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Athol Trollip: The farmer-turned-politician who loves to dance

25 November 2021 12:02 PM

Athol Trollip could've ended up continuing his family's legacy in farming but he instead chose to serve people through politics.

From a young boy who grew up on a farm and went into the sector but eventually ended up as a mayor of one of the metro municipalities in South Africa, Athol Trollip has many sides to him.

Trollip was born in Bedford in 1964 in the central heartlands of the Eastern Cape and grew up on a family farm, Mount Prospect, in an “anti-apartheid” orientated home with his two sisters and parents Douglas and Kathrine.

Both his father and grandfather were actively involved in politics. His grandfather was a member of Parliament for the United Party, and his father was a candidate for the Provincial Council for the PFP and served on the Smaldeel District Council.

He briefly attended the University of Pietermaritzburg in neighbouring KwaZulu-Natal where he became involved in white student protest politics. It was here, he said, that his passion for politics manifested.

His stint at tertiary education was, however, short-lived and he soon left to pursue a path in farming.

That was not his last stop, as we all know, as he left his 6th generation farmer path to fully venture into politics in 1995 when he stood as a candidate for the local government elections and was elected on the executive to the Amathole District Municipality.

Aubrey Masango, standing in for Clement Manyathela, chats to the former mayor on Hanging Out With.

My introduction to politics came through farming. I always wanted a little bit more than just to be a farmer... I wanted to do more, I wanted to serve my community. So I ended up in politics through the community service route.

Athol Trollip, former DA Nelson Mandela Bay mayor

I've been called all sorts of things. I've been called arrogant, I've been called a bully. I've been called all sorts of things that maybe are a misunderstanding of who I am. I think who I am, essentially, is I'm very straight, frank and an honest person - I'd like to believe. So I tell things the way they are or the way I see them and what I say is what I do and often that ruffles some feathers.

Athol Trollip, former DA Nelson Mandela Bay mayor

Trollip reveals he's an avid music and dance lover too...

I love dancing. It frees your spirit up to relax and be who you are so ja, I love dancing. Music is a very important part of my life. I don't like any specific genre, I just like music that makes me feel happy and light.

Athol Trollip, former DA Nelson Mandela Bay mayor

Listen to the full interview below.

25 November 2021 12:02 PM

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