What IZWI?

IZWI means voice in isiZulu. The voice here belongs to Simon Barber. I live in the far exurbs of Washington DC with a wonderful wife, two dogs, a cat, a rabbit, an African Grey parrot, and countless deer. I am a former Englishman who has spent most of his life in the US while deeply entangled with South Africa (hence the handle for this site). I make my living from words written and spoken. If you need words to plead your cause or tell your story, I will draft them for you. If you have words you want voiced, I will record them for you. My formal training is in Latin and Greek (I can offer tutoring if called on). The rest I have picked up as I went along, and I have being going along for a while now.

Here you will find the words I write for myself. Until 2001, I was a journalist. Then I became a flack who wrote a column on the side to keep his sanity. I stopped being a flack at the end of 2014, though, as I said, I’ll still draft you a persuasive speech or op-ed if you need one. Latterly, I’ve been narrating audiobooks from a small studio I built in my basement. Want to hear what the Quran would sound like if read at the King’s College lessons and carols service? You can find a sample here along with other books I’ve recorded.

On this site you’ll find my wandering thoughts, some of my columns and a couple of works in progress, provisionally called The Margery Book and Chronicler. The first is about a great aunt who joined the Communist Party after World War One and went to live in Russia. The second is about my father. It takes its name from the News Chronicle, the newspaper for which he was a roving correspondent between the final months of World War Two and the paper’s closure in 1960. He was Washington bureau chief for the London Daily Telegraph when he died in 1980.

Use the form below or find me @izwi if you’d like to be in touch.