It takes courage for someone in the limelight to share her tragic story publicly. Metro FM’s Criselda Dudumashe epitomises this, given the brave stand she has taken in speaking out about the abuse she suffered as a child as well as her HIV-positive status. “I realised that I was a broken woman, so I had to go back to undo and heal the brokenness in me after I said ‘yes’ to the man who infected me with HIV. I had to forgive him,” said Dudumashe at the launch of her book, called You Are Never Alone, on Tuesday. Family and close friends attended the intimate event, held at the lavish Marion on Nicol, a five-star boutique hotel in Sandton. In the making for 10 years, the 12chapter book deals with Dudumashe’s personal journey to inner and outer health. She writes about a phone call from her doctor that changed her life. It happened when she was expecting her daughter, Thato. “The doctor told me I had only two years to live, and my baby would have six months to live,” she recounts. But Dudumashe beat the odds. Media personality Basetsana Kumalo, who Dudumashe refers to as her “spiritual sister”, was MC at the book launch. Only a few famous faces attended, among them Metro FM’s Thami Ngubeni, Dudumashe’s mentor, John Tibane, and business mogul Tim Tebeila. Dudumashe told guests she only invited people who had played a vital role in her life. The highlight of the event was when motivational speaker Dr Toni Luck read a message from Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, who was unable to attend. It read: “I am so proud about how you’ve matured and become a phenomenal woman. I challenge myself to convince the department of education to make this book a part of the syllabus – and you know I will get this done. “Your story should be known to all young girls for their development, and be a lesson to parents, who have problems in bringing up their children, to care for them. “You are an example of how to make a tragic life into a success. You are a source of inspiration to the girl child and for children in general.” After all the formalities, guests mingled and partook of the delicious food and drink on offer.
Criselda Dudumashe at her intimate book launch in Sandton INFORMAL AFFAIR Journalists mingle at the arts journalism awards, held at Nando’s Central Kitchen