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A Path Unexpected: A Memoir

Jane Evans

‘Jane Evans is a name that has earned enormous respect in Early Childhood Development circles. The fact that ECD is an essential pillar in our country’s programme of educational reform owes much to Jane and other activists of the time – many of whom are mentioned in her book.   While this is a personal memoire it is also an important record of ECD in South Africa.’ – Dr Tshepo Motsepe

A Path Unexpected is a well-written memoir by Jane Evans, founder and former-CEO of Ntataise Network Support Programme. In it, Jane shares her life story, about working as a journalist in the big city before moving to the small and, in some instances, backward town of Viljoenskroon in the northern Free State along with her husband, Anthony Evans, who was a well-known and respected businessman and farmer. It is here that she is moved to create her non-profit organisation to provide education and training for the wives and children of farm labourers during the height of apartheid. She has had a profound influence on these families and is considered an activist for advocating early childhood development (ECD) and adult teaching in rural communities.

A Path Unexpected is a memoir about family, love, loss, finding purpose and dedicating oneself to a life of service. Eloquently written and told with great sensitivity and humility, this is a memoir about how one woman’s unexpected path led to family-like bonds in the unlikeliest of places, and a dream so profound that it would impact generations of young learners and the women who teach them.


Jane Evans has held positions on a number of ECD government bodies, as well as serving as a trustee. These include the Helen Suzman Foundation, the St Anne’s School board of governors, PAST and the Lee Berger Foundation for Exploration Trust. Jane has a particular interest in palaeoanthropology, palaeontology and archaeology. She has received a number of awards, including “Woman of the Year” awarded by the Star newspaper, The Johannesburg College of Education’s Rectors Gold medal “for exceptional contribution to education in South Africa”, and the Chancellors Medal awarded by the University of Pretoria.

Category:  Biography and Memoir
ISBN:  9781776191185
Publisher:  Jonathan Ball Publishers
On sale:  June 2021
Format:  Paperback
eBook ISBN  9781776191192 
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