A boy called Sorrow

A book I will never forget

I met my Aunt for coffee in Parkhurst on 22 December.  As always we enjoyed a long chat about all sorts of things over delicious cappuccinos and the biggest slice of lemon meringue I have ever seen in my life.  As we were leaving, she gave me my Christmas present, all beautifully wrapped, with strict instructions not to open it until Christmas Day.

On the 25th, after doing everything that needed to be done and getting all dressed up for lunch with friends at Ga Rouge in Centurion, I opened my gift – a book called Endings and Beginnings: A Story of Healing by Redi Tlhabi.  I thought I’d quickly read a page or two.  Two chapters later, I was looked at the time – it was getting late, almost time to leave for Centurion.  Three chapters.  Four.  I’m up, grabbing my keys, trying to finish chapter five.  Whatsapp beeps – ‘On our way’, I lie.

Endings and Beginnings is a captivating story of a young girl’s relationship with a beginings_and_endingsnotorious, hated township gangster, Mabegzo.  As an adult, the author does not for a moment try to excuse the dreadful crimes that this man committed but she tells the heart wrenching story of his sad existence and how, after many years, she manages to close that chapter of her life through great perseverance and determination.

The book is so beautifully written and while telling the story of Mabegzo, whose real name was Mahlomola, which means Sorrow, it also brings to life the experience of a young girl dealing with the loss of her beloved father and growing up in Soweto in the apartheid era.

The story is told with such emotion, it made me cry (a lot).  The big old ugly, boo hoo, mascara running, puffy eye for days cry. It touched my in such a way that even weeks after reading it, I still find myself thinking about it, putting pieces together in my head, wondering where I would have been, or what I’d have been doing when this or that happened in the book.

This, without a doubt, was the best book I read in 2012.

The Author

‘Good morning, good morning, good morning!’  The vivacious, smart, funny Redi Tlhabi welcomes listeners to her show at 9am on weekdays at Talk Radio 702 with this signature greeting.

Besides her radio talk show, she writes a column for the Sunday Times and also has a current affairs show on television.

I’m quite sure that there’s not a topic that Redi hasn’t covered and she’s not afraid to take on anyone at any level, including senior politicians, if she believes that their actions and behaviour are unethical and detrimental to the people of South Africa.  Or any country for that matter.

The proceeds of the book are going to help restore the sight of a young orphan.

You can watch Redi being interviewed about the book here.


15 thoughts on “A boy called Sorrow

      1. it’s such a small world, Jacquie. … (I’ve been absent for a while, but certainly wish you a remarkable 2013–in all the good ways!)

  1. I will have to see if my library has this book. I just finished a good book called Zoo by James Patterson. I was on a waiting list for 3 months for that book. I started it and read it all day, I just had to finish it.

  2. Whilst I love to read big-hearted stories, the way you tell this makes me scared to read this book. After all, Big Boys Don’t Cry! And mascarra running is not a good look on any self respecting bloke… 🙂
    [admission – I cried during the movie “A Mom For Christmas” so this book is probably way out of my league.]

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