Andries Albertus Pienaar was born on 23 August 1894 in Broederstroom near
Pretoria. In 1907 his family moved to German East Africa, where Andries grew up
in the magnificent surroundings of Kilimanjaro. He returned to South Africa in
1913 and attended school in Heidelberg at the age of 19. He had to start in the lower classes, where he could hardly fit into the chairs and desks, but soon graduated to higher classes with his own age group. He was very popular with the other pupils.
Sangiro studied at the University of Stellenbosch (BA in English and German, cum laude, 1921). After working for a short time as a teacher and for Die Burger, he moved to Germany to continue his studies. In 1922 and 1924 he visited German East Africa again, first on a hunting trip, later as the leader of a German film expedition. His experiences inspired his books which reveal his love and understanding of wild animals and they were bestsellers for many years and translated into other languages. In Op safari, he describes an expedition with friends, among them Johannes Grosskopf .
Uit oerwoud en vlakte was apparently more than just inspired by the works of German author Frits Bronsart von Schellendorf, and Sangiro was accused of plagiarism. The case was settled out of court with the condition that Sangiro did not sell his book in Germany. (However, the fact remains that Sangiro proved to be the better writer).
In the thirties Sangiro worked as director of several films and later as Game warden in South West Africa.
Andries Albertus Pienaar died on 30 April 1979 on his farm, Panfontein, near Bloemhof.
Stellenbosch University has a special souvernir of Sangiro: 'Rom-rom-rom!', the battle-cry in intervarsity sports competitions, which he suggested in a roaring comptetition in 1918!
Sangiro se blywenste werk lê ... op die terrein van die journalistieke prosa, warmee hy 'n belangrike bydrae tot die Afrikaanse verhaalkuns lewer