John W. Fredericks was born in a township on the outskirts of Cape Town. His father was a dustman and his mother worked in the abattoirs. He spent most of his growing-up years on a refuse dump searching for books to read and anything of resale value. Reading opened his mind to a whole new world and at a young age he decided to become a writer. Through strife and struggle and with very little education he set out to reach his goal, but first he had to rise above the stigma of prison and poverty that had become his heritage. He has written a number of film scripts, including the acclaimed Noem My Skollie.