Writers today are frequently told to stay in their lane, to build a brand, to identify their particular audience and establish a platform. As a novelist, poet, memoirist and philosopher, Rand Leeb-du Toit is the rare writer who refuses to stay inside any box. In a career spanning the law, venture capital and publishing Rand wrote his first poem in the 1970s, his first newsletter in 1998 and culminated his corporate career as an analyst at Gartner.
Rand has good reasons to enjoy life – he has come back from the brink of death multiple times, culminating in a heart transplant in 2019. Always drawn to writing, Rand started writing poetry in his pre-teens, while suffering through terrible challenges in his family life in South Africa. In a career spanning the law, venture capital and publishing, Rand was a very successful business leader and led a high-powered life with all the trappings of success. Until he died.
His ‘sudden cardiac death’ was the start of a long journey that involved six near death experiences, from which he slowly built up the strength to live again. Eventually, he had such extreme cardiac failure that a heart transplant was the only solution. This was not the end of his heart and life journey, but the beginning of a realisation that he needed to truly ‘listen to his heart’ and live his true purpose.
"Every day is a victory when you thought your life was over."
After his heart transplant in 2019, he now focuses all his attention on inspiring others with hope, love and a little magic through his writing. He has published two books to date: Fierce Reinvention and At Thievery End. He is an On Deck Writer Fellow. He currently has three works in progress: a poetry collection, a true-crime thriller and an inspirational memoir in which he documents his ability to rise above immense challenges and manifest the ability to walk again. Conked is his engagement platform where he shares curated doses of fine writing for thinkers and explorers.