Endings and beginnings book review

7.91  ·  5,305 ratings  ·  738 reviews
endings and beginnings book review

Endings and Beginnings by Redi Tlhabi

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Published 16.01.2019

Endings in beginnings

Endings and Beginnings book. Read 69 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Redi Tlhabi, warm-hearted, charismatic and loved throughout.

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It is a good and easy read. But for me, the real benefit of the book was the way it provided insight into the lives I have observed in South Africa. Apartheid is over, but it has left scars that seem destined to endure. Tlhabi, who is now a media celebrity in Capetown, tells the story of Mabegzo, a young man known for his brutality even among Soweto gangsters. Under the apartheid regime, the police were at war with black townships and so offered little protection or order.

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When Redi met Mabegzo he lived with his grandparents in Soweto and knew little of his mother who lived in Lesotho with a family of her own. She had lost her father; he had been seemingly abandoned by his mother and would never know the identity of his father. By telling this single story, Redi delves into the reasons that many young black South African men in particular are consumed by anger, and so resort to violence. She does not forgive this, however, and cites her strong opposition to sexual violence as a key factor that forced her to explore her friendship with this tortured individual, who was at times a robber, murderer and rapist. My fervent belief that social conditions create the monsters who terrorise our lives and make us prisoners in our own country has made me curious about their background.

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That split had something to do with a drunken one-night stand. Men do it all the time — and the ones around her more than most. Her journey is about learning to take responsibility, but also to go easy on herself, however contradictory those two concepts may sound.

Redi Tlhabi. Redi grew up in the '80s in Orlando, Soweto, with thoughts and emotions so intense they nearly swallowed up her childhood. It was a time when Soweto was under siege from two forces - apartheid and endemic, normalized crime. It was not strange or unusual to refer to so-and-so as 'the rapist' or so-and-so as 'the killer'. It was also at this time that her father - her hero - was violently murdered, his body discovered on the street, with one eye removed.

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