I'm an associate of Southern Write, a group of top travel writers and photographers in Africa and a former editor of Getaway magazine in Cape Town, South Africa. I have been an electronic engineer, lecturer in journalism and criminology, consultant to the Mandela government, a professional yachtsman, explorer, travel writer, photographer and a cable-car operator on the Rock of Gibraltar. My present passion is the impact of humans on planetary processes.

As a criminologist, I was one of the co-drafters of the Youth Justice White Paper for the ANC government. I am a specialist in adolescent deviance.

I have a PhD in political science, an MA in criminology, a BA in African history and have published a post-doctoral study on gangs, rituals and rites of passage. I held lectureships in Journalism (Rhodes) and Criminology (Uiversity of Cape Town) and did much of my PhD research at ICwS, London University. I was Writer in Residence at South Africa’s Antarctic Sanai 4 base in 2005/6.

I am a founder, with Andrew Muir of the Wilderness Foundation, of Usiko, a rehabilitation organisation for high-risk youths, and Umzi Wethu, a residential programme for Aids orphans.

My books include The Brotherhoods: Street Gangs and State Control, Gangs, Rituals and Rites of Passage, Natural Selections, African Journeys, Loveletters to Africa, Writing Left (a biography of Ruth First), They Fought for Freedom: Ruth First and Blue Ice: Travels in Antarctica and The Woman who Lived in a Tree and Other Perfect Strangers. My first novel, Rainmaker, was written out of a need to empower young people labeled coloured. It was a finalist for the 2009 European Union Literary Award.  

Podcasts of the 30 interviews I did for my books on the journalist Ruth First can be found at www.ruthfirstpapers.org.uk/Pinnock.

Okay, life is long and you have to do stuff.

I am married to the novelist and poet Patricia Schonstein and we have two children, one an architect, the other a geneticist.


PO Box 16415, Vlaeberg 8018,Cape Town


Early me with mum & sister

Early me with mum & sister 

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