Defend Truth

21 Questions with Pauli Van Wyk

Award-winning investigative journalist Pauli Van Wyk answers 21 questions


Pauli Van Wyk

Investigative Journalist

Read all of Pauli’s stories here.

I would be Mulan in medieval Japan. She’s got a sword, a horse, a pet dragon and a quest. 

Patience with stupidity – including attempts at disproving science and logic.

Oh, you mean someone other than Branko Brkic?
Mulan. I admire Mulan. Fierce, fights for justice, grit.
And my Boston terriers, Spencer and Robin. Because life is about snacks, cuddles and mountain walks.
A real person, you say?
My mother. I stand on strong shoulders

The Settlers of Catan.

To fly. I want my own magic carpet. And to read minds.

Socrates. (Is he the smart one, or did Plato embellish?)
Gustav Klimt. (Which of your own paintings is your favourite? Mine is The Kiss. I had a little cry, seeing it in real life.)
The Wright brothers. (No one thought it was possible. What made you think you can?)
Marie Curie. (That moment you knew?)
Maya Angelou. (You are a lesson in writing to me.)
Alexandre Dumas. (I adored all your tales since I can remember, and before I knew they were yours.)
And my husband. The best conversationalist I know.
(I know you said five. But dinner parties is my thing. I’ll do the cooking, too. Thai red curry lamb shanks with my signature potato and sweet potato mash.)

Queen – Hammer to Fall

Painter and sketcher of life and beautiful things.

A honey badger.
And a penguin in my third life.

Long dinners that may or may not end in a dance. Overseas travel. Music concerts.

A Bialetti to my husband. The household item we use most. And an effort at compensating for being married to an investigative journalist.

For my fifth birthday my parents gifted me a set of crayons, coki’s, pencils, paint and brushes styled in a red tower. The smell of the pencils and the possibilities it held was intoxicating. I remember my excitement and awe to this day.

My habit of forgetting people’s faces and names mortifies me.

You are your life’s longest project.

Sherlock Holmes – the British version starring Benedict Cumberbatch.

Summer. For morning runs, long lunches under trees, warm swims and sunset drinks.

Judge Raymond Zondo. For his patience. And his indignant ‘but you are a chartered accountant? You are a chartered accountant!’.

Covid-19 and Malaria vaccines