In the Information Age that we currently find ourselves in, in which we are bombarded with information from every angle; and where breaking a story in the quickest time possible is more important than the quality of the content, the art of story-telling is increasingly a rare commodity.
But Rob Caskie is one of the few people still around who is able to turn information into a captivating, heartfelt narrative. He first found his passion for telling stories whilst still at university.
“I did a huge amount of travelling on my motorbike into various parts of Africa, almost always on my own. Upon returning to university, there was always a group of students who wanted to hear about my experiences on these trips. Over time, that group grew and grew. Unbeknown to me, I was developing a reputation, in their minds, as a storyteller,” says Rob.
A professional story-teller, keynote speaker, and cultural guide, Rob specialises in stories about the Anglo-Zulu war and Antarctic expeditions, in particular, preferring to be an “expert in a few fields rather than a generalist in many”.
Fellow student Graeme Smythe was part of Rob’s group of story enthusiasts, who eventually went on to become the curator of Rorke’s Drift Museum. In 2000, when renowned South African historian, David Rattray, was looking for somebody to assist him with storytelling on the Anglo-Zulu Battlefields, Smythe - a friend of Rattray’s - recommended Rob, who also learnt to speak Zulu as a child.
“I was always interested in history at school and then serving with Zulu troops in my national service reinforced my interest in their warrior past,” says Rob.
As well as the Anglo-Zulu War, Rob’s talks also include stories about Antarctic expeditions, which he is very passionate about. The recent centenaries of South Pole exploration made it an obvious extension of his storytelling.
“I have always wanted to go to Antarctica but travel to the continent is outrageously expensive. My only option was to offer quality storytelling and be invited to go along as a staff member and part of an expedition team.”
“I think storytelling goes where most analysis fails, i.e. to the heart and mind rather than the brain. As human beings, I believe we have an innate desire to be carried along via the power of a story well-told. With the entertainment overload present in society today, I believe pure storytelling is more important and appealing than ever.”
Rob is a VELDSKOEN™ ambassador and is taking the iconic South African Shoe all over the world, along with his stories. Rob, we’re glad to have you on board!