250pp., illus., paperback, Johannesburg, (2017) 2020
Fezekile Kuzwayo, or 'Khwezi" was President Jacob Zuma’s rape accuser. In May 2006 Jacob Zuma was found not guilty and 'Khwezi' was forced to flee South Africa. She lived in safe houses in the Netherlands and Tanzania before returning to a still hostile South Africa in 2016. She died later the same year, just months before this book was completed.
"Tlhabi is no hagiographer. Khwezi does not glorify Kuzwayo, or make a martyr or hero of her. Tlhabi writes candidly of a woman who could be maddeningly flighty, unsure of what she wanted and prone to squandering opportunities. Kuzwayo comes across as by turns exuberant and troubled; often depressed but capable of easy joy. The Fezekile in Tlhabi’s pages is garrulous and funny; an over-sharer, but hard to pin down; impulsive and a poor planner. “One fool at a time” is her wry catch-phrase. She is complicated, and human.
But Kuzwayo’s life also provides an opportunity for a wider view: about the effects of the Struggle on families and relationships in particular." Rebecca David, Daily Maverick
Redi Tlhabi is a radio talk-show host, broadcast journalist and author. Her book, "Endings and Beginnings" won the 2013 Sunday Times Alan Paton Award.