many young boys have grown up without powerful father figures to internalise during their mental development.  As a result, these young men have cognitive traits and behaviours that illuminate a hidden disregard for power within society.  Most gangsters think that they are more powerful than the civil laws of society.  Yet, gangsters will still look for guidance from the most powerful gang member in their community, until they become the leader and the most powerful themselves.

Yet, what of the everyday person on the streets of Harfield Village?  How does the childhood relationship with their father play out in brain development?  Recent research suggests that paternity – in much the same way as maternity – has a distinct neural process that is mimicked, via mirror neurons in the growing child. Having access (if not specifically a parent) to a male and female role model during childhood can help foster these brain processes.  Maternity is stereotypically nurturing, empathic and soothing, whereas by contrast, paternity is governed by mastery of the external world, outward looking for ‘threats to survival’ and exploration.  These might be out-dated gender distinctions in the modern world, however, where previously gender-specific roles are now commonly shared by gender-fluid people born into a particular sex category.  Nurturing traits are largely related to emotion-related neural circuitry in the basal ganglia for example, whereas goal-driven mastery is largely a prefrontal cortex function.  Clearly, both fathers and mothers have these brain regions and are holistic human beings who can be both nurturing and goal-driven.  However, in more traditional, paternal societies like some parts of Africa, it is likely that the father adopts cognitions and behaviours that are less nurturing and soothing, and more related to prefrontal cortex goal-driven behaviours that are outward looking.  It has been said that daughters who form closer bonds with their fathers than with their mothers learn to mimic these outward-looking traits, and become successful leaders and pioneers. 

The take-home message is that – regardless of whether we are a son or a daughter - our brains function under both masculine and feminine qualities.  But sometimes we can learn to internalise the cognitions and behaviours of a father figure who helps us to navigate the world.  And during this time of celebration on Father’s Day in Harfield Village, we can all at least celebrate the  election of the latest Father of the Nation, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa! And we can hope that he will successfully lead all South Africans towards greater prosperity.  Happy Father’s Day Harfielders!

Dr Samantha Brooks is a cognitive neuroscientist specialising in the neural correlates of impulse control from eating disorders to addiction.  For more information on neuroscience and to contact Samantha, see www.drsamanthabrooks.com.

Click to read all previous articles by Dr Samantha J. Brooks Ph.D.


The winner of UCT’s The Pitch 2019 is:

The Pitch is a competition which provides University of Cape Town Students with the chance to pitch their business or business ideas to a panel of judges consisting of top entrepreneurial minds. Winners receive funding or start-up capital, as well as a six month business mentorship from the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation. There were over 150 applicants, of which only eight were chosen. 

Similar to the popular television show s  “Dragons Den” or “Shark Tank” The Pitch is UCT’s own version which inspires students to have an entrepreneurial mindset. The finals of The Pitch were held on Thursday 9 May 2019 and where four projects in two categories, namely Ideation or Testing Phase received R80 000 in prize money.

Jasantha Singh gets the thumbs-up from VC Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng – Image UCT
In the category Best Idea in Testing Phase, cosmetic formulation scientist and owner of Aurora Rose, Jasantha Singh, was awarded top honours for her unfragranced castile soap especially formulated for people with ultra-sensitive skin. Having personally suffered from extremely sensitive skin herself this product is one which is very close to her heart.  

In the Ideation category 4IR Mobile Clinic took first prize – the brainchild of Tlotliso Jonas, Namhla Juqu and Evans Tjabadi. The team identified poor access to healthcare facilities and the lack of personalised medical consultations as a major problem in South Africa. Their winning idea is to address the challenge with a convenient, digitalised mobile clinic.

Winners in each category received R25 000 each while the runners up received R15 000 each.

Aurora Rose
An eco-friendly brand that produces high quality, handcrafted Pure Castile Soaps using only 100% Extra-Virgin Olive Oil to produce a creamy mild soap which is exceedingly moisturising. It is super-fatted to ensure that the soap is more hydrating, yet mild and gentle. These soaps are ideal for dry or sensitive skin and can safely be used on babies and pets too. In addition to the soap selections Aurora Rose also offers unique stylish and functional soap bags.

Singh’s winning product was created out of pure frustration with the use of products too harsh for her ultra-sensitive skin. After trying all the natural products she could possibly find in the market, and consulting numerous dermatologists, she decided to create her own unfragranced Castile soap.  These are now available at various stockists in and around Cape Town.

Jasantha Singh of Aurora Rose won R25 000 as well as a six-month mentorship from the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation (AGOF).

Congratulations on this amazing achievement, Jasantha!  We look forward to seeing your business grow.

Find out more about Aurora Rose here. 


Before you decide to stop renting your home and buy one of your own, there are a few things you will need to consider, says Rudi Botha, CEO of SA’s biggest bond originator BetterBond.

“The first of these is whether you are ready to give up the flexibility of renting for the greater permanence of home ownership.

If you currently have to relocate often for work or like to travel and take on contracts in different parts of the world, it’s great to be able to pack up and go within a couple of months – and not have to worry about home maintenance or the security of your property.

“Buying a home also involves many expenses other than the purchase price and in most cases, you would need to stay put for a few years for the value of the property to grow sufficiently for you to recoup these expenses.”

You might also find it beneficial to rent a home, he says, when you have just relocated to a new town and need some time to find out more about various areas where you might like to buy, or when you have just sold your family home and are not sure where you want to settle in retirement.

“And this raises the second question to consider, which is lifestyle. It may well be cheaper to rent in an area where you really like living than it is to buy there. If you are renting somewhere so that you can walk to work and the shops, for example, or so that you can be close to family, or so that your children can attend a particular school, a move out of that area might not be a good idea right now.

“Similarly, if you are renting in a particular complex or estate because you appreciate all the lifestyle facilities and security it has to offer, you may only be prepared to buy in that estate or one like it.”

However, says Botha, this will depend on affordability, which is the third factor that you need to weigh up. “In the medium to long-term, it is always better to buy than to rent, because whatever you are paying for your accommodation is then also helping you to acquire an asset that increases in value. By renting you are just helping someone else to acquire that asset.

“Another advantage of buying is being able to contain your accommodation costs to a large degree instead of having to budget for an annual rent increase or being forced to move if you can’t afford it. In addition, you can borrow most of the money needed to acquire a home and keep the profit on the whole purchase price when you decide to sell.”

But what if you just can’t afford to buy where you like living? Depending on your budget, he says, becoming a home owner might indicate that you have to move somewhere else, in which case you will need to think about what lifestyle changes or additional expenses might be involved. If you move away from a walkable area where everything is on your doorstep, for example, your transport costs could increase significantly.

“The alternative is to downsize to a smaller, less expensive home so you can continue to live where you are comfortable. This is a popular choice now among first-time home buyers, and it explains why units in the new apartment developments that are springing up in the older, more established parts of our cities are selling so well.”

In order to work out how much you can afford to pay for a home of your own, says Botha, your best course of action is to approach a reputable bond originator like BetterBond and get prequalified before you go house-hunting. You can start by using the free affordability calculator.

“The next step is to contact a consultant who will explain how much cash you will need for a deposit and transaction costs such as transfer duty, legal fees and bond registration charges, do a quick credit check and then issue you with a prequalification certificate. This will enable you to set a reasonable target price range and prevent you from wasting time on properties that are beyond your budget. It will also signal to sellers that you are a motivated buyer and ensure that they take your offer to purchase seriously.”

Then once you have found the home you want to buy and made an offer to purchase, he says, you can access BetterBond’s multiple-lender bond application process to ensure that you get your home loan at the best interest rate and on the best terms possible – at no cost. “This is very important because even a small rate difference can save you many thousands of Rands over the lifetime of that loan.

“At the moment, for example, we are finding that the average variation between the best and worst interest rate offered on a bond application is 0,5%, and on a 20-year bond of R1,5m, that translates into potential savings of more than R120 000 over the lifetime of the bond, as well as a total of about R6000 a year off the monthly bond instalments.

“In other words, making use of our services could make all the difference between being able to buy where you really want to live or having to move somewhere else.”

Anne-Marie Bamber is Norgarb Properties dedicated Home Loans Consultant. She has over 15 years’ experience in assisting clients with their Home Loan needs and has placed many happy families in their dream homes.

Contact her today for no cost stress-free home-buying.
Anne-Marie Bamber
Home Loans consultant
Tel: +27 (0)21 851 3568 | Fax: +27 (0)21 441 1494 | Cell: +27 (0)82 071 1665
E-mail: anne-marie.bamber@betterlife.co.za


With the effects of global warming, trees are as important as ever. Here in South Africa we have around 47 protected tree species under the National Forests Act of 1998. However, homeowners often become disgruntled due to falling leaves blocking their gutters, or branches which become overgrown and get in the way, or damage their property, and feel it is within their rights to fell or trim any tree they wish. The unauthorised felling and damaging of protected trees is a growing problem in South Africa and so we decided to give you some information on the legalities.

As far as protected trees go, it is absolutely illegal to just fell or trim as one pleases. The law clearly states, under the National Forests Act (Act no 84 of 1998), that "no person may cut, disturb, damage or destroy any protected tree or possess, collect, remove, transport, export, purchase, sell, donate or in any other manner acquire or dispose of any protected tree or any forest product derived from a protected tree, except under a licence or exemption granted by the Minister to an applicant and subject to such period and conditions as may be stipulated." In fact, not abiding by this law is regarded as a first category offence which may result in being sentenced to a fine or even imprisonment for a period of up to three years. An offender found guilty may also simultaneously receive a fine and be imprisoned. However, if the protected tree is on your property there is a slight bit of leeway – you may prune or de-limb to a maximum of 25% of the crown (the top part which features the branches that grow out from the main trunk) without mutilating the tree.

Trees need to be protected for a number of reasons, including their ecological benefits for humans, animals, and insects in a time of very apparent climate change. Some species require strict protection whilst others simply need monitored control over harvesting and utilization. The list of protected trees was put together by The Department of Water Affairs and Forestry after careful consideration using a set of criteria developed at public workshops. To view the list, click here.

 Information, licence forms and contact details for officials who deal with protected trees can be found at daff.gov.za. The forms may also be found at the Head office of the Department or at any regional office. Once you request a licence, a site visit and investigation will follow which determines whether or not you will receive the licence.

Now in terms of neighbours and the ever present argument of trees overstepping their boundaries – if the tree is protected then the above laws apply as they would anywhere else. If they are not on the protected trees list then you are well within your rights to request that the tree be pruned and trimmed back to the boundary wall. If asking your neighbour (nicely!) has not worked then you may trim the tree yourself but may not keep or dispose of the cuttings without your neighbour's consent. Yes, it sounds a bit odd, but such is the law. You may also legally claim back the costs of trimming and disposal from your neighbour. If your neighbour is particularly stubborn, you can apply for an interdict.

If your neighbour's trees are shedding leaves and debris into your garden, the law sides with your neighbour on this one. Any landowner is "entitled to the use and enjoyment of the property provided that such use and enjoyment should not cause undue or unreasonable damage or inconvenience to your neighbour." The law finds that is your responsibility to regularly clean out your pool and gutters.
So there you have it. Stay away from the protected trees, unless you have a licence, and feel free to trim your neighbour's foliage if it hangs over your boundary walls. Trees, whether on the list or not, need to be protected – so let's do our best to save them rather than consider them a nuisance and fell or damage them unless absolutely necessary.

Norgarb Properties Agent Andre Ter Moshuizen who specialises in the Claremont area, shares some household tips and handy home hints with you every month. Read more of his articles here.
Andre Ter Moshuizen: 082 602 1367 | andre@norgarb.co.za | www.norgarbproperties.co.za



The temperatures are dropping slowly but steadily, and we're having such crisp, clear days. It's beautiful! With the leaves turning colour and starting to fall, Autumn is the perfect time to collect your leaves (or leaves from your neighbours or street!) to use for mulch in your gardens, or as brown matter in your compost.

Here's the June plant list for those embracing the cooler temperatures and who are keen to get stuck into the garden:

Broad Beans, Beetroot, Chard/Spinach, Cape Gooseberry, Celery, Chives, Chilli Pepper, Lettuce, Onion, Parsley, Peas, Potato, Radish, Tomato

Happy growing!

Patchwork Group
Gabriella Garnett
076 2199 849 | gabriella.garnett@gmail.com


What is useful about this recipe is that it can be frozen.  It is delicious.  Serve with mash, rice or baked potato. 

  • 12 skinless, boneless chicken thighs (I prefer to use skinless thighs but with bone in)
  • 2 tbsp seasoned flour
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 150g smoked bacon pieces
  • 12 small onions, peeled and left whole
  • 500g shitake mushrooms (I use brown mushrooms)
  • 2tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 150mls dry sherry
  • 5 tbsp crème fraiche
  • 3 tbsp tarragon, chopped (I use dried tarragon – usually about 4 tbsp.  Use your discretion.
  1. Preheat the oven 180C, 160C fan.  Toss the chicken thighs in the flour.  Heat the oil in a large frying pan and brown the thighs in batches.
  2. Place into lidded ovenproof casserole dish with any leftover flour.
  3. Brown bacon in frying pan until crispy.  Remove with slotted spoon to the casserole.
  4. Lightly brown onions and add to chicken.
  5. Toss mushrooms well in the pan on high heat for a few minutes.  Add to casserole with the mustard.
  6. Put stock into frying pan with the sherry.  Bring to the boil and add to casserole, scraping any bits from the pan
  7. Cover and cook in the oven for around 1 hour.

Strain off the liquid to a saucepan and add the crème fraiche.  Boil then simmer, taste for seasoning and add the tarragon.

Pour over the chicken and serve.

Lyn Staples, Norgarb Properties Estate Agent
Cell: +27 (0)82 846 0739 | Office: +27 (0)21 674 1120 | Fax: +27 (0)21 774 4927
Email: lyn@norgarbproperties.co.za
Focus Areas: Kenilworth & Claremont Village


The number of reported thefts or attempted thefts out of motor vehicles in Harfield Village has increased substantially in the past month. You can take some steps in order to prevent yourself becoming a victim of this crime.

• Always try and park in a well-lit area.
• Ensure that your car is locked by checking the doors physically, even though you may hear the cues that your alarm or lock has been activated.
• Do not leave ANY items visible in your vehicle.
• Do not move items to the vehicle’s boot in full view of other people.
• Do not leave any windows or sunroofs open.

Manager - Harfield Village Community Improvement District (HVCID)
Cel: 081 412 6109   E-mail: admin@hvcid.co.za


Successful Railway cleanup
Thanks to everyone who participated in one of our largest, and fastest, railway cleanups to-date! On 5 May over 60 residents and workers helped clean the railway line between Kenilworth Station and Harfield Station of plastic, cardboard, bottles, and weirder waste such as hair extensions and broken appliances. We've had particularly great media coverage this year, making the front of the 14 May People's Post, as well being widely shared on various social media platforms including cape{town}etc. Photos of the cleanup are available on the Friends of Harfield Parks Facebook page, and head organiser Gail Brown has also written an open letter to Prasa providing some feedback from the community.

Community-driven activities such as the railway cleanup are essential to maintaining a healthy, beautiful environment for us all to live in. If you can spare the time, please consider joining us next year (first Sunday in May) for the 2020 cleanup, or consider donating towards a paid worker for additional help on the day.

Request for donations
The Friends of Harfield Park are funded primarily through donations, and the money we are able to raise at the Harfield Village Carnival. While we did indeed raise a lot of money at this year's Carnival, we do have a lot of ongoing projects that require funding and resources. If you are able to donate to us, your money will go to the following:

• Picking up litter and dog waste
• Acquiring new plants and trees for the parks
• Maintaining and improving the pathways
• New large-scale projects, such as purchasing a water tank for additional irrigation during the summer months, and possible water-permeable pathways for the parks
Please consider contributing to our efforts to keep our parks clean and thriving by setting up a monthly donation or donating once-off via the Snapscan at the end of this newsletter.

Pictures from the parks
The pictures this week are to share some of the gems that we found along the railway line last Sunday. See the album on Facebook for more photos.

Cacyreus lingeus (or Cacyreus marshall)i butterfly! 


There are certain authentication requirements when documents are signed abroad but intended for use in South Africa. How these documents must be authenticated, depends on the country where these documents are signed.

General rule for all countries

In terms of High Court Rule 63, documents must generally be signed by the parties in the presence of:

• the head of the South African diplomatic/consular mission;

• a person in the administrative or professional division of the public service serving as a South African diplomatic consular abroad;

• any government authority of such foreign country charged with the authentication of documents; or

• the consul-general, consul, vice-consul or consular agent of the United Kingdom in that foreign country.

An authentication certificate, signed by the above person, must be attached to the documents.

Botswana, Lesotho, Great Britain and Northern Ireland (England, Ireland), Swaziland, Zimbabwe

If documents are signed in any of these countries, it is sufficient that the documents are signed in front of Notary Public practicing in that country. The Notary Public must identify the signatures, sign the document and affix his/her seal of office to the documents.

Member states of the Hague Convention

In these countries, documents can be signed in front of a South African diplomatic or consular agent. These documents must then be authenticated by an Apostille , issued and signed by the above person.

It is of utmost importance that the correct procedure is followed, as non adherence may require you to re-sign all the documents.

For any queries in this regard, please contact Martin Sheard at MartinS@stbb.co.za or on 021 673 4700.

STBB Claremont



If your dog is constantly shaking his head or scratching at his ears there is a good chance, he is suffering from an ear infection. Ear infections are common in all breeds (simply because of the anatomy of the ear itself) but certain breeds can be particularly susceptible to them and they can be a time consuming and costly problem to treat.

OTITIS EXTERNA – is the medical term for inflammation of the ear canal.

Why does it occur?

Ear infections usually occur because of a combination of factors that come together to create the perfect environment for infection to take hold.

The design of the dog’s ear canal lends itself to problems. Unlike humans, that only have a very short, horizontal ear canal, dog’s have a long vertical canal that ends in a right-angle bend leading to the horizontal canal. Like the bend in a sink pipe this is a great place for debris and moisture to sit. Add to this a drooping ear flap (Beagles, Bassets, Retrievers) and you have the perfect moist, warm environment for yeasts and bacteria to grow.

Whether it is the sea, river or your pool, some dogs just love the water and it is impossible to keep them out of it. But frequent swimming can be a problem, particularly to those dogs that are predisposed to ear trouble.  Even visits to the forest or wooded areas during summer when pollens and grass seeds are around can be an issue.            

What appears to be a simple ear infection can be the first or only sign of an underlying allergic skin condition.


The most common FB   to find down a dog’s ear is a grass seed. As you can imagine this  causes intense irritation, scratching, inflammation and eventually can lead to a secondary infection.

5.PARASITES – Otodectes ear mites

Ear mites are not seen as commonly in the dog as in the cat, but they do occur. When your vet examines your dog’s ear with an otoscope, he /she may see evidence of mites. A smelly discoloured discharge is often present in the ear canal.  A swab from the ear can be taken and examined under the microscope for further diagnosis. Although ear mites can cause the ears to be

6. Miscellaneous:

There are of course other causes of ear trouble such as tumours etc, but these are not seen as frequently.


The most common signs of ear infection are:

i) Scratching, rubbing or pawing at the ear

ii) Head shaking

iii) Smelly discharge

iv) Red inflamed ear canal/ flap

v) Damage to the ear flap from trauma caused by shaking/scratching

vi) Aural haematoma – blood vessel ruptures inside the ear flap causing it to swell

vii) Behavioural changes- some dogs can become aggressive due the discomfort and pain


Organise a trip to the veterinarian.  Please don’t try home remedies, these will only aggravate the problem and you could run the risk of being bitten if your dog is in a lot of pain.


Your Vet will take a full history and if possible, try to examine your dog’s ear in the consulting room. 

*Ear infections can be extremely painful, and your dog may need to be sedated for a full examination to be performed.

Swabs will be taken from the ear, stained and examined under the microscope so that your vet can determine whether our dog has a yeast, bacterial or mite infection.

Depending on the extent of the problem your vet may wish to admit your dog and do a thorough examination and ear clean under sedation or general anaesthetic. Once the ear has been examined, flushed, and dried thoroughly it can be treated.

Your vet will prescribe ear drops or ointment for you to administer at home. Your dog may need systemic antibiotics as well as anti-inflammatories or pain killers.

Treating your dogs’ ears at home can be difficult so don’t be shy to ask your vet for help or a demonstration!


Ear infections can be stubborn and recurring and can take a long time to thoroughly resolve.

If your vet asks you to revisit for a check PLEASE make sure you keep our appointment! Your dog may seem better but in order to be certain, the ear needs to be examined properly.

Many chronic ear conditions could have been avoided if the owners had followed the vet’s advice!

Binguard Challenge

With ± 8,000 homes in the Har-Lyn Neighbourhood Watch coverage area, we have a little over 2% of neighbours who have their Bingaurds fitted.

The Challenge for us now…… For Binguards to be effective in deterring unwanted vagrants (criminals posing as vagrants) in our area and streets we certainly need more Binguards installed.

8,000 homes is a massive task. But the 20 or 30 homes in your street is manageable. Just ask Suffolk Street that has 90% of its bins secured. They have already noticed a sharp decrease of vagrants on there streets

So today I am asking you to take “responsibility” for just your street. Share the message below with your next door neighbour, post it on your streets WhatsApp group. Then remind them, chase them, motivate them until you have 100% coverage of your street. Those vagrants are still going to be in your street until all the bins in your street are secure.

Har-Lyn Neighbourhood watch has secured exclusive discounts for Binguards.

Har-lyn Neighbourhood Watch has negotiated an exclusive discount with the manufacturer of Binguard. Order yours today for only R379 incl delivery (Normally R439 + R70 for delivery) by clicking here.

Watch the short video clip – see just how smart the system really is.

As Har-Lyn Neighbourhood Watch, we believe this is just one more layer of security and will go a long way to discouraging bin divers from entering our streets. It is commonly known that would be criminals pose as bin divers, giving them cover to take the time to scout your property and your movements for future break-ins or petty thefts. Just ask the residents of Suffolk Street in Harfield who have 90% of there bins secured. They have already noticed a sharp decrease of vagrants on there streets.

Please share this exclusive deal with your neighbours and street WhatsApp groups - the more Bins we can secure the fewer vagrants we will have in our area.

Kind regards

Mother’s Day in the Mother City

Mother’s Day in the Mother City – The Neuroscience of Mother-Child relationships

By Dr Samantha J. Brooks Ph.D.

It’s the time of year that we demonstrate our love and devotion to our mothers – and thank them for all the hard work they put in to raising us over the years!  Neuroscience research examining the attachments we had with our mothers or caregivers as children shows us what our relationship patterns are likely to be in adulthood.

Neuroscience shows us that thankfully, the vast majority of people in any given society had what is called a secure-attachment with their mother or caregiver. This means that most people in adulthood have active strategies to develop a sense of independence (proximity removal) from their mother or caregiver – just like birds who eventually fly the nest!  This means that people who were securely attached to their mother or caregiver as a child will engage in the world as an active researcher – and will not fear spontaneously exploring their world.  And as such, securely attached individuals view themselves positively and have positive relationships with others.  Think of Nelson Mandela’s attachment to his mother – he would one day return to the nest that he left, to make her proud of his wonderful worldly achievements!

However, neuroscience also shows us that there are minorities of individuals who had different styles of attachment to their mother or caregiver as a child.  These other types of attachment are called avoidant, unresolved or pre-occupied.

Children who had an avoidant attachment experienced a mother or caregiver who was either emotionally unavailable or inconsistent in emotional responding.  This type of attachment might create an adult who is driven to be detached or emotionally unavailable in relationships.  This will show in adulthood as an irritable character who develops a view that others are variable, and that their own true self is inaccessible to others.  Such people in adulthood might take great pride in feeling inaccessible to others, and refuse to admit dependency on others.  We may wish to consider the relationship that Jacob Zuma had with his mother, as during his presidency he appeared to relish his inaccessibilty, while denying that his popularity depended on the will of the South African people.

In contrast, those who had what is called an unresolved attachment to their mother or caregiver during childhood, while also trying to detach from others in adulthood, will additionally feel hostile to the outside world.  People from an unresolved child-mother relationship will feel scared of others in adulthood, and view themselves as either victims (weak) or as heroes (strong).  We may wish to consider the plight of Oscar Pistorius and the relationship he may have had with his caregiver.  While on the one hand, he saw himself as a hero for the nation, winning medals at the olympics, he also seemed, in the end, to be so afraid of society that he slept with a gun under his pillow.

And finally, people with a preoccupied attachment style would have experienced a mother or caregiver who was uncertain in feelings towards them as a child.  People with a preoccupied attachment with their caregiver will adopt manipulative behaviours in adulthood in an attempt to gain a sense of nearness to a person they have a relationship with. Such behaviours will be driven by a sense of dependence and fear that they may lose their significant other in adulthood.  And such an adult will learn to view themselves as having an ‘uncaring’ attitude, or what is called conditioned amiability, while at the same time viewing others as untrustworthy or unpredictable. One may think of the many gangsters who have found themselves living on the Cape Flats, whose communities were torn apart during the 1960s.  Gangsters may have had a preoccupied attachment style as their families spent their energies instead, trying to cope with the forced removals of the Apartheid government.  This would certainly help to explain why gangsters appear uncaring and not able to trust others.

So when we celebrate Mother’s Day this year, especially if you are a new mother, think about the importance of attachment between mother and child.  And be thankful that most in society have had a secure attachment with their mother, which makes most of us view ourselves, the world and others in a positive light.  Happy Mother’s Day to all our wonderful mothers, who do the best they can!

Dr Samantha Brooks is a cognitive neuroscientist specialising in the neural correlates of impulse control from eating disorders to addiction.  For more information on neuroscience and to contact Samantha, see www.drsamanthabrooks.com.

Click to read all previous articles by Dr Samantha J. Brooks Ph.D.

You’re never too young to buy property

You’re never too young to buy property.

Getting a toehold in the property market as soon as possible is a smart move – even for young single people taking their first steps on a career path.

That’s the word from Rudi Botha, CEO of BetterBond, SA’s biggest bond originator, who says young adults who hold off on buying their first property until they have settled in to a new job or until they get married are losing out on an opportunity to start building real wealth.

“It is true that as a young person you may be a prime candidate for company transfers, especially if you are single and newly-qualified. You may also be worried about getting ‘stuck’ with a property that your future partner won’t like or is too small for a family.

“But a residential property is not just a place to live. It is also an asset that appreciates in value, unlike cars, clothes, furniture and other things that young people tend to buy, and a great savings mechanism at the same time.”

According to the latest FNB House Price Index, he notes, property prices in SA are currently 90,8% higher, in real (after inflation) terms than they were in 2001. “In simple terms, this means that the property buyer who bought a R1m property with a R100 000 deposit (investment) in 2001 would have made a return of almost 1000% on that initial investment, and the younger you are when you buy, the more chance you have of achieving such long-term returns. 

“In addition, buyers who put spare cash into their bond account will not only get a better effective rate of interest (tax free) than they would on money deposited to a bank savings account, but also stand to cut many thousands of rands off the total cost of their home by paying it off early.

“If you had a bond of R1m, for example, and were able to pay an additional R600 a month off the outstanding balance of your bond at an interest rate of 10%, you would reduce the loan term from 20 years to 16 years and 10 months, and save more than R245 000 worth of interest.

“And as long as a home is increasing in value and the bond is decreasing, the owner is building up equity in the property, which can be used as security for other investments, emergency funding or a deposit for another property if they decide to sell and move on. This sort of wealth creation obviously doesn’t happen when you rent.”

Now is also a good time to buy, says Botha, because prices are very negotiable and the banks are keen to lend to home buyers. “But young buyers do still need to be careful not to over-extend themselves financially. Enlisting the help of a reputable bond originator like BetterBond to obtain bond pre-qualification is the best way to find out how much they can comfortably afford to spend, and they should also work out how much it will take to run and maintain a property before they sign a sales agreement.”

Issued by etc

Anne-Marie Bamber is Norgarb Properties dedicated Home Loans Consultant. She has over 15 years’ experience in assisting clients with their Home Loan needs and has placed many happy families in their dream homes.

Contact her today for no cost stress-free home-buying.
Anne-Marie Bamber
Home Loans consultant
Tel: +27 (0)21 851 3568 | Fax: +27 (0)21 441 1494 | Cell: +27 (0)82 071 1665
E-mail: anne-marie.bamber@betterlife.co.za

May in the Garden

May: A Month for Mulch!

Temperatures are cooling down, and there's been some scarce but wonderful rain – here's to plenty more this Autumn!

Mulch is a great way to help your plants make the most of the water they get, as it prevents some of the evaporation. When I learned about permaculture gardening, my teacher made us stand out in the sun at midday for a while in silence. We soon started getting uncomfortable, and after letting us sweat and start to feel the burn, he smiled and said "How was that? Hot, right? If you don't like it, and you can move to the shade any time, imagine what it's like for the soil?" Since that unforgettable experience, as much as for the ample rationale reasons and undoubted benefits, I am a serious mulch advocate. Autumn is the perfect time for mulching, because as the weeks pass the leaves fall and can be repurposed in the ecosystem as mulch. Rather than throw them out, layer them into your compost or use them on top of your garden beds or in your pots.

For those of you keen on planting veg this month, here's May's list:
Broad Beans, Broccoli, Cabbage, Calendula, Chard, Celery, Chinese Cabbage, Chives, Chilli Pepper, Kohlrabi, Garlic, Leek, Leaf Mustard, Lettuce, Onion, Parsley, Parsnip, Peas, Potato, Radish.


This recipe improves with age.  Can be stored in a jar in the fridge.  Use as a side dish with main meal or with pasta, salads or on sandwiches.


  • 250gms ripe baby tomatoes
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 5mls brown sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 15 – 20 basil leaves, torn
  • 50mls olive oil

50mls balsamic vinegar and 60mls olive oil, combined


  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees
  2. Place tomatoes in baking dish and season well
  3. Sprinkle with sugar, garlic and basil.  Drizzle with olive oil
  4. Roast for 30 minutes.
  5. Allow to cool to room temperature
  6. Drizzle dressing over tomatoes.

Lyn Staples, Norgarb Properties Estate Agent
Cell: +27 (0)82 846 0739 | Office: +27 (0)21 674 1120 | Fax: +27 (0)21 774 4927
Email: lyn@norgarbproperties.co.za
Focus Areas: Kenilworth & Claremont Village