Jenny Crwys-Williams hosted a talk show show on Radio 702 for 25 years – and for almost the same amount of time ran the station’s bookshow.
She is still significantly involved in the book world, acting as host to visiting authors, running author and book events to audiences of hundreds, and intimate affairs of 25 people. She also takes part in book festivals – and helping to advance childhood reading.
As patron of the Bookboon+network, Jenny visits companies interested in tertiary education in an effort to get corporates to pay for students of the hard sciences to obtain their course books for nothing (this amounts, at present prices, to a saving per student of some R11-R13 000.00).
Jenny is a skilled interviewer, known for her humour and lightness of touch, and has been face to face with people from all backgrounds from President Bill Clinton to Archbishop Desmond Tutu, from Meryl Streep to Malcolm Gladwell and from Tony Bennett to palaeontologist Lee Berger. There are many more memorable personalities who have shared their lives with her.
With keen interests in history, literature, conservation, food and wine and the arts, archeology, paleontology, architecture (and the architecture of gardens) as well as current affairs, she makes a more than able MC, chair/moderator in panel discussions and brings to public events 25 years of speaking to diverse audiences.
She supplies Old Mutual Live Wine Edition with three podcasts a week on the subject of wine. It is, she says, the least onerous job she has ever had.
Her early background was in writing (for international publications) and she has contributed to most South African magazines both as writer and occasionally as editor.
These skills came together in the range of books she has published over 20 years: I Want Love in South Africa Dear God to South African Despatches and In The Words of Nelson Mandela. She is also the compiler of three Dictionaries of South African Quotations – but is taking a break from them whilst she thinks about compiling or writing another book.