Serena was born in Cameroun, West Africa. At a young age, she and her family moved to Malaysia, where we lived in Singapore and Kuala Lumpur until she was fifteen. Her parents were British, and along with her siblings, they had a boarding school education in the UK.
She discovered her African roots at eighteen when her father took a job in Swaziland. So instead of returning to the UK to study physiotherapy, she took a gap year in Swaziland, did some voluntary work at the local clinic, then commenced her nursing training at Greys Hospital, Pietermaritzburg, in 1981.
In 1984, after completing her general training, she headed to Cape Town to study midwifery at Mowbray Maternity Hospital. There she discovered a passion for neonatal nursing, and after a brief sojourn back at Greys, returned to Mowbray, from where she attended the course in Neonatal Intensive Care, at Groote Schuur Hospital, and passed with top marks. She remained in Mowbray Neonatal ICU until 1991, when she left to get married.
She then took a break from nursing, moved to Durban, where both her sons were born, and returned to the Western Cape in 1995; this time though, she lived in the country- firstly in Franschhoek, and latterly Tulbagh. As her boys were growing up, and she started to feel the need for some “hands on” work. She decided against returning to hospital nursing and turned to something different: In 1999, she spent a year studying Shiatsu.
For many years, She has been happily self-employed , looking after a shiatsu clientele that stretched from Franschhoek to Paarl, Stellenbosch, Tulbagh, and even included regular “swallow clients” from the UK, Ireland, Germany, Switzerland Austria, Australia and USA. In 2012, she also studied Holistic massage and Sports Massage, and invested in the small local pizza take-away business she’d been working in. Spare time was spent mainly outdoors- gardening, running, swimming , hiking, and horse-riding!
She joined the Renewal Institute team after realising she had “ unfinished business” with nursing and being ready to make some changes in her life, she was thrilled to join the Western Cape team.