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HPH Publishing



5 reviews
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Photographer and writer Obie Oberholzer is difficult to find as he’s mostly somewhere else, riding the roads of his beloved Southern Africa. A free spirit, a workaholic (and the occasional binge kind), a self-proclaimed visual thug and vagabond, he’ll laugh at the claim that he is a national treasure.

But national treasure he certainly is, devoting much of his life to discovering what lies beyond Fokkolfontein, ever-returning to find what still lies beyond Fokkolfontein, and giving it all to us in his inimitable pictures and words.

Written and photographed as only Obie can do, undaunted and with rough edges, Happysadland pages through his life on the road as he devours the diesel of the unpredictable and the dust of the haphazard.

A collection of situations, incidents, thoughts and humour, it embraces the ridiculous, the whimsical, the joyful and the forlorn, and ultimately is a vivid documentary by one of this country’s greatest storytellers that shows us just how much we have here to love and to hope for.

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5 reviews
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Happy Chappy

Bought this as a Christmas gift - can't wait to give it to my sister! Easy online order, delivered well-packaged and in great condition within a few days. Would definitely order from HPH Publishing again.

Carla D.
South Africa South Africa

Happysadland a Happy result

Excellent service. Ordered on a Friday and received the book on Monday!! The book was a gift, waiting for feed back.

Catherine W.
South Africa South Africa


It is very good book The author is seasoned commentator on the realities and struggles of (mainly) rural southern Africa, and has been taking really meaningful photos for decades. He also writes very well about his experiences and thoughts. I also think it is a unique book, and it would make a special gift for anyone interested (and knowledgeable) about life in our part of the world.

Alan R.
South Africa South Africa

A treat to savour

If you're a fan of Obie Oberholzer's work - or just love road trip experiences off the beaten track in SA - this is a real treat. A stunning collection of truly South African pictures and tales from the road. I'm rationing myself to one short story a day so I can savour each one.

A HPH Publishing Customer
South Africa South Africa


"Happysadland is Obie Oberholzer’s Southern Africa, a land that he has photographically documented with love and compassion for over thirty years in many wonderful books, and much longer in his photography. He is not a cold photographer who observes critically and dispassionately, but neither is he sentimental. His photographs brim full of warmth and humour (Happy) when that is appropriate but can be sharply pointed, unsparingly honest or achingly poignant (Sad). Obie is, as Ansel Adams would have it, a maker, not a taker of photographs. Sometimes he might seem to see something so ready-made perfect that it looks like he simply jumped out of his bakkie to snap it, but more often he waits for the light, makes two hour(or longer) exposures, he poses people, he paints with light and makes light-trails, he arranges the furniture. And this is always done with intention, always in a way that makes you stop and look a little longer, that helps you see what he sees, that makes the image linger longer in the mind. And sometimes that makes you chuckle. He is not just a poet and creative artist with the camera. He is by turn a humorous and moving writer as well, evoking emotions that transcend his southern Happysadland and touch us all. This book, which I was privileged to see an advance copy of, is created around a collection of some of the favourite stories previously published in his popular column in South African Country Life, but contains other, new, photographs as well. Put aside all ‘ought to thinks’ about the way things are, the way they were or the way things should be in the southern African lands. This is a journey into what a man will find as he drives their roads with love in his heart and a camera in his trunk– at times much happier and at times much sadder than any of us who have not driven those roads know. It’s yet another glimpse into one man’s – Obie Oberholzer’s – journey through those lands, through their haphazardness and aching beauty and through their happiness and sadness."

Graham H.
United Kingdom United Kingdom

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