My Books


This is the story of my world or, more accurately, the worlds in which I live.’

GG Alcock’s parents, Creina and Neil, were humanitarians who gave up comfortable lives to move to rural Zululand. In a place called Msinga, a dry rock-strewn wilderness and one of the most violent places in Africa, they lived and worked among the Mchunu and Mthembu tribes, fighting for the rights of people displaced by the apartheid government’s policy of ‘forced removals’. They also fought against the corruption of police and government officials, as well as local farmers, which did not sit well with their white fellow citizens. When GG was fourteen his father was assassinated by rival tribesmen.

GG’s early life in rural Zululand in the 1970s and 80s can only be described as unique. He and his brother Khonya, both initially home-schooled by their mother, grew up as Zulu kids, herding goats and playing with the children of their neighbours, learning to speak fluent Zulu, learning to become Zulu men under the guidance of Zulu elders, and learning the customs and history of their adopted tribes. Armed with their father’s only legacy – the skills to survive in Africa – both young men were ultimately forced to move into the ‘white’ world which was largely unknown to them.

In many ways GG Alcock’s story mirrors that of many of his people, the journey of a tribal society learning to embrace the first world. He does not shy away from the violence and death that coloured his childhood years surrounded by savage faction fighting, nor how they affected his adult life. His story is one of heartbreak and tragedy and, paradoxically, of vibrant hope and compassion. A restless energy and sardonic humour permeate his writing, which is compelling in its honesty and spontaneity.

You might think you know South Africa, but this book will show you otherwise.
– RIAN MALAN, author of My Traitor’s Heart



kasinomics 3dKASINOMICS is a book as eclectic, mysterious and colourful as the places and people it explores.

eKasi, the lokasie, the South African township, once an apartheid ghetto, is today an amazingly transformed place. This township today is an eclectic mix of mansions, shacks, spaza shops, rocking taverns, hawkers, taxis and hot wheels. In this kasi there are vibrant businesses, energetic people, a tightly networked social community and abundant hope.

That is not to say there isn’t extreme poverty, suffering and dissatisfaction, particularly on the peripheries in the huge shack settlements, but to paint the place as a slum is a massive mistake.

Kasinomics attempts to cast a light on the invisible matrix at the heart of South Africa’s informal economies and the people who live in them. Living and doing business in African marketplaces requires an ethos uniquely suited to the informal, to the invisible, to the intangible. Kasinomics will take you down those rural pathways, weave between claustrophobic mazes of shacks, browse a muti market, visit a spirit returning ceremony and save money with gogo in a stokvel among many more people and places.

After almost twenty years of focusing on marketing to the informal sector, GG Alcock, CEO of specialist marketing company Minanawe, showcases a number of groundbreaking and very successful case studies in this invisible informal world. His vivid anecdotes and life experiences and how they link to understanding and inspiration for business ideas will make you gasp, laugh and shake your head in wonder.