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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.


Mariah Carey


Criselda Dudu­mashe at her in­ti­mate book launch in Sand­ton IN­FOR­MAL AF­FAIR Jour­nal­ists min­gle at the arts jour­nal­ism awards, held at Nando’s Cen­tral Kitchen

John Tibane

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