Throughout her early life Denise Carnihan had a fascination for all things African, not knowing that there was a deep family connection. It wasn't until about 15 years ago, when her 12 year old son started a school project on geneology, that her mother revealed a long-held secret; that her father – Denise's grandfather – was a mixed-race man from South Africa who had settled in New Zealand. The knowledge set Denise off on what she describes as a "rampage" to find out more and locate relatives she had never thought she might have. Her voyage of discovery led her to other parts of Africa – including stints doing volunteer work in Kenyan slums. For many people that might have been where contact with the continent ended – but Denise and her husband Chris, decided to build a school.
Denise Carnihan speaks with Kathryn Ryan.