Hannes Wessels

Hannes Wessels

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With roots in Africa going back over 300 years Hannes Wessels was born in 1956 in what was then Salisbury in Southern Rhodesia (now Harare, Zimbabwe) but grew up in Umtali on the Mozambique border. As a young boy school holidays were spent with Rangers in the Rhodesia Game department but time in his early teens on safari in Mozambique with the late Wally Johnson were a big influence. During this time Wessels met Robert Ruark, whose love of Africa, its people, politics and the written word left a lasting impression. After leaving school he joined the RLI (Rhodesian Light Infantry) and saw action in the bush- war waged against the forces of Robert Mugabe’s Patriotic Front before acquiring a law degree and working as a prosecutor for a brief period of time. Leaving law, he hunted big game professionally in Zimbabwe, Zambia and Tanzania in a twenty-year career. In 1994 he was severely gored by a wounded buffalo which almost cost him his life. He has published ‘Strange Tales from Africa’ in America which is a collection of stories about people and places encountered by him in the course of his hunting days. His biography of PK van der Byl (former Rhodesian Defense Minister), ‘P.K. van der Byl; African Statesman’, includes a revised history of the Rhodesian political imbroglio. His first book on the SAS and the Rhodesian war titled ‘A Handful of Hard Men’ is rated by many to be the best book written on the conflict and the political context in which it was fought. He then wrote, ‘We Dared to Win’ with Andre Scheepers and has just published ‘Men of War’ to complete a trilogy on the fight to save Rhodesia. He has also written and published ‘Guns, Golf and Glory’ about the great golfers that came out of Rhodesia and later Zimbabwe, which he co-wrote with close friend and former world number one golfer, Nick Price. He is married to Mandy and has two daughters; Hope and Jana and lives in Darling in the Cape Province of South Africa. While no longer directly involved in hunting he retains business interests in this sector and remains keenly interested in all matters relating to African wildlife and conservation.
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