Her parents were very poor, but were later able to buy a piece of land, Skaapplaas, which her father partly cultivated with an uncle. He farmed with maize and later purchased a Munktell tractor. Both parents were hardworking and served the community, including the Landbou-unie (agricultural union) and the church. They also treated the farm workers well. She and her siblings used to play with the children and also acquired Sotho names.
Eventually, an opening emerged from the cocoon of carefree barefoot days on the farm. She went on to university to study and later married a Swiss man.