SISTERS WITH THE WRITE STUFF
YOU South Africa|20 January 2022
Why do nurses need so many pens? To draw blood! This collection, however, is no joke
JACO HOUGH-COETZEE
NOW here’s a hobby worth writing home about.

Identical twin sisters Marina and Roelien Coetzee are the proud owners of 7 500 pens – and just like people, they come in all shapes and sizes.

They simply can’t get enough of them, says Marina as she and her sister invite us into their home in Klerksdorp, North West.

And it’s easy to believe. Pens are everywhere – covering two tables in the lounge, lined up in rows on the kitchen table, hogging the surface of the tumble dryer, taking over the beds in the main and second bedroom.

Where do the siblings even eat, relax or sleep at night?

Roelien laughs. They don’t always lie around the house like this, she explains. The sisters usually package their collection in plastic bags of 200 pens each which are then stacked in a bedroom cupboard – but today the 56-year-old twins have taken them all out in honor of YOU’s visit.

“We have good reason to brag – we don’t know of any other collectors in the country who own this many pens,” Marina says.

It’s not like the collection cost them thousands of rands – nearly all their pens have been gifts. Others they blatantly begged for, Roelien admits.

“We’re professional beggars. If we see someone using a pen we don’t have yet, we beg that pen right out of their hands. Regardless of where we are.”

Pen-pushers they certainly are.

THEIR collection started by chance in the mid-1990s, the sisters, who are both nurses, tell us.

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