ENDINGS & BEGINNINGS, a story of healing

: Tlhabi (R.)

R 280.00
- +

288pp., paperback, Reprint, Johannesburg, (2012) 2022


Winner of the 2013 Sunday Times Alan Paton Award.

Memoir by Redi Tlhabi, who grew up in Orlando, Soweto, in the 1980s. Her father was murdered when she was nine-years old. Two years later, she developed a strong connection with handsome, charming Mabegzo,  a rumoured gangster, murderer and rapist. He too is murdered. Years later, in an attempt to humanise Mabegzo, Redi Tlhabi interviews his family, friends and neighbours.

"Let's be clear. Redi Tlhabi's book, Endings and Beginnings, is an important work of South African literature. Perhaps unintentionally, it sits in the tradition of the great socio-political stories of the South African tragedy, starting with Sol Plaatje's Native Life in South Africa. And it is a beautifully written; a story about a tragic anti-hero and the cast of characters who raised and broke his soul." Mark Heywood, Daily Maverick

Redi Thlabi ... tells the story of her ambivalence towards a gangster - she later finds out a murderer and a rapist - who shows her kindness when she is a child. He inexplicably protects her from the neighbourhood sexual predators and by the time she finds out the true depth of his depravity, she struggles to banish her feelings. When he is murdered, she sets out to discover his life story. As the book solves this tragic jigsaw puzzle, Thlabi does not flinch from exploring her feelings with astonishing honesty. This book shuns the contemporary fashion of romanticising Soweto. Instead it takes you onto the mean streets, where the jackrollers rule with violence and where young women face the constant threat of sexual predation. This is an outstanding slice of South Africa served up raw with no trimmings." Ray Hartley, author of Ramaphosa: The man who would be king

South African journalist, producer, former radio presenter and author Redi Tlhabi is also the author of Khwezi, the remarkable story of Fezekile Ntsukela Kuzwayo.