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Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Review: Endings & Beginnings by Redi Tlhabi

This is an unusual memoir of sorts. Yes, we do learn a little more about the person that is Redi Tlhabi, but more it's an exploration of violent people and why they're so. Ok not all violent people, but one person. A person that clearly made a lasting impression on her, and her life.

In Endings & Beginnings she talks about Mabegzo. She meet him when she was eleven, and at first didn't know that he was that guy the one everyone talked. They talked about him, but never in a nice way he was a gangster, rapist and all round bad guy; certainly not a person a well behaved, good girl should befriend. And friends they were, because eleven year old Redi saw the other side to him. She heard his stories, asked him to change his ways - he stopped making girls cry when she asked - and generally had a good relationship with him. A few months after they meeting him, he's dead, a death he said he knew was coming.

The book goes from that initial meeting to their time together - she'd give him her lunch because she didn't eat as much - and her finding out more about him and his story in 2004. Mabegzo's story is heartbreaking, and it just gets worse when you read more about the whys of his tail. His mother's tail is even more so, despite the circumstances of his conception and birth, she loved him and was denied him. All of those threads add together to really show you that yes, a lot of the violence in our country has it's roots in the stories of the people who commit those acts; and that yes, their stories aren't always good or something to be ignored.

All in all this book adds more to anyone's understanding of people. And it provides a partial answer - and maybe even a partial solution - to why we have some many angry and violent people in SA.

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