When the poet, Stephen Watson, and the actor, Jonathan Rands, were at Bishops, the independent boys’ school in Cape Town, officially known as Diocesan College, they shared a study. They were borders together at School House.
Jonathan was my first love, and it was through him that I met Stephen. Jonathan had talked, with some awe, of Stephen’s brilliance, and of how his study and his papers would be in a scramble, but Stephen would always do brilliantly. Physically they were somewhat similar, being beautiful of face and small of stature.
This month they have died within weeks of each other; Stephen from cancer in Cape Town on Sunday, April 10th, and Jonathan from complications following heart surgery in Johannesburg on Friday, April 29th. Stephen would have turned 57 on November 6th and Jonathan on August 4th. Before Jonathan died, he had been reading Stephen’s latest book, The Music in the Ice.
It is inexplicably tragic that the intertwined lives of these two men, so talented and comparatively young, have been snatched away like this.