My life is not remotely similar to the one I had when I was in the fast lane in South Africa in the eighties.

As it turns out I was forced to take a job at a restaurant as a server. I am still with the rich and famous. But now I am serving them.

When I was a journalist there was less drama in the newsrooms while covering Bosnia-Herzogovina than there is in the restaurant in which I am now working.

Jani Allan in Lambertville, New Jersey, December 2014.

Jani Allan in Lambertville, New Jersey, December 2014. Credit: Anneli Martin

It’s the kind of chic restaurant to which men bring women they want to impress.


Like eating an artichoke, waiting tables is a lot of work for a little reward.

When I clock in on Aloha, it says ‘Server,” not PeeAar, or radio-show host or columnist.

I have become a different person to Jani Allan-of-the-Sunday-Times. I am the den mother at the resto.

This bohemian river town is a rich seam for a transplanted journalist. Therefore I came to realize that the pen is stronger than the table crumber.

The column is once again the needle that pulls the threads of my life together, the focus of all my energy. Striving for the summit is the only escape from the chasms of emptiness.

I no longer have diamonds, a sports car or blonde hair. I am living quietly and happily in a blaze of obscurity in New Jersey.

You see I am learning to rock with the waves.

I am trying to invent a new way of being in the world.

Continue the journey on this blog and at http://janiallan.com/

13 thoughts on “About”

  1. Cindy McKenzie said:

    Still glamorous!

    • Dear Jani,

      I was but a puppy in your heyday but you held my attention even then. I am delighted to have found your blog and love your letter to our wounded country. I concur with the other comments and say we desperately need you back, South Africa has never been in more need of a voice that is unafraid of volume, as for your faux pas along the way, hell that’s baby stuff in comparison to the deep and dark scandal surrounding our current powers that be. The white people of South Africa have been struck dumb in the face of adversity and a spokesperson who has travelled the road, is as articulate as you are and has and unintimidated brain in their head is very much needed. Come back and sing our song, you are the most qualified.

  2. Jani! Jani ! Delighted to stumble upon your blog! (Via twitter )guess it’s BLAAAHG in your neck of the woods! I was a HUGE fan in the good ol’ bad ol’ what the fuck happend days. Always loved your writing. Come HOME! We need you! Columns need you. Surely all those who made your life unbearable her are either dead or on the scapheap of history?
    I’m glad to make contact with one of my hero- columnists ( the other one being the late Robert Kirby. RIP). To prove I’m not a stalker or cyber weirdo I’m at http://www.johannk.co.za. There are links to a couple of my little columns for Artslink on the site( I guess I hoped I would be columnist when I grew up, but theatre kept me in gainful employment)

    Lekka chatting. Be well! You inspired me . lots.

  3. Was a HUGE fan in the good ol’ bad ol’ days! An ispiration to me… One of my Hero Columnists ( the other was Robert Kirby RIP)
    I thought I could be a columnist when I grew up… Still do!
    Miss ya! come home, we need ya!

  4. Kay Ceravolo said:

    Ten years of knowing the rare jewel Jani Allan ~ she still never ceases to amaze me… her words flow like a waterfall – and her pearls of wisdom are still followed by fans the world over. Her star will rise back and overcome the cruel treatment she has suffered needlessly – by those who were jealous of her fame. They will meet their own demise in Hell. God Bless you Jani ~ and your three tiny Poms.

  5. Mazeltov said:

    Pure Delight. Jani is back!

  6. Your take on things remains fresh. I’ve really enjoyed your work over the years. A Cynic with humour – that’s you lass! While I’m reminiscing, do you recall how tall Walter was?
    Take care – I’m looking forward to more…

  7. Kay Ceravolo said:

    So many people are thrilled to see Jani Allan back out there. Her followers on wordpress.com and Twitter are amazing. God bless you Jani.

  8. There you are! Missed you like Dehli misses the monsoon!

  9. Hi Jani Loved reading “Money Can’t Buy You Happiness” et al. I agree…Once you try Santos you can’t wear cheap Pantos

  10. Wow! Your writing is still so exceptional! Glad u started writing again.

  11. Peter Inkley said:

    Dear Jani I am a couple of decades more lived in than your good self. I just read all your blogs and you are a terrific writer. How readable you are. From a mind with a great sense of (controlled) humour plus empathy. I gave up the Sunday Times many years ago when its last good editor left pre ’94 so can’t say I was a devotee of your column. But your name is not forgotten. Sad to say you were treated with a great deal of malice by the hacks. Writing a story to day appears to require that the worst possible light is shone upon it. I am divorced, but we are kept inclose touch by our chldren and grandchildren, so I am blessed. Good fortune to you. I will be logging on to your blog again. Peter Inkley

  12. Jani so good you are back!! We missed your fabulous sharp wit, ….and sooo glamorous , have been following snippets of news of you Stateside, …..you go girl and love the Melissa blog

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