A book, a blanket and a large roll of toilet paper


Although I have not moved off my couch, Redi Tlhabi’s award winning book, Endings and Beginnings picked me up and embedded me in Soweto and Lesotho in the 1980’s.

Her writing is brave, honest and real. Her descriptions of the people and places so enriching that I know them, I was there.

I never thought my first post would be about a book. My intention is to write about South Africa, travel and maps. This might be a rather obscure start, but as an avid reader probably appropriate. I occasionally come across a gem of a book that takes me into another world in time and place and brings it all to life. This book is one of those rare gems.

Endings and Beginnings engaged all my senses from the first page. The political commentary is matter of fact and serves as a contextual backdrop to the story.The writer is humble, inquisitive, unapologetic and so very likeable. He compassion, insight into human behaviour and strong sense of always doing what is right and being fair shines through on every page. Her driving need to understand her world and the people in it shows me another great South African humanitarian in the making.

Endings and Beginnings is why last night, I sat on my couch, under a blanket and travelled to Soweto. I only moved tp make more tea or fetch more tissues. I laughed a little, cried a lot, ignored my phone and was happily oblivious to the fact that I was at home, in Cape Town in 2013.

If you have not yet read Redi Tlhabi’s Endings and Beginnings I urge you to do so. The best way to describe Redi and her book is to quote from one of my favourite female singers, Alicia Keyes, This girl is on Fire

If you enjoy this book, and have any interest in South Africa in the 1960’s I recommend you find a copy of Mark Mathabane’s Kaffir Boy. His book changed my life, but more about that another time.

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