A farmer's son, born in the Eastern Cape of South Africa in 1944, Ken is a direct descendant of the English 1820 Settlers sent to establish that part of South Africa. Educated at Treverton School in Natal and St Marks in Swaziland, he grew up on his father's farm among the indigenous people, learning their culture and their language.
Completing his education at 16, he was employed as a ranch hand and hunter on Mlaula cattle ranch in the bushveld of Swaziland. Two years later he moved to Rhodesia to join the police force where he was involved in riots as the struggle for independence began.
Preferring the country life, after three years in the police force Ken left to pursue his ambition and love of farming, and took up a position as a tobacco and dairy farm manager. After the Rhodesian Unilateral Declaration of Independence on 11th November 1965 severing ties with Britain, sanctions were applied against the country. Two years later, with the subsequent poor tobacco prices, Ken moved to the Lowveld to become a sugar cane farmer.
With the political conflict and struggle for independence in the country, he joined the Police Reserve and became a member of the PATU (Police Anti Terrorist Unit) and served for twelve years during the 'Bush War'. During his time on patrol in the bush he was involved in a number of skirmishes with terrorist insurgents who were responsible for attacking farmers, missionaries, schools and other soft targets.
Towards the end of the Rhodesian ‘Bush War’, realizing the futility of it, Ken moved back to Swaziland where he worked for ten years on a developing sugar estate. From there he moved to Durban in Natal, where he and his wife Collette established a sucessful labour broking, cleaning, garden service and tree felling business.
His love of the country life made him sell the business and move to the Natal South Coast where he bred crocodiles and farmed bananas, chickens and rabbits. Plagued by theft and adverse weather conditions resulting in crop and stock losses, Ken decided to sell up and moved back to Zimbabwe to farm.
For a number of years all went smoothly - until in 2000 land reforms were introduced by President Mugabe. War-veterans, thugs and squatters were unleashed by the government to move onto the commercial farms in the country and disrupt farming operations.
Ken and his wife Collette were constantly harassed by these squatters and he was no longer able to continue growing crops. Eventually, under the threat of death, they were forced to leave their farm.
They now live in the UK where Ken uses his life’s experiences and travels through Central and Southern Africa to write books set in the country he loves so dearly.
Ken's spends as much time as he can outdoors and loves game viewing in Africa, deep-sea fishing, watching live sport - mainly cricket, rugby, tennis and golf. He also enjoys playing golf and reading. Ken has children and grandchildren in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Australia.
Through this website and the sale of my books, I hope to create awareness and interest in the plight of all our wildlife, and the senseless destruction of good commercial farming in Africa.
Due to the high value of ivory and rhino horn in Eastern countries, every year hundreds of Elephants and Rhinos are poached and slaughtered or badly disfigured for their horns or their tusks. If this is not stopped quickly these magnificent animals, and many other species of wild animals, will soon become extinct. We need to do everything possible to help fight these poachers and stop the sale of ivory and rhino horn.
In some African countries, Zimbabwe in particular and now even in South Africa, land re-distribution laws, have forced commercial farmers to leave or abandon their highly productive farms. This has resulted in farm labourers and their families losing their jobs and their homes. These farms have been given to people with little or no knowledge of commercial farming resulting in them becoming non-productive. There is now a massive shortage of food in the region, with thousands of people dying of starvation.
Unless some form of birth control is introduced, with the uncontrolled world-wide population explosion, there will soon be a universal food shortage.
After browsing through this website I sincerely hope that your curiosity and reading appetite will be whet and you will buy one or all of the books in this 'Tom Owen' series, and follow the exciting, action-packed adventures of a pioneering family who have been in Southern Africa for 200 years; from the early settlers to the present day.
Ken supports 'UNITE AGAINST POACHING' - PLEASE HELP
YOUR SUPPORT WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE!