Boitumelo Vero Rikhotso

Destined for greatness!

KWEZI – The remarkable story of Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo (Redi Tlhabi) December 31, 2017

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2017, Jonathan Ball Publishers,
ISBN: 978-1-86842-726-0, Pages: 248


When ‘No’ means something else…


The last one for 2017! Where do I even begin to put words together that make sense after reading such a book? Redi Tlhabi (a journalist of impeccable reputation) is exceptionally sensational in this book.  It is 22:18 on New Year’s Eve and I should be busy with my New Year’s Eve routine of taking stock and praying new plans through but I am feeling rather otherwise after completing this book.

I became increasingly angry with each page as narration after narration I was reminded about the gruesome violence experienced by women and children on a daily and how we just go on. So essentially, being human will be used against you if you are ever raped. Your sexual history will be laid bare for the whole world to see because being raped clearly has something to do with how many men you’ve slept with before and that as young as 6 or 13 you could be seen as a seductress. It is sadly obvious how much the burden and responsibility of rape is still skewed towards the victim. We are always taught and teach our daughters / sisters / nieces about how not to dress a particular way so as not to entice men, how not to move our hips in such a way that’s suggestive, how not to walk alone because some men might take advantage of us and see that as an invitation to rape us. The tips are well meaning and some even helpful because it’s apparently unfortunate that we have to take responsibility for the men who don’t know that they can’t take what’s not been given to them, that no doesn’t mean maybe, but no. We also have to bear the responsibility for men who aren’t ‘aware’ that they have ownership over their own sexual desires, and that like many other needs, this appetite can be tamed because we are not animals.  Ok, ok, ok the book…

So for those who may be reading this review and unaware of the story behind the book, short intro. The book is about a woman called Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo who accused the President of South Africa, (Deputy President at time of charge), Mr Jacob Zuma of rape. He on the other hand maintains that the sex was consensual and in 2006, he was acquitted of the charges. He became President of South Africa in 2009 while she, under a pseudonym  ‘Kwezi,’ sought refuge abroad and was once again thrust into life in exile just as her young life began.


Maybe I should rather do this review tomorrow so I can blow off some steam and welcome the New Year with a positive and hopeful outlook…

To be continued…





Misery loves company (Rene Gutteridge) December 30, 2017

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2013, Tyndale House Publishers,
ISBN: 978-1-4143-4933-6, Pages: 338

Don’t tell me it’s terrifying, terrify me…

I will never forget these words. It is now 04:17 on 2017 December 30th as I write this from Gaborone, Botswana after having finished this book. Sleep will have to take place later because right now, I just have to get this review out of my system.

In short, this book, if you’re a lover of fiction writing – GET IT, TODAY. I have this habit of buying books by authors I have never heard of. Silently because I am sowing seeds of reciprocity. I do so again because there are so many good writers out there other than the ‘big names’ and we often don’t just venture into the unknown and you know? Take a chance at the unfamiliar.

The book starts a little strangely and a little unassuming but don’t you dare discard it because the rest of it is just pure class. The story follows a kidnapping that pendulums between good and evil where nothing is definitely as it seems. Juliet Belleno, a widow to a police officer, after being held hostage by her favourite author sends a whole town on a thrill of a chase that reveals things that all small and quiet town are known for – secrets and scandals.

There are two things Rene Gutteridge outdoes herself in with this book. The story is well told with just enough clues to keep you glued to the next page. The scary scenes are that – scary, the suspense – thrilling and the funny ones – hilarious. The second and my most favourite outstanding part of the book is the mastery of the banter or dialogues between the characters. This part of writing is often very difficult in fiction especially, but she has done this with such exceptional grandeur that plants you right in the middle of the scene. You feel like you know the characters personally, you breathe the terror, taste the blood and quite literally fall in love with words. She got the balance between the prose and the dialogues spot on but especially the words in the dialogues – phenomenal.

The downside I have about the book is with the sad scenes – these didn’t grip me as much. I didn’t quite feel the grief and emotions of people crying as much as I felt the fear and the joy spoken of earlier. The pages of the last chapter seem to have been just thrown in there for good measure but that’s just 2-pages short so they don’t in any way take away from the story.

What a way to spend 2 days of my holiday! I loved this book.